The Financial Times Historical MBA Rankings

Chicago's Booth School of Business

Chicago’s Booth School of Business

You’d be hardpressed to find a business school that can match the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business’ gains in both excellence and prestige over the past dozen years.

The quality and diversity of Booth’s students has seen singificant improvement, with average GMAT scores for the latest entering class now 719, up from 687 in 2001. Women now represent nearly 36% of the class, up from just 27% some 12 years ago, and international students total a third of the class. Last year’s average starting salary for graduating Booth MBAs hit $113,220, up 33% from the $85,000 average in 2001.

No less impressive, over the past 12 years Booth has tripled student scholarships and doubled its endowed chairs, allowing the school to hire and to retain more senior faculty than ever before. The school’s endowment–perhaps the best single metric of its health–has never been higher: $511 million, more than double the $197 million it had in 2001. And the endowment, no less, doesn’t even include a $300 million gift the school received in 2008 from alumnus David Booth. It is the largest gift ever made to a business school.

Few schools can boast as distinguished or as rewarded a business faculty than Chicago which lays claim to six Nobel Prize Winners. Eugene Fama, widely recognized as the “father of modern finance,” became the first recipient of three major prices for finance research in the past seven years. Booth professor Christopher Yenkey and Ronald Burt captured major awards from the Academy of Management last year for their cutting-edge work on networks. Earlier this year, Booth professors Erik Hurst and Tobias Moskowitz won the prestigious Kauffman Prize Medal for distinguished research in entrepreneurship.


Yet, when you consult The Financial Times’ rankings of the best global MBA programs, you would think Chicago is in a deeply troubled freefall. Booth went from being ranked fourth in 2001, behind only Wharton, Harvard and Stanford, to 12th place this year, its worst showing in the past dozen years. Against the school’s dramatic improvement during this same time span, the eight-place drop defies rational explanation or reason.

That’s especially true when viewed against The Financial Times ranking for the school that has placed ahead of Chicago both this year and last: the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, India. The differences between these two institutions are stark and dramatic, yet they sit next to each other in The Financial Times’ rankings. IIM debuted at a ranking of 11th in 2011 after never having been ranked among the top 100 MBA programs by the British newspaper in the previous ten years. Yet, its graduates reported average starting salaries last year of only $29,181–more than $84,000 less than Chicago’s MBAs. IIM’s graduates who stayed in India made even less: just $25,679, not even as much as the average signing bonus of $27,680 for a Chicago MBA last year.

What’s more, IIM’s student diversity is among the weakest of any business school in the world: only 6% of its students are female and only 7% are from outside India. Its endowment is virtually non-existent. A campaign launched in 2008 to raise $50 million in an alumni endowment fund has reportedly raised less than $2 million in three years. Chicago has 38 MBA alumni clubs scattered all over the world, a testament to its truly global reach, while IIM has a half dozen alumni chapters outside of India. And IIM’s faculty, however good by Indian standards, is no match whatsoever for Chicago with its half dozen Nobel laureates. Even the Financial Times’ own analysis ranks IIM 94th out of 100 schools in faculty research published in the 45 top scholarly journals, compared to Chicago’s research rank of sixth place.


So how can The Financial Times justify ranking the Indian Institute of Management in the same league with Chicago Booth? Never mind giving IMM a better ranking than Chicago.

It is one of the confounding puzzles of the rankings game. No matter who does the survey or how the ranking is put together, peculiar findings are common. They occur because of methodologies that are rife with metrics that often have little if any relationship to the true quality of a business school or are based on highly flawed surveys that can lead people to very odd assumptions.

Related Stories:

U.S. News & World Report’s Historical MBA Rankings — 2012 to 2001
BusinessWeek’s Historical MBA Rankings — 2010 to 1988
Ranking The Rankings

  • Mehul Mishra

    You are confusing diversity on the basis of race and diversity based on work experience. They are two separate things . Diversity based on work experience is okay. If i start a multi-million dollar company then i should be able to get in with a 670 GMAT. Diversity on the basis of skin color is ridiculous. Then we should have diversity on the basis of weight and height too. That makes no sense.

  • Mehul Mishra

    Okay . I take into account leadership and impact on the real world along with scores. I don’t have a problem with that . Don’t take into account race , citizenship , legacy , money or contacts . IIM-A is still a lot closer to this than H/SW . A holistic admissions process is fine a diverse class is not . Even if you take into account leadership and extracurricular activities Asians will still dominate the class . Everyone wants to go to H/S/W because they happen to be in a highly developed country and hence the average pay package is more .
    Merit will always produce a racially uneven class. This is why the NBA is full of black folks and the spelling bee is full of Indians. H/S/W won’t accept this and artificially limit meritorious students for the sake of diversity . If a private institute wants to do this as a policy then fine but the rankings should take this into account and rank them lower and IIM-A higher .

  • JohnAByrne

    That’s an interesting but misinformed perspective because you equate a score on a standardized test with brains. Getting a high score on a test is no proof that a person is smart. It’s only proof that a person can take a test. True intelligence is a confluence of many factors, including one’s ability to lead others, having an impact in the real world, passing through a tight screen for a highly selective job, doing demonstrably well in that job, gaining the respect of others who are willing to recommend you, and yes, a test score. Harvard and Stanford are diverse not because of affirmative action but because the world’s best students want to go to these places of higher learning. The world is diverse. A holistic admissions process finds the most intelligent students. Study after study has shown that a high test score is not correlated to success in life.

  • Mehul Mishra

    Personally i think that IIM-A should be ranked ahead of Harvard and Stanford. Harvard and Stanford sacrifice Merit for the sake of diversity , race, legacy and money and that is an extremely stupid decision. Where is the study that shows diversity trumps merit ? IIM is a purely meritorious institute where brains trump where you were born , what color your skin is , who your parents are and how much money they have .

  • dr.sarkar

    Lot of stupid people with very little knowledge are giving their views here.the top 7 us business schools, lbs,insead, iima are all top class times is not managed by fools Like the ones I see may not agree with ft ranking 100 percent but it must be correct to the extent of 90 percent.therefore nobody can call the degrees of any of these Colleges as bullshit.

  • tamal

    yes Fully agree coz IIM A hires freshers and that is actually compared with MMS degrees for freshers all over the world coz US and European BSCHOOLS take only with 3-4 years of Work experience . Even the ISB also is rated for 1 year MBA programme accross the world . So Indians schools can never be compared in Global ranking . Moreover the Selection process is also big difference in IIM CAT coz all are Pre apps ratios of applicants is to Intake .BUT in GMAT 90% are post GMAT application so a person with 600 GMAT score will never apply to Harvard and waste his time and energy.Let me give you another example that out of 13 partners in Mckinsey in Middle East 8 are Pakistanis and 2 are Arabs all passed out from Pakistan and American University of Beirut and Cairo . So Indians please stop beating your IIT AND IIM TRUMPETS

  • tamal

    AM you need to update your basics ..1) In CAT you can tick and apply all the IIM’s before you take the Exam so its a Pre application BUT in GMAT 90% applications are post Exam so a person who has scored 600 in GMAT will never apply to Wharton and waste his money and time .So your ratio Argument of 1:100 is just another Non sense from a naive Indian. 2) The application in US is a very serious affair unlike the IIM. The whole purpose of the exam is NOT to Test your + CBSE Mathematical skills and give undue advantage to Engineers .Its about getting the guys with Managing and Entrepreneurial skills. The B schools are NOT set up with an intention to hire Einstein or people who can represent in Maths Olympiad .And if you talk about Standard of Exam then i can tell you that Tommorow if you give Master Level Maths in CAT it will be much tougher than its today. 3) In US applying to a B SCHOOL is a very serious affair its just not tick in the CAT application form. Its also articulating an SOP within 500 Words which means sense. Then you need to get 3 Referees who will be sent secret Questionnaires to get a feedback about you in your work and academic place .So like in India Software engineers in Support or Testing projects or pure design engineers who make at Least 100 faults while copying designs and gets correction orders from clients every week and still making it to IIM’s , that will never be the case here in USA coz those Referees will reveal the truth of what’s your exact work experience has been and whether you were innovative the best among all. Coz the reference specifically asks about your innovation and how you stand different than your colleagues.4) In USA after short listing that there will be a gruelling interview round where you will face at least 1 Nobel laureate from faculty and at least 2 Global Heads of any MNC and Not merely a simple IIT Alumni who will be there to make a way for his juniors .The interview panel in US is NOT ONLY from Diverse Nationalities but with Diverse Degrees as well . 5) LASTLY I WILL TELL YOU THAT ANYONE WILL AGREE THAT IF EINSTEIN SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT PHYSICS PEOPLE WILL TAKE THINGS SERIOUSLY BUT IF A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY WHICH HAS NOT WON JUST 2 NOBEL PRIZES IN LAST 25 YEARS – RATE OR REJECTS SOMEONE ITS THEIR NAIVENESS AND AGAIN PROVES THAT INDIA IS STILL A CHEAP OUTSOURCING LOCATION OF NON STRATEGICAL JOBS .

