IIMs versus FMS, XL, MDI and other top schools

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B-School Selection / CAT

Now that the first round results of almost all the b-schools are out, we get regular queries about which b-schools to join. There is rarely any confusion about A, B and C but after that it seems as if aspirants are having a lot of trouble choosing between the IIMs L, I and K and other top b-schools such as FMS, XLRI, MDI and others. How does one go about making the right choice between the IIMs and other top schools? One of the terms thrown around a lot these days is ROI.


 

How you should really calculate ROI

A few years back an aspirant I was speaking to after an ISB info session said

  • Sir, these days even IIM-A does not offer a great ROI, the average salary and fee are more less close to each other.

A lot of aspirants tend to use ROI to evaluate colleges. They tend to use ROI in conjunction with batch size to decide which college to join where ROI is simply taken to be Average Salary/Cost of Education.

Well once you do an MBA you will realise that more than an ROI, the better tool to use will be a Cost-Benefit Analysis since you are not investing in a pure financial instrument or land or gold.

Whenever one does a cost-benefit analysis one has to consider not just the tangible but also the intangible costs as well as benefits.

The intangible benefits or the benefits to which you cannot put a number are the ones that most aspirants on the verge of joining an MBA program, those who are doing their MBA and those who have just graduated are unaware of. This post will deal with all of these intangibles that might help aspirants to make a decision.

 

 


The three letters I-I-M carry more weight than you can imagine

Firstly, no aspirant should forget that the second most prestigious & valuable prefix that an insitituion in this country can carry is IIM. When most aspirants start preparing for the CAT, they do not tell themselves that they want to crack XL or MDI or FMS, it is always the IIMs that are on most people minds.

The same hold true for the rest of the business management fraternity — the word IIM carries a lot more weight than you can imagine. People evaluating you at your work place are more likely to pull down an IIM grad at the slightest hesitation saying “How can this person be from an IIM” than they are to say “How can this person be from MDI or XL” (I overheard this as recently as last Sunday at a cafe).


The IIM-tag predisposes people to think positively about you

When you introduce yourself as an IIM graduate, people’s perception of your ability becomes vastly exaggerated. People will tend to treat you as being good unless you yourself prove them wrong. Whereas those from other brands are viewed neutrally and they have to prove themselves. It goes without saying the same applies when people look at your resume.

And if you are from say L, I and K and become a great professional, people might tend to think that you are from A, B or C; they might even assume you are from an IIT as well!


 

An MBA is about a lot more than your first job

The problem with the ROI method is that it places an unduly high importance on the short-term result — the first job you get out of campus. Don’t you think that is barely any return! Good investments yield returns over a longer time-period and a good MBA is also supposed to do the same.

You might not get your dream job even at IIM-A

On campus recruitments are very unlike recruitments off campus and this difference is key to understanding the long-term value of an MBA.

During placements on campus, recruiters are constantly comparing you with a huge list of other candidates they have at their disposal. For recruiters it is like a buffet with many awesome things to choose from but with one constraint — time and competing recruiters!

So what do companies do? They start using various filters to ensure that they look at fewer people and somehow get the people they want before their competitors get them. What are the filters that get applied? They vary from company to company but to name a few

  • the brand of the college you graduated from (everybody wants to get into McKinsey but they can’t possibly interview everyone, so they use the college brand as a filter)
  • leadership positions held (so guys with big leadership roles on campus get filtered in over may be people with a better CGPA) etc

So intense is the competition among companies that this year one prominent consulting firm at IIM-A was even willing to forego the final interview round if the people who they shortlisted so far were still not picked up by others. Imagine, they were scared that by the time they finish their process, they will no have candidates left!

Compare this with an off-campus process. Firstly, it is not a 3-day affair, so companies are not in any hurry to shortlist and interview people as fast as possible. So you will end up getting a fairer shot and enough time to make a good case for your candidature.

Companies do not need people only at the time of campus placements. In fact most fresh MBA graduates, quit their first jobs within a year! There is a constant need for people all year round and they scour various portals and recruitment agencies to get resumes.

So you do not need to worry about the campus placements being final summit or crowning point to reach. In fact it is just the beginning of the climb.

What the MBA gives you is a platform to reach the top over the course of your career.


 

It’s your peer network that will get you jobs in the long run

Campus placements last only a few days but your peer network, network of immediate seniors and alumni network will be the ones that will be getting you jobs over a longer period.

When you graduate from an IIM, you graduate with access to a network of people working in the best companies in the country. You will not come to know of openings through Naukri or other portals but from your peers since firms hire a lot through referrals.

Also you get access to platforms such as IIM Jobs through which candidates and recruiters find each other. A student who just graduated from IIM-A told me that after graduating this March he was approached by three companies via IIM Jobs.

Can you place a monetary value to the opportunities that this network will open up for you?


 

If you want to start your own firm, the tag is invaluable to attract investors

Investors are always taking bets on people as much as they are on ideas. Even before you pitch your ideas, investors will be aware of all the hot ideas and opportunities that are present in the market. So in essence they are only evaluating the capability of the team and one of the things that goes a long way in boosting your credentials is the IIM-tag.

So keeping all of this mind how should you make you choices?

IIMs – L, I & K versus FMS, XLRI, S.P.Jain, MDI

Technically I would always place the old IIMs above all other schools purely for the reasons mentioned above.

The only exception can be FMS, for the almost non-existent fees! How does one break this deadlock? Choose FMS over the others if

  • If you have already done your graduation from an IIT and/or
  • If you are sure you want to explore entrepreneurship options immediately after your MBA

What is the rationale behind this?

Firstly, If you have not studied at a premier national-level college, whilst staying on campus in the hostel, an education at FMS or S.P.Jain will be incomplete in terms of the experience.

You will do an MBA only once and the experience of studying in an awesome campus (in contrast to FMS, S.P.Jain and NMIMS) dedicated primarily to the program you are doing (in contrast to MBAs at IITs) is something that you will cherish for life.

If you have already experienced the same during your graduation then you can go ahead and choose FMS, else the IIMs.

Secondly, if you want to start working on your own venture straight out of college then education loan will always be an albatross around your neck, making FMS best option.


 

Choose other colleges over new IIMs

When it comes to the choice between new IIMs and other schools such as IITs, choose other top schools over them since you will get the benefit of the degree only over a very long-term, when they are no longer considered new.

Also, everything else right from campus, to college culture and placements will just be beginning to take root and hence leave you quite a bit on the backfoot in the short-term. There is also be no network of peers of seniors through whom you get access to jobs.


 

You are not investing in a college you are also investing in yourself

Most view the expenditure on an MBA from the what-am-I-getting-for-what-I-am-paying lens, making it the college’s responsibility to deliver. Well, unfortunately the college owes you nothing.

The college deems you suitable for a career in management and has offered you a seat giving you access to

  • the learning that they can offer and
  • the best firms in the country

You are investing this money to acquire this education and this network to maximise your potential and your career opportunities.

Most of the time what you study during the course will barely be used in the first few years of your life as an MBA. It will only start making sense when you come into big decision-making roles later in life (even those subjects which you will find most useless on campus).

You are not learning subjects that will help you do your first job better. You are learning and developing the skills to lead a company later.

So it makes a lot of sense to view things not from an immediate placement perspective but from the perspective of maximising your chances of leading the best firms or starting a successful firm of your own.

