B-School Selection
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IIMs versus FMS, XL, MDI and other top schools

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 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 the Average Salary/Cost of Education.

Well, once you do an MBA you will realize that more than an ROI, the better tool to use will be a Cost-Benefit Analysis since you are not investing in a purely 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 institution 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 holds 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 workplace 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 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 your 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. You are not going to really enjoy life again (maybe for a few years after you graduate) 🙂

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 an education loan will always be an albatross around your neck, making FMS best option.

A slightly more nuanced take can be this particular order(with the caveats mentioned about FMS) —  L, FMS, XL, IIM-I, IIM-K, and the rest.

There is a case for choosing SPJIMR-Ops over IIM-I and IIM-K if you are really keen on getting the full range of core operations jobs to choose from, the IIMs might not offer you such a vast selection since they do not admit based on specialization.

Choose other colleges over new IIMs

When it comes to the choice between new IIMs and other schools, 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 maximize 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.

A few years back this post elicited a lot of aggressive responses.

People accused me of favouritism in placing L over XL since the former is my alma mater. People have pointed out the average salary at XL being higher than the one at L, and so and so forth.

Firstly, I live by Groucho Marx’s dictum — I refuse to join any club that will have me as a member.  So, there is no special attachment that I have to IIM-L or any other institution. Wherever I have studied, it has always been a few teachers, the architecture, and the library that I have had an attachment to or fondness for rather than the school or college as a whole. It goes without saying that the moment I meet any person from IIM-L, I do not get particularly excited since that particular individual should be someone with whom I will get along (one has conversations with a person not a tag).

Secondly, yes, the average salary at XL is higher than that at L, but the fees at L is lower.  Higher average salary does not mean that every student at XL will get a salary more than every student at L.  Also, the average is a function of the denominator. If you take the salaries of the top 180 students at both colleges, I am sure the comparison will look different. Now if you feel that you will end up in the bottom 120, then it is a different matter altogether.

Thirdly, I am not sure if the everyone in the cream (the ones who score 99.5 and above on the CAT) of the test-taking population takes the XAT. IITians would always like to add a few more Is to their resumes instead of other alphabets. I myself eased off when taking the XAT since I was sure that I had aced the CAT. Also, XAT is verbal heavy than LR-DI or QA heavy, so the CAT ends up filtering out a different set of toppers. So as a batch goes, I feel the kind of peer group you are likely to find at the top at L might be different from the kind you will find at XL.

To validate my arguments we need to slice and dice a lot of data that only the b-schools can give us and they couldn’t care less. So readers can take “my take” with a pinch of salt and ignore it, instead of launching into tirades.

I am sure XL can be argued to be a better choice solely on the basis of its sporting rivalry with IIM-C and the events surrounding this rivalry. After a point, it always boils down to the premises that you use to reach your conclusion, with a different set of premises or criteria you can arrive at a different conclusion.

Another major accusation that a commenter hurled was that people like me perpetuate the Sharma Ji ka beta and elite college ke peeche bhaagne wala syndrome. Well, relying on labeling people en masse seems to be a major national malaise that starts at the top. It is any day easier to label and discredit rather than having to tease out the rationale.

Did I ever make a statement saying if you have to do an MBA, do it only from the IIMs? Nope. In fact last year, I convinced a student to take up NMIMS and not waste yet another year running after an IIM without a job in hand. In most of my replies to queries on this blog, I always ask students to take not just the CAT but XAT, IIFT, NMAT and SNAP. So the commenter was attacking an argument that I did not make!

All I am saying is that if you have the luxury of choosing between the old IIMs and other schools, my personal vote would be for the old IIMs, which you are welcome to crumple it and throw it in the dustbin.

The reason I am making these things clear is that I do not want to go through the drudgery of defending a personal opinion in the comments section. As Oscar Wilde said, people are either charming and tedious, one of my other dictums in life to avoid the latter variety as much as possible.

I hope this article goes some way in helping aspirants view things from a different perspective and resolve the queries in their mind.


  1. AnxiousAspirant says

    First of all I would like to congratulate you only the great work that the blog does. It’s refreshing to see how you objectively solve problems that usually students overthink. Kudos to the great work.

    Now coming to my dilemma. I am a 23F with an engineering degree from one of the tier 1 colleges. I hav given been working since 2019 and have given cat in 2018 (cold attempt but managed a IIMI waitlist) and again in 2020. While my performance in 2020 was abysmal, my profile managed to get me a SPJIMR shortlist. I wasn’t able to convert it.

    I realised I eventually want to settle and work abroad. So I started prepping for GMAT (been a month now, scored 690 in the first diagnostic test). While my GMAT is scheduled in the last week of June, I am still confused.

    Do I try again for CAT? I am really scared of an abysmal performance. If I do prep for CAT I’ll reattempt for GMAT in Dec since I feel the CAT prep will help.

    I am just lost as to what to do? Apply for MiM abroad (since Europe is where I see myself) or MBA in India (maybe apply for ISB in the next year)? I know my profile shortlist + GMAT will help with SPJIMR but again not sure.

    As for MBA abroad, the plan is a long term and I don’t think I am emotionally/mentally strong to see my batchmates and juniors progress while I am still prepping for a good profile for top colleges.


    • Hi AA,

      Well, from the post I do sense a lot of anxiousness about the future.

      The first thing you should do is to stop looking at your peers — getting into a college, getting a good job, a marriage, or kids does not automatically translate into happiness, it does not mean people are doing well or thriving!

      You graduated from a Tier 1 college and have 2 years of professional experience — I do not know what in the world makes it a bad situation!

      Given your aspirations, I would suggest the following.

      Prepare for the GMAT and take it by the end of June (use my blog thegmatblogger for some additional guidance)

      Apply to MBA programs in Europe (since MIM programs are for those with less than 2 years of experience). Given the diversity factor, you stand a good chance — how many women from India apply to a program in Europe?

      Once you are done with the GMAT move over to CAT Prep and International apps (you obviously should apply to Indian schools accepting the GMAT). The GMAT is valid for 5 years so it will be a long-term backup as well.

      You can take a call on which programs to take up based on the final admits you get.

      If you tell yourself you are emotionally strong, you are strong; if you tell yourself you are weak, you are weak.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


      • AnxiousAspirant says

        Thanks for the prompt reply! And yes you are right, I do have innate anxiety in me – it’s a work in progress. Also I fed my anxiety comes from the fact that I am at a stage in my life where my work ex is too much for MiM (approx 3 years by the time I’ll join) and too little for MBA abroad (colleges like HEC Paris have a mean work ex of 6 years). My growth in my current employers seems stagnant and I feel like I am running out of time (though not sure to where)

        In India work ex helps one get the exposure and insights into professional life and is one of the key factors for getting into PGP course but the courses do help in resetting/restarting our career. So it doesn’t matter how long you worked for or where you worked. (this is again my personal point of view, please let me know if my understanding is wrong)

        Whereas for MBA courses in universities abroad the work ex is a part of the story you are trying to tell – it helps in securing strategic roles and the quality of work/length of work done by one in their work life is important.

        Personally I am planning a career switch post my GMAT to something I enjoy and aligned with my ambitions.
        I was also suggested to consider specialised courses like Masters in Marketing etc but I feel over the course if I wish to make a switch from marketing roles to say consulting – the degree wouldn’t help.


      • Hi AA,

        You are right for a better part of the comment about the difference between an Indian and an International MBA.

        One big thing to reduce your anxiety is that your work-ex is not too much for an Indian MBA by any stretch. The outlier profiles are those with more than 45-odd months of work-ex. And do not forget that you are a female candidate and thus would mean that they will not split hairs over the profile. So, rest easy on that front.