    Now coming to your Number logic- Do you know how many students take the Clerkship Exam of Government of India ? 2 Million dude and almost half of them have Masters degree and are applying for a mere clerk Jobs , but just go and check their knowledge in respective subject at international level you will see that they just know what they were taught in syllabus books another KOTA IITian in making . NONE NOT A SINGLE ONE would have ever published a a paper at international level which is very Common in US.All the students in masters at US will have at least 1 OR 2 International publication if Not more . So its the Quality and purpose that matters .. Cricket is played for 7 hours a day with 11 Players and Golf is played for just 3 hours with 1 Person But the standard and the revenue is 100 times more in Golf . Tiger wood earns in 1 Year what Sachin or Lara will earn in 10 years time. So don’t compare CAT standards . Mere checking +2 Level Maths and making life easier for engineering graduates don’t make Managers.IQ’s are definitely needed but those if + Maths check the IQ that means Tommorow if someone comes with with Masters degree level Maths knowledge that person will have more IQ ? That means a guy who has cracked IIT will have more IQ than an NIT or any other Government engineering college graduate . But then why IIT an don’t make it to the toppers in IIM or when they go to Harvard I haven’t heard any Pulmur scholar these days from when Chinese Japanese and Koreans started making it to Harvard.

    Moreover among top 108 Microsoft Top Executives ONLY 3 are Indians and among them ONLY 1 is B TECH from IIT Madras . So what intelligence are you talking about dude ?? My best friend was an Aditya Birla scholar in IIM A with a degree from an NIT Surat. But he couldn’t qualify in IIT JEE.

    There is a BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN I WAS AND I AM. And it took 50 years for the Prices and kings in India to realise that there Kingdoms are gone and India is a democratic country with an elected government .They were unable to realise that there KINGDOMS with elephant and horse cavalcades are gone 50 Years back.So we all understand coming in face with reality takes time for Any Indian

  • tamal

    This are all shallow talks when one doesn’t make it to this schools and dont go by hear say ..In Insead majority dont need an internship coz they go back to their parent company or start entrepreneurial ventures and hiring 220 freshers at an Indian Salary and 136 laterals at dollar prices make a hell and heaven difference.

  • Dr.J.Sarkar

    Nobody can deny these facts.And the days of  superiority of  top 7 US business schools and Insead is numbered.Their biggest drawback is their Nontransparent selection process compromising merit.Things like essay writing at home and then submitting,recommendation letters and diversity are being used for long to manipulate the selection of students for MBA class.Many rich and influential indian students could get MBA from HBS,Wharton,MIT etc inpite of average GMAT and CGPA and that many such students could not get a seat at IIMA in india shows the hollowness of these schools’ great claim.USA and most of Europe is on a downhill course in many sphere.These top US business schools must change their selection process and make it purely merit based and stop talking about intangible elements in their system.Rollingstone above has given facts and pure facts which only a fool can disagree.

  • Guest

    Completely agree with the point. It is one thing to solve the most difficult puzzle on the book and it is completely different to set up an international business cutting across boundaries. The dynamics of real world is very different. Students of IIM’s are smart no doubt about that but that is very much at an individual level. Dynamism, leadership, risk taking ability etc. these determines true sussess or failure of an organization or business as a whole  in real life and I dont think IIMs are yet there in the league.

  • Guest

    Ranking schools based on how many of people on linkedin say they went to those schools and now work at Goldman Sachs is severely flawed.  But I did come across something useful from these links.  IIM grads join Goldman Sachs in India as Analysts!!!!  And mostly not even as IB analysts.  In the rest of the world that is a job that undergrads get right out of school.  MBAs go for Associate roles.  We should in fact be comparing the IIMs to undergrad business schools.

  • You also have to take into consideration the high level of importance  and prestige that The F.T. commands. To get a better understanding of the unique differences it is important to speak with someone who can offer some guidance.

  • Phoenix

    And that is exactly why an IIM degree is more like an undergrad pressure cooker oven. 

    At a more experienced level, a draconian academic roster is not what a person is looking for. He is instead looking for learning from peers from *different* facets of the world, regardless of their math skills. He is looking for experiences of international travel and consulting. He is looking for a vast global network in many different fields. 

    That IIM grads go on to “eventually” develop personalities is useless. Many people who don’t go to school at  all will also develop personalities. 

    What an MBA student needs is the transformation DURING those 1-2 years. Not after. 

    You Indians besotted with the IIM have a different definition of an MBA. Please mull over it a little. 

    IIMs are a very good school. For something else. 

  • TA

    Here’s the thing guys. The IIM A degree is like a master of science degree. It is comparable to the top MS degrees in engineering, biochemistry, comp science etc at the universities in the United States and in the UK. I have friends at IIM A and I personally did my undergrad and MS in engineering at top 5 universities in the United States. I am considering an MBA degree in the next year or 2. The point is the top united states B schools rely on networking, experience through diversity  so their admission requirements are different.The IIM’s create number crunchers but they are damn good number crunchers, and through years of training and exposure many of them end up developing good personalities over time.
    Heres the thing with the IIM guys . Anyone who has been through the selection process and gotten in has sacrificed so much to get in that even if they have to read books, take classes, watch online videos of bill clinton to work their personality they will. 
    They will do what it takes to be  successful. Thats the power that the IIM’s inject into their graduates. There is no molly cuddling in these schools. 
    People at stanford business are told every day that they are the greatest people in the world for being there etc etc.
    there is none of that  baby talk at the IIMS.
    Look at interviews of entrepreneurs in silicon valley. Stanford puts up a bunch of them on youtube and google. Eric Baker is one that comes to mind. All of them unanimously say that business school was a vacation and they re all all either from stanford or harvard.
    Just google search Eric Baker Stanford.

    I took a couple of finance courses at Mccombs when I was getting my masters there and I cam e to the conclusion that a US MBA degree is like a big huge fancy movie . A $150 million movie with big stars, great action,CGI graphics, huge massive sets , a big canvas but the actual story line, the script is weak in it. But the movie  returns on its investment anyway because of their huge marketing and networking skills.The masters degrees and the IIM A/B/C etc degrees on the other hand are like small time productions. Maybe even independent productions. No big names behind them and they have a small investment maybe of about $30 million. But the script is bloody good. Its no frills, low cost , but hey it flies . I am not taking away from Harvard Stanford etc and the exposure you get there. At the end of the day you are not gonna wear your degrees and certificates around your neck the whole time. Companies want performance and if you wanna perform you will perform.

  • Phoenix Kiula+poets

    Sorry, the site does not allow me to edit my comment. Your assertion of “top class” students assumes academic background. 

    To me, top class means: 

    1. I want people from many countries, because that will give me a strong inbuilt network in many countries, regardless of whether these students got 780 on the GMAT. 

    2. I want people with diverse experiences. The learning from these experiences will far outweigh math scores. I could learn stuff from books. I go to an MBA program for the group learning and bonding. 

    Your problem, whether you realize it or not, is that you are trying to equate quality with academic proficiency. 

    IIM would give me very smart nerds. 

    I suppose you are a nerd too, and from the mild bitterness in your posts, I presume you were dinged from international schools. 

    The real world and real companies do NOT function purely based on whether you can solve a complex problem of derivatives and integration. A number of very smart IIM types recognize this only when they join the real firms in offices outside India, whenever and if they do get outside India, that your math proficiency doesn’t mean squat. 

  • Phoenix Kiula+poets

    I do not think that way all. 

  • Dr.Sarkar

    To know the best business school you must see the answer to the following questions. Which is the MBA programme that has   the highest average GMAT score ? Which MBA programme gets the highest number of applicants per seat ? Which business school has the most transparent selection process purely based on merit.? Which school does not entertain things like essay writen at home and then submitted,recommendation letters in the selection process as these can be easily manipulated.Which school provide hostel accomodation to all MBA students which is very much beneficial for such programme ? In which school every student gets Internship ? Which is the toughest MBA programme to enter ? Which school produce top quality MBAs  of whom 100 % get placement even before they come out of their class ?.Answers to all these questions is One i.e IIM Ahmedabad ,India. 