I hope this article goes some way in helping aspirants view things from the different perspective and resolve the queries in their mind but please bear in mind that the views expressed in this article are purely personal and aspirants are advised to take their own decisions depending upon the variables they wish to maximise.

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264 Comments

  1. Hello Tony Ji,

    Is it advisable to go for CAT for a two year MBA after 6+ years of experience in state bank.
    I appear for cat almost every year and score 98.5+ , best being 99.08% till now.
    Or should I opt only for one year MBA ?

    Like

    • Hi Atul,

      Glad to know someone who takes the CAT so regularly. I wonder what happened with the final convert in the year you scored a 99.08.

      With 6 years of experience you will be the odd one out in a 2-year program. Also since the IIMs have a separate program for those with more than 5 years of experience it is highly unlikely that they would consider your profile suitable for their 2-year program.

      I would suggest applying to ISB as the first choice followed by the IIMs and the XLRI-GMP via the GMAT.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  2. Ayush says

    hi sir,
    i am a 20 year old , currently in ca- final (mostly clearing by 2016 end). i have already completed my b.com. with 62%. i have past academic scores of 82% in 10th (gujarat state) and 88% cbse. Also i have a 12 month teaching experience in financial management . i wish to pursue a MBA with more focus on finance and corporate strategy. please guide me on the best options available for me.

    Like

    • Hi Ayush,

      Since you have a CA background you should be aiming for schools that get good finance placements or schools in a location where a lot of Fin firms are located.

      The best schools for Finance are IIM-C followed by A, B and L and S.P.Jain (Finance). Since you have education diversity (non-engineer) you stand a good chance to make it to the IIMs if you get a call since the CA+MBA profiles are very sought after by corporates and hence by b-schools.

      So your first target should be to prepare for CAT-17 with a view to get into the IIMs or S.P.Jain as well as clear CA.

      As a backup you should look at colleges such as NMIMS and other located in Mumbai.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Ayush says

        thank you sir.
        how would you place iift delhi vs s p jain vs nmims ?also which one has better scope in other fields except marketing?

        Like

      • Hi Ayush,

        All of them will fall into the same bracket. I would say the order should be S.P.Jain, IIFT, NMIMS in that order for Finance.

        Like

  3. Saurabh says

    Hi Tony,
    I gave my CAT 2016 i am expecting a 96+ score.
    I am a BTech IT bronze medalist cgpa 8.72 from a top state govt college in Maharashtra. Xth 88% XII 79%.
    1 year experience with a US based startup as a Data scientist salary was 12lpa.
    Presently doing my own startup in the ecommerce sector with a 25 member team since a year.
    I am interested in Technology Entrepreneurship course from IISC B, SP jain’s Information Management.
    How good do you think are these courses for my profile and what are my chances of getting a Call.
    Also I am a big fan of your blog posts they have helped me in a great way during my preparations.

    Like

    • Hi Saurabh,

      You have a strong profile considering your work ex and your start-up. So IISC I feel will be a step down since it is not a school that will get you a great MBA tag, great placements or a great peer group. So I would advise against it since you are better off continuing with your startup if you are doing well, else take up a job where you can learn a lot.

      You should be able to get a score-based call from S.P.Jain but more than S.P.Jain IM I would suggest you go in fora general MBA from schools such as MDI-Gurgaon which should give you call at 96+.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Saurabh says

        Hi Tony,
        Thanks for the revert. I havent applied for MDI Gurgaon.
        Could you please suggest any other colleges i should be looking forward to.
        Also i wanted to know why do you think IISC wont be a good option (your opinion matters!!!) indeed peer learning would be low due to a small batch but i can definitely make that up by the huge variety of courses from the tech domain and from the best profs in India. Also please consider i have a slight bend towards Technology.
        Banglore being the entrepreneurship hub of India can help me do some good internships and understand tech businesses closely.
        Further about a general management course i am a little sceptical because i have experienced a lot of the basics while doing my startup. Like hiring, marketing, managing inventory , doing basic accounting and understanding the difficult parts. I believe i would be spending time learning things which i already have had a practical experience of. My sole intention with doing an Mba is to learn how to scale TECH businesses in INDIA, which i am not able to currently.
        I also have a GRE score of 315(q165, v 150) to which i had appeared during my college days.
        I can also think of a good course abroad which suits my needs and accepts GRE score.
        Also I want to do enroll in the coming year itself.

        Like

      • Hi Saurabh,

        I was out on vacation and hence the delayed response.

        One of the big reasons to do an MBA from a major school is that the TAG itself will give you the required credentials for scaling up, which primarily means getting access to funds as well as getting access to quality talent.

        While tech might seem like a completely separate area of expertise, the basic rules of running any successful business still hold true. So while you have had practical experience the learning, the network of your peers and more importantly alumni in getting access to the right people and the tag will be things that IISC might not be able to provide.

        You can look at the GRE and abroad option as well but that makes sense only if you want to work abroad for a while and then get back to india to scale up your business.

        I have written a detailed post about this in post about how to choose between IIMs and other premier colleges, you can go through that.

        It is not that IISC is bad but it is not in the top 15-20 when it comes to an MBA in India.

        So I still feel that a regular MBA from a top 20 school is the best way forward. There are exception to every rule, so I would leave the final call to you.

        Like

    • Hi,

      Congrats on converting three.

      Firstly, I & K are much older than S, so definitely S should not be in contention.

      Between and I and K, K because I has a huge batch size with the Mumbai campus and the 5-year BBA + MBA batch also joining for placements. So the reputation of I w.r.t placements hasnt been great.

      So it has to be K.

      All the best,

      Tony

      Like

  4. Apurv says

    Hello, I have interest in core finance. What are your thoughts on DFS, University of Delhi? Should I prefer it over IIT Madras or new IIM’s?

    Like

    • Core finance jobs are really available on very few campuses in the currently and the IIT-Madras and new IIMs are not among them.

      Honestly about DFS, University of Delhi, I have no clue.

      One thing you need to consider is that if you need plum Finance jobs then you need a CA or a CFA irrespective of whichever college you are in, even IIM-A or IIM-C.

      So one option can be to take up the new IIM, clear CFA level 1 and look for Finance jobs off campus, which a CFA will definitely help you get.

      Else, if the Fin jobs at DFS are to your liking join DFS.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Apurv says

        Thank you for responding. Department of Financial Studies (DFS), which erstwhile was called MFC, offers some pretty decent opportunities in the finance industry and I was hoping this coupled with CFA would keep in good stead.
        My only confusion is whether I should choose MFC or a new IIM where the number and the quality of finance roles offered may not be that good.

        Like

  5. Hi Tony Sir,

    I converted SJMSOM and IIM Indore. I am not inclined towards Finance and Marketing and open for HR/Operations which institute should I opt for? Please guide. TIA

    Like

    • Hi Ajay,

      It is a tough call given that your interest is in two very disparate areas such as Ops and HR, more importantly both Indore and SJSOM are not known for HR, leaving only Ops as the choice, for which SJSOM might be marginally better.

      What I would suggest though is that you keep your mind open in terms of specialization and join IIM-Indore, get the brand name on your resume and take a call as to how you want to shape your career over the course of your study there.