        Also, I have had a lot of female students make it to top-tier International schools with your amount of work-ex. Yes, the average age in international programs is closer to 27 but Indian students (female) do bring it down!

        If you feel your current role is not challenging enough or you want to explore a different sector then go for it.

        A big part of anxiety stems from constantly thinking about outcomes and not the process.

        This year the processes you should be focused on are:

        1. The processes to tackle all GMAT question types.
        2. The way to schedule our day so that both work and GMAT are taken care of.
        3. The processes for CAT question types
        4. International applications

        You have your hands full and thus may be very little time to worry!

        Do watch this webinar if you haven’t already, might come in handy — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWh8dOyIGI0&list=PLZLYq7TWue8lNn1U5ZkRqnNtj7X-jxKot&index=3&ab_channel=IMSIndiaIMSIndia

        All the best!


  2. Akshay says

    Hi Tony,

    I ended up commenting on your same post from last year when I actually wanted to comment on this post. Sorry!

    I joined IIM-K over FMS and XLRI after speaking to many older alumni from the old IIMs who made me focus on the bigger picture and long term factors that you have elucidated in your article. I also visited FMS and IIM-K and after that it was an easier choice 🙂

    I found these resources about IIM-K very useful and wanted to share it with you in case you had not already seen them. It’s a video by alumni giving reasons why IIM-K is special
    Video – https://youtu.be/AD8wvVItN0g
    PDF with more details – https://www.linkedin.com/posts/iim-kozhikode-alumni-association_7-reasons-why-iim-kozhikode-is-special-activity-6669506313627680768-cvPB

    Though I did end up with a better placement than my friends who went to FMS, that was less important than having two years on an unbelievable campus with so many campus activities that made me develop as a person and helped me build so many friendships and memories. I am sure you will relate having been to IIM-L. So I disagree a bit with you on your point about if one has a campus experience in their college it’s ok to put with a Delhi/Mumbai campus with no campus life. I can’t imagine my MBA without campus life and foreign exchange and our sports meet with the other IIMs! 🙂

    A couple of other points I wanted to share.

    The two new programs at IIMK have brought in a different bunch of profiles that we would normally not get in the PGP program at IIMK and even other IIMs. I met an alum who had hired recently from IIM-K and he was telling me his company was amazed seeing journalists, ad agency professionals and even an international chef in the PGP in Liberal Studies batch. The PGP in Finance is also growing the finance pool at IIM-K. The placements of the two new programs are combined with the regular PGP placements so a company gets to choose from the entire batch.

    Also, you know that placement reports don’t tell a full story and placement averages and medians don’t tell the full story about quality of offers. For example, in 2020, IIM-L had 30 MBB offers, FMS had 6. Both XLRI and IIM-K had double the FMS number of MBB offers. IIM-I and MDI get Bain Capability Center while ABCLK, XLRI and FMS get Bain & Co.

    Hope these points add some more depth on IIM-K. I know I will be attached by FMS students who will say their ROI is higher because of lower fees but I actually think I got more ROI for a lifetime at IIM-K 🙂 They will also say a hundred FMS students chose FMS over ABCLKI so 🙂 Peace 😉


    • Hi Akshay,

      Thanks a ton for sharing this information.

      Congratulations on completing and more importantly enjoying your 2-year MBA and being happy with what you achieved!

      In fact, I commissioned some information about Finance and Liberal Arts Programs from a PhD. candidate at IIM-K Kushagra Sharan, who was working with me before joining IIM-K for a doctorate. My goal was to get some first-hand information to share with students. And I have heard some very good things about those programs.

      Your comment should also go a long way towards providing a perspective that goes beyond RoI. RoI per se is not a wrong metric but people rarely know what they are really investing in and what the real long-term returns are.

      All the very best and thanks again for sharing this. Was really happy to read the comment!


      • Akshay says

        Hi Tony,
        Thanks for the kind response. I hope your article will encourage aspirants to really think more about what they can get out of their two years at a business school and plan to make the most of their campus life. When I look back there are just so many things that are hard to describe but I will try below.

        IIMK’s most popular professor is a sociologist called Prof. AF Mathew who teaches a course called Social Transformation in India. His classes are overflowing with students who want to hear him. He has completely changed the way me and so many other IIMK students think about life, our country and our role in society. He has made us more humane. He has made us cry. A classmate felt comfortable enough to come out of the closet as gay because of Matthew’s words.

        A vegetarian north Indian chaste Hindu classmate was shocked to see a Mallu Christian classmate eating beef fry at a restaurant they went to in Calicut. They had a conversation about the politics around beef in India and became best friends. Keep it a secret but the Hindu classmate tried Kerala beef fry and loves it! 😉

        At our annual sports meet with IIMB, IIMT and IIMV, 200 odd students participate. So many crazy stories. I have never shouted and cheered so much. Some friends have never cried so much. One women’s team captain gave a rousing speech to her team that rivals Al Pacino’s speech in Any Given Sunday, before her team went on to beat a much stronger IIMB team, inspiring her team mates to beat an opponent they did not think was possible. Another captain dropped his friend for a stronger junior player who ended up winning the game for IIMK. He lost a friend but did his duty to IIMK as a leader.

        Some of my best memories are our weekend trips around Kerala and south India. I partied in the rain till the wee hours of the morning in Varkala. Kovalam also. I have never seen beauty like Munnar. Kerala is like a different universe from Gurgaon where I live now! I smile every time I think of it!

        At our annual alumni meet on campus, where around 200 alumni come back to campus for a weekend, a friend met an alum who is a film producer and the conversations they had have changed my friend’s outlook on following his real passion. Another couple of friends got their second job after campus thanks to the relationships they made partying with some alumni.

        I have made more lifelong friends over late night conversations at our night canteen and sitting under a starry sky on one of our balconies overlooking the valley, than in any classroom.

        A shy friend of mine performed for the first time on stage during one of our many cultural events. She then went on to organize events. Her confidence has grown and she has become a completely new person.

        So many people have fallen in love here. The Kampus is so ridiculously beautiful that the joke is that it’s like a resort meant for some romantic movies to be shot.

        So coming back to campus life and ROI, how does one tell any aspirant how this kind of stuff above changes you and your life in a bigger way than any campus placement ever will 🙂
        Thanks again for this post. It made me think about my two years at IIMK and what really mattered.


      • Hi Akshay,

        My first reaction and hence my first request are around Prof.Mathew’s course: I wish I could attend it and since I can’t, can you somehow manage to share the courseware (the reading material) with me?

        My second reaction and request are around the way you have managed to articulate the big memories that will always stick with you — you did an awesome job (by the way is Kampus your invention or is it how every K-alum writes it?).

        Since you have already written this wonderful comment, how about converting this into a guest post like the ones that have been done by some of my other students and readers?

        I think yours will be very different from theirs. You should use stick what you have written here and add an introduction that will put readers in the frame of mind during CAT Prep, when you just converted, had to make the decision to join, and the experience (as I said a bulk of it can be from the comment, I will delete the comment and post the blog)

        If you are game then write to me at tony@imsindia.com.

        The previous posts







      • Akshay says

        Hi Tony,
        My eyes get moist when I think of Prof. Mathew. Tony, it’s hard to explain but his classes and his cult following at MICA and IIMK are like Fight Club. To be able to say what he says in his class, the agreement is that it doesn’t go outside the classroom, though if you google, you will find a quora answer that shares some of his quotes and a couple of videos of him.
        Thanks so much for the invitation to share a guest post with you. I’m very private and low profile so I have to think about how I share my experience with maintaining my privacy. I’ll email you 🙂 Can I request you to please keep my comments here though, because they reinforce your messages in this post.

        ‘Kampus’ is not my invention. It’s maybe a bit silly or cute but many things at IIMK have a ‘K’ replacing the first letter including ‘campus’.
        Keep up the great work with this blog and thank you for telling aspirants that business school is more than just placements!