  • Mckinsey

    Spanish, Mexicans, brazilians,. It’s all the same. We lump you guys and call you, Hispanics. I think you are a Texas material, rather than HBS. But then again, there are few of you to make it that far anyway. Your people must be proud. I have always wondered why you guys come and overpopulate my nation with such an admiration then end up working jobs that don’t get much respect.

    Chances are you will be dealing with Brazilian McKinsey kids who help out small players in Brazil, if they do that there. I specialize in a sector that involves significant capital and government intervention along with limited suppliers and only a few major players that have global impact. So whether or not you hire them, I couldn’t care less.

    You are the one who’s emotional here. And I’m the one who’s clearly logical. Looks like I was right on all along.

  • IAragonez

     Amazing, not even 1 thing right (probably why you ended at McKinsey), I’m Spanish (even though I am European I dont get emotional about European scholls) but lived in Brazil most of my life. The place to be right now. Fortunately HBS didn’t take a chance with me as I have a very successful background. Proven. By now I am bored so good luck as a consultant haha  when I need help with my business I’ll probably hire McKinsey, or not.

  • Mckinsey

    To add another point,

    I don’t think your reasoning makes sense when you say I’d go to Texas over insead just because one is American and the other isn’t. Born and raised in New Jersey, although I may be biased sometimes, I wouldn’t go to any length to go to just “any” bschool in the US or elsewhere. It has to be top tier then I’d look at what they are good at, irrespective of the location of the school.

    Perhaps, as your id suggests, I’m thinking that’s Mexicans’ or Hispanics’ way of thinking. Not everything my country produces is number one blindly.

    I’d question hbs adcoms’ ability to screen talents. They picked me so I think they know what they are doing but I’m not sure how you got chosen, because, based on your logical thinking, maturity, knowledge and understanding of various things, you are several cuts below my standard. It could be again that you are the best among Hispanic applicants?

  • Mckinsey

    Your claim that you would never apply to insead and go to hbs has no bearing here because your personal preference does not translate to rankings.

    I haven’t checked insead profile on this website but would doubt where the website got such info when school does not disclose it.

    Higher GMAT scores translate to higher quantitative and logical reasoning and preparation, but 20 point difference max is not stsatiscally significant, according to GMAC itself. Having said that, lbs itself has around 700 GMAT and again, Yale and NYU have higher GMAT scores than Kellogg or booth or CBS.

    I’m a fan of insead’s and had applied to hbs, Wharton, insead and Stanford back in 2009. I got into all schools, matriculated at and graduated from Stanford and now work for McKinsey. My ex boss went to insead and a lot of partners at my company hail from insead too.

    Unlike you, I have no such bias toward American bschools and in fact, if not Stanford, I would have gone through an agony of choosing between insead and hbs with the former giving me a much broader view of the world and the latter just adding one more layer to my existing American network and education from Princeton university.

    It’s entertaining to see how you look down Yale som because Yale is truly a first rate institution and grooms leaders in all sectors. Yale som, whether you again personally disapprove or not, is a top tier bschool. Perhaps unlike my bschool experience, hbs brings out and amplify the undesirable quality in a person.

  • IAragonez

    1. The data I’m talking about is for 2011 disclosed in this site under the INSEAD profile, check it out.

    2. I never said I would rank schools based on GMAT scores alone although I do think better GMAT scores does serve as a proxy to a class’ quality. INSEAD has a really low GMAT average 704 which IS disclosed.

    3. I would never apply to INSEAD.

    4. I went to HBS.

    5. HBS, as I said is at a whole different level from Yale SOM, so please dont embarass yourself with those types of comments. Undergrad Harvard vs. Yale I have no clue but I guess they are similar.

    6. My guess is you probably go to INSEAD because you did not get into an american school. But lets not get emotional. If you had gotten into an american school even UT I bet you would have gone there instead.

    7. I dont embarass myself doing anything because although I do not have the time to build a hard case to prove my points, I do not need to because it is obvious.

    8. This is really amusing.


  • Mckinsey

    Simple metric acceptance/applications show a comparison between CBS and booth only, not insead. Please stop embarrassing yourself by shoving your argument up yours. Insead do not disclose the info you are speaking of so your argument is yet again baseless.

    According to your GMAT ranking, Yale and NYU should be within the top 5 US bschools but they are not.

    I would discount your own personal experience dealing with grads from the three schools because well.. You don’t seem to be a good judge of anything really, listening to your “logical” reasoning. Were you rejected by insead?

    I would also compare insead with any top school including hbs. Both are the largest schools with ~1000 students, general management schools, and have similar grad employment record across industries, and are ranked as top tier. Sure, hbs has a brand name value no other school can easily trump perhaps except Yale but that’s about it.

    I would prefer Yale to booth or CBS, and CBS to booth with a huge margin, if I were to pick programs.

  • McKinsey

    Logic errors here:

    1) insead has a lot more students ~1000 vs CBS ~750. 4% difference Is meaningless.

    2) Also, you cannot logically deduce anything from the numbers alone without looking at students’ intention, i.e., were they looking to wait out till they want their dream jobs, etc.

    3) The yield you mention is only for Americam schools. Insead does not disclose that so its not an apple to apple comparison. Plus, CBS has an ED decision that binds many students which greatly helps their yield.

    Conclusion: your argument is baseless

  • IAragonez

    Also take a look at employment I got numbers for INSEAD and CBS. Also, I forgot to mention that the lower GMAT indicates it is easier to get in. in terms of employment 2011 3 months after graduation CBS 98% vs INSEAD 94%. And the most important thing, not a hard fact but I would bet my life on it. 99% of the people, if accepted to both schools, would go to CBS. It has the third highest yield after HBS and Stanford.

  • IAragonez

    Please never compare in any way Insead to HBS. HBS is it a completely different level in any career you want to pursue. Anyway, I say this because I know a lot of people and have worked with people from these three schools and of course there are exceptions put my personal experience has been way better with people from CBS or Booth that those from INSEAD, true I work in the finance sector. That being said it is not easier to get into Columbia or Booth than INSEAD. Simple metric Acceptance/applications 1. CBS 2. Booth 3.INSEAD. Also Insead has the lowest avg GMAT of the three (indicating the quality of your classmates, in a way although I do not believe the GMAT is an absolute measure of a students quality it is a good proxy).

  • Bull

    Insead recruitment figures are actually impressive. Booth, CBS and lbs are finance schools. People who go to insead are many a time at insead for different purposes, more for general management and strategy than finance. I would compare insead with the same kind, i.e., tuck, hbs, Stanford, Kellogg. Booth in fact is easier to get into than CBS and insead, despite CBS trailing in rankings. Where are you getting this notion of better quality students at booth and CBS?

  • IAragonez

    Look at the recruitment figures and the quality of the people at Booth and Columbia vs that of INSEAD you will find these two schools a lot harder to get into, therefore you will find a much more challenging environment with higher quality classmates. As I said I am not sure with LBS but still an MBA from a European school whether we like it or not  is not has not the same value as one from a top 10 school in the U.S. (aside from LBS) 

  • Bull

    Bullshit. Not sure about IESE or IE but INSEAD and LBS are and have been top schools, perhaps even more prestigious than Booth or Columbia. Wharton and Yale endorse INSEAD as their peer top-tier school with alliance and Yale’s new Global Network of Advanced Management school partner.

  • IAragonez

    They are very good schools, no doubt, but their prestige doesn’t come close to schools like HBS, Stanford, Columbia, Wharton or Booth

  • IAragonez

    Any ranking loses credibility when they put INSEAD, IESE, IE and maybe even London in their top ten….

  • Businessweekalum

    It’s clear John Byrne really loves Chicago Booth.  He’s a fan.  I get that, but I don’t see the need to get Wharton’s rankings wrong.  Wharton has been tied 1st and 3rd in rankings by FT and US News but he seems to make the mistake of lowering Wharton’s ranking by a notch in his P&Q’s ranking calculations. Now that he has jumped into the ugly world of rankings, Byrne needs to get his info right before criticizing other publications.