      I am sure the information you have now is limited and you will be better placed to plan your long-term career goals after a few years. But at that point of time you cannot come back and change the brand of the b-school on your resume.

      So I would suggest IIM-I.

      Like

  6. Hi Sir,
    I converted IIM Indore and SJMSOM, confused with these two colleges. I am more inclined towards HR and OPS than Finance and Marketing, considering my interest which one should I go for?

    Like

    • It is a tough call given that your interest is in two very disparate areas such as Ops and HR, more importantly both Indore and SJSOM are not known for HR, leaving only Ops as the choice, for which SJSOM might be marginally better.

      What I would suggest though is that you keep your mind open in terms of specialization and join IIM-Indore, get the brand name on your resume and take a call as to how you want to shape your career over the course of your study there.

      I am sure the information you have now is limited and you will be better placed to plan your long-term career goals after a few years. But at that point of time you cannot come back and change the brand of the b-school on your resume.

      So I would suggest IIM-I.

      Like

  7. Aditya says

    How is TAPMI? I have converted TAPMI, K. J, GOA and scored 99.4 percentile in CET.
    Would love to have your suggestion on which college should i join?
    I can also wait and appear for CAT 17. I have 2yrs of experience in IT Sector.
    10-94,12th-87,B.E-72.

    Like

    • Well TAPMI is as good as its placement stats say it is!

      Between the three I would say GIM, KJ and TAPMI in that order. You will get a job with around 10-12 CTC most probably business side roles in IT.

      If you feel that you can crack the CAT with another attempt and deserve to be a higher ranked college that will offer you a higher salary, given your profile, you should take another shot.

      Else go ahead an join GIM.

      All the best!

      Like

  8. Aditya Mitra says

    Hello Sir,

    I am a B.Tech in ECE with 2 years of work ex in Infosys.
    I have converted IIT Kanpur and IMI Delhi.
    Which college would be a better choice considering all factors?

    Like

    • Hi Aditya,

      On paper in terms of average salary and stuff there is very little to separate the two. The only difference I can make out is in the width of firms that come to IMI, especially in MArketing.
      For IT/ITES there is not much to choose between the two.

      So I would suggest IMI based on the following:

      1.The batch size at IIT-Kanpur is very small with around 30-odd students participating in the placement process. While this might seem great, such a small batch size barely gives the full-fledged MBA experience. Any number under a 100 students is barely worth the experience.
      2.The b-schools at IITs tend be small departments within the institutes and we know for a fact that they are just small buildings in the whole space. This is different from a b-school where the MBA program is the main focus and the infrastructure and everything else is solely dedicated to it.

      Both of these have a great role to play in how much of a transformative impact the 2-year program has on you.

      So given these factors I would suggest IMI.

      All the best!

      Like

  9. Hi Sir,

    I have converted Vgsom IIT kgp, and waiting for IIM Ranchi HR results!
    Can you help me choose the best option.

    Giving CAT again is the least priority, have tried thrice.
    I already have 20 months of exp in IT.

    Like

    • Hi,

      Your are comparing apples with oranges when comparing HR with other specialisations.

      So, unless you are really interested in HR, join VGSOM IIT-KGP!

      All the best!

      Like

  10. Rajesh says

    Sir,

    I have converted K this year. 95 percentile. OBC. Got calls from BIK. Didn’t attend Indore.
    I already have 2 years of experience.
    I have an idea of giving one more year of CAT and trying for ABC. How far my risk is justified ? I have 95+ acads in school and 80 in Grad. And also I have quit my job in hurry. Now I’m very much confused about K or CAT 2017.

    The reason why I am thinking about not joining K. (Everything in comparison with ABC)
    1. Mediocre Peer group (as per guys from C)
    2. Placement.
    3. Brand value.

    The reasons I think that I should take CAT.
    1. Confident about scoring high in CAT.
    2. Developing my profile in one year gap.

    The reasons what people say why not to take CAT again.
    1. Luck factor.
    2. Justification of one year gap in Bschool admission and placement interview.
    3. Fear of Failure.

    Like

    • Since you have quit your job and have two years if work ex it makes the situation a bit tricky.

      I noticed that you have not mentioned my alma mater IIM-L anywhere in the discussion!

      Anyway, the reasons you have outlined for not joining K are all valid when they are compared to A,B or C.

      But what you should compare it with is how these factors rate against your graduation college.

      Is the peer group, placement and brand value of K likely to be substantially lower than those of your graduation college?

      Also, how competitive will your profile be at A, B and C to compete against a better peer group during placements.

      If you feel given your profile, you need a college of a higher profile than K and you can compete at the same then look at a re-take. A re-take for a greater reward is always accompanied by greater risk, since in your case since you are out of a job as well.

      Else join K.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Rajesh says

        Sir,
        Your Point of view is correct. I graduated from a Regional governmental institution. K is far better than my graduation college in terms of peer group and placements.

        As MBA is once in a lifetime thing, I feel I should get it from the best, say ABC. ( I am fine with L too 😉 )

        That’s why I am confused.

        Like

      • Hi Rajesh,

        Dunno if you are still confused. But do evaluate the competitiveness of your resume at A,B and C, may be you can ask your friends at C what shortlists you can get for summers and what is the most likely job you will land up with.

        If you had a job in hand I would say yeah go ahead if you really want it that bad. But since that is not the case I think you should evaluate the re-take option from beyond, the ABC lens. Yes, ABC is great everyone would want it but are those the only options for your profile is what you should consider.

        Sometimes ABC might be below some students’ profile as well. I had one guy who had 3 years of CATERPILLAR work ex, drawing above 10 and from IIT-Kanpur, the panel asked why he is looking at an IIM, he will just get a few lakhs more, should’t he be going abroad?

        All the best!

        Like

  11. Sarthak Anand says

    Hi sir,

    CAT 98.12 | 10th 91.20 | 12th 93.40 | B Tech 78.28 | CAP WAT & PI Good | Fresher | GEM |
    Chances of making it to IIM Ranchi/Trichy?

    Also, I have been waitlisted at 266 by IIM Shillong. Any chances of converting?

    Lastly, I would request you to please list the preference order for IIM Shillong, Ranchi, Trichy, Rohtak, Kashipur, Udaipur and Raipur.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sarthak Anand

    Like

    • Hi Sarthak,

      IIM-Shillong 266 can get converted but you have to wait it out.

      You should be able to convert the new IIMs as well.

      Now to rank the new IIMs will be splitting hairs and honestly there isn’t enough data on these colleges to make a really objective assessment.

      Shillong definitely over the rest of the new IIMs; Trichy and Ranchi seem to have a positive image due to their directors. The rest are still relatively unknown commodities.

      I would advise taking another shot since you are a fresher and the old IIMs and other top schools are definitely worth another go.

      All the best!

      Like

  12. Hi sir,

    CAT 98.12 | 10th 91.20 | 12th 93.40 | B Tech 78.28 | CAP WAT & PI Good | Fresher | GEM |
    Chances of making it to IIM Ranchi/Trichy?

    Also, I have been waitlisted at 266 by IIM Shillong. Any chances of converting?

