B-School Selection
Comments 85

The New & Baby IIMs?

It is that time of the year where I keep getting queries around X versus Y versus Z and there are two extremes between which most queries fall

  • I want to give another shot at A-B-C despite having L, XL
  • I am confused between new & baby IIMs and NMIMS/SIBM

The hunger for an IIM depicted at both the extreme ends.

The first one is a psychological problem for many and a real problem only for a few (if you want to me to write about why A-B-C or nothing is not a great idea at all, then let me know through the comments, and I’ll do a post on the same).

The second one is at the other end where the visions of a tag blur every other sense of reality.

In this post, I’ll try to go through criteria that you should use while taking a call involving admits from the new and the baby IIMs and other premier schools.

But before that a bit of context on two ingredients necessary for a b-school to deliver the desired outcomes for its students, which is great placements — a large network of well-placed alumni and a great economy.

It takes at least 15 years for a b-school to become a brand that delivers results

The government’s job ends at sanctioning and IIM and allocating funds for setting it up, period. The proof of the pudding — the placements of an IIM (or any top b-school) — are completely student-driven.

And the single biggest way of attracting recruiters is through the alumni network. This is what my student who graduated from IIM-U this year and was part of the placement committee had to say when comparing IIM-U and SIBM-Pune with respect to placements.

Placement scenario in a campus can be directly linked to the alumni strength it has. The older the institute is, the stronger will be its alumni network and these alumni will help bring companies to the institute. SIBM Pune has a clear advantage of the alumni network because it was established in 1978. That’s a network aging close to 40 years. However, IIM Udaipur was established in 2011, which means as of 2020, the alumni network is only 8 years old.

Basically, if alums are working in senior roles, they can play a role in their firms visiting your campus. So for placements to be great across sectors you need alums to have spread out across sectors and to have reached senior positions. How long will it take for this to happen — at least 15 to 20 years. In the initial years of a college, all the recruiters from all the sectors will not be visiting a campus. The alums after they graduate would have over a period of time and over mutiple batches moved across sectors to firms that do not visit the campus.

So the tag, in the long run, will be built by you guys, joining now, spreading as across corporates and reaching influential positions. It is the college that stands to benefit from you building the new IIM brand as well as your juniors a few decades down the line.

The economy has to at least double for the new & baby IIMs to deliver the value of the IIM brand

The IIMs were not really sought after schools until after 2000; the CAT itself had fewer than a lakh takers.

What happened in that period between 2000 and 2007 when CAT takers went from under a lakh to around 2,70,000?

The economic reforms that started in the early 90s started showing results and the economy took off. The growth in the economy meant a huge demand from the side of firms to capitalize and manage this growth and this meant a huge demand for management graduates from premier schools for all sorts of roles from Consulting to Sales & Marketing. The newspapers went to town putting up the figures of the high-salaries paid to IIM grads and as you know there is nothing that attracts our middle-class to a test, like flies to honey, than money. So much so that an IIM-L grad from Bihar got kidnapped (supposedly not for ransom but to be a groom) and since then IIM-L does not publish salaries.

Even this growth did not mean that there were great Fin and Consulting jobs available at L when I was graduating since the capital markets and the economy were nowhere close to the size they are right now whereas for all the other sectors there was no difference between A, B, C and L. It was not that there no Fin jobs but they were few and firms did not think it was worth the effort to travel to L to hire just a few. Even for McKinsey, my batchmates had to travel to Mumbai for the interviews

My batchmates who were CAs got Marketing jobs on campus but moved to Mumbai and got the Fin jobs they wanted. Now that the economy and the capital markets have grown by leaps and bounds, and alums are well-placed, L has a respectable share of Fin jobs.

From 6 the number of IIMs has now grown to 20 and unless the economy at least doubles, the new & baby IIMs will not be able to deliver the kind of jobs that an IIM brand has to deliver.

If the economy grows at 10 per cent for the next 5 years then you can expect the new and baby IIMs to vastly benefit from the same. But if it continues to show the tepid growth, which the current pandemic will further undercut, then the new and baby IIMs will remain distant cousins but not direct siblings of the old IIMs and not really compete with the established private schools (with whom you are currently comparing and having to choose)

But what about learning?

Learning for the sake of learning is great if the cost of the education is not much but when you are faced with a hefty bank loan you expect that there will be learning as well placements, you cannot settle for one.

Also, I have no idea about the quality of the faculty at each of these schools, so without talking to the student body and getting first-hand information one cannot assume that there will be quality faculty everywhere; being mentored by one or the other old IIM matters only so much (syllabus design, textbooks) since it is finally the teacher who walks into the classroom that matters.

None of this means you should not join a new IIM

One of the things that has always held me in good stead, given the nature of my work, are my critical reasoning skills — I never lose track of the argument.

Am I arguing that you should not join the new or baby IIMs at all? NO.

All I am saying that between established private schools and the new & baby IIMs, choose the private schools especially in a downturn since these schools have been preferred recruiting campuses for years now and in tough times firms maintain the oldest relationships — if two schools are both over a 20 years old then you can look at the other stats.

If you have an admit only from the baby IIMs, it makes sense to take up the admission only if

  • it is only admission you have,
  • you are a fresher or work-ex candidate (from a college only known in your state) with no placement or a job under 5 LPA, and
  • you do not think that you can improve your percentile by giving one more shot.