      • Hi Akshay,

        Went through the Quora post; just intrigued me about the course even more.

        We can ensure anonymity by changing your name – you can choose your pseudonym – I usually provide a small introduction, so I’ll manage that bit. I can understand the bit about privacy, which is why I interact only through this portal 🙂

        I’ll leave your comments untouched but do include everything from the comments that you want to mention.

        Looking forward to reading your post!


  3. For a GEM fresher who has converted both SCMHRD core and XIMB (choosing SCMHRD), with above average acads throughout, is it feasible to go for a drop and try again next year or is it better to join the college?


    • Hi,

      Whether you should retake or not despite your final admits is a call that you should take after some serious thought.

      I cannot give that advice since I am sure there is to you as a person, your aptitude, your prep this year, your attitude that is not captured by a generic — GEM fresher with above-average acads!

      I have done a detailed post on the same, please go through it, answer the questions I have asked and then take the call — https://thecatwriter.com/2021/02/15/to-re-take-or-not-to-re-take-the-cat-4/

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  4. Kimi says

    Great blog Tony! You indeed are ‘Tony Stark’ for a lot of aspirants out there including myself.
    Superb insights and clears a lot of haze, just like the rest of your blogs do. Now that you have tried to untangle one long running Tier-1 college debate, I am very much looking forward to your two cents (in the form of another insightful and exhaustive blog) on Tier-2 college debate i.e. NMIMS, Symbi and new IIMs.


    • Thanks a lot for the effusive praise, Kimi. I think I would be farthest from Tony Stark not just because I am not at all into fantasy fiction but also because of my interests 🙂

      Always good to hear that blog clears the head up for readers since that has always been the goal (that Brahmi capsules and my blog should suffice for calm nerves and clear thinking :-))

      There will be another post coming up on the next rung of colleges and the new IIMs in a week.

      All the best!


  5. Suraj Singh says

    Hi Tony,
    Thank you for sharing these blogs which has inspired many aspirants like me. I am in a serious dilemma and wanted your opinion on it.
    So, I am a Fresher graduating in 2021 from an IIT. I appeared for CAT 2020 under EWS and managed to convert IIM K and IIMI after scoring 98.32 percentile. But, I am not sure whether to join any bschool without work experience. Due to the pandemic, my undergrad internship was also revoked. So, I don’t have any corporate experience which might reduce opportunities in IIMs.
    Also, I have a Job offer from a management consulting firm (ZS). So, I have to decide whether to go for MBA this year or get some work experience and try again in coming years. And not to forget that, I will be applying as a GEM in further attempts and we know there are GEMs who scored 99.6 percentile and couldn’t manage to get any old IIM call.
    So, what would you suggest based on the premise. Providing the virtual MBA and reduced placements due to pandemic. Also consider the volatility of CAT and GDPI.
    And you have ranked IIM I above K, So which one of them would be better to join.


    • Hi Suraj,

      Congratulations on the converts!

      I think you should take up the ZS job, gain some solid experience, and take another shot. One of the reasons you would not have got calls from the other IIMs is that you would have dropped points for work-ex. If you add two years of work-ex then you will get calls at a much lower percentile (it is only GEM freshers that need 99.6 and above not GEM working professionals).

      The advantage of this is that you will get good Consulting experience onto your resume, get to have two full years of MBA on-campus and graduate when the economy and the world at large is in much better shape.

      So unless you are desperate to do an MBA straightaway I would suggest this.

      I don’t think I have given a ranking both I and K are equally good. You can join whichever campus you find more attractive; I would choose K.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  6. Savani Gupta says

    Hi Tony Sir!
    As always, your blogs are extremely insightful and refreshing.
    I was one of the heartbroken PTSD candidates after the CAT debacle but I’m pleasantly surprised to have converted K and I in the first list. Still waiting to hear from L.
    It’s a no brainer if I convert L, but what would you suggest as a better choice between K and I in the present context (given that I wish to pursue Marketing as my specialisation and have been hearing polar opposite views about I and K’s comparative performance as a college – lack of internships and placements, big batch size etc.)?
    Would love to get your opinion to gain a better perspective.


    • Hi Savani,
      Must be a huge surprise and relief to have converted I and K.

      I would say, K, because it has had a very good run of late with even the newer programs Liberal Arts and PG-Fin attracting great recruiters — I know this from my ex-reportee who is currently pursuing a PhD. at K.

      One of the commenters to this post just graduated from K and had really good things to say about it and left some video links as well.

      Indore had botched things up a bit about 5-6 years ago and had a bit of a bad reputation but it is now back on track. My vote will be for K given all the nice things people have had to say. Both I and K started in the same year, so as I keep saying, they are like Nakul and Sahadev, no one can who is known for what!

      Congrats again,

      All the best!


  7. Aman says

    Hi Tony, this article is such a good read. While reading it, i realised that you happen to shed some light on IIM K’s Finance and LSM course and also gave an insightful answer for the same in one of the comments as well. Would really appreciate your feedback on IIM L’s ABM program. Missed the shortlist for flagship by a smidgen of 0.56 points, I am positive about converting ABM (hopefully) and where would one put it amongst FMS, MDI-core, MDI-Hrm, XLRI- Hrm, and K and I (core).
    P.s.- I do not wish to go in Finance ( very certainly ) and rest I am still contemplating, if this matters for the ranking regarding the limitations and openness of the placements.
    P.s.s- Would you suggest joining it or a retake or go for FMS/MDI (if i convert it) ? Engineer here from tier 3 Institute with 6 months of work ex.


    • Anon says

      Go for L’s ABM. There is hardly any difference b/w PGP and ABM at L. Even there is no difference in placement. Few of the ABM’s people are placed in McKinsey, HUL, Flipkart and other most aspired firm in campus.
      Even there are few people who dropped A’s ABM because of the same reason that they get to pursue any domain.


      • Hi A,

        Thanks a lot for the comments. You saved me the trouble of mentioning all of this!

        All the best!


    • Anon says

      Even classes of PGP and ABM happens together except the one subject from abm in each term.


    • Hi Aman,

      You can think of the ABM course as being exactly like the PGDM course barring say access to great Finance roles. The courses are all the same, the placements are also common. (In effect it is like the old PGDCM course at C, back in the day when I was graduating, for all practical purposes there was no difference between PGDM and PGDCM).

      If I were you I will definitely not even consider the HRM programs. The only ones I would consider are FMS, and I & K. The only reason I would not take up the L ABM would be if I wanted to only get into Finance and stuff. If you want to keep your options open then definitely L-ABM will work just as fine.

      And if you read the comments about K I am sure that will also seem more attractive than FMS — there is more to the R in RoI than money.

      There is no way you should contemplate another attempt1

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  8. Mangalassery Neelakandan says

    Hi sir..hope you remember me from my older commenting days.
    This is a thank you post..I Have converted IIM Indore & Kozhikode.
    And I have decided to call it a day in the quest for belling the CAT.
    Your blogs and strategy videos were really helpful in my CAT Journey.
    Please continue the good work you are doing.
    And to all aspirants: Cherish the journey,
    It’s not just the destination, it’s the journey that makes this whole thing beautiful.


    • Hi Neela!

      I do remember you from the earlier comments, given that you have chosen a rather unique display name!

      Congratulations on the I & K converts! With the addition of an MBA, Mangalassery Neelakandan will become a sarvakala vallabhan!

      Glad to know that the blog and the videos were of help over the course of what seems to be a bit of a longish journey.

      There is one final Masterclass that is scheduled for the first week of June — How to make the most of your MBA

      All the very best!