    Lastly, I would request you to please list the preference order for IIM Shillong, Ranchi, Trichy, Rohtak, Kashipur, Udaipur and Raipur.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Sarthak Anand

    Like

  13. Hello Sir,
    I wanted to know whether or not I should give CAT another shot?
    CAT 2016: 99.46%ile
    Converts: IIM K, MDI, FMS Waitlisted
    Work ex: 8 months.
    87.4/93/78.48 in 10th/12th/Grad from DCE.
    Should I join K this year or give another shot? Also what would I be missing out by choosing K this year?
    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    Like

    • Hi,

      Firstly, congrats on cracking K, MDI and FMS.

      Well the jobs that the old IIMs, A, B, C and L will you a shot at over the other schools are the jobs in Consulting and Finance.

      But you also know that shortlists for these jobs to a large extent depend on your profile.

      For Consulting – brand of graduation college (IITs, NITs) and for Finance relevant education background, work ex or professional degrees such as CFA or CA.

      So if you are really keen on these two sectors then give it another shot, else join K.

      Given your grad marks you know that A,B and C will be a bit difficult unless you score a much higher percentile. So your best shot with another attempt is L.

      Another way of evaluating this is by looking at the brand of your graduation college vis-a-vis the brand of your b-school. It is always best if it is at least equal if not higher.

      IIM-K is a bigger brand than DCE, so by that yardstick also you should take up K unless as I said you want core Fin or Consulting.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Hi Sir,
        Thanks a lot for your response. Due to my grad marks, IIM K was the sole old IIM call for me at 99.46. The season was tense, but thankfully I converted all the interviews I sat for! I really have no inclination to any field. I am going with an open mind as I want to learn about all the sectors first then take a decision. So I guess joining K would be logical. So in regards to marketing and other fields opportunities are same?
        PS: I have been following your blog for almost a year now. I can’t thank you enough. This blog is one of the reasons my CAT score went from 95%ile to 99.46%ile. 🙂

        Like

  14. Rakshit Rana says

    Looks like newer IIMs are not even IIMs and are IIMs only for name’s sake.

    Like

  15. Hi Sir, I am currently pursuing engg in CSE from state engg clg. 10th 88 icse . 12th 91 cbse. No significant extra curriculars… Got 98.4 in cat 2016
    97.6 in iift
    97.89 in xat
    Will convert iift kolkata (current waitlist 126)
    rejected everywhere else.
    I hv job offer from IT company IBM GBS at 3.7lpa
    Should I go for job and give CAT 2017 or settle for iift K.
    I know i can score a big score next yr….

    Like

    • You should definitely look at a re-take since between IIFT-K and the old IIMs there are many other good colleges such as MDI, XL, S.P.Jain etc.

      So I feel given that you are in your FY and have a 98.4 this year you should take up a job and give a another major shot at the CAT.

      It is worth it.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks a lot sir for ur advice. I m also a bit concerned about my interview results….interviews went good but i got rejected.
        Xlri reject
        Mdi 1000 WL
        Iim shillong reject
        Unable to understand what went wrong even after good gdpi

        Like

      • Well I know of people who have had 6 old IIM calls did not convert and then converted the next year. So do not think too much about that at this point, start the re-take prep.

        All the best!

        Like

  16. Snigdha says

    Hello Sir,
    Read your article and i second the thought of choosing a college considering the impact over a longer period of time. Just the average salary over the cost of education shouldn’t be the deciding factor. But i am facing a similar situation and i am confused over whether i should choose iit madras over the newer iims. As i already have 3.5 yrs of exp i dont really feel like dropping this year for a better score next year. Options that i have are iit madras, iim ranchi hr, newer iims. I dont have any special inclination towards any discipline but really confused as to choose which institute. Pls help.

    Like

    • Hi Snigdha,

      I feel that the choice should be between IIT-M and IIM-Ranchi. The newer IIMs (Amristsar, Visakhapatnam etc) you should not bring into the consideration set.

      The choice is thus between a general management degree and HR. The thing with HR is that since it is a very specialised field you will not be able to business side roles later.

      So once you choose HR you cannot go back. So since you are not fully sold on HR it is better you opt for a general management course from IIT-Madras.

      And with 3.5 years of work-ex another shot wont be a good idea.

      All the best!

      Like

  17. Snigdha says

    Got waitlisted at iit kgp which nearly seems impossible to convert 292. Is it wise to not choose brand iim over a longer period as i have heard companies Prefer people from the iims.

    Like

  18. Nihal says

    Dear Sir, I am a DA category student and this year converted IIM K,S,I. Hoping to convert L in subsequent list. What should be my decision. If didn’t able to convert L then which iim to choose between K and I considering every parameters including specialization advantages? So confused between them. I am from a middle class family so it’s a tough decision for me aftr knowing the fees of these older IIMs. Please guide me.

    Like

    • Hi Nihal,

      Between K and I choose K since I has had a bit of a bad reputation in the past few years but apparently things are hopeful now that a new director has come in.

      The reasons to choose K are that I has a much larger batch size with a Mumbai campus as well as the 5-year BBA+MBA program students who study there.

      So given this K will be better and K has a superb campus as well.

      Also since both of them were established only a year apart, there is no difference in the size of the alumni base.

      All the best!

      Like

  19. Nihal says

    Sir, I am not from any IIT, OR NIT. I am a simple graduate with no work ex.

    Like

  20. maxjman says

    Hi Tony,
    I am an IITB Graduate, having a work-ex of 45 months(Technology Consulting). I have converted from IIM Shillong and waiting for IIM Lucknow and NITIE. My 10/12 marks are 68/69.4 and Graduation 7.05. The reason to join MBA is to switch towards more business oriented profile like strategy and operations.
    I have a financial constraints so waiting 1 more year and applying for ISB is not really an option, in top IIMs also because of my acads I will be filtered out by companies, I see NITIE as the best option on the basis of above factors(IIM Lucknow interview went bad so almost no chance of convert), but as per my peers NITIE after IITB will impact my profile. Can you please guide me for the dillema between giving CAT again next year and to get old IIMs/FMS.

    Like

    • maxjman says

      Can you please guide me for the dillema between giving CAT again next year and to get old IIMs/FMS and joining the college this year.

      Like

    • Hi,

      Some questions are easy to handle and some are really tricky and your falls into the latter category.

      Given that you already have 45 months, you will be an outlier in the 2-year program by the time you apply next year. The IIMs would rather have you apply for the 1-year program. So the only option left for next year is FMS, given your academic profile. So CAT again with close to 5 years of experience is not a great idea.

      NITIE after IIT-B is a step down yes, but the best Ops jobs in the country are found there and at S.P.Jain. So as an option it is a safe one given the financial constraints.

      If you are willing to take a risk you should look at ISB next year since they get a lot of consulting jobs and it is a1-year program so your opportunity cost of a year will compensate for the higher fee. But the catch is also that it is a pretty competitive school to get into.

      If you take the GMAT for ISB then it makes sense to apply to the IIMs for their PGPX program as well.

      So, to play it safe join NITIE.

      If you are willing to risk it then GMAT (ISB and IIMs – PGPx) and CAT (FMS) both next year!

      You know that it will not be wise for me suggest one of the two options since it finally depends on your temperament, all I can say is that do not discount the IIT-tag that you already have!

      All the best!

      Like

      • Jitendra Gothwal says

        Thanks you very much for your valuable insight.

        Like

  21. Nihal says

    Thanku Sir for your prompt reply.
    One thing more please enlighten me about placement in K or I for DA candidates? Is there any difficulty getting placed as I am taking whole fee thtough loan.
    Pls guide.