If you still feel bullish — the tag, the tag — go ahead and join but ask yourself these questions first.

Does the school attract the kind of firms you want to join and at the salaries you aspire to?

You should not go in expecting the moon and then find that all you have is a rock from space. So firstly be honest as to the kind of role, firm, and salary that you will be happy with. Then go ahead and do a proper check on the school’s website and speak to the current batch as well.

Does the school have a fully-functional campus?

One cannot really have the proper MBA experience out of a makeshift campus. Some of the schools have a fully functional campus and thus edge out the others. The only instance when campus should not matter is when the economy is roaring and the best firms are dying to recruit.

Are you a highly-positive, action-oriented, community-loving person?

All the energy and life of a new IIM is generated by the students on campus. You are the life-blood that the recruiters will encounter, you are people who will be representing the school at various competitions. So if you are a positive person, who tends to make the most of things, will actively take up many activities on the campus such as being part of committees and staff, and always like to keep the group around you happy, then go ahead and join a new IIM since you are likely to be one of the A-listers on campus and stand out in your cohort.

All of my students who have done well even at programs such as IIM-L-SM or at programs such as IIM-U are those who are really positive & driven, took up many initiatives on campus, have great interviewing skills, and most importantly do not whine at all.

If you are passive, expect to be a passenger on the ship who will be taken to a destination and are only bothered about reaching there — your placement, your CTC, your dream firm — then you are better off not joining a new or a baby IIM, join an established private school that will give you a decent placement.

Which ones to choose among the new and the baby IIMs

Firstly, I do not know anything about the baby IIMs.

IIMs  — Amritsar, Bodh Gaya, Jammu, Nagpur, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Visakhapatnam are so far just names of places. They are several rungs below the new IIMs — will there be a difference between an eight-year-old kid and a three-year-old, yes, a world of difference, can they be compared, absolutely not. To choose among the baby IIMs you might as well toss a coin.

More importantly, it might not be wise at all to join a baby IIM in this economic climate, things are tough for a new IIM, and this just compounds the misery many times over.

The phrase splitting hairs has been invented especially for differentiating between the new IIMs Kashipur, Rohtak, Raipur, Ranchi, Trichy, Udaipur. Shillong has a marginal advantage over these by a couple of years. To choose among the other new IIMs use the first two parameters listed above — placement reports and campus infrastructure.

And if you want to compare them with any other school, say VGSOM or IIT-D just do the same thing, check out the infra and the placement reports and choose the better one.

Also, bear in mind that when the economic situation worsens, recruiters will maintain their oldest relationships, they are under no obligation to recruit from the new or baby IIMs just because the government established them.

As of now the letters IIM prefixed before the new and baby schools, are only three letters, it will take a decade of your hard work to make it a TAG.

All the best!

P.S: This is purely my evaluation, based on my core premise — the economy is not big enough to support so many IIMs — feel free to join any school based on any other premises — even the old ones were established when the economy was small (my response — but there were no management schools then and the country needed a bare minimum, no economy can do with zero), every school has to start somewhere, this is nation-building for the future (my response — if you are confident that the Indian economy is poised for another take off in the next 5 years, please go ahead)

P.P.S: The featured image of the Philip Exeter Library designed by Louis Kahn, watch this documentary if you know who he is and haven’t watched it yet, or watch it anyway. This is just a way of sharing my love for libraries, campuses, and architecture.

Exeter 2

Exeter 1

Exeter 5Exeter 7


  1. Nishant says

    Hello sir,
    The post was really insightful and has given me a clear picture of things. But just had a quick query.
    I have 24 months of workex till now and have a job in hand.
    94/95/74 are my 10th/12th/grad scores.
    scored 93 percentile this time and I think i can improve a lot.
    I have converted all baby IIMs. My question is looking at the workex I have, is it fine to take another shot for CAT or should i settle for baby because there’s speculation that economy might recover by 2022 when we pass out. Would really be helpful if you could guide me on this.



    • Hi Nishant,

      It should be clear from my post that baby IIMs will not deliver the results close to a new IIM in a normal market, so in 2022 the economy will be recovering I do not think it will be wise to be graduating from a baby IIM.

      The only reason to join will be if your current salary is under 5L (so a 10L salary post-MBA is okay), and you feel there is no way you can get a higher percentile next time in CAT or any other test.

      I would definitely advise another shot.

      Baby IIMs are best for freshers with nothing much to lose.

      All the best!


  2. Sharath says

    Sir ,
    This post cleared the dilemma of choosing a college between New IIM vs IITs,Thanks a ton for that. I am in another dilemma presently. I have got a 94% and have converted all Baby IIMs and New IIMs (Raipur,Kashipur). Also converted VGSOM (IIT KGP). I have a 27 Months workex from a Top MNC. I had quit my job in Ctober 2019 for cat 2019, now I do not have a job in hand and getting it is difficult at this time due to pandemic. Should I go for Cat 2020 ( With a gap year and by the time interviews happen it will be 14-15 months of gap) or go with VGSOM/ IIM Raipur ??
    I think i can score a lot better as that score was due to my 2.5 months preparation and a mere 81% in verbal ( Quant and LRDI 98+%) . Please comment if GAP year affects the interviews ?? Have any of your previous students with GAP year converted OLD IIMs,SP,FMS,IIFT,etc ??


