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India's Best B-Schools
While India has about 3000 B-Schools offering the MBA programme, serious MBA aspirants know that an MBA will benefit them only if it is from the top schools. While this fact is widely known and acknowledged, the definition of 'top' varies between persons and between years. Given the large number of institutes, especially with their grandiose claims (genuine and otherwise), it is difficult for a student to make the right decision on the quality of the school. Hence, it is necessary that students understand the key parameters of the B-Schools that are to be looked at. Once these are understood, students should look at B-Schools for their performance on these parameters and arrive at their list of good schools. This is a complex process which needs a lot of information about the schools. Students would also need a pretty good understanding of B-Schools so that the data available can be used correctly.
With the objective of helping students to make the right choice without going through this complex process, every year we release a list of India's top B-Schools. This list divides B-Schools into various categories, which we believe would enormously aid the students in selecting a B-School. The list is made, after months of extensive research and data collection, by experts who have over two decades of experience in guiding students on MBA admissions.
Some frequently asked questions about B-Schools.
The fee for MBA is very high – Can I afford it?
The fee charged for management programmes varies a great deal between institutes. For example, the fee charged by university departments (like FMS) for a two-year post-graduate programme could be as little as 25,000. However, most premier institutes charge anywhere between 4 lakh and 17 lakh for a similar programme. Bank loans are available quite easily for admissions into good schools, which make fee payment a non-issue. Repayment of these loans typically starts after the completion of the course, which means the candidate can repay the loan through her/his earnings.
A foreign MBA?
Doing an MBA at a foreign university appears attractive to those who can afford it. The main attraction of management education abroad seems to be the fact that admission into foreign B-Schools is relatively easier than getting into a top Indian management institute. However, those who are on the lookout for management education abroad should note that work experience is mandatory to secure admissions into most of these management institutes and that at the end of the course, students 'might' not get the kind of placement that they desire. This is particularly due to the fact that placements abroad are not centralised as they are in Indian B-Schools. The foreign B-Schools, in most cases, play no role in placement, with the onus shifting to the individual students. Also, an MBA programme at a top-end foreign university could cost you upward of 40 lakh.
Degree or Diploma?
The value of the management course does not depend on whether it is a 'degree' or a 'diploma'; rather, it depends on the 'reputation and standing' of the institute that is offering the degree or the diploma. A 'degree' is not always better than a 'diploma'. The converse can well be true. In fact, the most sought-after IIMs offer only a diploma! When companies recruit management graduates, they certainly don't worry about the name of the course offered at the particular institute. They look at the intrinsic worth and the reputation of the institute, quality of the course offered, and, of course, the calibre of the students.
New IIMs – How will they be?
Some students are not very sure about joining the newer IIMs. They should know that the newer IIMs have been witnessing very encouraging placements, both for final and summer internships. Whether it is the average salary in final placements (around 13 lakh) or the quality of companies visiting their campuses, the IIMs should certainly be preferred over non-IIM B-Schools, more importantly for the long term brand advantage that one can enjoy. A case in point is that of IIM Kozhikode and IIM Indore. Just about a decade ago, they were the 'new IIMs'. Now, there is almost none who would think twice about joining them. Similar was the case with IIM Lucknow in the late 1980s. Remember, the new IIMs will be old soon!
Criteria for selecting a management institute
The following criteria should be considered carefully while applying to B-Schools.
A large number of management institutes boast of 100 per cent placement record. With management institutes mushrooming all over the country, these claims should not be taken at face value, and should be scrutinised closely. Often, it has been seen that most students, in the excitement of considering high average salary (at various schools), miss the average number of offers that each student receives at these schools. This parameter is important as it indicates the amount of choice that a student has in terms of jobs offers from various companies.
(B) Quality of faculty:
Most top B-Schools have a judicious mix of full-time and part-time faculty members. The full-time faculty team provides the continuity and monitoring that is needed over the two-year period, apart from providing any hand-holding required by students. The part-time faculty team gives students the much needed external exposure, especially in terms of contacts in industry and access to real time projects.
(c) Quality of students:
The quality of students on campus makes a huge difference on account of the interaction that students have with their peers. Much of the learning that takes place at any B-School is on account of group activities like assignments and projects. Hence, if the students are brighter, the learning experience becomes richer. The quality of the selection process (in terms of the percentile/score cut off in the written exam, the rigorousness of the GD/Essay-writing/Interview) adopted by the institute gives you an idea about the quality of the students it admits.