    Like

    • Hi Nihal,

      Placement for DA candidates do not have anything to do with the college, i.e, it is not better at some colleges than the other. Usually at all the top colleges even the DA candidates get placed along with the rest of the batch.

      This article from this year’s placements will shed more light on the same India Inc opens doors wide for differently-abled IIM graduates

      While the article does not mention K in specific, I think the scenario is reflective for most schools since the firms mentioned in the article visit K as well.

      All the best!

      Like

  22. Nihal says

    Thank You very much Tony Sir for your deep concern regarding my our issues. Glad in having an interaction with you.
    Joining K now.
    Would you like to give any advice to me Sir before I land in God’s own Kampus?
    TIA.

    Like

  23. Vidhika says

    Hello Sir,
    I have interest in the field of finance. The two admission letters that I have at present are from IIM Indore and SP Jain Mumbai. My academic record is as under:
    Class X: 91%
    Class XII: 94.33%
    B.Com(H) from St. Xavier’s college, Kolkata (2016): 73.62%
    Work experience: In family business
    What should be my best choice?

    Like

    • Hi Vidhika,

      I am assuming that then choice is between Sp Jain FIN and IIM-I Indore campus.

      Well I feel you will have a better chance at S.P since they will have to get a certain number of FIN firms to place their FIN batch.

      But if you really want to get the best FIN roles, you have to do a CFA, even if you are at IIM-A!

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  24. Mohit Kumar says

    Sir,
    My acads are 10th-91,12th-84.4%,grad-68% and OBC
    I will be writing cat this year.How much should I get for old iims?Will I get call or not even scoring good in cat given low percentage in grad?
    Thanks.

    Like

  25. Priyam says

    Dear Tony Sir,
    I am selected in IIM K and from a below average college during graduation. I am little nervous about what to do preparatory in this almost 2months period so that I may reduce hectic situations somehow during my MBA life.

    Like

    • Hi Priyam,

      Well, firstly congrats!

      Do not fret too much in these two since they are going to be last super free months you will have till your final placements at K are done!

      The only thing you can do though is to learn the basics of how to read and understand Balance Sheets and P&L’s with the help of any friend or family member who has the requisite background, only if this option is not there see if you can learn it online. I am assuming that you are an engineer!

      If you are from a non-Math background then study statistics and probability before you go to campus.

      Either ways some skills that will come in handy are knowing how to make good PPTs in a short span of time. So if you have not made too many PPTs then start making a few to learn the ropes now so that you can hit the ground running on campus.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  26. Mohit says

    I need guidance please help me.My 10th – 88%.12th- 85%.Graduation- 76%.Work exp – 2.5 years.My CAT 16 score is 96.5%, IIFT- 97% , SNAP-99.65.Waitlisted in both IIFT and SNAP , conversion chances are very very slim. Rejeted IITs.
    CAP process was not good . WAT went well but PI was below average.Conversion chances in new IIMs are low .Though it’s too early to ask as results of New IIMs are not out . But is it worth to prepare of CAT 2017 considering my exp by Dec 2017 will be of 3.5 years.My doubt is can i get into top 20 b schools even though I crack CAT with good percentile and also How my work exp going to affect my chances both in admission process and in placement process.

    Like

    • Hi Mohit,

      2.5 years as of now is not too much for a re-attempt, there are people with upto 4 years of experience at the time of joining b-school. So you do not need to worry on the work ex front.

      If you crack a good percentile on the CAT, you can expect about 2-3 calls out of the old IIMs — A will be tough because your graduation percentage is below 80 and they do not give weightage for work ex for the first call. For the rest of the IIMs, you do stand a chance if you

      Like

  27. Kushagr Agarwal says

    Greetings Sir!
    I have a final convert from XLRI(BM), MDI and waitlist(99) in FMS. Since I am a GEM with no work-ex, I don’t have a fair idea about the specialization I want, maybe marketing or finance. I have currently paid the fees for XLRI(it is better than MDI?). If I get FMS, should i leave XLRI and join it?

    Like

    • Hi Kushagr,

      Congrats on the XL convert.

      XL is definitely a much bigger brand than MDI and in terms of placements, on average, it is on par with the best schools in the country.

      I would suggest XL over FMS because one of the big things about an MBA is that the immersive 2-year residential program is supposed to be transformative experience that really improves you as a personally and professionally.

      With FMS the MBA Department will itself be a few buildings in a university and it is not a residential program. So only if finances are a major concern for you and you are looking just at short-term ROI, join FMS, else without a doubt XL since we are comparing two different variables money versus experience, which is finally a personal choice you have to make.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Kushagr Agarwal says

        thank you sir for such a descriptive answer. But isn’t FMS considered better than XLRI in terms of placements as well? And how is the industrial image of FMS. Since it has such high packages, shouldn’t it be reputed as well?

        Like

      • Hi Kushagr,

        When we talk about difference in placements between XL and FMS we are not talking about a huge difference. A difference in average salary of 2 Lakhs or so at colleges with averages in excess of 15 Lakhs or higher are usually a function of a small number of outlier high-end packages. It never really translates into a clear case of every student at college 2L more than every student at every other college.

        FMS and XL have no difference in terms of reputation in the industry, it is not a case of ranks since firms place colleges into groups. For example, ABC might be one group, FMS, L, XL, ISB might be another group, JB, MDI, I and K another and so on just to give an example.

        As I mentioned in my reply, given that all other factors are the same, what you need to look is the big differences – fee and b-school experience. FMS has an unbeatbale advantage over every other college in terms of fees and XL really offers a great b-school experience, given the inter-college sports rivalry between XL and IIM-C and stuff.

        So it will be incorrect on my part of say FMS better than XL or other way around since it is matter of your priorities.

        So you have no choice but to take a call based on what is important for you.

        All the best!

        Like

  28. Divyesh says

    I am confused between IIM Indore and IIT Bombay. My preffered specialisation is either finance or operations. Which institute to go for? My main concern is batch size of IIM Indore. Does IIM as a brand overweigh batch size and location advantage of IIT B.

    Like

    • Hi Divyesh,

      In the shorter-term you might, and it is MIGHT only, get better placements at IIT-B due to the small batch size.

      But over the longer-term when you are looking at other jobs there are two big advantages that IIM-I will give you:

      1.Access to groups such as IIM Jobs with a huge alum base and job notifications, not just of IIM-I but also other old IIMs.
      2.The IIM-I MBA alumni base itself will be much larger than the IIT-B MBA alumni base.
      3.When you apply to jobs, the brand name will carry a huge weight in getting shortlist and the eventual job all other things being equal. Also the more niche or prestigious the jobs the more will the biradiri-system apply (we only recruit from IIMs and such)

      So taking the longer-view there is no doubt that IIM-I will be a better bet.

      All the best!

      Like

  29. Ankur says

    Greetings Sir,
    I want to know how is General management different from a marketing or consulting domain. What would you prefer as placement scenario of general management is too low compared with others?

    Like

    • Hi Ankur,

      Gen. Mgt. is not a domain as much as a recruitment strategy of major Indian conglomerates such as the Tatas, the Aditya Birla Group, the Hindujas and of late firms like Amazon.

      All these firms use the campus recruitment process at major schools as a way of building their leadership pipeline.