  3. Shitij Agarwal says

    As mentioned in this post, I request you to tackle the psychological/status problem of A-B-C vs L-XL/nothing that many MBA aspirants and even top B school converts face. I would personally want to calm myself and others who keep asking me about getting into XL and not A-B-C! Thanks a lot in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sonam says

    Hello Sir,

    As you have mentioned about the benefits of networks and alum base for an old private institute over a new IIM, but if it were such a big factor then the private old institutes should have had much better placement reports than New IIMs even before this COVID situation, which I guess is not the case!
    Actually I had planned to go for IIM U, but now when I’m closing in on it, I’m getting second thoughts like placements after 2 years, loan burden, IIM tag and experience or not etc.. And now it’s even more confusing then before 😦 .


    • Hi Sonam,

      If you have only the new IIMs then join, baby IIMs are a big risk.

      And yes, private schools such as NM and SIBM have better placements than the new IIMs, in terms width and breadth of visiting firms, even before COVID, what makes you think otherwise.

      So, if you do not have any other option apart from IIM-U join it. If you have a good private school option join that.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rahul verma says

    Hii sir,
    Sir i am.in final year student of b.com.hons . From.delhi university…..given cat 2019 but didnot converted any college….cat 2020 will be my 2nd attempt….sir i am.able to score good marks in mocks now but issue is that my profile is not good…..my 10/12/grad are 82/72/65…b.com.hons…..fresher…….nc obc…..i have also done digital.marketing certification from google….sir i am confused what specialisation should i choose….between marketing and finance……personally i want finance but some people says that my profile is not good due to poor acads and professional course…..sir plz tell me how can i build my profile for marketing and for finance seprately….and which specialisation will be best for me…..considering the job profiles and package i can get upon my profile…..??? Plz sir help.me..


    • Hi Rahul,

      More than which specialisation will be best for you, you should look at the specialisation that you will be good at.

      While your marks are poor and that means that it will be easier if you choose Marketing that does not mean that you should take it up if you do not have the aptitude for it.

      Attend the second part of the specialisations webinar tomorrow, learn about profile requirements for Finance and then take a call.

      All the best!


      • Saurabh says

        Sir Can You Please Suggest if taking admission in IIM Sirmaur tourism and hospitality management would be good or not ( Given that I have not done my bachelor’s in tourism and hospitality) ?


      • Hi Saurabh,

        I have absolutely no clue about the course and its prospects since I personally do not know of people who have taken up the course.

        Your best bet is to speak to people currently in the course.

        All the best!


  6. Amit says

    Hi Sir,

    The article lays emphasis on the age of the B-school from a placement PoV. I have converts from IIM-L(ABM), IIM-I, MDI and SPJ. From this perspective, coupled with a long term and short term view for career progression, and industry perspective which would be the best institute to join? Thanks!


  7. Kartik Vishwakarma says

    Hi Sir,
    I have been following you for quite some time now.
    Right now,I have been waitlisted in baby and new IIMs, so I was pondering over the same issues that you have mentioned.
    I have no work ex and already have a year gap.
    Now if I don’t get the final conversion what should I do?
    I don’t have any issue in giving CAT again, but there are no new jobs in the market.It could create a 2-year gap in my resume.


    • Hi Kartik,
      For now all you can do is wait for the wait lists to move. If you convert any of new IIMs, join. If it’s a baby concert then you have to may be take risk and join since that will be less riskier overall for your career when compared to another shot.

      What if you fail to convert both, well in the current situation it is best to wait out that what if till the results are out.

      I know it must be horrible but hold on, it might not be over yet.

      All the best!


  8. Kartik Vishwakarma says

    Hi Sir,
    I have been following you for quite some time now.
    Right now,I have been waitlisted in baby and new IIMs, so I was pondering over the same issues that you have mentioned.
    I have no work ex and already have a year gap.
    Now if I don’t get the final conversion what should I do?
    I don’t have any issue in giving CAT again, but there are no new jobs in the market.It could create a 2-year gap in my resume.


  9. Jaideep Chauhan says

    Hi, The article was very well written and it cleared a lot of doubts for me. Can you please also provide a comparison between private schools like XLRI/MDI even IIFT with old IIMs relating to the current environment – Pandemic, economy etc? Because in this article you mentioned these private schools in the second bucket with new and baby IIMs.

    Asking this question because I have converted PGPM in MDI and IIFT-K

    Thank you!


  10. Nihar says

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for such an insightful post. I feel particularly lucky when google news feed automatically suggested this article today.

    Sir, could you please share your thoughts on IIML pgpsm. I have about 4 years(little less) of experience in IT and my next best convert is IIM Nagpur while being waitlisted in some new IIMs.
    I am particularly concerned about the kind of role people get there. Although their placement reports show that roles were offered for various general management roles as well. Please help me understand if this course is going to limit my options. How difficult it would be to get into core management roles other than sustainability – in the college or outside.
    Would it be wise to take a clue from ABM courses offered in Lucknow or some other colleges given PGPSM would be offered in a different campus and placement process would also be different.


    • I have a student who did the PGPSM course and he is very happy with the course and the outcomes. But as I wrote in the article he is super positive person.

      I have asked him to write a post on the course, unfortunately he is in the middle of a major assignment related to COVID, if he writes I will post that.