  • Dr.Sarkar

    Most important requirement of a top class college is top class students .And top class students can join only when selection process is transparent and purely meritbased.The top 5 US schools do not have transparent selection process.They have been manipulating their selection process often ignoring merit.And they are also marketing their schools claiming they are the best in the world.A study of their selection process reveal that they are neither ethical nor rational.This is totally in contrast with the practces followed by IIMA.Where merit and pure merit is the only criteria for selection of their students.As a result the students of MBA at IIMA are much much more brilliant than those of HBS,Stanford,MIT or Booth etc.Faculty at IIMA is also world class for MBA level.programme with 97 % ph.d.The campus of IIMA is also great where every students is given single hostel room for the entire course.The teaching at IIMA is intense and of better quality than most US schools.Lot of students from India join MBA at top US colleges every year.and nearly 80% of them are those failed to get into IIMA and often inspite of more than one attempts.Most top american companies have IIMA mba among their executives along with top US MBAs.These companies find MBAs of IIMA are second to none.IIMA for admission into MBA is the toughest in the world yet it is the cheapest programme (just 25 % of the cost of doing MBA at top 10 US schools).For long americans are thinking themselves to be the greatest in every field.But now they should realize that things are changing.New locations of economic success,educational excellence etc are emerging in other parts of the world.Let these fellows know that IIMA in india is one of the greatest school for MBA level programme.

  • Stop_your_BS

    check what Manoj Bhargava, CEO of 5-hour energy, says about the IIMs
    ” I think there is a big bias in India for educated people, you know it’s like “Oh, IITian and IIM, must be smart.” No, that only means he is smart in studying. It doesn’t mean he is smart in business. But no, we only hire IIT and IIM, which is total nonsense because they come out of these schools and they are clueless. They are taught by people who haven’t done business. Would you be willing to be operated by a surgeon who was taught by somebody who never did surgery? I mean it’s ludicrous.” –…  

  • Raghu_vamsh

    An IIM degree is a bullshit.. group of ppl who take CAT with no relevant experience are put together in a number crunching with no expertise on real world cases and are somehow taken into jobs.. useless check what Manoj Bhargava, CEO of 5-hour energy, says about the IIMs

    ” I think there is a big bias in India for educated people, you know it’s like “Oh, IITian and IIM, must be smart.” No, that only means he is smart in studying. It doesn’t mean he is smart in business. But no, we only hire IIT and IIM, which is total nonsense because they come out of these schools and they are clueless. They are taught by people who haven’t done business. Would you be willing to be operated by a surgeon who was taught by somebody who never did surgery? I mean it’s ludicrous.” —  

  • Rakesh_sethi

    Satish, its bullshit.. Im an Indian who studied at IIT.. as far as I know none of my classmates are here in India and have propelled India.. 99% of employees in companies like Infy and Wipro are local engineering college students. I have even my friends who are IIM students moved out of India for greener pastures.
    I as an IITian totally regret this behaviour of Indians.. going abroad as if there is nothing good in India.  So a some of these candidates I know who have done an IIM degree also write GMAT and take an MBA abroad.. classic example Indira Nooyi. 
    Most of the money that govt has invested in Indian IITs and IIMs are wasting in ‘Brain drain’, so stop bullshitting about the pride of IIMs and ask your classmates to help India develop better — A fellow Indian IITian

  • AB

    Ok, I am a bit tired of all this IIMA bashing going on around here. Just wanted to get some facts in perspective (I am an IIMA alum):

    Several of my batchmates at IIMA had offers from renowned overseas institutes including Booth and Standford PHDs who chose IIMA voluntarily. In fact, I have an economics degree from a globally top school, was a top performer there, and given the job I was in, with 3-4 years of experience could have gotten through a top-5 U.S. School with certainty. I however chose IIMA because it offered me the chance to do an MBA and pick a career of my choice with less than 8 months of experience. My company shortlists including everything ranging from McKinsey India Office to Goldman Sachs IBD London Office to Morgan Stanley Hong Kong Office. In fact I have known several of my friends from LBS who have struggled to get such jobs after school.

    I cannot think of any other institute in the world that will offer me such a plethora of opportunities straight out of school.

    In fact, rest assured, many of my batchmates come from the top-IITs in the country which is primarily where the top U.S. schools recruit from, and have left plum jobs to be at IIMA (I had batchmates who had left jobs with top consults like BCG- the kind of jobs that assure you entry straight in to the top-5 U.S. schools). In fact many of my batchmates had profiles that with greater experience would ensure entry in to a top-5 U.S. School.

    But if one wants to work in India then why wait for a U.S.MBA when similar opportunities can be presented to you faster with an Indian MBA and at a much lesser cost. 

    As for the quality of students, out going exchange students from IIMA to Booth/Columbia have had straight 4.0 CGPA’s there, year after year, demonstrating where things stand in terms of academic merit. In fact i was on exchange myself at a top 10 U.S. school and was disappointed at the average level of intellect and the slow pace of teaching. In fact, as my friend above pointed out, several Indians who do end up at the top 5 U.S. schools are those who have previously failed to make it to IIMA.

    Also it is important to note that you can get through a Harvard or a Stanford if your Dad is super rich and  gave you a really cool looking title in his company that you helped run (multiple examples here). However, with IIMA, no amount of money will help.

    Yes, of course where U.S. schools score is interms of the faculty, the diversity and the infrastructure. And yes, all of those things do definitely make for a significantly better MBA experience and the Indian institutes, including IIMA, have a long way to go there. However, IIMA, what has right is the most core ingredient in terms of its students. And that remains unparalleled.

    Also for all those salary numbers being quoted around, please understand that IIMA does have much greater dispersion in terms of salaries that would be seen at a U.S. BSchool. At the top end, it offers a one year ROI of 700%, unimaginable at a U.S. school. At the lower end, it offers an ROI of -10-20% which is often common with U.S. schools (it is to be noted that affirmative action for up to 50% of the seats is also responsible for this).

    As another point, it is pertinent to look at Indians who have made it big in the world of business, especially in India. You will likely find many more IIM A.B.C alums than Top-5 U.S. School grads.

    In a nutshell, many of the students at IIMA who have made it there on pure merit would have at least gotten through a top-10 U.S. school a few years later. However, they chose IIMA for the opportunities it presented now (especially true for those wanting to build a career in India), and fantastic ROI it offers. And that makes it truly exceptional.

  • rollingstone

    Hi John,

    I wouldn’t completely agree with your last sentence. One of the key criteria for ranking business schools should be the qua,ity of jobs you get at the end of it. In this aspect, IIM is far ahead of INSEAD. As an example, this year, over 50% of INSEAD’s Jan 2012 batch are not doing an internship (I got this information from 2 friends from that batch). Admittedly, there will be a number of students who don’t want to do an internship, but a bigger portion of that 50% are people who DID NOT GET an internship. How can you claim to be a top school if companies are not even willing to give your students a 2-month internship?

    At IIM-A, on the other hand, internships are a curricular requirement and the institute ensures that every single student gets an internship. Also, IIM is the only major business school globally that boasts a 100% employment rate hat graduation). And the quality of jobs that students land are great too. Almost all major investment banks recruit students for IBD, Markets and other FO positions. The top 3 consulting firms pick up 10-20 students each per batch. Global FMCG firms like P&G and Unilever pick up a good number of people for Marketinge2FFinance roles. Not to mention the rapidly growing Indian business houses that are raring to recruit IIM students for general management positions.  Many companies that recruit there are the same that come to recruit at the top 5 US business schools.

    A great way to compare the jobs that students from different schools get is to do an “Advanced Search” on LinkedIn. As an example:

    Number of IIM grads at Goldman Sachs: 220 (

    Number of INSEAD grads at Goldman Sachs: 46 (

    Number of LBS grads at Goldman Sachs: 153 (

    Number of Booth grads at Goldman Sachs: 136 (

    Number of Harvard grads at Goldman Sa#hs: 235 (

    You can change the parameters to search for any other company in any other industry. And you could of course adjust for class size and other factors. But the results are pretty clear. If IIM is so much more inferior than these other schools (as many of you seem to suggest), why are all these great companies picking up IIM grads for good jobs?!

  • Avi Raj

    There is no such “law” in place to force headhunters to pick US citizen for various spots. But, they also have to sponsor Indian MBA graduates at the Ivys and Stanford, which is a strong deterrent. Makes it that much more puzzling, seeing the influx of MBA students from IIT at Stanford. Obviously, I am missing something here.

  • Dr.Sarkar

    ..FT ranking is the best ..It is based on solid criteria.That is why  correctly the IIMA got ranking above Booth.Booth was never anywhere near IIMA. As far as MBA level programme is concerned  teaching at IIMA is much better.At ph.d level Booth is much better.As far as MBA class students are concerned IIMA students are much more brilliant as they are selected purely on merit which is not the case in Booth.

  • guest

    @dcc751d2753db53b5008284cba88ec3a:disqus All you do is bash IIMs. ‘As an Indian who did a top MBA from the US’ LOL !!! what is better is ‘ As an Indian who could not gain admissions to IIMs’ BTW, I think top-20 B school in US is definitely better than any IIM, but the way you rant about them is distasteful.