      For example I was selected as a Group Management Trainee or GMT at ABG. While they chose me for their Retail Division, the idea is that over a period of time they will consider all GMTs for leadership roles across Group Companies based on their performance. It can be in a different industry or at their corporate office. So since it is a specialised recruitment process – the number of jobs are fewer.

      As far as placement focus goes, no one focuses exclusively on Gen. Mgt. since it is not a domain. For example, you might be interested in Marketing or Operations but will also apply to TAS and ABG to get Marketing or Operations Roles in their group companies.

      Hope this clarifies!

      Like

  30. Gopichand says

    Greetings Sir,

    I got 98.88% (QA/DILR/VA 99.56,99.25,80.70) in CAT 2016. My acads are 94/97/92. Got calls from IIM A(rejected), K (rejected), L ABM (converted – don’t wnat to join), S (rejected), IIT B (waitlist 201) and wating for new iims results. Can you suggest me in choosing IITB or new iims or Should I give one more attempt.

    Like

    • Hi Gopichand,

      How many years of work-ex do you have and is this your first attempt? Can advise based on that.

      Regards,

      Tony

      Like

      • Gopichand says

        I have two years have work experience and this my third attempt. I got 82% in first attempt and 86% in second attempt.

        Like

  31. Uhitha says

    Hello sir,
    I am a dentist, graduated in 2016. I want to pursue MBA with focus on consulting. My academic percentage in BDS is 62 and past academic percentages are 84.6 and 85.7. Please guide me about the best options available and also I want to know if I have any chances with low academic percentages and with a non business and technology background. I am working as junior dentist in a clinic since December 2016.

    Like

    • Hi Uhitha,

      Your big advantage be your education diversity in the case of colleges such as IIM-A where students are grouped by education background and then selected within that group.

      Your graduation marks are on the lower side, so your best bet will be IIM-C among the old IIMs.

      Consulting roles depend upon two things the college you get into and how well you do academically there.

      So give a serious shot, every year there are lawyers, doctors and fashion designers as well who make to the IIMs, so you will not be an exception.

      All the best!

      Like

  32. Anubhab Dutta says

    Hi Sir,

    I have converted NMIMS Mumbai & SIBM Pune. I am interested in Marketing. Can you please tell me which will be the right B-School for me? I have a work ex of 2.5yrs in an IT Company.

    Also can you please compare these 2 colleges with the new IIMs like Ranchi Raipur & Trichy and let me know correct the order of preference.

    I will be grateful if you can help me with the decision to choose the right B-School.

    Thanks,
    Anubhab

    Like

    • Hi Anubhav,

      NMIMS is a bigger brand than SIBM-Pune.I would say that the order should be NMIMS,SIBM-Pune, IIM-Trichy and IIM-Ranchi. The new IIMs are still finding their feet so I would suggest the established schools. Hope this clarifies.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Anubhab Dutta says

        Hi Sir,

        I agree NMIMS is a bigger brand, but dont you think in terms of ROI it is very poor,considering that u would need atleast 23-24lakh overall. Also, does not having a campus affect the MBA experience?

        Between SIBM & Ranchi, I am a bit confused. Both have similar placements according to their placement report.Ranchi has the IIM tag & SIBM has the alumni base. Which one will be beneficial between the 2?
        Please help me clear this confusion.

        Like

  33. Abhijeet says

    Hello Sir,

    Could you please rate all the new iims for finance specialisation.I have converted IIMU & am waiting for other list to be declared.

    Thank you,
    Abhijeet

    Like

    • Hi Abhijeet,

      Honestly very few schools in the country offer pure Finance placements. Most of the colleges show get Fin placements usually offer roles that are Marketing roles in financial institutions.

      So technically none of the new IIMs will get you good Finance jobs on campus, you will have to make to non-fin roles in fin firms and try off-campus after acquiring a CFA.

      So among the new IIMs, Trichy and Ranchi have a good reputation in that order, the rest — any one is as good or as bad as the other; Udaipur has made a big noise about their comps having Bloomberg software but that’s not reason enough to join.

      So my order will be Trichy, Ranchi and then any of the rest.

      All the best!

      Like

  34. Aman Arora says

    Hello Sir

    I have 3.5 years of work ex in IT industry and have 5 options as of Now
    1) IMT ghaziabas marketing
    2) delhi school of economics MBA IB
    3)IIM Sirmaur
    4)IIM jammu
    5)IIM nagpur

    Please answer the below mentioned queries ??

    What should be my order of preference ?

    Will 3.5 years of work ex create issues during placements in marketing ?

    Should IMT be left for IIM tag ?

    And if i join DSE and crack GMAT after doing 1 year of mba ,is it possible to convert ISB at 3.5 years of work ex ??

    Like

    • Hi Aman,

      While IIM-tag is important as I discussed that comes more into play say, when choosing between good private colleges and IIMs such as I and K.

      Do not even consider these baby IIMs.

      I would say the order should be IMT-G first and DSE – MBA IB. I do not have much info about the DSE course, so it would be incorrect to comment.

      In terms of getting pure-play Marketing roles in FMCG firms it will be next to impossible. But you can look at Business Development roles in tech firms such as Amazon, Flipkart and IT Consulting and IT Business Development.

      Hope this clarifies.

      All the best!

      Like

  35. Dear Tony,

    I partially agree with your view that the IIM Tag is immensely important, and people do make exaggerated opinions about IIM grads. However, I don’t quite agree that this adds a lot of weight while looking for jobs. Aren’t the companies’ HRs well versed with the standings of the B-schools and would know better than to give higher weightage to someone from, say, IIMS rather than someone from IITB, NITIE or IIFT? Also I think people use the term “IIM” to generalize the top B Schools even though they are well aware that the new IIMs are non comparable with the old ones or other schools like FMS, MDI or SP Jain.
    Secondly, my long term goal is to start an innovation entrepreneurship in the manufacturing/auto sector and am considering opting for NITIE when compared to the likes of IIMK or IIMs. I am currently having 34 months of experience in a fortune 50 automotive company. I would like your insights on what/how my decision would simulate to in the future please.

    Regards

    Like

    • Hi,

      Well the IIM-tag’s real value might be exaggerated but not always. The more elite the firm, the more elite brand names it would want its employees to be.

      There are companies that do not not visit below A, B, C, and there are those that do not go below the 6 old IIMs. The fact is that it is not just the empty brand, it is because they know that they have a better chance of getting the required skills from a cohort that has cleared a tougher process, for you will admit that it is easier to clear NITIE, IIT-B or IIFT than it is to clear the old IIMs. As someone who has taken all the tests quite a few times and scored well, I can for a fact that attest that clearing a 99 on the CAT is a tougher ask than someone clearing an IIFT in terms of skill as well as handling test-day pressure.

      So it is not just a tag but fact that the person who has made the cut through to the old IIMs has cleared a tougher overall process. Like you mentioned the new IIMs are not upto scratch and cannot be compared with the other top schools.

      And this does not end just here, there are high-end Finance firms that go to IIM-A and look for people with a JEE AIR of 400 or below!

      With respect to your profile, for an Ops guy, the IIMs actually offer limited options when compared to say a NITIE but if you have IIM-K, I suggest you seriously consider it since when you look at getting funding for your own firm, a lot of investors do look at the credentials of the founders. They are as much investing in the person as in the idea and credentials bolster the individual.