(d) Quality of infrastructure
One of the most essential things for an institute to function satisfactorily is the availability of necessary infrastructure, such as a state-of-the-art computer lab, high-speed Internet connectivity, well-stocked library with subscriptions to management journals, and classrooms furnished with audio-visual aids. Any institute that does not have these facilities can hardly be called top class.
We suggest that you visit the campus of the institute in question, particularly one you do not know much about, and gather first hand information about the facilities available before taking a decision on joining that institute.
Students should also find out information about hostel facilities, if available. Ironically, a number of top management institutes do not have good hostel facilities, a situation that's quite common in several cities. Of course, there are always options, like staying as paying guests or pooling with college mates to rent an accommodation.
The fully residential programme of the top B-Schools fosters all-round development as the period of interaction with peers and faculty is not just restricted to the class hours but is an ongoing 24/7 process where the scope to learn is multiplied many times over.
(E) Image of the Institute:
One factor that need not specially be emphasised is the reputation of the B-School and the image it reflects in the industry. While it can be said that it is natural for older institutes to have a better reputation than the ones that have started recently, it cannot always be generalised. Also, remember that it is often possible that a recently set up institute has been established by an older, well-established institute. In such cases, the 'parent/guardian' institute certainly helps the new institute through its formative years. This help may include, but may not be limited to, faculty support, admissions support, and, more importantly, placement support.
A professional's career spans for 35-40 years. One has to look at the long term advantages over this period and not give undue importance to short term parameters like 'salary'. Students should understand that the brand value of B-Schools, for example, that of the IIMs, has the power to open doors and get a candidate an interview, both in the short and long terms.
(F) Location of the B-School:
Location refers to the geographical location of the B-School. The location indirectly affects the placements on the campus. Placements are better at institutes located in places where there is a concentration of business and industry. This is because companies find it much easier to recruit management graduates from institutes located geographically closer to their own headquarters rather than visit an institute located far away. For this reason, other things remaining the same, institutes located in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bengaluru always score better than institutes based in other cities. Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad make up the next level. The impact that the location has on an institute is little for the top schools, like the IIMs, while it becomes more and more pronounced as we go down the ratings list.
For all the parameters discussed above, the institute's 'claims' have to be verified through various sources. You can enquire about such claims with students currently studying at these institutes. But, here again, you should note that the students of the institute may not always portray the real picture. There is a possibility that they, for various reasons, could exaggerate the placement performance of their 'own' institute. Visiting the campus, speaking to the administration staff, current students and alumni wherever possible will help one make a reliable assessment.
As discussed in the FAQs, fee is a non-issue for the good schools. However, the operative word here is 'good'. Loans are easily available for these schools and the ability of the students to repay their loans is also high due to the good placements offered by these schools. However, with the number of B-Schools growing drastically, the ability to place students has come under question for schools outside the top 40. With the fee being charged by many of them also rising sharply, it is necessary that one needs to ensure that the kind of return on the fee being invested also works out to be decent. While the return is being captured by factoring in 'Placements' as one of the parameters , the investment needs to be captured by factoring the 'Fee' being paid. However, risking repetition, it should be remembered that fee should not be an influencing factor for the top schools, like the IIMs.
The B-School categorization process followed by us is an elaborate multi-step process where due weightage is given to the statistics available about an institute in the public domain and the opinion of experts at T.I.M.E.. This blend of expert opinion and objective data is what makes it the most accurate categorisation available. The parameters used comprise (a) placement data, (b) cut-off score in entrance exam, (c) location of the school, (d) age of the institute, and (e) programme fee charged. While these parameters constitute the objective aspect of the categorisation methodology, the rating given by T.I.M.E. experts to each institute along with the quality of alumni and faculty constitute the subjective aspect. An elaborate scoring system is devised for each of the objective parameters, which is reviewed and modified by an expert panel. The data related to each institute for each of the above parameters is collected and scrutinised for its authenticity. Finally, scores are assigned to the institutes based on the scoring system as per the institute's data authenticated by us. Please note that only schools offering two-year programmes, with at least one graduate batch, have been considered for this exercise. 1 year MBA programs such as those of ISB, IIMA (PGPX), IIMB (EPGP), IIMC (PGPEX), IIML (IPMX), IIMI (EPGP), Great Lakes (PGPM), XLRI (PGDM-GM) have not been included.
The B-Schools in the list below are divided into seven broad categories:
Top 10 category features world-class institutes, like the IIMs and XLRI, that every student aspires to secure an admission into. Many of these institutes are comparable with the best in the world. These institutes invariably have a 100% placement record. Even the not-so-academically-good students at these institutes manage to get good jobs on account of the 'rub-off' effect of the institute..