  • Hernan

    I completely agree with Londonbanker.

    Furthermore, I think you’ve making a large assumption in your argument and that is that the goal of an MBA and those with MBAs is to raise the economic well being of the country as a whole. While I personally believe social responsibility and the triple bottom line is a very important element in business, the true neutrality of the matter is that most of the heads of these companies that you’re alluding to made off like bandits. It could very well be that their MBA training allowed them to understand and manipulate the system to increase their personal wealth tenfold. In that aspect, their MBA training and networking was essentially invaluable. Again, while I strongly support socially concsious ethics in business, it would be extraordinarily short sighted to measure the value of an MBA in terms of the rise in well being of the economy as a whole.

  • Londonbanker

    That was a breath of fresh hair. Thank you for that candid analysis!

  • Londonbanker

    I actually agree with your view on non transparency of U.S. admissions. That said, one of the reasons that U.S. schools do well is the diversity of its candidates. People from certain ethnic/social backgrounds don’t have the necessary resources to do well on the GMAT, etc. But, they can show resourcefullness in other ways: working full time jobs while in college, working for prestigious companies, etc. These students have something valuable to contribute to the class as well. The focus on exams in both China/India has given their students strong technical skills as the expense of softer skills like communication and teamwork. I agree that merit should play a large part in the decision process but other things matter as well. 

  • Londonbanker

    Wow, this review is completely unbiased *sarcasm*

    Have the trio of issues (overpopulation, illiteracy and corruption) been solved in India? Hmm, maybe you should take care of your own home before you comment on the homes of others.

    again, wow, CDS/CDOs as weapons of mass destruction. *yawn* Did you read that in the WSJ today?

    You want P&Q to put responsibility for the actions of a few individuals on the entire school? That makes a lot of sense and seems really fair. *sarcasm* However, if you are still convinced that this makes sense, your country can be the “bigger person” and start by dropping the ranking for the Indian School of Business. Rajay Gupta (founder of ISB) was accused of insider trading and multiple other charges. By your logic, this would be ISB’s fault, and the school should be penalized

    so your economy is bigger, but your GDP/capita ratio still sucks.


  • NK


    I agree with you. Personally, I would not consider IIM-A and would undoubtedly much prefer any top US program including Booth.

    My point is that it is impossible to force IIM-A and top US programs into a single linear ranking.  It just doesn’t make sense. They are conceptually very different. With US programs, each of the primary evaluation metrics (or at least a composite of them) linearly decreases as you go down the rankings. It’s a very straightforward analysis. But with IIM-A, some of those metrics would be far below even the 50th-ranked US program but others would be on par with H/W/S.

    A good question to ask John is where he would rank IIM-A. Based on the metrics he will likely focus on, he will be forced to place it at some laughably low position amongst very mediocre US schools. He will have the data to back it up but it will remain a nonsensical rank. That’s why I said apples and oranges.

    Elite recruiters are not stupid. There is no law forcing them to hire local grads. They could easily hire only from top US programs even for India-based positions if the superiority was so obvious. There is a reason why they hire IIM-A/B/C grads in large numbers. Non-elite US schools have virtually no recruitment from these firms.


  • Anirudh

    Hey NK,

    Great points about the CAT being harder than the GMAT, and the “dumbest” guys in IIM-A being conventionally brilliant. These are certainly two things in favor of IIM-A. However, don’t you think analytical skill, as measured by standardized tests, is far from being the only thing one needs to “make it” in business? Is it not just as important to have social intelligence as well?

    The application procedures for US MBA programs make attempts to gauge both the aforementioned characteristics. The IIMs’ do not. Even during the course of the two year MBA programs, socially inadequate students are more likely to learn how to deal adeptly with people while part of a culturally diverse class.

    I’m therefore inclined to believe that alumni of first-class American and European MBA programs are more likely to be successful businessmen/women than are alumni of the IIMs. Since training candidates to become successful businessmen/women is the very purpose of MBA programs, I would rank Booth and comparable business schools over IIM-A and its peers in India.

  • guest

    Goldman Sachs recruited 4 from Vandy Owen alone last year. Keep in mind owen is only 180 class size….

  • NK


    I don’t think you have quite understood why IIM-A is what it is. 99% of the value is the filtration that takes place in the admissions process. Of course professors, diversity, facilities, etc. are all very important but the raw material is the student. And there is no getting around the fact that IIM-A students have to score above the 99.5 percentile on a horrific exam that makes the GMAT look like a walk in the park. The fact that the dumbest guys at IIM-A are still conventionally brilliant is not a point to be taken lightly. This is most certainly not true of top 5 US b-schools.

    My point is not that IIM-A is superior to top US programs…my point is that you being baffled due to your metrics-based analysis simply doesn’t make sense. In reality they are apples and oranges. To illustrate why your approach is as wildly off-base and silly as the FT’s, consider that by using your conventional metrics, even USC, Emory, Indiana, etc. would all thrash IIM-A. In fact, any top 50 US school would beat IIM-A handily. But McKinsey/BCG/Bain/Goldman/etc. recruit virtually zero Carlson or Olin grads while they are the top recruiters at IIM-A. Something doesn’t add up then. The answer is: apples and oranges.


  • Satish

     i have a question. since i am a from a developing country india, the urge to ask the question is bigger.

    there was a time  a couple of decades ago, when the whole US would lecture us as how we should run our economy, And many of these experts were from famed business schools from US.
    they would lecture us as how we are going wrong with our economy and things to fix it.

    and here come a time, when the US economy is in shambles, (well, you have printed truck loads of money to keep the financial system afloat,  a centre of capitalism has become socialist), the euro too is on the edge.

    and now we have Mr Obama visiting our countries and asking for investment back in america, the IMF asking BRICS to lend more to its war chest. the euro asking us to buy their bonds. what i have written may be far from the discussion we having here, but the question is simple.

    why did CDS, CDO;s and other deriviatives that created leaverage upon leverage became new WMD’s (weapons of mass distruction ?).

    why doesnt P&Q and other rankings also have a criteria that puts responsibility at doors of colleges whose alumni were at helm of decision making ? and cuts marks from their ranking point for same ?

    i agree that IIM may not have that class faculty like those at US colleges, nor it may boast of a diversity.
    but its these premeir bschools and other such ones in india that have porpelled this to worlds 3rd largest economy. and by 2030, we may be even bigger than US.

  • dr.sarkar

    American business schools are slowly loosing their position because of their non transparent selection process.Merit has not been their primary criteria for their MBA selection.They dont have minimum GMAT or CGP nor they tell weight age allotted to their various selection criteria and they have things like easy and recommendation letters which can easily be manipulated by resourceful applicants.They also use the bogey of diversity to manipulate their selection .Merit has to be the only basis for MBA admission for any top college.We have seen many children of rich people in India joining MBA at HBS,Wharton,Stanford,Booth even though they had no great GMAT or even good performance in batchelor degree.I also know several students from India who failed to qualify for IIMA but got into these top US schools.Americans are manipulating things for long time and they are actually marketing their MBA as the greatest.However there is no denying that top US schools have great faculty and campuses because they have money.But they alone cannot make the colleges great until unless they have students selected purely on merit as is being done in IIMs in India. Top US school people should study the student selection process at Indian IIMs and follow the same.The top 50 percent students at IIM Ahmedabad are more more brilliant Compared to those of HBS,Wharton or Booth.In another ten years many more business schools in India,China,Singapore etc will replace many so called top MBA schools of US in the ranking list.

  • MKKV

    Just a few thoughts. (As an Indian playing Devil’s Advocate(?)). I graduated from one of India’s top tech schools, and I have friends who have admits to/are studying at top US/Europe/Indian schools. I made a choice to not take the CAT. I would start by appealing to all the self righteous jingoistic IIM fans to cool down, and not present ad hominem arguments.

    1) The selectivity numbers are misleading. Most of the folks who apply to top US B Schools take it seriously, and usually are qualified enough to have a shot at getting in. As opposed to CAT/IIMs where every Tom, Dick and Harry out of undergrad (or working with age <late 20s) takes a shot (Hey, it just costs Rs. 1500, 3 USD to apply).2) The sheer number of applications to be processed by IIMs is so huge that it is impossible to employ a more holistic approach as practiced by US B Schools. Think of it this way, you would have to score 99.5+%ile plus on the GMAT to even be able to apply to top schools. This has led to an imbalance where the academically successful engineers (folks such as me) dominate the entrance test. If you're a Liberal Arts major trying to make it, you've had it. I would say it creates an unhealthy imbalance. You've got school kids (as early as Grade 8) dreaming of first pursuing engineering from IITs and then MBAs from IIMs (PGDM, actually). Also, recruiters at IIMs tend to favour engineering kids (I really haven't figured out why so far). With government interference, the pan-india domestic nature of the schools on one hand and calls for internationalization/increase in diversity of student body on the other, I don't see a clear way out. IIMs are torn between the two forces.