      Also since you have auto experience and what you want to do is start your own venture, it is better that you do a generalised MBA that an old IIM offers with specialization in Ops rather than a specialised MBA. The peer group, alum network and the overall learning that you will get will hold you in better stead for your entrepreneurship dream later.

      So short-term Ops placements join NITIE, long-term entrepreneurship – IIM-K, new IIMs at this stage – ignore.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  36. Kshitij says

    Hello Sir,
    I have major converts from Mdi,Sjmsom and Nitie.I have 39 months work ex in IT.
    At this stage I am not sure about branch preference and want to go with open mind.
    Can you please suggest me which college suits my profile.How much is the difference between brand value of sjmsom and mdi?

    Like

    • If you want to go with an open mind with respect to your options then choose MDI since NITIE is better suited for Ops guys with manufacturing experience and SJSOM too to a certain extent has more Ops roles.

      MDI is the older and bigger brand than SJSOM more importantly the overall experience will be better. My students who have done MBA programs at the IITs have said that the MBA Depts. tend be just a couple of buildings in a hug campus and given small batch sizes the overall experience is not that transformative since the MBA is not the main course on the menu at the IIT. At an MDI or any other b-school where the MBA is the flagship program the experience will be quite different.

      So I would definitely say MDI.

      All the best!

      Like

  37. Kshitij says

    And sir I have done my graduation from nit srinagar in electronics and communication and my acads are as follows 10/12/btech/Cat 93.6/85/8.1/98.80

    Like

  38. Shreya says

    Hello Sir,
    I have a work experience of 2.5 months and I don’t have any specialisation preferrence as of now I want to keep my options open. Which college sholud I choose between New IIMS and SJMSOM?

    Like

    • Between new IIMs and SJSOM I would suggest SJSOM since the new IIMs are still very fledglings when it comes to infrastructure, placements, faculty and quality of peer group.

      So take up SJSOM unless you are really willing to settle for a lower options in placements in terms of firms and salaries and want to take a longer-view with the tag on your resume.

      All the best!

      Like

  39. Pratikshya says

    Hi Sir,

    I am currently working in a IT services company and will complete 2 years of experience in June 2017. Cat 2016 was my 2ND attempt and I scored 92.5percentile.
    10th / 12th / B.Tech (from a private college): 95/87/9.3. Currently I earn 7 lpa .

    I have converted new iims and vgsom.
    I’m confused between iim ranchi and vgsom. Although iim ranchi/trichy have iim tag, they were established in 2010 but vgsom in 1993. The current avg package of vgsom is 15.67 and median is 13.4. But I have heard from few current students that in vgsom mainly consulting related profiles come for recruitment. In iim ranchi the avg is 15.2 . Also there is difference in batch size ( vgsom at 140 and ranchi at 160) and fees (vgsom 7.5 n ranchi 13) ..vgsom shows 100% placement n has great campus. Please help me in choosing the college.

    I have not thought about a particular specialization…but it will b something between marketing / operations and finance …or maybe a mixture of all electives …please help on this.

    Plus whatever be the electives , I plan to do cfa/frm from 2ND sem while doing MBA … is it a correct decision ..,? Can it b managed with MBA ? If yes , which one among cfa n frm ?

    Your insights will b very helpful sir.
    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    • Hi Pratikshya,

      You have bought in too many factors. Firstly, why do you want to do a CFA or FRM, is it for FIN Jobs. These are expensive exams that require quite a bit of prep.

      So if you want to build a career in Finance and have no prior background, a CFA or FRM is a must. How to choose between the two you can read this – http://www.wallstreetmojo.com/cfa-vs-frm/

      So if you decide to do one of the two courses, you will get the pure-play Fin jobs off-campus since these firms do not visit either of the campuses.

      So if you do the CFA and will look for Fin Jobs then the IIM-tag will help and join IIM-Ranchi.

      If you are not looking at CFA or FRM and are looking at a general MBA then join VGSOM, due to the lower fee, but since the averages are pretty close, if the loan is not that big an issue in terms of your financial responsibilities, you can choose IIM-Ranchi.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  40. Abhijeet says

    Thank you sir for your prompt reply.Is there a need to submit a gap certificate if we have gap after graduation.

    Thank you,
    Abhijeet

    Like

  41. Anupriya Bhattacharyya says

    Hi Sir,

    I am confused between SIBM Pune & IIM Ranchi. Which one will be better for me? Both are having similar placements as per their placement record. While SIBM has the alumni base, IIM Ranchi has the IIM Tag.

    Please help me to decide which one will be the correct Bschool for me.

    Like

    • Hi Anupriya,

      Of the new IIMs Ranchi and Trichy have the better reputations.

      It is not easy to choose between SIBM and IIM-Ranchi; Marketing accounts for bulk of the placements at both places.

      If you are absolutely risk-averse as a person then choose SIBM, since your have a safer bet as far as short term ROI goes.

      If you have a slightly risk-taking bent of mind then choose IIM-Ranchi.

      Also keep in mind that girl applicants get placed easier on campuses because of the Gender Diversity factor so in terms of placements you need not worry at all on both campuses.

      All the best!

      Like

  42. Nidhi says

    Hi Tony,
    Thank you for such an informational blog.It would be helpful if you could advise me since I am in a dilemma.

    CAT’16 97.13
    Acads(Xth, XIIth, grad) 88%, 77%, 66%
    Female
    Studied Bachelors of Business Economics from an average college of DU
    As of today i have close about 2years and 3months of experience. 10 months as an Operations associate in EY and 15months at a small IT firm managing various things on the Business side.
    I got calls from MDI and New IIMs and have converted MDI HRM(First preference is PGPM which I am hopeful i should be able to get).
    Diagnostic test i took for GMAT got me around 680 and have been kind of an active student co-curriculum wise.

    I really want to drop this year and try again for CAT’17. The reason primarily is to get IIM brand name and compensate for the throughout lacking academic luster. I would be aiming ABCL. But, not sure if i will even get a call due to my poor academic record. If not the top 5-6 B-schools in India I would try to target Universities abroad.
    Assuming i get through MDI PGPM, do you think it would be worth the risk to drop it and try again? One thing I am sure about is that it is Marketing i want to take up.

    Thanks a lot.

    Like

    • Hi Nidhi,

      Firstly, congrats on converting MDI.

      When we talk about ABCL versus MDI for marketing, technically there will be barely any difference in terms of placements, barring one or two biggies. The top 4 IIMs gain a big edge over the rest in terms of jobs in Finance & Consulting (The big Consults do not go beyond ABCL, Xl and FMS). So in terms of placements for Marketing not much to choose between ABCL and MDI barring the brand.

      So if you feel that you deserve to be in the IIMs and that has been your dream then you can give another shot by taking a break. But given your Acads you know your best shot is IIM-C since it does not consider Grad marks.

      I would say for a career in Marketing it is best to look at options in India since this is the one of the biggest consumer markets and in terms of fee and salary you can get a much bigger ROI here.

      Every year I have at least one student who gets through the old IIMs after taking a break. But you should ensure that you do not spend all your time just prepping for the test you need to do things to build your profile as well, you can learn more here —

      If I were you and wanted a career in Marketing, given the Academic profile, I would choose MDI-PGPM now, incase that does not happen I will give another shot.