      Meanwhile, you can cross-check with other students who have done the course.

      As I wrote in the post, if you all you need is a good break and you are someone who makes things happen, join.

      All the best!


  11. Ashok B says

    Hi sir,
    Excellent article yet again. So I have converted IMT-G FT. I also have IIM Kashipur and may convert Raipur in the subsequent lists. I have an experience of 2+ years in a bank and a profile of 9/7/6 with 96.93 in CAT. I graduated in 2017, and resigned this February, so can’t put this off any longer. Not really inclined towards marketing, as I intend to pursue finance. Could you juxtapose IMT-G with the above mentioned new IIMs.

    Another thing I’d like to ask you is, considering we and the economy get back on track by 2023, when do you see the new IIMs overtaking SIBM P and NMIMS M ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ashok,

      As I wrote you have to drill down the stats between the two before making a decision. The overall reputation of IMT-G has not been great over the last few years.

      Just to be comparable in terms of placements, the new IIMs will take at least 10 more years. You should not forget the locational advantage that both of them enjoy.

      Also, step back and take a logical look at it, these are established private schools and there are not that many great ones among them either — MDI, SP, NM, SIBM — for 7 new schools to all over these 4 will not be possible.

      The day the same brands visit both campuses and offer the same salaries we can compare them and for that, as I said the economy has to double, and for that, it has to grow at bare minimum 8 per cent for 9 years — the last did we did something even close to that was the 5-year stretch from 2003 to 2007.

      All the best!


  12. itsprakash95 says

    Sir I am an engineering graduate with 14 months of workex in IT Industry. I am confused to choose among TAPMI and IIM Sambalpur.


  13. itsprakash95 says

    Sir I am an engineering graduate with 14 months of work ex in IT field, I am confused to choose among TAPMI and IIM Sambalpur.


    • I have no clue or information about IIM Sambalpur. Honestly, as I mentioned in the blog, if I were a student I wouldn’t risk joining a baby IIM right now, TAPMI anyday.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ashok B says

    Yes, between the established private institutes and the new IIMs, the private ones seem to be doing much better as of now. But, I’ve seen IMT’s reputation take a beating, and as it’s a diminishing brand and the new IIMs are a growing brand and will complete a decade of existence when I join, I’ve decided to go ahead with IIM Kashipur or Raipur for now, ahead of my option of IMT Ghaziabad.
    I don’t think the initial placement will be very good if I’m not in the top quartile of my batch, but I think I can leverage my experience and brand of the IIM and the network that comes along with it, to further my career down the line.
    Do you think this is a fair assessment?


  15. Varshith says

    Hi Sir,

    I am a GEM with 24 months experience and a score of 98.5 in CAT 19(first attempt) and acads of 70% throughout. I could convert only IIM Sirmaur and Wailisted in 3 New IIMs and selected in MDI-PGP. I also quit my job. But I am not able to join anywhere as my heart is not accepting to go in as I hardly prepared and got 98.5 and am confident I can improve quite a lot. What do you suggest ?


  16. Imon Konar says

    Hello sir,
    This post really helped me to know regarding the baby IIMs. I am just new to this area, the area of MBA, CAT, b-schools and other related subjects. I am a 1st year B.COM student and I have just started my CAT preparation almost one and half months ago. I just wanted to know what you meant by the term ‘fully functional campuses’ and ‘make-shift campuses’ and how will it affect my choice while choosing any kind of b-school?


    • Hi Imon,

      Glad you found the posts useful.

      Since I was talking about the new and baby IIMs I mentioned fully functional campus. When they were started most of them did not have a campus of their own and students were studying in the campus of another college in the city and staying outside while the campus was getting built. And once some portion was ready, say the academic bloc classes started there. By fully functional I meant that there is no pending construction work and classes and accommodation are in the college’s own new campus only.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!


  17. Abhishek says

    Not fair at all to put all baby or all new IIMs in one bracket. Among new IIMs Ranchi, Udaipur and Trichy are doing awesome and are comparable to NMIMS. You can’t form perceptions with the placement reports of the yesteryears. The quality of placements and the FMCGs visiting NM have been going down each year. For finance, it was a never a mecca. Among baby IIMs, Nagpur and Vizag are doing good and are comparable to XIMB, IMTG. Your argument gets contradicted by the fact that with every passing year IMTG is losing out on great marketing firms. It is no more a marketing college but a college specialising on IT placements with roles like Pre sales, PM etc. on abundance. On the other hand, I would just name few of the profiles offer for a baby IIM like IIM vizag for a batch of 120 for you to decide- the JMP Program of Bosch, Franklin Templetons Future Associate leadership program with a CTC of 20 plus, Yes Bank’s YPEP program, Berger Paints, Deloitte, Amul, KPMG and many more. I interned at Cloudtail with folks from IIM ABCL with a monthly stipend of 85,000 and a stay at a five star hotel after having studied at IIM Vizag. My project was to devise a discounting model before the Great Indian sale on Amazon. I could not bag a PPO but I am working with the consulting arm of Capgemini- Capgemini Consulting and interact with CXOs of fortune 500s each day. As I said, good to have analysed the placement reports of a few colleges before putting them in a standardized bucket and advising students based on outdated info.


    • Hi Abhishek,

      I can understand that from where you are looking at it might seem like I have gone at the new and baby IIMs with a hammer but that was not the intention.