    3) A majority of IIM students have no clue as to what they want to do with their careers when they enter B School. That is left to their fate during the placement process. The primary driver of competition to enter the IIMs is the salary (or what is colloquially referred to as 'package'). Ofcourse, I don't mean to generalize.

    4) A HANDFUL of students do get picked for plum roles (IBD/S&T at Bulge Bracket Banks in London/Singapore/HK/NYC). But keep in mind that these are outliers. All generalizations are wrong including this one.

    5) In context of Booth vs IIMs, the only thing IIMs have going for them is all that ballyhoo about academic calibre and selectivity rates. Academic calibre does not necessarily translate into quality of students. No doubt, thanks to some correlation between success/excellence in other spheres of life and academic excellence you have some very smart people around. But I wouldn't say that makes for a better experience than a truly international B school.

    Sure, if you're looking to stay in India, you can't do better than IIMs. But after having gone through a similar selection and education process for engineering, I don't see the point in putting myself through high entry barriers for what is essentially the same experience with a similar crowd (albeit more filtered). 

    B school isn't all about stats, numbers and jobs. There are intangibles too. In terms of a 'life experience', no thanks for me.

    Feel free to disagree/throw rotten tomatoes. This was my subjective take. Ofcourse, if you guaranteed somebody a GS London job from IIM, in terms of RoI, it'd be crazy, but I hope you've taken a statistics course before you cite that as a basis for argument.

  • Neo2000

    @001735f0744839ad7417bf6304ae5caf:disqus I’ll drink to that mate, next beer’s on me m/

  • Neo2000

    wow it really bothers you huh, that the IIMs call themselves MBAs doesnt it?

    Quick legal lesson then – Only universities (which, btw, are created by an Act of Parliament) may award degrees. everybody else has to make do with diploma. Since the IIMs aren’t an University or even a deemed university, they have to make do with the PGDBM. if you honestly believe that an Indira Gandhi National Open University MBA .. ok that’s a bit of a stretch – if you believe that a Mumbai Univ or even JNTU/Osmania Univ MBA has more weight than an IIM-PGDBM, oh my Lord! what are you smoking and where can i get it?? 😀

    p.s yes Mileva, i know you went to a Top-20, there’s no need to re-iterate that. But your insistence on Top-20 has me wondering if you actually attended a school somewhere in the 18-20 range because i’d otherwise be hearing about how you went to a Top-15.
    p.p.s I’ve already admitted that I went to a low 90s school, as ranked in P&Q’s own list so “unranked” is hardly true. 

  • Paramia

    Americans are just jealous of the influence of FT Ranking on the major two emerging powers; INDIA and China :). calm down, you got enough fame and prestige in the last century. Now, it is time for the should focus now on your financial mess that created by your MBAs style people… ::))) 

  • Guest

    Is it fair to use PPP(Purchasing Power Parity) to inflate an IIM salary to ridiculously high levels? Consider these points :

    PPP is an index made taking the common man in India who buys regular basic good needed for survival. 41.6% of India’s population lives (rather survives) under 1.25$ a day (or $460 per annum) . And 61% to 80% lives under $2 per day (or 730$ per annum). For these people, most of this money (60%) is spent on food!
    Will an IIM-A graduate who earns avg $29,000 per annum going to spend 60% of income on food? No!! His(or her) most expensive purchases will be a high-end laptop or a luxury car or a foreign holiday(which are at international rates). Can you apply PPP directly on such an individual?

    And as it has been rightly pointed out, is it fair to compare quality of life that the money can buy? If food costs are to be compared then how about comparing a Subway foot-long sandwich which costs 9$ in USA and around 6$ in India. Sure it’s cheaper in India, but not by that much. 

  • Paramia

    FYI, IIM-A graduates are highly sought after by major banks and hedge funds operating in NYC, most of real number freaks in Wall Street come from IIM-A. their avg GMAT is 770. any how, if the oldest is better, then UIUC business college (1915)  would be better than Fuqua (1969), or Olin (1917) is better than Yale (1976)..!!!! No, this is not the measure, the true measure is how good the placement is? down the road, students study to enhance their knowledge and hence get better career level! am I right? therefore, the most important measure and result is the placement..

  • AM

    Yeah, I agree with that. IIMA is probably not in the same league as Booth (works for me :D), INSEAD or LBS even though it is not far off. Definitely top 25! 

    In my opinion,  for Indian students, it is probably better to go to IIMA/ISB (if you get in :P), rather than any US school outside of Top 15 (see I raised that too). It also depends on your long-term plans, where you want to work, etc. If you are aiming for the Indian market, you’ll be golden with an MBA from IIMA or ISB.

  • JohnAByrne


    Thanks much for weighing in here with a considered and thoughtful opinion. It’s much appreciated and will greatly benefit the discussion here. In general, I believe my attempt was not to bash IIMA. It’s an excellent school, in all probability the best business school in India with very good students and faculty. The larger and more important point being made is that The Financial Times methodology is greatly flawed. As a business school, IIMA does not compare to Chicago Booth yet the FT for the past two years has ranked it above Chicago. Where IIMA should rank is anyone’s guess. It is just not in the same league as Chicago Booth, INSEAD, or London Business School.

  • AM


    I am probably in a good position to comment here as I am from India, went to IIT, have been admitted to Booth and I know a lot of close friends who went to IIMA.

    A lot of your comments are valid (less research etc.) and the exposure you get from US colleges is better than Europe & Asia. In fact some IIM graduates go for a second MBA from top US schools or LBS. 

    Using PPP to estimate salary is debatable and FT should scale it down a bit perhaps, or give it less weight. But you also have to realize that the salary numbers you have are from currency conversion (~1:46), which doesn’t give the true picture either.

    However, where IIMA scores over Booth is the academic caliber of its students. In India, due to the large young population, admission into top schools is extremely competitive, much more than in US, a ratio of 1:100 or more. IIMA is the toughest Indian B-school to get into, so while it loses out on the diversity and international flavor, your learning isn’t hampered as much because almost all your colleagues are very smart, perhaps even better than many students from top 5 US schools. I personally know 4 of my friends who couldn’t get admission to IIMA but went to Harvard later on. So in the end, a lot of IIM grads get placed in same companies (Goldman, McKinsey, etc)  as people from US schools but admittedly, the network that US schools have is much better.

    Just to give you a personal example, it was easier for me to get into Booth now, then to IIMA when I graduated. The competition is that tough :). The Common Aptitude Test (CAT) used for admission to IIMs is much, much tougher than GMAT and I have personal experience with both :).
    My friends who got into IIMA when I appeared for it, were much more accomplished than I was :), so I can’t say I am better coz I am going to Booth (though I do feel I have bragging rights :D). 

    Booth scores the other brownie points you mentioned as well and I am really happy to be there. But although IIMA loses out on a bunch of things you pointed out, it is still better than going to a school ranked above 10 in US. So it definitely deserves to be in top 20-25 global schools if not 11th. 

    Lot of the things you mentioned about diversity, research, etc are related to the academic culture in the Asian countries. It’s hard for people to understand that unless you have been to Asia and studied in a top school there, which brings me to the final point. I see a lot of IIMA bashing going on here. The school deserves better, from a knowledgeable person like you, and the other commenters as well. 

  • MBA2012

    Narrow vision has nothing to do with it.  For obvious reasons, there is always a strong correlation between the age of an institution and how good it is regionally or globally.  So it is no surprise that those MBA programs considered the best in the world also happen to be some of the oldest.  And they mostly happen to be in the U.S.

    I am not an American and neither do I live or work there.  From a neutral perspective, it is quite obvious that HBS, Wharton, Booth, INSEAD and Kellogg are some of the world’s best MBA programs.  But places like IIM, HKUST and Ceibs don’t hold a candle to them.  Just ask any real MBA applicant where he/she would go given the choice and you will have your answer.

  • MBA2012

    @e00649826ef933917d398d999b41e3d8:disqus Fair enough.  I will agree that saying that IIM-A is below the U.S. top 100 might be a bit harsh.  It is a fantastic institution and the fact that so many smart and brilliant people go there is definitely a major factor.  I am also aware of how well some IIM alums have done in their careers.