  9. Pratik Patil says

    Hello Tony Sir,
    Thank you for this amazing blog. I have been constantly reading your blogs and it was of great help in achieving the 99.11 percentile. I am an engineering graduate from State government college with 2 years of workex. I have currently converted IIM Shillong and IIT Bombay and waiting for the results of MDI and IIFT. After reading the blog I’m still confused. Do we still consider IIM Shillong as a new IIM. Will it be okay to choose IIM Shillong over MDI considering my inclination towards marketing. IIM tag is certainly something which I want. And where does IIFT come into the mix here? Would love to hear your perspective and gain some insights.


    • Hi Pratik,

      Honestly, it is not an easy call to choose among the three.

      MDI and IIFT might have better Marketing placements than IIM Shillong but you need to check this yourself by looking at Marketing recruiters visiting both campuses.

      Be that as it may, IIM Shillong is now quite established and I feel you will not be making a mistake in choosing it over the other two for the IIM-tag. Over the longer term, your capabilities and work-ex and the tag will carry more weight than the first job that you land.

      So, go ahead and join Shillong.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Atul says

    I am an agriculture graduate passed out this year and converted IRMA at 91 percentile. But I am unwilling to go there as I feel I can do more and give one year drop for cat as a gap year with no job.
    But at the same time there comes a bigger picture in my mind that being an agriculture graduate whether I will be selected by IIMs or further by the big brand companies in the IIMs as may be they will prefer IITs and NITs more than me.
    I am being quite indecisive .Could you please assist something on this?


    • Hi Atul,

      You can easily make it to IIM-L ABM which if you read one of the commenters on this post, gives the same options to PGP and ABM (unlike IIM-A).

      More importantly, your diversity will be a positive and not a negative. The IIM selection process is not biased towards IITians — I have colleagues who had a 100 and were from an IIT and still could not crack the interview (there are no marks for college brand)

      Only a few of the big brand firms in Finance have a preference for IITians (and that too JEE AIR 400 and below :-)). A huge majority of the options will be open to you and everyone else.

      So go ahead and give another shot. Your profile is as good as anyone else’s and may be will also fetch you extra points for diversity!

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


      • Atul says

        Hello Tony , there is also one concerns I have . I have taken 2 years gap after my intermediate for medical preparation . And now I am 23 than if i join IRMA this year I will be passed out at 25 or if I take a drop I will be passed out at 26.
        If i consider fees of IRMA it is 15lac and if I will take fess of IIMS it will be around 20lac (BLACKI).
        So, in the corporate world joining early (through IRMA)will give me a good and stable income and prestige position till 29 of my age. As I come from middle class family so it is expected to be stable at this age with lot of pressure.

        OR, I know I will work very very hard one year to get myself into top IIMs .
        Will it affect my long term goal in terms of salary and position?
        Will I be too late by taking a drop year?
        these questions are making me worrisome.
        will you give some light on this??


      • Hi Atul,

        You can live your whole life around old-fashioned Indian mathematics which have nothing to do with Aryabhatta but only with family planning — education, marriage, children!

        If you believe you can crack a higher percentile and get into an IIM how will one year affect anything?

        It is just one year that can be made up with much higher pay packages that you get will get from an old IIM.

        There is nothing that you are delaying. Internationally, the average age of participants in an MBA program is 27 years.

        There is only one thing you need to believe in and that is that you can crack a higher percentile, all else is immaterial.

        But if you feel that you cannot handle the pressure build due to family background then go ahead and join.

        But don’t forget — no risk, no reward!

        All the best!


  11. Thanks for a very insightful article!

    I am 28 years old and graduated from a Tier-1 engineering college way back in 2013. I am working in the armed forces for the past 3.5 years now. I have decided to shift gears to the corporate sector and have secured admits from IIM Shillong and IIT Delhi. The thing that is bothering me is whether is it too late to go for an MBA at this age? Given that I am interested in Consulting and Operations, will I get shortlists from companies visiting the campus (especially consulting)?

    Clearly, things have not been great with me. With a gap of around 4 years pursuing failed ventures post my graduation, my peers from college have soared far ahead of me. But I have made peace with that. After all, I own my failures even as I try to open a new chapter in my life again. Life goes on…


    • Hi,

      The fact that the schools have shortlisted you means that you have something inside you which they feel is well-suited to a degree in management.

      You might not get the best Consulting jobs or the best Ops jobs to begin with but you will definitely get good roles with good pay and a chance to prove yourself.

      Others do not have what you have — experience in the armed forces —and you can leverage that during placements.

      The earlier one fails the better because one is humbled, one knows one’s limitations, and thus one builds a good team and respects what others bring to the table. And this I say with experience — I wished I failed earlier than when I actually did!

      There is nothing like early or late and it is not as if that everyone who is on time is setting the world alight!

      Just go ahead and give it your best shot!

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


      • Being a 24yo female in India, the early late thing is all around me. I really have seen people giving up on dreams saying it’s late for them to pursue those. This perspective of yours “There is nothing like early or late and it is not as if that everyone who is on time is setting the world alight!” would be such an eye opener for a lot. Doing it is more important that doing it on time.


      • I can understand the pressure and given that even today’s generation is facing the same issues just shows that we have a long way to go as a country before we can even talk about being atma nirbhar!

        I am not against traditional roles that families have envisaged for us but the world has changed so much that it is impossible to live by those timelines.

        The issue is always to figure out what to place at the highest order when taking decisions and it has to be personal & professional well-being and not social and familial obligations. And when people figure out that it will not be possible to satisfy everyone so one might as well as satisfy oneself they will be alright.

        It is tougher for women, yes, but in India, even the men feel fully under the pump of parents and society, they just get 2 years more!

        All the best!


      • Thank you for your pearls of wisdom!. Nothing like hearing some positive thoughts in these negative times.

        Sir, there is a high probability that I will have an admit to PGP SM at IIM L. Given that the average work-ex of this course is around 3.8-4 years, will this be a better choice for me given that I will be able to get a shortlist of approximately 30-35% companies only at Shillong? I have gone through the post of Mr Sachin Jha on your blog and found the field of SM quite promising in long term.

        Thank you again


      • Take it up if you feel that you would like to work in the field of SM and it was a plan all along; it is not going to be easy since my students who write posts are highly motivated individuals who do very well in the batch.

        I would not advise SM if you have a choice with a regular MBA unless you really want to get into the field since it is not the same campus, not the same course and not common placements, say unlike, IIM-ABM.

        All the best!


  12. Tarun says

    Thanks for the great article sir!

    I am a mechanical engineer working in automobile R&D with a workex of 22 months. I have converted NITIE PGDIM and IIM Shillong. Although, I am fairly inclined towards ops, i am not sure if NITIE has a similar brand value as an IIM and would help me in the future.( in job switch). Also does a degree in industrial management cause hindrance if i want general management roles post MBA?
    Would love to know your opinion on this.


    • Hi Tarun,

      I know of people who have graduated from IIM Shillong worked in Ops in mid-size firms and then moved onto big e-commerce firms and stuff.

      But NITIE will give you a shot at the best Ops roles in the country.

      An MBA from NITIE will not make any difference as far your career trajectory goes since no one looks at what specialised course you have done (just as there is every little foreign trade that IIFT graduates indulge in)

      Take up IIM Shillong knowing fully well that yes, you will get a bigger brand but smaller opportunities at the start but can easily make up over the medium and long-term. If want access to the best Ops jobs right from the word go then join NITIE.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  13. Srikar Bharadwaj says

    Hello Sir,

    This is Srikar. I would like to thank you for your useful tips in VARC section. VARC has been my nemesis in the CAT. Honest to god all did was watch your IMS VARC videos and tips for the last week of exam and scored 98.97 in VARC.