AAA & AA categories of institutes are those that fall into the Top 30. They offer high quality of education, faculty, and infrastructure facilities. These institutes have a 100% placement record. A significant number of the top students at these institutes are able to secure placements that are comparable to those offered at the Top 10 institutes.
A & BBB categories of institutes offer a consistent quality of education, faculty, and infrastructure facilities even though these may not be comparable to those of the Top 30 institutes. These institutes are successful in providing high quality placements to their top students, especially those with good communication skills, but may not have a 100% placement record.
BB & B categories of institutes are those that are well regarded at the local level. These institutes may not provide too many national-level placement opportunities but are generally successful in providing placements to many of their students with prominent local companies.
Apart from all these, there is the 'Others' category, which has colleges which may be found to be lacking in one or more of: (a) infrastructure; (b) industry interface; (c) faculty; (d) alumni network; (e) curriculum, and (f) placements. However, we feel these colleges are better than the hordes of others which do not feature in our list at all. You are hence advised to get thorough information (by visiting the campuses and speaking with past and current students) about these colleges before taking any decision regarding them.
How will this categorisation help me?
The first question you should ask is, 'How many B-Schools should I apply to?'. The answer to this will depend on a few factors.
The first factor is your budget. With the cost of application for each institute being in the range of 500 to 2500, you may not want to look at more than 7-8 institutes. But, whatever be the number of institutes you wish to apply to, it is always a good practice to select institutes across categories.
The second factor is what you are doing currently:
(A) Pursuing final year of graduation: In this case, you may be very keen on getting into a management institute but can afford to try again next year if you do not get into an institute of your choice. So, you may apply rather selectively.
(B) Completed graduation in the last academic session, not pursuing any higher studies, and not working either: In this case make sure that you get into some institute (a reasonably good one). So, the number of institutes that you have to apply, will be more than in the case of the first category.
(C) Completed graduation and currently working: You can be very, very selective unless you have been working for more than 4-5 years in which case, you may not want to lose further time to get into a management institute.
The third factor in deciding the number of institutes to which you should apply is your performance in the entrance exams. Depending on your performance, you may want to hedge your risk by applying to more institutes – particularly, to institutes across categories that we discussed above.
Now you should look at how you will go about deciding the types of such institutes. Here, the cardinal principle is that in order to safeguard your interests and reduce your risk, you should apply to institutes in at least three different categories.
Let's say that you have decided to apply to seven institutes. First, check how you have performed in the AIMCATs and what your percentile score has been like.
If you are in the 85-95 percentile range, then, apart from the IIMs (which you can apply to in the same online form while registering for the CAT), you will need to apply to three institutes in the next category and two institutes in the category after that. It will also be worth applying to MDI and/or SPJIMR. Also, if you are interested in specialisation programmes, you should apply to some of the sectoral institutes, like IIFT and TISS.
Finally, it is always a good idea to apply to as many institutes as possible, based on one's affordability, to maximise one's chances of making it to a good B-School as one is never sure as to what criteria each institute would follow to shortlist and admit students.
Top B-Schools (Schools under each category are in alphabetical order):
# List contains B-School programs of 2 year duration only. It does not include 1 year programs like ISB, IIMA (PGPX), IIMB (EPGP), IIMC (PGPEX), IIML (IPMX), IIMI (EPGP), Great Lakes (PGPM), XLRI (PGDM-GM).