    My whole point was that placing IIM-A in the world top 15 is just not credible.  And seems like you agree with that.  Maybe its below the top 50 or top 60 etc… but definitely not so far up.  I have no doubt that over the next 50 years some of the IIMs will indeed have the resources and clout required to break into the top 20 b-schools in the world.  Just not yet though.

  • Paramia

    American narrow vision. We are the best, and the rest of the world is nothing. We have the best MBA programs and ALL the others are nothing. We don’t have financial crisis. we didn’t lose our manufacturing activities to asia. we didn’t only focusing on service industry. we are excellent in every thing. we have super brains. we have four legs and eight hands. we can fly to mars and we can ..we can..we are ..we are…
    wake up please, ur disregard for the others is just shameful..america is fantastic country and definitely the best country in the present time. but mindsets like yours are just regretful to have..
    Harvard engineering is far behind ETHL in zurich.. Chicago economics is far ahead of Stockholm school..Karolinska institute is far ahead of Dartmouth in medicine.. the point is: in every place, every country, every culture, there are good things and bad things..there are superiors and pioneers and should consider every good MBA programs based on personal fit and quality. MBA from INSEAD is excellent for someone seeking career in international business. MBA from Wharton is excellent for someone seeking career in finance, and so on.. grow please and accept reality and never ever be afraid from the competition..thats life..

  • Manish K

     I’m not a troll. But your an ass who didn’t get an MBA and went to an unranked US school.
    I got an MBA from a top 20 US b-school Einstein. What the degree is called IS relevant – especially when many IIM students put an MBA on their resume.

  • Neo2000

    LMFAO! You sir are either an ass or a troll. Probably both. The PGDBM is widely accepted to be equivalent to an MBA program. The IIMs never claimed to give an MBA. What the degree is called is irrelevant. Take an IIM-PGDBM degree and apply to an International b-school and the first question from them is Why a 2nd MBA
    @001735f0744839ad7417bf6304ae5caf:disqus   you’ve been calling the wrong person an egoist here!!no personality? Wow! This means you are now single-handedly going to be more successful than ALL the IIM-A MBA students in India because you had personality and therefore got a foreign MBA.

    Lord save my nose from the BS stink.

  • Neo2000

    Actually I would know the value of both because I aspired to both degrees, have friends in both places and have been following the b-school world for the past 8years.

    Here’s the beauty of the FT ranking – sure Booth does not deserve to be below IIM, heck I will even admit the IIMs have no business being in the top-35 US or Top50-60 US+European but anything outside that, the IIMs totally deserve to be on top. I went to a school that is ranked in the top-100 for MBA (late 90s actually,i didn’t get an MBA but my program was handled by the same department) and I have friends who went to schools somewhere in the 80-100 range.  On the whole, the IIMs will beat those colleges hands-down. And I think that’s what the FT ranking highlights – that there’s more to b-schools outside of the US/Europe that most people are willing to admit/accept.

    What we should be asking is – where do you want to work? If its the US, then the top-100 is probably best, India/Asia – the IIMs but on a global scale there’s no way the bottom 40 US beat the IIM-brand. The top-30-40 most definitely beat it, the others not so much.

  • guest

    John, I strongly agree. I also think you should disregard FT and the Economist ranking from P&Q ranking. If you can’t completely ignore these rankings, then perhaps grant even lower % weight on FT and E. You account FT at 15% and E at 10% now. Maybe even lower the weight on those two can be an option if you can’t really disregard them entirely.

    Separately, I really wish you could UPDATE the current P&Q ranking as many data are just not up to date. FT is old and US News is old. I know you are waiting for BW ranking in August, but current ranking will make noticeable moves If USN and FT data are updated. People make plans for their application on these rankings and I would strongly encourage you to reflect most recent data so that people can make the right calls or plan ahead accordingly based on the most accurate and recent ranking. Since your PQ ranking is a composite of 5 sources, I don’t think it makes sense to wait and publish one ranking per year but update diligently as new rankings that make up the total come up and finalize PQ 2012 ranking around December when all sources are up to date as of December.

    Thank you.

  • USmbaalum.

    I think you are doing a disservice to some of the top US business schools and their alumni by publishing the FT and Economist rankings. People get emotional over rankings. Its their pride. How would people in the UK like it if a US publication ranked Boulder higher for undergrad than the London School of Economics. Atleast when it comes to US Schools, I urge you not to really highlight these rankings or make clear your thoughts on the level of bias or distortion in criteria. Agreed all ranking are flawed but the FT and Economist have demolished high ranking and prestigious US programs by putting less competetive European Schools on the list. I am a proud alumni of one such school. I worked hard to get in. I paid alot of money. I know it was a far superior school than all the European ones and much more competetive. For some journalist at the FT and the Economist to publish his biased version sickens me. I can guarantee you he for one did not get into a top US program. I doe onwI will be bringing this up in our latest reunion and try everything in my power to hold Pearson and the Economist to account.

  • Manish K

    Something I’m not sure if you know is that the degree from IIM isn’t even called an MBA. It’s a “PGDM”. Something should really be done to spread this message to the West.
    As an Indian who did a top MBA from the US, I really feel it’s a misguiding that the IIM degree is called an MBA and many alum put that as the degree on the their CVs. In the US, that would be borderline lying.

  • Manish K

     MBA2012: Agreed again. Get this (and be prepared to laugh): Most people in India say IIT Bachelors + IIM MBA is better than MIT Bachelors + Harvard MBA. ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀

  • Manish K

     I absolutely agree with MBA2012 in both his/her posts, and I’m Indian. IIMs are great – IN INDIA. It has no value whatsoever in developed markets. The students have zero personality – something very important for a successful career in business. The degree isn’t even called an MBA!! It’s a “PGDM”. So Ryan Rahul Prasad – take a hike!

  • MBA2012

    Hahahaha.  Your conclusions on ROI (based on 1 year income) and your thinking that IIM students can get into top 5 American b-schools, shows that you have absolutely zero idea regarding the discussion here.

  • MBA2012

    I apologize if I hurt your feelings with the “ego” comment.  But saying that I “have no idea what an IIM degree means” because I am not Indian, would also mean you have no idea what a Booth degree or an HBS or LBS degree means because you are neither an American or a European.  A very childish argument indeed.

    The long-term gain of an MBA is not only “looking 3-5 years out”.  Anyone who is, or has been, through a world class MBA program can attest to that.  It is a career changer and the long-term gains are for your entire career.  According to BW the average Booth (or any other top 10 program) grad will make close to $3 million just in basic salary over his post-MBA career and many millions more in bonuses and other comp.  The average IIM grad will make nothing close to that and will most likely wish he had a Booth degree. 

    My bottom line was regarding a global audience looking at a global ranking of business schools. No one outside India would pick an IIM over any of the top 100 business schools in the U.S. or Europe… and I doubt most Indians would either.

  • Satish


    if IIM-A were a stock, it would have returned almost 100% on the investment amount compared to a negative return of 10% in US colleges. (talk about long term is total crap, else the companies would always grown in the long term, the markets would never fall)having a 1% acceptance rate means that the student behing those walls are creme-de-la-creme is a strongest endorsement for any instituition. they can anytime beat the admission race at top 5 american b schools.

    i reitereate the point, had the american mba education been so heavnly and successfull, the world would not have seen the dissaster and near meltdown of financial system in 2008-09.

    and the i am writing this again, that the article has been intentionally distorted. i mean any sane fellow would not got for straight conversion of indian currency into rupees. its purely an act of gross rate IIM-A faculty lower, i agree, you rate the diversity as near to nill, i agree. but please dont undermine IIM’s but putting other fabricated numbers.

  • Mel

    John, I suspect the FT rankings have a bit of a ” pay to play ” feature re advertising ! The ranking is not very credible and heavily favours UK programs that advertise. Also it has a huge pluginsnky factor, that being salaries which are highly manipulated by alumni reporting. I do not take it seriously.