    This has been a tiring journey for me, I have scored 99.23 last year with IIM Indore being my best call. I could not convert it. This year i have scored 99.59(98.98/89/99.75). I have reasonably good acads(9.5/94/8.3- state boards and tier 3 collage). Ironically i did not get any BLACKI call not even Indore. I am a GEM with 20months work ex. I scored well in XAT and converted XLRI BM Jamshedpur and SJMSOM. Now, a guy like me with very average profile should i take XLRI or SJMSOM due to it being an IIT. I am worried about having a standard average profile if i choose XLRI. Please guide me over her sir.



    • Hi Srikar,

      Great job with the CAT percentile and hard luck with the calls.

      I think you should go ahead and join XLRI, there is nothing standard or average about it.

      An IIT MBA does not have any more or less brand value than an IIT M.Tech just because it is an IIT.

      So, there is no way you should even be thinking about SJMSOM.

      XL will give you great opportunities in terms of firms visiting campus, it is up to you to make the most of them.

      All the best!


  14. Harikrishnan S says

    Hi Tony sir..
    First of all thank you for your blogs and masterclasses!
    I have received offers from IIM Indore and NITIE as of now.I had also attended IIMK PGP-Fin interview and i think I might convert it too.I have an inclination towards Finance/Consulting.But I am from an engineering background with a 9/9/8 profile and 2 year core workexp.
    My main confusion is between Indore and Kozhikode Finance since I am sure I don’t want to get into ops.
    What would you recommend in this case?
    Also where do you think my profile will fit in well given the diversity in K and no of freshers in Indore!
    Thanks in Advance.


    • Hi Hari,

      I spoke to my ex-reportee who is a doctoral candidate at IIM-K and he has great things to say about the PGP-Fin program in terms of placements and stuff.

      So, if you are looking at Fin then it makes a lot of sense to take up the IIM-K program.

      I think you do not need to worry about fitting in terms of profile. With 2 years of work-ex your profile will fit in into any b-school.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  15. NN says

    Thanks a lot, sir for this post, I have a call from IIM Indore this year, I am thinking to go just because I am interested in learning a little more about the world around me and want to develop business knowledge and I might continue to work in the same domain I am currently working

    I hope leaving a job of 25 LPA with a 3 yrs work exp for IIMI is not a foolish decision? I very strongly wanted to go for MBA but my friends and seniors are confusing me

    What are your thoughts on this?


    • Hi NN,

      An MBA is all about one thing — preparing you to take up leadership roles in about 10-15 years time. Anyone without an MBA has fewer growth opportunities.

      While the current salary of 25 LPA might seem great, please realise that 10 years down the line you are no way in line to get the 1 Cr-plus jobs that go to the MBAs!

      It is not just the salary but the fact that you will not have enough exposure to the business side of things both in terms of knowledge as well as practical experience to be given such responsibility.

      Do not think, join.

      It is not about the first salary, it’s about the long-term career oppurtunities that an MBA will give you.

      All the best!


  16. KN says

    Hi sir,

    First of all thank you for all the blogs and write-ups you put up which is very useful.
    I had written CAT 2020 and had obtained 99.3 %ile in CAT.
    I had obtained all the IIM and other top B-school calls and had converted IIM Calcutta which is my best convert and so planning to join IIM Calcutta.
    My profile is: NC-OBC Male Engineer
    Acads: X/XII/Grad- 91.2%(CBSE)/95.4%(CBSE)/ 86.7%( Engineering from a local state college)
    7 months work ex in a data analytics firm.
    I had published a paper, had attended few competitions during my college days and had received a merit scholarship from my college.
    I don’t have any notable extra curricular achievement neither.
    I am interested in General Management/operations domain in MBA.
    I want to know how well does my profile fit in for IIM Calcutta given that there would be many engineers from top institutes in the country who come to IIM Calcutta and also I would like to know on what basis summer internship offers are made sir in B-schools?

    Thanks in advance sir.


    • Hi KN,

      Congratulations on the IIM-convert!

      You do not need to start worrying about placements from now itself!

      Keep things simple:

      1. Make the best possible resume you can (focus on every word you put there and also in the forms that some firms will make you fill)
      2. Let the firms decide whether your file fits their bill or not
      3. Take up things on campus that you really enjoy doing — becoming an office-bearer, joining clubs etc.
      4. Work on your interviewing skills if needed

      The summers are totally out of your hands it will just be whoever likes your current resume.

      And do not bother about engineers from top colleges that number will be about 75-100 and all of them will not be hyper-competitive; the lot that is might be looking at jobs that you are not interested in!

      My profile was very similar to yours when I joined and if somebody had given me a detailed answer to the question you posed I would have been disheartened.

      I did not get a lot of shortlists from all the marquee firms in summers but I converted the first interview I gave both in summers and in finals and I did the most I could in those two years — was a class rep, won an election and became the Acads Secy was one of the singers in the campus band and did two plays with an NSD team for the campus fest — no wonder that by finals every single firm I applied to shortlisted me!

      The key is to do what you enjoy and doing it well and not doing things because someone else looks for it.

      I will be doing a session for all Achievers — How to make the most of your MBA in the first week of June. I will share the link here.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  17. chandrimasharma says

    Hi Tony Sir,

    I have been following your blog since I started my cat preparation and it has been a constant source of inspiration for me. However this is the first time I’m putting up my question in the blog.

    I completed my BTech in civil engineering last year. I have converted PGP (BA) at IIM Bangalore and PGP IIM Indore. I am awaiting results of MDI.

    I would like to seek your advice for choice between PGP(BA) at B vs PGP at Indore given that PGP(BA) at B is new and it’s prospects are unknown. I am confused especially given the greater brand value of B. Please guide me.


    • Hi Chandrima,


      Always glad to hear from a reader and happy to hear that the blog has been useful all along.

      IIM-BA is still an unknown commodity so the only way for you to find out will be to speak to people doing the course or others at B. The key things to find out are whether the placements are common and/or if there are roles for which BA students are not eligible and the commonality in the classes and course structure. I have heard that the cut-off requirements for the BA program are much lower, so that might have a bit of a bearing on your peer group.

      If the answers to the above questions are positive — common placements with almost full access to all firms, a huge overlap in courses and a good peer group — go ahead and join. This is the case with IIM-L ABM.

      Else, definitely choose IIM-I — one should always choose the flagship program at a marginally lower-ranked school than a minor program at a major school.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  18. Hello Sir,
    I am planning to appear for CAT 2021 (and other exams) for the first time. I just graduated with a BBA degree with a specialization in Finance (in the top 3%) from a new NMIMS, and have an academic background of 9.4CGPA(in Xth) and 92.2%(in XIIth). I was planning to do some internship or job for experience along with my CAT prep because I don’t particularly have any work experience (aside from a 2-month summer internship). Due to the pandemic and some internal problems, my college was unable to offer any significant placement opportunities, and I am finding it hard to obtain any job via off-campus opportunities or via LinkedIn. I am a middle-class female girl, and my parents would like to supplement my MBA with a loan. I would like that loan amount to be as less as possible, because I do not want to start my career with debt. So the fees of the college will also be a factor that I will use to evaluate my target list of potential colleges.
    Sir do you think that I should go looking for a job opportunity, or should I learn some new skill via certifications or something (I have been really interested in learning Python for some time). My friend told me that I will have to justify my break (since if I clear, I’ll be starting my MBA from 2022) ‘Preparing for CAT’ is not a very attractive thing to spend a year on 🙂
    I would like to seek your advice on the same.


  19. Hi Sir,

    This blog is the first one I stumbled upon and couldn’t stop reading until the last sentence!

    I have done my B.Sc Economics from a Tier-l private college with a 7.5 CGPA. I have work-ex of 20 odd months from a top consulting firm. However, due to work-life imbalance and not being able to prepare for CAT simultaneously, I quit my job this month and started preparing for CAT 2022. How can this break affect my process in getting into top B-schools? Additionally, what would would you recommend I do on the side so that the break doesn’t create any issue down the line.