      Well, just to clarify, I get a raft of queries with the one or more of the new and baby IIMs on the one hand and the private schools and the IITs on the other. So given the number of permutations and combinations in terms of X versus Y that are possible and most importantly given that the students joining this year will be graduating into a less than perfect economy, in the short-term. My goal was to provide a tool for evaluation and a longer-term perspective and not a short-term vote for one against the other.

      Firstly, I have never included IMT-G or XIM-B anywhere and I do not consider them part of the established private schools’ list. In fact, if you read one my replies to one of the comments on this post, I have mentioned that IMT-G’s rep is on its way down. So yeah, my argument is not that IMT-G and XIM-B are superior to the new or baby IIMs.

      I have also nowhere mentioned in the article that NMIMS is the mecca for Finance and hence should be chosen over the new and baby IIMs for that reason, but having said that NM still does get a decent share of Finance roles. And in the past, I have asked students looking at non-finance roles to choose SIBM over NM since the campus is infinitely better.

      As far as Ranchi, Udaipur, and Trichy doing awesomely well, yes among the new IIMs they are doing well but I directly checked with my students who are part of the placement teams at these schools to compare them with SIBM-Pune and NMIMS specifically and they would not put their hand out and say the outcomes are comparable.

      I have heard good things about Udaipur, Ranchi, Trichy, Nagpur and Vizag but there 9 others and I get queries about Sirmaur as well!

      So, if you notice, I had asked the students to do their due diligence with respect to specific new and baby IIMs, check the placement stats to see if the colleges provide the outcomes they are looking for if the campuses are fully established, and also mentioned that they just cannot go there and expect to be served things on a platter and that they need to be really positive and hustle well to get their desired outcomes.

      To give the students a ring-side view, I have asked my students from these schools to write guest posts about their experience; today I put one up from someone who graduated this year IIM-U and tomorrow there is going to be one by a student from IIM-L-SM.

      Unfortunately, I haven’t had a student who graduated from IIM-V and it will be great if you could write a piece detailing your experience, it would be of help to a lot of students.

      Thanks a lot for the information that you have shared.

      All the best!


      • Abhishek says

        Hi Tony, you are right on all your points. When you say established B schools, some aspirants might include IMI, IMT, XIMB too and hence I think may be it’s best to have a post on the established B schools you talk about. Yes, SIBM P is far better than any new IIM. NMIMS too if you exclude the last 50/40 percentile.

        Also. My intention was that someone like you who was an alum and now a mentor should actually go on an analyse the reports of these IIMs. May be there are things to differentiate. Only you can let us know!

        I would love to write a piece over my alma mater over the weekend. Let me know how to/where to and what all viewpoints you want to capture. Thanks!


      • Glad to know we are more or less on the same page.

        One of the reasons I do not go ahead and break down the numbers and suggest one college over the other is that a b-school offers only a platform, it is up to the candidate to make the most of it (based on his profile).

        So despite the numbers, such as average salaries and batch-size, I will always choose L over XL since I know I can finish in the top one-third of the batch, get great options and the tag. But another person choosing it on my recommendation might not end up with the same options and when that happens they end up blaming the choice.

        So I would rather broadly state my criteria, put colleges into broad groups, and then make them evaluate the numbers in specific tie-breaker cases since a lot of them are looking for an easy way out or rather to fire a gun putting it on someone else’s shoulders. In addition, especially for the new schools, I try to get students to write pieces.

        You can write one along the following lines by breaking it into parts:

        1. Your profile, and state of mind at the time of taking a call — this is the position most readers will be right now.
        2. The rationale (need not be fully logical or number-based it just has to be how you took the call — instinct or knowing it is a risk but what the heck)
        3. The two-year experience — the things that worked or did not work at various levels: teaching, campus, the whole out of class experience, the things you took up etc.
        4. Summer and Final experiences and a short slice of placements from a broad profile perspective — batchmates with 2 years of work-ex in It got roles in etc etc. (this whole part is your call)
        5. Concluding remarks

        You can write the piece and send it to me at tony@imsindia.com and I will upload it on the blog.

        I do not edit the actual pieces since they should like they are written by another person. If want to add any pictures of the campus etc, you can.

        It will be great if you can do it over the weekend since it is around the time most people have to send their acceptance letters.

        IIM-V is your alma-mater and Vizag is the city I was born and raised in; I stayed there until I finished my graduation, and goes without saying that it has a very special place in my heart. It is no longer my since my parents moved back to their home state of Kerala.



  18. Hi sir..
    Could you please give your opinion between IIM-sambalpur and KJ SIMSR.? For Finance.

    This was my last attempt….!


  19. ragavsoni95 says

    Hi sir,
    Please give your opinion if one has to choose between KJ SIMSR & IIM-sambalpur. For finance.
    CAT-19 was the last attempt.


  20. raghav9191 says

    Hi sir,
    I am a GEM with 16 months workex, confused between KJ SIMSR and IIM-Sambalpur.
    For Finance.
    Cat-19 was the last attempt.


    • Hi Raghav,

      I honestly have no clue about IIM-Sambalpur since I do not have any first hand opinions from a student.

      Please check the placement stats and take a call. KJ is a decent school.

      All the best!