  • Ryan Rahul Prasad

    Hardly egoistic. You aren’t Indian are you? Then you have no idea what an IIM degree means and what doors it can open for you. I, already agreed on the diversity and quality of faculty points.  My issue was with the way the comparison was done, not with the actual benefits students accrue. You cannot take an Indian salary, convert it into $$ and say a booth students makes $80,000 more. that’s rubbish. Purchasing-Power-Parity please. Further the point of long-term was only looking 3-5years out and for the most part, IIM-MBAs will get you the indian salaries that will make life very comfortable in India. And the bonuses as well. The comparisons are also unfair in that a large part of the students getting jobs are fresh out of college unlike the US students who already have work-ex. That work-ex alone adds a premium to your international MBA. As for standard of living, that’s subjective. Most indians are happy in their home-country despite the pollution and the crowd and the noise. It’s home after all.  
    Finally – a Booth student will pay $160,000 in total-cost for the MBA but walk away with $125,000 while an IIM-student will pay $24,000 and walk away with $26,000 and that’s bad?
    Your bottom line is absolute rubbish! Top-100?? Please! From the P&Q list alone, the bottom 80-100 are utter crap. I’d take an IIM-MBA any day over those outside of the top-40. And 30-40 would still make me think long and hard between them or the top-5 IIMs.

  • MBA2012

    Wow, Indians seem to have the biggest egos around!  I am an Asian myself but some of the comments here are ridiculous.

    @e00649826ef933917d398d999b41e3d8:disqus No matter how you look at it Rs 12,50,000 is nowhere near the $125,000 + bonus that a Booth grad will be making.  Granted that the cost of living in India is lower, but so is the standard of living.  Yes the salary gains pre to post- MBA will be greater at IIM since students coming in don’t make that much but in terms of long-term ROI, the IIMs will get crushed by an top 25 U.S. or European b-school. 

    @bf0d036e132e6ae1110d59ebd58a6101:disqus You don’t seem to grasp the fact that pure acceptance rates in large countries with poor education systems are crap.  Just because India only has a few good universities at present and a huge population who all want to get in those universities, does not necessarily make those universities “the best in the world”.  I will willingly concede that the IIMs are fantastic institutions as can be seen by some of their very successful alumni.  But anybody who gets into an IIM and also gets into any top 50 U.S. or European b-school is not going to go to IIM.
    You also don’t seem to understand how to calculate ROI.  The return of an MBA education is not only the first year’s salary as you seem to indicate.  It is the expected gain over the pre-MBA salary over the a persons career.  I think you should really do your research before publishing such misleading statistics.

    Bottom line is that while the IIMs provide a good management education, they don’t compare to any of the top 50 or 100 institutions in Europe or the U.S.  

  • JohnAByrne

    No, largely because all the rankings are flawed to some degree. I think there are more problems with the FT methodology than some others, but that’s also I place less weight on the FT rankings than I do on U.S. News, BusinessWeek and Forbes. As I pointed out elsewhere here, there are some good things about the ranking and there’s no question that it gets a lot of attention. 

  • Satish

    @JohnAByrne:disqus @e00649826ef933917d398d999b41e3d8:disqus 
    good explanation neo2000. other than the salary, look at the acceptanc ratio of IIMS’s. A mere 2000 seats (in year 2011) for around 200,000+ test takers. Thats makes acceptance rate as only 1%. How many schools in the world have this ?  this essentially say that getting a seat in IIM is highy aspirational and ridiculously competitive. why doesnt John convert the nos (indian rupees) into purchasing power parity. converting rupees to dollars is simply a partial view by an american. and between, had the Amercian Business Education been so accomplished and something sort of heavenly, we would not have seen the economic disasters of 2008-09. CDS, CDO were the new WMD’s.

  • Satish

    at tution fee at IIM-A is $13000, while average salary for the graduates is $25000. Whoa. An almost 100% return on investment >
    whereas an american MBA cost clsoe to $150 and everage salries are in range of $130k. a negative return on investment.i agree about the quality of faculty, the teaching methods. but converting rupees into dollars is simply a crime. Please dont give a distorted veiw of the IIMS. May be , an american ego has been hurt.

  • Satish

    @JohnAByrne:disqus   @e00649826ef933917d398d999b41e3d8:disqus 
    good explanation neo2000. other than the salary, look at the acceptanc ratio. of IIMS’s at mere 2000 seats (in year 2011) for around 200,000+ test takers. thats makes acceptance rate of 1%. how many schools in the world have this ? does this essentially say that getting a seat in IIM is highy aspirational and ridiculously competitive. why doesnt John convert the nos (indian rupees) into purchasing power parity. converting rupees to dollars is simply a partial view by an american. and between, had the Amercian Business Education been so accomplished and something sort of heavenly, we would not have seen the economic disasters of 2008-09. CDS, CDO were the new WMD’s.

  • CL

    Since the FT rankings have proven unreliable, have you considered excluding them from the P&Q composite?

  • JohnAByrne

    Neon, that’s very true. Readers of Poets&Quants know that I am critical of all the rankings and consider all of them flawed in some way or another. Because there is little if any commentary on rankings by the media, I consider it a very important part of our coverage at Poets&Quants. BusinessWeek doesn’t report on the rankings of U.S. News or The Financial Times, in part because it doesn’t want to promote what it would consider a competitive product. The same is true of other media outlets. Each of the major ranking sources–U.S. News, BW, the FT, Forbes, and The Economist–are respected and admired media brands. Regardless of how flawed their rankings are, they command attention and people are easily misled. That is why I devote a good deal of coverage to this topic.

    I’ve also pointed out the positives about the FT ranking: It is a serious effort by the FT which devotes considerable resources to the coverage of business schools; the information provided by the schools is audited (that is a very big plus here); the ranking is global (unlike U.S. News), and the newspaper provides historical access to its rankings so you can compare and contrast them over the years (that is not true of all the other ranking organizations, such as U.S. News). The FT’s coverage is also overseen by one of the more accomplished journalists who covers business education, Della Bradshaw.

  • Neon

    Although FT ranking is flawed, this ranking is viewed by many people because FT as a newspaper is highly regarded.  

  • guest

    This is absolutely ridiculous. A british publication trying to rate top mba’s. How do they have the audacity to rate IESE IE IIM better than Kellogg n Chicago. I would sue them if i were students at these schools. unfortunately ppl read the ft n not everyone is well versed on business education. the ft publishers should be embarrassed.

  • Hechaidr

    This is perhaps the 5th  article on P&Q with the same theme – how bad the FT ranking is, how US schools should be ranked higher, how European and Asian universities should be ranked lower, etc. It’s getting old and frankly a bit pathetic. Not to mention how flawed are most of the arguments.

  • Neo2000

    i’ve been following P&Q since its inception and the analysis in this one is the worst of all of their stuff. It’s very disappointing. I won’t dispute the quality of faculty or the diversity. That alone should’ve been sufficient but when you start to compare salaries to make a point, then it’s really sad. Especially since your comparison is rubbish.
    How on earth can you take an Indian salary, convert it into Dollars and then compare it to Booth’s salary?? That is by far the most Ridiculous thing i’ve ever read here. Come on John! In terms of rupees, $25,000 is a LOT of money (considering 50 to the dollar, its about Rs12,50,000). Most of the grads entering a b-school are fresh engineers, paying perhaps $13k per year in tuition. Had they chosen to work, they would have earned between $8-12,000 per year. So yeah, the $25k they get at the end of the 2yr program is a fantastic boost for them. In terms of pure numbers alone, the ROI for an MBA from an Indian b-school, the post-MBA salary gains are all true, not “highly inflated” as you make it out to be.

    Do a little more research before posting stuff like this. You can start here:
    Fees for IIM-A (the premier institute ) Rs 6.6L or approx $13,000/year

    IIM-A Placement report analysis:
    ” Fixed components of domestic salaries — Median: Rs 13.50 lakhs | Mean: Rs 14.22 lakhs | Lowest: Rs 7 lakhs | Highest: Rs 32 lakhs”

  • Spearhead

    …and the Rankings continue to misguide potential MBA candidates…

    Here’s an idea for a ranking that would actually be useful to applicants:  Create an index that rank-orders MBA’s “Dream companies” (Forbes already does that survey annually), then generate a score for each school based on how many individuals are taken into those firms.  If needed, scores could be controlled for the size of the program.  Highest score wins – no nonsense. 

     Lets be honest–the major driver for candidates to invest $200K (closer to $400K+ counting opportunity costs) for an MBA is to land their “dream job” or at least something better then they have.  Metrics based on GMAT and GPA are ok starting points, but they don’t begin to tell the whole story.  It is misleading to allow those and other subjective metrics dictate the ranking of a school.    

    This current ranking system can be gamed by doing things like: taking lower-quality applicants with higher GMAT scores (after getting into B-School prospective employers care far more about your interpersonal skills than your GMAT, shocking news, I know), or keeping the class size down in order to inflate ranking metrics.  

    So, any other major publishers wanting to jump into the apparently lucrative business of MBA rankings (WSJ V2.0, NYTimes, I’m looking at you) theres your competitive position – take it.