    Thank you!


  20. Hello Sir,
    I have recently converted Ranchi, VGSOM, and other new IIMs. I may add, I owe quite a lot of whatever little success I have had to your wonderful articles on DILR, Quant, etc. I am in a dilemma about whether I should take up the offer from Ranchi, or give another attempt at CAT.

    I am a GEM, with ~34 months of exp as a software developer at a product based company. I am quite worried about leaving my job for new IIMs, as I am currently getting quite close to the average package at the new IIMs. Now I know the package isnt the only parameter to consider joining a college, however I cant help but wonder if leaving my job, and spending ~20L this year is the right thing to do in this climate.
    I was preparing last year, but I contracted Covid in mid-November and ended up scoring a meagre 97 percentile. I genuinely enjoyed my prep, and I have am willing to give another shot at the top IIMs.

    But I wonder if that’s the right thing to do, considering the old adage “one in the hand is better than two in the bush”, and how unpredictable CAT can be.
    Thanks in advance!


    • Hi P,

      Congrats on the converts!

      I think that decision is not an easy one to take.

      I will leave you with what I think are the key factor to consider:

      1. Adding another year’s work-ex will make your profile a bit of an outlier at the IIMs since you will have around 45 months of work-ex at the time of joining; this will mean that your profile might not be shortlisted for a bulk of the jobs on offer in a 2-year programme.

      The factor that you should think about but not too much:

      2. The CAT is unpredictable, yes but a lot depends on the gap between where you are right now and where you need to reach — if it were a case of moving from 99 to 99.5 then the unpredictability is a huge factor given the small margins but to go from 97 to 99 is a substantial jump; if you feel that you have the bandwidth to make that jump you should go for it

      The factor that you should not consider at all:
      3. The current salary; an MBA is about setting you up to take up leadership roles in the long-term; everything thing in the short-term — the first job, the salary — will sort itself out in the medium to long-term without an MBA there is no chance that you will get leadership positions in the future.

      It is up to you to decide keeping these factors in mind.

      All the best!

      the things that should not be a factor


  21. Ishaan says

    Help me sir, plz help me, what should I do

    I am a mechanical engineering graduate (2018 passout), this was my fourth CAT attempt with 98.86/97.32/97.16/99.16 from 2017 to 2020 respectively my profile is 89/83/74 in 10th/12th/grad. This year I have converted IIM Shillong and Udaipur (which I had converted in 2017 itself). My workex is very average first as a sales manager in car dealership (5 months) and then as a PO in PSB (15 months, I resigned in sept 2020). Currently I work at my shop, my work ex would by 26 months by may 2021(if I add my shop experience). There is also a gap of 6 and 5 months in between jobs respectively.

    I feel like my life is destroyed as I always wanted to join IIM ABC but it is not happening, I feel like crying every day.

    I always wanted to work in MBB or a great marketing firm like P&G etc.

    Now I have 3 options left because I feel that going to IIM Shillong or new IIM will be killing my inner soul and I think i may not be able to live with it
    1. UPSC/govt job = not very positive about it
    2. Buisness = I feel diguised unemployment over there
    3. 5th CAT attempt = but very terrified of growing discrimination against GEM each year.

    Help me sir, plz Help me what should I do, I am in depression due this fiasco


    • Hi Ishaan,

      If I remember correctly, you had written a similar note of anguish last year as well.

      What I find really surprising is that you have defined success as only ABC McKinsey and P&G at one end and failure as IIM-Udaipur and Shillong.

      Do none of the other colleges or firms really matter? The other old IIMs as well as schools such as MDI, SPJIMR, the many other firms that visit these campuses and offer good salaries and roles to the many people who graduate from there?

      Going by the extent of your anguish it seems as if only three institutes and 10 firms exist and all the rest have no right to exist and thus you feel that your existence itself is meaningless.

      I do not know if you have considered the fact that MBB’s shortlist only graduates from elite colleges and look at 9,9,8s and that the competition at ABC is so fierce that one’s resume might not even be spat upon by these firms? It is a harsh way of putting it but it is true. The whole campus was an MBB shortlist and given the crazily long process they have they manage by shortlisting only those from the IITs and other elite schools or those with outlier profiles. Do you know that there are firms that visit IIM-A and seek applications from only JEE AIR 400 and below?

      I wish I could give you some advice and I would have done that had your anguish seemed reasonable — you have tied your soul to a few colleges and a few firms and if you stick to this you will continue to experience anguish and possibly a mental breakdown even if you make it to ABC (I have had students with much more stellar profiles crumble when their found that they did not get the jobs that they coveted since).

      There is no point in asking you to join Shillong if you feel that the college and the peers are not what you want.

      If you are confident about crossing 99.60 with the mounting pressure go ahead take another shot — it is all down to your capacity to prep and also to face up to the vagaries of the shortlisting math. If you are taking another shot I would suggest getting into a non-ABC+MBB headspace and widening the net a bit.

      UPSC is possibly tougher than CAT and I do not see why one would prefer disguised employment over an MBA from a new IIM.

      The rest is up to you.

      All the best!


  22. Hello Tony sir,
    I am a super fan of your blogs that helped me tremendously with my CAT prep. I come from a non-IIT, non-NIT engineering college with a couple of years decent workex. My profile is 93/96/82 in 10th/12th/grad.
    I am fortunate enough to get the holy trinity admits but now find myself in this unholy trilemma to choose from. For A, I feel that it’s going to be hyper-competitive and too much pressure and stress, but I find it’s brand value and opportunities most lucrative. For B, I fear that my low workex and not so good work (compared to batch average) may be a problem for getting shortlists. Also, people would be having more IT background as high % of engineers with stellar profiles. For C, it is known for it’s finance roles. But I give importance to work-life balance quite a bit, therefore would be looking forward to placement opportunities likewise. Having a tech background, I would prefer product management or owing to WLB, general management.
    In your opinion, how can one choose between these colleges based on their culture and opportunities?


    • Hi Raghav,

      Congrats on the ABC! It is great to hear that the blog helped you along the way.

      You will get great tech roles and GM roles on all three campuses so in terms of placements there is little to separate the three (since you are not interested in Finance, in that case, B can be left out)

      What you need to decide is based on the campus culture: A is known to be gruelling academically, C fairly chill and B somewhere in the middle.

      Since you used the word balance and you seem to be neither the crazy workaholic nor the super-laid back dude, I would recommend B (also the tech capital)

      You might as well toss a coin (twice) and decide, you won’t go wrong!

      All the very best!


  23. Abhishek Rayrikar says

    Hi !
    I have converted SPJIMR for the Ops domain.
    96/86/76 as 10/12/grad. I am a mechanical engineer.
    Currently working in food processing and packaging giant in Ice cream category as a field engineer.

    Because i am direct responsible to manage customers, I have a slight inclination towards sales and marketing. Now I had applied to SP last year also and had received call for marketing but couldn’t convert. This year I did some courses on marketing and applied but because my near 3 years work ex, I got shortlisted for Ops and I converted it this time.

    Now, I talked to many alums, seniors at SP and got to know I can change my spec at the end of first year. ( not common because heavy emphasis on profile at the selection stage, but if I have relevant work ex and strong reasons, it is possible)

    My question is how I can use my distinctive work ex to my advantage. ( this unique work ex did help me immensely during my interviews)
    I am looking forward to sales&marketing or gen-man roles.

    If you could shed some light considering my profile and opportunities I could get at SPJIMR, it would be very useful !


    • Hi Abhishek,

      Congrats on the SPJIMR convert!

      Honestly, I am a bit unaware of the processes inside of SP after joining.