  21. Abhishek says

    Hi Tony,

    Yes, I have always been on the same page as your viewpoints, thats why I read your posts even after two years of graduating. I really loved your piece on HR vs regular MBA- I haven’t seen anyone put a better differentiation for aspirants to decide between the two. I believe that fact that you graduated not too long ago and also worked for two years in sales helps your analysis to be close to what aspirants may need. You also see the placements and alumni angle more than things like brand or ROI and it is a fact that the former two will shape someone’s career more.


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  23. ankit raj says

    Hi Sir,
    I’ve offer from IIM Sambalpur(NC-OBC) and currently in waitlist for IIM Bodhgaya. I’ve total experience of 4.5 years in IT. I’m looking forward for Business Analytics as I’ve interest in it and have relevant IT experience in supporting my decision. But I’m unable to jump onto conclusion whether to join it or not.
    My academics are average with 10th/12th/Grad as 87/76/68.
    I’ve received multiple awards on past and current organization. I’ve received appreciation for proposing business idea to client and was fairly accepted and implemented by client too.
    Please suggest your insight whether it’s beneficial to join iim or not. I’m unable to came to conclusion if people of my experience will find suitable job in baby iim’s or not. I understand with ongoing current covid situation I may not end up getting a decent package job but taking 5 years into consideration will I be able to end up in good position.
    I wish to continue for MBA but your insight will be more helpful for me taking my final decision.
    Please do share your honest review/feedback.
    I went through your blog and it seems your preferred not to join Baby IIM’s, but I’ve only this offer in my hand.


    • Hi Ankit,

      I have not mentioned anywhere that you should not join baby IIMs at all. I have listed some conditions — research the visiting firms and salaries and if it is okay for you, you should be a highly positive energetic person who will make thins happen.

      If both of these conditions are met then go ahead and join.

      All the best!


  24. Pakshal Shah says

    Hello Tony Sir,
    I am Pakshal Shah from IMS Ahmedabad- CAT 2019 Batch. I am inclined towards finance and want to watch the webinar about careers in finance.
    I was not able to attend that webinar yesterday because, simultaneously I was attending the other webinar of How to Make most of YOUR MBA. Can you please send me the link of the webinar and other webinars conducted by IMS.
    Also how much time it takes to upload a video after a webinar is conducted.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Pakshal Shah


  25. scepticsagar says

    Hii Tony sir,
    I’m Sagar from IMS Varanasi.
    I saw you in the LMTC.
    Ahh…you recommended us to solve sudoku..since then I’m solving sudoku and I also hold a record of 1 minute 35 seconds. Anyway, coming to the point.
    My academics are 91.2/84/60.
    I completed BA from BHU in 2019.
    I appeared in CAT 19 and as of now I’ve cleared IIM Jammu.
    Also I’m being wait listed in Bodh Gaya, Raipur, Kashipur and Ranchi HRM.
    Not very optimistic about the conversion.
    Can you please take me out of the dilemma whether I should join IIM Jammu or I should give another shot (CAT20).
    Yes, I’m confident for another attempt but I will be having gap of 2 years by then still no work ex.
    What’s your take on this ?
    Shall I join this year or give another shot ?
    Any suggestion will be appreciated a lot 😊


  26. Pingback: My MBA Journey: IIM-Visakhapatnam | The CAT Writer

  27. SRIYA says

    Hello sir,
    I am Sriya. I want to know the scope of doing MBA in Business Analytics with comparison to MBA in core. Will I be able to grow my career as other MBA students? Are there many career opportunities? Sticking to one specific field will narrow my path or are there any advantages in itself?
    Sir, kindly help me in taking decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sriya,

      Analytics is a relatively new field and I’d be lying if I pretend to know more than you. One thing is for certain that as a field it will grow in India very similar to the way It services grew. We will become the Analytics services back-end of the world and firms such as MuSigma and LatentView are already doing quite well.

      If you do this course it will help you get good roles and provide growth opportunities within the sector since it is not as if the field has a lot of specialized managerial talent pool.

      Having said that will this MBA translate into General MBA roles, it is way too early to say that.

      So it is your call as to what you choose, there is no one better than the other, finally, it is about what you are good at and what you are interested in.

      All the best!


  28. Hello Sir,
    Thank You for the post.
    I don’t have any questions.
    I just have one suggestion.
    It feels like the new IMS test interface has degraded instead of getting upgraded.
    Following are some of the points that made me say that:
    1) we don’t get sectional scores after completing the mock during the proctored period which we earlier used to get.
    2) We cannot login using mobile browser and hence not able to review the attempted paper on our mobile phones.
    3) The analytics tab is not working properly.
    These are some of the points which many IMS students feels and that’s why finds the old IMS test interface better.
    It would be of great help, if you could look into this matter and resolve this issue.
    Thank You.


    • Hi Pranjal,

      As I had replied to your earlier query, the changes will reflect once the review of SimCAT 3 begins tomorrow. We will be doing a deployment after test-taking window closes tonight.

      All the features such as sectional scores in score-card after the test, the top 10-percentiler stats, the ease of viewing solutions in the review player, the topper stats of every question in the review player will be there.

      You will also get some new stats (time-taken analysis) and a new feature (in the detailed analysis TAB) that I am sure will help students a lot.
      So it will be everything that was there plus a few more stats and features (all of these will be available for Sim 1 and 2)

      There are a few other changes such as allowing people to skip questions in LEARN module, and navigating back and forth between questions in the LEARN Module that will be completed in July. The new stats will be available on the mobile by July end as well.




