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Why I did not join Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and Indian School Of Business (ISB)

Updated on April 24, 2017


First of all, let me give a small background of my professional experience. I am a British citizen of Indian origin, and work as Sr. project manager with an US based IT company based in London. I have 12 years of total experience, out of which 8 years in international locations.

I come from an engineering background. Last year, after gaining rich experience in handling IT operations with multiple clients in various domains, I decided to go for MBA. Since I also wanted to relocate back to India, I decided that I will only apply to Indian B schools. Though I am not that great with studies, I managed to get a decent GMAT score of 680.

I applied to IIMA, B, C, L and ISB. I did not got a call from IIMB which I think was because of their upper cutoff for maximum experience. I got interview calls from IIMA, B, C and ISB. Out of which I was able to convert IIML and ISB.

ISB offer

ISB offer
ISB offer | Source

IIML offer

Why I did not join IIML

There were few reasons which I did not join IIM Lucknow and believe me they were just economical- based on cost return preposition.

  1. First of all, IIML do not disclose their placement statistics. After many follow up with different people in admissions and placement cells, I was told that it around 20 lacs and even this was not an official position and definitely not confident one. If some one want to invest 20-22 lacs fees + 1 year salary + 1 year of effort, he or she deserve to know what kind of placements are in place.
  2. One of the very first advice I was given in the interview was that I should come on sabbatical leaves. This means even the interviewer was not sure of the institute's placement abilities.
  3. No professionalism through out the admission process. There was no clarity of dates of interview or the result. This gives an indication about the professionalism in the placement process.

If this was the state of IIML, which is among the top 4 IIMs, anyone can deduce the state of other new IIMs. I know some very good alumni from IIML and they are doing very good in India and abroad, but most of them are from its 2 year program. Joining a 2 year program is a very good options for applicants with 0-4 years of experience and it fit well with the cost -value preposition; but senior executives deserve more. I also do not see its a fault of IIMs, but it seems that Indian market is also not that matured in comparison to western market.

Why I did not join Indian School of Business

First of all, I found overall admission process of ISB much aligned to global business schools. The entire process was much streamlined and its online application was very clear and user friendly. However, when I evaluated cost- benefits preposition and my prospects after completion of course, I decided not to join ISB as well. Some of the reasons are listed below:

  1. Too many intakes - It seems ISB takes too many applicants- more that 900 each year. In recent years these numbers have grown manifolds. In my personal opinion, this will not only impact the quality of education but also gives indication that management is only interested in making money with so many offers.
  2. Too costly - It costs around 35-40 lacs to do an MBA from ISB. The cost of MBA should be aligned to the geography it caters to and to the post course salary. Ironically, ISB compares its course cost with the cost of global schools but do not compares the salary its student gets with the salary of students from global schools.
  3. Racism - I found ISB racist when it comes to awarding scholarships. ISB provide upto 100% scholarships to foreign student ONLY when they are not from Indian origin. This means that they want foreign students only when they do not have Indian skin colour. This is nothing but pure racism.

ISB racism against Foreign student of Indian origin


Some guidelines to follow if you planning to join Indian B schools

Based on my experience, below are some guidelines if you are planning for an executive MBA from Indian B schools. Please note that these are my personal experience and can differ from person to person.

  1. Check your experience - If you are in experience bracket of 12-15 years of experience, please think before joining a B-school either for increase in salary or for change of domain. In either case, it will be very difficult for you. With that experience, you may already be earning around 12-18 lacs in India. Even if you get a job in college placement, it will be around 20-25 lacs. And there if a BIG IF. Because, B-schools also find it difficult to place you with that experience level. (IIMA could be an exception here). And, if you are planning to change your domain, then it will be even more difficult for you. For example, if you are coming from a PSU background and want to change to consulting, you will be extremely lucky if you get that. So, please think 10 times before planning. If you just want to join for knowledge, then please go ahead. But do that with sabbatical leaves so that your current job is secured.
  2. Always do some calculation: Always check how much you are going to spend and what you will get back. With IIMs, most likely you will spend 25-30 lacs plus your one year salary. With ISB, this even be slightly higher if you don't get scholarship. Think about long term. Will you be able to recover all that in 5 years. What impact will it have on your overall career. What are your current liabilities-mortgage, loans, child education etc.
  3. Just don't do MBA for sake of doing MBA - Just do not do MBA just because others are doing, or just because you always wanted to do. Think, why you want to do this? Knowledge, Salary, change in domain? Once you know that answer, find out which B-school is right for you. Just don't join any B-school because you do not got offer from the one which you wanted to join. It better to wait for an year than joining the one which will not help you to achieve your dreams.

Why I wrote this hub

I did not write this hub to malign any B-school. Whatever, I have written is my personal experience and only as a guideline to help fellow aspirants who are in same boat. I have many alumni friends and previous bosses from these B-schools which speaks highly of these schools.

As far as my case is concerned, I decided not to join this year. I will try next year to get either IIMA or ISB with scholarship. Till then I would like to improve my profile and save some more money :):)

If you have any comments or suggestion, please use the comment box below. Also, there is a poll below to check if you find the information useful. Please don't forget to do the poll.


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© 2017 navneetjha


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    • profile image

      Debarati Mukherji 

      21 months ago

      Very nice written:) Got to know many things from your hub.Thanks for sharing those informations.


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