      All I can say is that you should position yourself as a front end customer-facing guy and thus tailor-made for Marketing rather than a back-end Ops guy. Marketing is about only one thing — creating products & services that tap into customers said and unsaid needs and convincing them to choose your brand for the same — you need to use your experience to make a case for the same.

      The rest do not worry, you will know after the common courses in the first year.

      All the best!


  24. Nidhi Verma says

    Hello Sir,

    I have converted IIM Kozhikode, Indore, NITIE and rest other colleges and I’m mainly confused between NITIE and IIMK. I have my work experience in the Operations domain for two years but I’m not sure about making my future in the same field. I want to explore other domains as well.
    But if I select Kozhikode then due to my work experience I think that other companies would restrict me. My acads are also not so good (9/7/7) which I feel could be a problem in IIMs.

    Please help me in taking a better decision regarding my future and which college should I select.


    • Hi Nidhi,

      Do not think much. Unless you want only Ops and are not in the least interested in anything else choose IIM-K; you should not be comparing the two!

      Also, female applicants have it easier during placements, recruiters will be more lenient when it comes to profile evaluation and shortlists. As my student, who was at B said — first IITians get shortlisted, then girls, then the rest of us!

      All the best!


  25. Hi Sir,
    Thank you for this blog even though I am not getting any of this top stuff this year.
    I just want to ask for your opinion on whether I should take admission in IIM jammu, bodhgaya (I am most probably going to convert these 2 only) or should I give CAT(even GMAT/IELTS/XLRI etc.) one more try(CAT 2020 was my 2nd attempt). I was expecting much better college converts this year but soon this expectation turned into sadness. Also, the waitlist will continue till august. Below is my profile:
    CAT: 91.7
    10/12/grad : 87.33/91.6/64
    School board : ICSE
    College NIT Kurukshetra
    Workex: June 2020 till present.

    1) Got rejected by :
    Trichy pgdm

    2) Got waitlisted by:
    Sambalpur(1530 WL)
    Kashipur(1306 WL)
    Trichy HRM (pay 20K)
    Raipur (1051 WL)
    DFS( 112 WL)
    DBE( 82 WL)

    3) No idea about(results pending):


  26. Arsene says

    Sir, I want to know about your opinion between IISc Banglore M.Mgmt and IIM Trichy/Ranchi/Udaipur. I am an Engg graduate with IT background. Fresher. From a tier 3 college. I am yet to get results of MDI & IIFT. Which institute among these makes more sense?
    I haven’t yet finalized about the specialization. I am currently confused between Analytics and Finance. Also, will IISc tag give me edge over an MDI or IIFT?


    • Hi,

      I do not think IISc has any great tag as far as management goes. I think you should take up MDI over everything else if you convert and it is a toss-up between the new IIMs and IIFT. I will be putting up posts on the new IIMs that might be of help in taking a call.

      All the best!


  27. Rushikesh says

    Hello Tony Sir,
    I am reading your blogs from last year, they are amazing in terms of knowledge and other stuff. So, I have not been able to convert any of the top calls. I have converted IIM Udaipur. I am a BCom Fresher Male. I am 20 years old now. So shall I get admission to IIM Udaipur or reattempt CAT this year?


    • Hi Rushikesh,

      For a fresher with admits into new& baby IIMs and contemplating a retake:

      1. If you have a good job offer in hand then go ahead and work and take another shot at the old IIMs, retaking only while preparing for CAT is a bad idea.

      2. If you do not want to retake while taking up profile-building activities you can do the same but do ensure that you read this post and answer the questions posed in the same seriously — https://thecatwriter.com/2021/02/15/to-re-take-or-not-to-re-take-the-cat-4/

      It is never a clear-cut answer since there are many variables involved and completely dependent upon the individual.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  28. Roop says

    Hi sir,
    I hope you and your family are safe and sound.
    It has always been enriching to read your blogs! Please know that your blogs and VARC analysis videos helped me a lot during my CAT preparation. I managed to cross 95 percentile in VARC, and I feel a lot of credit goes to you. Thank you 🙂

    I have converted SPJIMR, IIM-K and few other good calls. I am a bit confused between these two as both are ranked really close, and are great colleges. Although, given the flexibility of specialization in IIM-K, I have developed an inclination towards it. Of course the IIM tag has played a small role in it as well, as I always had the dream of studying at an Indian Institute.

    But there’s one thing that is stopping me from making the final decision, I have a workex of 32 months in an engineering design firm, so do you think I will be in a disadvantageous situation for placements at IIM-K? SPJIMR does not have the same problem as they pay a lot of importance to workex.


    • Hi Roop,

      Let me change the question — Will you ask me the same question if instead of IIM-K, it was IIM-L or one among A-B-C?

      I am sure the answer will be a NO. You do realise that the same profile issue will be there in any of the old IIMs. None of them can match the kind of Ops specific roles that SPJIMR and NITIE offer.

      Also, 32 months of work-ex does not make you an outlier by any means; you do not need to worry about that.

      You should join K if you want the flexibility. Do not worry, you will not be making a mistake. None of the Mumbai schools even have a campus!

      Also, after two years of a lockdown would you not rather study at the sprawling IIM-K campus than a meagre Mumbai campus?

      All the best!


  29. ARM says

    Hello Tony Sir. The article was quite enriching. I’m a final year engineering student (and have a placement offer with Fractal Analytics) and had appeared for CAT 2020 – 98.84%ile (couldn’t clear the VARC cutoff). I had calls from CAP IIMs and FMS. I was completely sure that I wouldn’t settle for the New and Baby IIMs. I’m waitlisted in FMS (Waitlist 18 in EWS category). I wanted to ask that if I convert FMS, should I be taking it or should I start working with Fractal and then give a shot to CAT 2021 to get into one of the top IIMs (Not to undermine FMS, but I strongly aspire to crack IIM ABC).


    • Hi ARM,

      If you aspire to crack ABC then definitely take another shot since you have a good job in hand. Analytics work-ex is highly valued and you will find it easy to crack interviews as well since the quality of work-ex can make a great conversation point.

      An MBA always gives you a 2.5 times jump from where you are right now. So you can either jump from your current position or jump from where you will be with some good work-ex under your belt. I would suggest working and taking CAT 2022 (CAT 2021 just for keeping in touch, if required)

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  30. KSR says

    Hello sir,
    Hope you’re doing well. I have received admits to IIM K PGPM and XLRI BM courses. I’m very confused between the two. Logically, XL seems to have an edge over IIM K because of the smaller batch size and larger alumni network. However, IIM K has the IIM tag and a beautiful campus. I have heard multiple accounts about how the tag might prove valuable to me in the future. Could you share your thoughts on this, sir?


    • Hi KSR,

      Honestly, as I have been saying to a few people in the comments sections — you will not go wrong by choosing either — you have nothing to lose.

      The IIM tag, that too an old IIM one, is something that one cannot actually put a solely quantitative value to (by tracking salaries over a 25-year period). For example, I can’t say who different you will feel when you say you are from an IIM and from XL.

      If the same question was asked say 10 years back, I would have said XL but K is now 25-years old and even its non-flagship programs are getting great reviews and so is definitely worth considering

      Choose whichever your heart is drawn to since, as I said, you will not be making mistake with either!

      All the best!


  31. Hi Sir,
    Firstly I hope you are safe in these tough times. I found the article to be quite enriching and insightful.
    I am an engineering graduate with 33 months work experience in an engineering design company having previous acads as 94.2/97.8/7.77 GPA. I have given CAT-2020 and converted calls from IIM L, IIM I and SPJIMR-Ops among other reputed colleges. Currently, I am in a dilemma of choosing between IIM L and SPJIMR-Ops, since I have an inclination towards Operation roles in FMCG companies. Even though from your article and other resources, it’s said that the IIM tag (and that too of Lucknow) carries a lot of weight in the industry, I am unsure due to the specialized role I prefer.
    But if I land a non operations role from IIM L, will it be easier for me to switch to operations based role with IIM L brand tag? In that case of getting an Ops role, will SPJIMR-Ops be a safer choice to go for?