  29. Madhur Bhat says

    Hello Sir,
    I have admits from NMIMS Mumbai and MDI PGPIM. Though the brands MDI and ESCP are enticing I am concerned about the costs as well as the lack of options during summer internships. Most of the graduates of this program seem to go into typical 2 or 3 kinds of roles. I believe I will be able to control the direction of my career better at NMIMS and am inclined towards joining it. What are your thoughts? Should I factor in anything else?


    • Hi Madhur,

      I think given the current scenario, it might be better to look at the NM program since the full benefit of the costs that you will incur to do the PGPIM might not accrue due to the pandemic.

      All the best!


  30. Aditya says

    Hello Sir,
    I’ve received offers from MDI PGPM and IIM Shillong. I admit MDI is a better brand today however I’m still inclined towards IIM S and it’s bothering me.
    The main reason being the lack of a campus life at MDI for a significant duration. MDI has announced its first trimester to be online. Also the deteriorating condition in Delhi-NCR along with the college’s inadequacy in infrastructure to successfully accomodate students while maintaining social distancing norms(1st year students in 4-sharing rooms) means it’s unlikely the college would start this year. Whereas Shillong is in a much better position and is determined to start its classes online. It has already made an announcement regarding the same.
    I’m also a student who dislikes studying at home and performs much better in an on-campus environment.
    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated 🙂
    Profile: 9/8/7. B.Tech from VIT. 3 years work ex in software.


  31. Upasana Bansal says

    Hi Sir,

    I read your post and the comments therein, both of which were full of insights and very helpful. My dilemma is quite different from others.
    I am a General Engineer Female. My profile: 10/12/Grad: 75/86/62. I scored 93 percentile in my two previous CAT attempts and didn’t get calls from any of IIMs or established private colleges. I wish to get into colleges like IIFT, MDI, SIBM, FMS, etc. My dilemma is that by the time of CAT-2020, my work-ex would be 5 years in the IT sector.
    Can you please shed a light on how and whether my high work-ex would impact my chances of getting calls, interviews, and placements in these colleges, in case I manage to score better?


    • Hi Upasana,

      There will be no negative impact of your work-ex on getting a call since that is a purely quantitative process and you will get whatever marks the college allots to your slab of work-ex (which is the maximum marks in most cases).

      During the interview, you will be asked questions on why not a 1-year program and why a two-year program, so that will be something you will have to handle.

      During the placements, the number of roles you are likely to be considered for will be fewer in comparison to freshers and those with 2-3 years of work-ex. Given the quantum of your work-ex, you are very likely to get roles in the ITES/IT/Tech/IT Consulting space, with e-commerce also being a possibility. But mainstream Finance, Marketing, Business Consulting, roles will not be easy to land.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!


  32. Ajitesh Chaturvedi says

    Hello Tony Sir,
    I got calls from IIM Shillong and all colleges under CAP. I didn’t convert IIM Shillong, Trichy, Udaipur and Ranchi.
    My waitlist in Raipur is GEN-1161, which has not moved at all till now, IIM Kashipur- GEN-348, as per the last waitlist release and IIM Sambalpur- GEN-28.

    My profile is 83%, 82.8% and 70.6% in X, XII and graduation. I completed my graduation in BMS from Jai Hind College, Mumbai in June 2019.

    My CAT score is 94% and I’m not completely satisfied with it and my gut says I can score better. As of now, I’m thinking of accepting any of offers I get and reappearing for CAT again this year while doing an MBA from one of the baby IIMs.
    What should be my course of action and how feasible is this idea is?

    Thank you sir.


    • Hi Ajitesh,

      Well, I will be honest, I am not a big fan of the idea of doing an MBA and prepping for CAT at the same time, in fact, I think it is the worst idea for the following reasons.

      The first two semesters are the most important in any b-school:

      1. Your CGPA depends on the first two semesters since it is very tough to make later
      2. All the committee selections are stacked in the first semester and this case summers will extend into the second semester.
      3. Your reputation on campus and the peer network you build will also hinge a lot on the kind of relationships you forge early on.

      If during all of this you have CAT Prep on your mind I am not sure how you can do justice to both and believe me it is not about working really hard it about having a particular bandwidth and aptitude.

      Also, be clear that the story does not end at CAT but will drag on till next May until the results are out.

      And if you do not get an old IIM then it will be mean that you have to embrace the baby IIM.

      It is like marrying someone and looking for another person on the side.

      If you feel you have the aptitude and the bandwidth to pull it off and have clearly demonstrated similar capabilities in the past, then go ahead and do it, else standup and choose one path.

      All the best!


      • Ajitesh Chaturvedi says

        Sir you have put it very nicely. I get what you’re saying now.
        Just one more question, is it too ambitious to be sitting out for a third attempt for a fresher? Because Kashipur completed their process and I didn’t convert it.
        So now I can focus completely on CAT’20


      • Not at all, it all depends on the scope for improvement and the mental strength and stamina to mount another challenge. If there is no scope and this a best you can do in terms of skills and effort then it is a different story.

        All the best!


  33. Hi sir,
    I do not have any question to ask here(that I did on another post and got the answer to it too). I just want to appreciate the replies you give to every individual. There are few people like you who would answer queries individually on an online platform. So, thank you sir.