      Like

  43. Aarav says

    Hello Sir,
    Great article!! Regarding some points you have raised:
    1. So you said, if one hasn’t studied in a national level college he should prefer IIMs over FMS. By this you mean to say one should even choose IIM I and K over FMS? Isn’t this contrary to common perception?
    2. I converted K this year (99.35%ile) (Profile: 89.3/91/76.5), some people were advising me to go only for ABCL,FMS,XL as below these it’s not worth it. Is there some amount of truth to this? If there a significant different between these colleges and K?

    Like

    • Hi Aarav,

      I am getting a lot of questions of this variety this year, so I will do a detailed answer.

      1. I would like to keep IIM-I out of the discussion for the present time since due to their batch size we will not be comparing apples with apples when comparing FMS, I and K. So I would rather bypass I and look at FMS versus K. On the face of it it seems like a no-brainer but then I do not think it is such a straight-forward choice. If you look at it purely from ROI then you should join FMS, no doubt. But the things about FMS or even the IITs is that the experience is not really what one gets a b-school where MBA is not just a dept. or building but the main program around which the whole program revolves. A residential, fully-immersive MBA program is a once in a lifetime experience for those who have not had such an experience at national-level college (for it is not just about hostel life but also the various events that happen on campus) during their graduation. So what we are looking at is a financial ROI versus this experience.

      Everybody loves to watch Steve Jobs’s Stanford speech and knows about connecting the dots, the core idea is about having diverse and rich experiences. So to connect the dots, you need to make the dots in the first place. So if you are someone who does not have the such a grad experience and do not have major financial commitments towards your family then my “personal” advice would be K. If ROI is the only priority then FMS.

      2. Another way to decide this tie-breaker is to look at the domain you want to specialise in and the relevance of your profile for the same. Say you want to get into Finance and Consulting and have the profile for it — CA, CFA, Commerce/Eco for Finance and IITs/NITs for Consulting — then you should choose the others over K and hence give another shot. For roles in Marketing, Ops and IT there is no edge that the others will give you over K. Basically the higher ranked colleges give you a shot at the marquee jobs in Fin & Consulting, provided you have the profile for it.

      If you are an engineer from a non-IIT or non-NIT and are looking at Consulting then the chances of you even getting a shortlist are infinitesimally small.

      If you do not have anything to do with Fin so far then even if you are at ABCL your resume cannot compete with CAs and CFAs and Commerce grads from top schools with work ex. For Engineers, CFA has become a signalling mechanism to indicate their capability for Fin jobs, my student who is part of the placement committee at IIM-C tells me that a there are easily more than 70 people including engineers with a CFA L1 at IIM-C.

      So while there is no doubt that ABCL, FMS, XL are great what also matters is the competitiveness if your profile for the jobs you want at these colleges.

      So yes, there are people who feel that colleges apart from ABCL, XL and FMS are not worth it but the relevance of those statements can be only measured by looking at the worth of their resumes.

      I have heard people say A,B, C or nothing. Well, the topper of my batch at L was a 9-pointer from IIT-Kanpur, he scored in excess of 9.8 at L (so basically A+ all through barring one or two subjects) and is now in a very, very senior role at Amazon India after working with McKinsey. So if he can do an MBA from L and succeed, I feel the others who say A,B,C or nothing should just ask themselves if their profile and more importantly capabilities are better than his and if they can say yes, then most definitely they should look at A,B or C nothing.

      I hope this sheds enough and more light on the matter.

      All the best!

      Like

      • Aarav says

        Thanks a lot sir. You cleared some of doubts I was having. I agree this “ABC only” mentality sometimes becomes too much. I am interested in Marketing so joining K 🙂

        Like

  44. Rohit8693 says

    Sir,
    I have converted SIBM-Pune and all new IIMS -Rohtak,Trichy, Ranchi, kashipur, udaipur and raipur. My profile is 92/76/76 with 34 months of work experience in IT. Can you plz help me in ranking these colleges considering I am not 100% sure on any specialization?

    Thanks in Advance

    Like

    • Hi Rohit,

      You should be choosing between SIBM-Pune, IIM-Ranchi and IIM-Trichy (the rest need not come into the picture)

      With 34 months in IT, you will get roles IT Consulting, IT Business Development, IT Operations, with Technology firms such as Microsoft and Google, and e-commerce firms.

      All of these roles will more or less be available at all the three colleges.

      SIBM will be the safest bet in terms of peer group, placements and infra and the IIMs will get you the tag.

      So if you are very risk-averse, then join SIBM-Pune, else you can choose either Ranchi or Trichy there is very little to choose between them.

      All the best!

      Like

  45. Anil says

    Dear sir,
    The batch size of IIMK is almost 385 but in final placements they show it near about 356. Wht is this difference all about? Do the rest are failed or just they walked out of placements?? This is the case with every institute I would say.

    Like

    • Hi Anil,

      You guessed right about the reason for the discrepancy between the batch size and the students sitting for placements. Surviving the academic rigour at the IIMs ais not easy and every year across IIMS there are on average around 20-30 students who either voluntarily leave since they are unable to handle the pressure or fail to meet the academic requirements and are hence asked by the administration to repeat the course from the next year; the latter is a greater number than the former. Even among those who are asked to repeat not everyone comes back and repeats since some of them feel that they will not be able compete or they are not cut out for an MBA.

      Even from my batch of 240 at L, only around 220 graduated.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  46. Abhijeet says

    Hello Sir,
    I have converted IIM-U and IIM-T.I want to get into financial markets and become an investor.I have the following queries.
    Q.1 I wanted to get into IIMs because i wanted to work in equity research and other core finance profiles for a year or two and then start investing on my own.But the new iims don’t have companies offering those profile.So i am opting out of them.Does this make sense?
    Q.2 I have descent score in CET and would get into a descent Bombay college.From pure learning prospective how would an MBA help me in becoming an investor?I have asked a few seniors and they told me that an MBA doesnt teach you anything about investing apart from few finance basics.How true is this?
    Q.3 Finally keeping in mind my plans should I be joining an IIM or do my MBA from Mumbai since keeping my requirements in mind they both offer the same value?
    Thank you sir.I know the questions are vague but i would really appreciate your answer.

    Like

    • Hi Abhijeet,

      Well if your goal is solely to become an investor then an MBA might be too expensive an option for the same. You can do some reading up on your own, follow the markets & pink papers to start investing.

      If your goal is to work in the financial markets then you need to do an MBA, which will get you roles in Finance.

      Not just new IIMs, very few schools in the country offer good roles in Fin, so rule them out as options.

      Out of the Bombay schools, you need to look at the placement reports and speak to students there to find out where the roles you are looking at are available on those campuses.

      Hope this clarifies.

      All the best!

      Like

  47. Gopichand says

    Greetings Sir,

    I got 98.88% (QA/DILR/VA 99.56,99.25,80.70) in CAT 2016. My acads are 94/97/92 and general category. I have two years have work experience and this is my third attempt. I got 82% and 86% in first and second attempts. Got calls from IIM A(rejected), K (rejected), L ABM (converted – don’t want to join), S (rejected), IIT B (waitlist 90 – present status) and Nagpur – converted. Looking for finance profile. Can you suggest me in choosing IITB or new iims or Should I give one more attempt.

    Like

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