Indian School of Business


ISB5Admission Deadlines:


Non-Indian Passport Holders:

Early Entry Option candidates’ deadline is January 15, 2014. Offers will be made on March 31, 2014.

Indian Passport Holders:

Cycle One: Sept. 15, 2013

Cycle Two: Nov. 30, 2013

The Indian School of Business (ISB) first climbed onto the world stage of business schools in 2008 when the school cracked The Financial Times’ ranking of the best global MBA programs. That year, the school found its way on the FT’s list at a rank of 20. Its best showing on the British newspaper’s ranking was in 2010 when the school placed 12th.

ISB has made the FT’s rankings for five consecutive years in a row–the best of any business school in India. The only other B-school in India to make the FT list has been the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad. Not bad for a school that is only 11 years old.

When the ISB was set up in 2001, the school broke the mold as far management education in India was concerned. Positioned as India’s global school, ISB came with strong academic partnerships with the Wharton School and Kellogg School of Management – people like then Kellogg Dean Don Jacobs, then Wharton Dean Tom Gerrity, and London Business School’s Sumantra Ghoshal were personally involved in the planning. It promised a strong line-up of international faculty including such B-school stars as strategist C.K. Prahalad and marketing guru Philip Kotler. Even today, senior executives such as Dell CEO Michael Dell, British Sky Broadcasting chairman James Murdoch and WPP CEO Martin Sorrell along with senior academics like Kellogg Dean Sally Blount, INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain and MIT Sloan Dean David Schmittlein sit on the school’s board.

But ISB’s biggest point of differentiation was that it offered a one-year MBA, a new concept in the Indian market. Unlike other Indian business schools back then, it placed a huge emphasis on experience and diversity. “We gave the market a very different product. They were not just another substitute for the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) graduates, but a different category of people – more mature and more well-rounded,” says Ajit Rangnekar, the dean of the Indian School of Business, who wants the school to be among the top five in the world.

ISB seemed like a great project from the word go – the right academic backing, strong corporate supporters and an audacious plan. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing. Soon after launch in July 2001, the market turned south. In the wake of 9/11, a couple of the star professors backed out and finances came under strain. The next year, when the first batch of graduates was put into the market, jobs were in short supply. Some of worried corporate investors said that if given an opportunity to invest in projects like this again, they would stay away. “Back then, there were a whole lot of skeptics and even among the believers, almost everyone thought that it would take a lot longer for ISB to reach where it is today,” says Rangnekar.

Besides, another big worry was whether the same visiting faculty would keep coming to ISB year after year. There were other challenges too – building a base of permanent faculty in India was far from easy. India failed to offer a conducive research environment that would attract professors to relocate from the U.S. or Europe. But over the years, ISB has managed to overcome the issue.

“The myth was that you can’t attract world-class faculty to India, they can’t produce research here,” says Rangnekar. “But my one regret is that we haven’t been able to attract as many senior faculty as we would have liked to. That’s because they have spouses and children who have lives of their own and that’s very difficult to match here. I cannot recreate schools and I cannot recreate opportunities for spouses.” At the same time, Rangnekar is not keen to reduce the visiting faculty numbers below 40 percent. “That is the only way to ensure that students get global exposure and a global education,” he says.

One possible drawback: Some 74% of the students are former engineers and less than 4% are international. The lack of diversity is an issue that Rangnekar is trying to address. Another issue for some might be that the school doesn’t technically grant an MBA, but rather a Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP). It’s pretty much the same thing as an MBA. The reason for this is that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), India’s higher education regulator, simply refuses to recognize a one-year MBA.

Latest Up-to-Date MBA Rankings:

Poets&Quants (2012)43 (among top non-U.S. schools)

BusinessWeek (2012): NR

Forbes (2011): NR

Financial Times (2012)20 (Global) 9 (Non-U.S.)

The Economist (2012): NR

Rankings Analysis: The Indian Business School is only one of two B-schools in India to be ranked by Poets&Quants. The school placed 43th among the top 50 non-U.S. MBA programs.

Our ranking is largely based on The Financial Times, which in 2012 placed the school 20th in the world and ninth among non-U.S. business schools. The school has yet to be ranked among the best non-U.S. schools by either BusinessWeek or Forbes and has not yet made The Economist ranking.

Tuition & Fees: $40,000

Average GMAT: 710

GMAT Range: 670 – 750 (mid-80%)

Acceptance Rate: NA

Full-Time MBA Enrollment: 770 (majority at Hyderabad campus)

International: 3.4%

Female: 29%

Mean Age: 27

Average International Salary: $121,008 for Class of 2011

Average Domestic Salary: 1,792,715 Indian Rupees ($32,168)

Percentage of MBAs with Job Offers Three Months Later: NA

Career Details:

International companies made 92 offers to the school’s graduates in 2012, compared with as 83 a year earlier. The positions offered were across 11 countries namely, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, U.K., U.S., Dubai, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.  Leading companies such as Apple, Astra Zeneca, Bloomberg, Booz, BT, Delta Partners, Expedia, GE, Goldman Sachs, and PRTM were among a list of 73 participating companies this year. Some of the global companies such as Novartis and Siemens made offers across multiple countries and with varied roles.

Consulting: The consulting sector accounted for more than 30% of offers to graduates in 2012 from companies such as AT Kearney, Accenture, Booz & Co, Deloitte, Diamond Consulting, Gallup Pte Ltd, KPMG, McKinsey & Co, Parthenon Group, PRTM, PwC, The Boston Consulting Group, and Valcon Management Consultants.

Technology: The technology sector was the second leading sector that yielded about 28% of the offers through a broad spectrum of roles in Technology Consulting, Sales, Product Management and Project Management. The companies in this sector include Apple, Cognizant, Facebook, Google, IBM India, Infosys, Microsoft, and Siemens AG among others.

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