  34. Amit Patil says

    Hello Sir,

    I have been reading your blog posts from last one year and they are really helpful and provide real insights, thanks for that!

    I had calls from Indore, Lucknow, Shillong and new IIMs. I have converted Shillong and new IIMs.

    I have 2.8 years of experience in Infosys and don’t want to repeat again. Seniors advised me that Shillong is doing really well and I will probably get good shortlists because of good profile and I should not be comparing it with new IIMs. However I am confused whether to join or repeat for one more time.

    I know that I need to take this decision but any advise regarding shillong/another attempt from you will help me. Thanks.


    • Hi Amit,

      Given that you have 2.8 years of work-ex, you should think about a retake from a different angle since going in with 3.8 years of work-ex will place you in the outlier category of the profiles in a 2-year program.

      You need to ask yourself what are the roles that only an old IIM can give and whether your profile will be shortlisted for the same.

      The short answer — The big Consulting & Fin jobs — recruiters from these domains look for an elite education background (IITs, NITs, CAs, CFAs) and an exceptional academic profile.

      If you are interested in these roles and have the profile for the same, go for a retake, else, Shillong.

      All the best!


      • Amit Patil says

        I have seen your both videos on specialization. After having worked in Telecom Project management for more than two years in Infosys. I think my profile and personality will be a great fit for operations or IT
        tech/consulting profile. Anyway It will be tough for me to compete with other profiles for coveted finance or MBB roles in old IIMs so I have decided to go ahead with IIM Shillong this year.

        Thank you for your Input Sir.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. Hello Sir,
    I was part of the IMS Learning program and I appreciate all the efforts made by IMS Team. I have 1 year of experience as Software Developer. I am looking forward to opportunities in Product Management roles. I am at a cross-road where I might have to choose between IIM Kashipur and IMT Ghaziabad. I am willing to take part in Case Competitions and I am not behind the “tag”.Considering the fact I want to do a specialization in Marketing, which b-school should I opt for?



    • Hi Krutarth,

      IM Ghaziabad was a good school years ago and now with its huge batch size, it is nowhere close to what it was.

      You should take up Kashipur just for the fact that you will have a much better peer group, course materials, and teachers. It is all said and done an IIM!

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Hello Sir,
    I am Krutarth. I was part of the IMS Learning Program and I appreciate all the efforts made by IMS Team. Currently, I have 1-year of experience as a Software Developer. I am looking forward to opportunities in Product Management. I want to pursue my specialization in Marketing. Along with it, I want to take part in various Case Competitions. At this moment, I am not behind the “tag”. I am at crossroads where I have to choose between IIM Kashipur and IMT Ghaziabad. In your opinion, which b-school would give me good exposure?



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  38. Pingback: My MBA Journey: IIM L – PGPSM | The CAT Writer

  39. Asik Kafoor says

    Hello Sir,
    I had followed your posts for over a year and half now. Love your use of language and your analogies to put things in perspective. I have been a part of the IMS Learning program for two years. In 2019, CAT I got 90 percentile and I was doing well in the SIMCATS too , but in the 2020 exam , anxiety got the better of me and I got 84 percentile.
    I was able to convert IIM sambalpur,Bodh gaya and Jammu. I am too exhausted to try once again and my last salary was less than 5 lpa. I am going ahead with one of these options and I am positive that I will be more enthusiastic in grabbing the opportunities that will be available infront of me.
    This post is like a farewell post for me from your wonderful blog. I don’t know if I will find myself here again so thanks for all the wonderful anecdotes.


    • Hi Asik,

      Congratulations on the admits!

      Really good to see that you are taking in things in the right perspective and willing to run with things that have come your way.

      I am glad to have been of help during the whole prep phase and hope you fare well both at the school and later.

      But there is still one more session that is due from me — How to make the most of your MBA — which will be held next Saturday or Sunday.

      See you in that!

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Hi sir ,
    I was a student of IMS test sereis.
    I have converted few baby IIM as Bodh Gaya , Jammu . I am waitlisted in IIM Nagpur .
    I also have a convert from IMT G ( marketing).
    I have 2 yr of software engg workex.
    I am intrested in consulting , pre sales or product management kind of roles after my MBA.
    What do you suggest which one should I go for IMT G(marketing) or IIM BG / Jammu / Nagpur(if converted)


    • Hi Ron,

      It is quite a tricky situation.

      Honestly, I am not sure about IMT-G given its huge batch size. I have also not personally had students who have gone there recently (it might be because most of my actual teaching was down south). So, I would also have to look at placement reports only like you.

      I have very little information about the baby IIMs as well. Since, like babies, the baby IIMs tend to grow very fast, you would need this year’s data to make any reliable judgment, and for that, you will have to speak to students who graduated this year.

      So, I am afraid, there is little that I can do to help you towards marking a decision.

      All the best!


  41. N kumar says

    Kindly give your precious advise to choose between IIM Nagpur and IMI delhi. I am having about 3 years experience and background of Bcom Hons.

    I have to decide before 30th June


    • Hi,

      I do not have too much information about both colleges, in terms of students who have studied there; your study of placement records will be as good as mine; so you have to base it on the sectors and firms you want to get into and see which college performs better.

      The baby IIM brands will take some time to get built up.

      All the best!


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