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA)
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB)
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC)
Indian Institute of Management Indore (IIMI)
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIMK)
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIML)
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai
( Need to apply to DTE-Maharashtra )
S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai
XLRI Xavier Institute of Management, Jamshedpur
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)
Indian Institute of Management Raipur
Indian Institute of Management Ranchi
Indian Institute of Management Rohtak
Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai
Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management Shillong (RGIIM)
Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJSSoM),
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai
Department of Financial Studies (DFS), University of Delhi, South Campus
Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)
Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
Indian Institute of Management Kashipur
Indian Institute of Management Trichy
Indian Institute of Management Udaipur
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Kolkata
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai
Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD), Pune
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune
Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSoM),
Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
Department of Industrial and Management Engineering (IME), Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Department of Management Studies (DoMS), Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR)
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad
Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)
International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi
K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR), Mumbai
Mudra Institute of Communication Ahmedabad (MICA)
Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE), Mumbai (Need to apply to DTE-Maharashtra)
Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB)
Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), School of Excellence of Bharthidasan University, Trichy
FORE School of Management, New Delhi
Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR), Chennai
Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (LBSIM), Delhi
Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Bangalore
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Hyderabad
National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli (NITT)
Nirma University Institute of Management (NIRMA), Ahmedabad
Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WE School), Mumbai
Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore (SIBM-B)
Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB), Pune
T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal
University Business School (UBS), Chandigarh
Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH), Noida
Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani
Christ University Institute of Management (CUIM), Bangalore
Delhi School of Management (Delhi Technological University), Delhi
Department of Business Management, Osmania University, Hyderabad
Department of Commerce and Management Studies, University of Pune (PUMBA), Pune
Faculty of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University (FMS BHU), Varanasi
Goa Institute of Management (GIM), Goa
Hyderabad Central University (HCU), Hyderabad
ICFAI Business School (IBS), Hyderabad
Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal
Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), Kolkata
Institute of Management Development and Research (IMDR), Pune
Institute of Technology & Management (ITM), Mumbai
National Institute of Banking and Management (NIBM), Pune
Pondicherry Central University (PCU), Puducherry
SDM Institute for Management Development (SDM-IMD), Mysore
SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS), Mumbai
Sri Ram College of Commerce, MBA-GBO, Delhi
Symbiosis Center for Information Technology (SCIT), Pune
Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), Pune
Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), Nasik
Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management (SITM), Pune
Welingkar Institute of Management, Bangalore
Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), Bangalore
Amity Business School, Noida
Amrita School of Business (ASB), Coimbatore
B. K. School of Business Management, Ahmedabad
Balaji Institute of Modern Management (BIMM), Pune
Bharatiya Vidyapeeth, Institute for Management and Entrepreneurship Development, Pune
Bhartiya Vidyapeeth University, Institute of Management and Research, New Delhi
Chetana's R. K. Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
Department of Management Studies (DoMS), Anna University, Chennai
International Management Institute (IMI), Kolkata
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad
Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Nagpur
Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), Hyderabad
Lala Lajpatrai Institute of Management (LLIM), Mumbai
MANAGE (For those interested in Agri-Business/Rural Management only), Hyderabad
MET Institute of Management (MET IOM), Mumbai
Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), Allahabad
National Insurance Academy (NIA), Pune
National Institute of Technology (NIT) Calicut
NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies & Research (NLDIMSR), Mumbai
R. A. Podar Institute of Management, Jaipur
Rajagiri Centre for Business Studies, Cochin
Rizvi Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
Sadhana Center for Management and Leadership Development (SCMLD), Pune
School of Management (SMS), Cochin University of Science & Technology, Cochin
Siva Sivani Institute of Management (SSIM), Hyderabad
Symbiosis School of Banking Management (SSBM), Pune
University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun
Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), Hyderabad
Vivekanand Education Society's Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi
Other Popular B-Schools
Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi
Alliance School of Business, Bangalore
Army Institute of Management, Kolkata
Badruka College – Post Graduate Center, Hyderabad
Bharati Vidya Bhavan's Usha and Lakshmi Mittal Institute of Management, New Delhi
Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra, Ranchi
Dhruva College of Management, Hyderabad
Fortune School of Business, New Delhi
FOSTIIMA, New Delhi
Gitam School of International Business (GSIB), Visakhapatnam
ICFAI B-School, Ahmedabad
ICFAI B-School, Gurgaon
ICFAI B-School, Mumbai
IES Management College and Research Centre, Mumbai
International Management Institute (IMI), Bhubaneswar
Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Gwalior
Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad
Indira Institute of Management, Pune
Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS), Harihar
M. S. Ramiah Institute of Management, Bangalore
Master School of Management, Meerut
MIT School of Management, Pune
NIILM Center for Management Studies, Greater Noida
National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur
National Institute of Technology (NIT) Suratkal
National Institute of Technology (NIT) Warangal
PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore
School of Communication & Management Studies (SCMS), Cochin
SSN School of Management & Computer Applications, Chennai
St Joseph's College of Business Administration, Bangalore
Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC), Pune
Thakur Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
University School of Management Studies - Indraprastha University, Delhi
Vanguard Business School, Bangalore
VIT Business School - Vellore
Xavier Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai
Disclaimer by T.I.M.E.: The above list has been compiled based on various objective and subjective data/ information gathered by experts at T.I.M.E. The list is meant to serve only as a guidance to students who wish to apply to B-Schools. While the best possible care has been taken by T.I.M.E. in compiling this list, T.I.M.E. is not responsible for the decision(s) taken by any student / parent on the basis of this list. Students are advised to check the credentials of a B-School before taking a decision to apply or to join.
-Chief Administrative Officer.