    • Hi Aruneet,

      Glad you found the post useful.

      To use a different line of evaluation — would you have asked the same question if you had a call from IIM-A-B-C?

      The situation does not change in the least since the Ops jobs with SPJIMR are the best you can find in the country with respect to the width depth and the number of offers.

      If you would choose A-B-C then you should choose L as well since all the FMCG firms visit L as well.

      People switch jobs easily post-MBA and finding an Ops job should not be a problem.

      I think you should be able to find good General Management and Ops roles at an IIM given that you have the relevant work-ex.

      All the best!


  32. Mitul says

    Hello sir,
    I’m bit worried about my work ex since I have 4 years of work ex and I’m going for CAT’21. Is it good? Like will get a good chance at IIM or any to B school during placement since I’ve heard that I might not get good chance. I want to pursue Marketing as my core.
    I have also heard that people with more than 3-4 years of experience struggle a lot with placements.


  33. Navdeep Kukreja says

    Hello Sir

    Thanks for your amazing posts and sessions. They have been really helpful and inspiring throughout my preparation journey.

    I couldn’t perform well in CAT’20 but performed relatively better in XAT (98.84), IIFT (99.65) and NMAT (265). I have converted XLRI-HRM, NMIMS Mumbai and am waiting for the IIFT results.

    I am an engineering graduate with a work-ex of 34 months in technical support and product marketing role at a leading switchgear OEM. Having worked closely with core Sales/BD teams, I am a bit inclined towards Marketing.

    Essentially, my work-ex makes me believe I’ll do good in Marketing and my ability to forge connections and my patience/adaptability makes me believe I can do well in HR as well.

    After watching your videos on MBA specializations and the Future You series, I can say I’ll be able to pursue my career in any one of Marketing or HR, but not in Finance/Ops/IT.

    Considering the brand value that XLRI holds and the fact that NMIMS does not have a campus, I have a preference for HRM at XLRI over Marketing at NMIMS right now.

    I would like to understand your perspective and hence request your advice in making this decision.

    Also, in case I convert IIFT-D as well, I need your advice on that front also while comparing with the above two options.

    Thank you!


  34. SK says

    Hi Sir,
    First of all, thank you for your continued guidance through your enlightening posts. In my CAT 2020 attempt, I made sure that I went through each of your posts which actually helped me calm my nerves whenever I got into a panic mode.
    I am a CA with 26 months of experience in due diligence in one of the Big4s. I do not wish to go for further CAT attempts. I aim to specialize in Finance with a focus on IB/Consulting/General Mgmt roles.
    I have converted my IIM Shillong and MDI Gurgaon interviews and I was confused on which college to go for.
    I understand the brand value that an IIM-tag carries, but would that be worth selecting Shillong over MDI-G? My main concern is about placements (which are a bit better at MDI-G in terms of companies), campus life, peer network, and quality of education.
    I am not at all concerned about RoI – as it does not at all consider the intangible benefits of an MBA.
    I’ve also been waitlisted at IIM-K and am awaiting results for IIM-K (Finance). IIM-K is my top priority, but in case it doesn’t work out, I would want to decide between MDI-G and IIM Shillong.
    I could really use your pearls of wisdom to resolve my predicament.
    Thank You!


    • Hi SK,

      Since you are a CA and have a solid idea of the kind of career you want to build I think you are right in your thought process — MDI-G with its alum network will give you access to a wider pool of jobs over the course of a career.

      IIM-K, MDI-G, and IIM-Shillong in that order.

      All the best!


  35. Shraddha Kesarwani says

    Hello Sir,
    I am a B.com fresher and I have converted SRCC-GBO program and IIM Ranchi, Raipur, Kashipur and other new IIMs. But I am confused in between SRCC, IIM Ranchi and Raipur. As they are great college with brand value but when it comes to MBA the preferred choice is IIM. But comparing the ROI, batch size, and experience. I am all confused to decide among them.
    So kindly guide me through it.


  36. Kshitij says

    Hello Sir!
    I am a B.com fresher, I have converted IIM I and IIM K. Which B-School would be well suited for my profile (9/9/8)?
    I am a bit wary of IIM K as they have higher number of people with workex and a CA/CFA charter. Also, both the B-schools now have an equal batch size.
    I am a bit confused between the two.


    • Hi Kshitij,

      It is completely your call since there is little to choose between the two schools other than the fact that K has a much better campus.

      The batch composition does not affect freshers as much as it affects those with more than 40 months of work-ex. In short, no need to be wary of K.

      You can choose either, you will not be making a mistake.

      All the best!


  37. Sir, How should I go about IIM Lucknow vs NITIE vs SPJIM-Ops when my interest is in operations and SCM domain ? which factors I should give more weightage to ?


  38. harikrishnanrenjan says

    Sir, How should I go about IIM Lucknow vs NITIE vs SPJIM-Ops when my interest is in operations and SCM domain ? which factors I should give more weightage to ? I have received calls from all three.


    • Hi Hari,

      To use a different line of evaluation — would you have asked the same question if you had a call from IIM-A-B-C?

      The situation does not change in the least since the Ops jobs with SPJIMR are the best you can find in the country with respect to the width depth and the number of offers.

      If you would choose A-B-C then you should choose L. Between SPJIMR and NITIE there is no difference you should choose in terms of some features that might appeal to you personally (say rural immersion program at SP etc.)

      A post that was put up just today morning might be of help — https://thecatwriter.com/2021/06/02/my-mba-journey-iim-l/

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  39. As says

    Hello Sir,
    I have converted IIML this time. I also have a job offer as a PO in a public sector bank. My profile is (85/89/7.4(Economics, category student 23 years). Cat percentile 91.17(2 year gap). I had a call from C as well but was unable to convert. I am having this constant thought of attempting one more time just because of IIMC(Profile wise not suitable for IIM A,B).
    I feel that if I take up the job then I can appear for CFA L1 as well.
    IIMC has also been a dream college of mine and I feel that the risk vs reward at IIMC is high.
    Please suggest if I should reattempt or join L.


    • Hi As,

      Congratulations on the convert!

      You should first read this post that I put up just today — https://thecatwriter.com/2021/06/02/my-mba-journey-iim-l/

      My personal take — I think there the incremental benefit of joining C over L is marginal at best and that too only if one is looking at very, very, very niche Finance roles, provided one has the exceptional profile needed to crack those toles. The rest is just mere infatuation 🙂 The only other case for making the choice is more of status — if you are from an old IIT — Kharagpur, Madras, Kanpur, or Delhi — then it makes a certain kind (not rational) sense to join only A-B-C.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!



    Hello Tony Sir,

    I am in a similar dilemma of whether to join MDI or IIM Indore (most probably should convert). I am a GEM with 2.5 years + workex at ROBERT BOSCH. My profile is 10/95.2/9.15(86.5%) Btech EE.

    I am slightly inclined towards Finance in future even though from Engineering background. Comparing both colleges, I am seeing almost equal opportunities or atleast comparable . Hence, can you shed some light on how should i choose?

    My follow up question would be what should an engineer with no Fin certification do to cope up with other peers of Finance? Is CFA mandatory?

    Thanks in advance! Expecting your reply


    • Hi Debashrit,

      I would definitely advise you to choose IIM-I over MDI since is no considerable advantage that the older MDI brings to the table. The old IIM brand is much bigger.

      As far as Fin goes, as of now, you say you are slightly inclined, wait until you finish a couple of terms, and if you are still interested then definitely take up a CFA (Level 1 in the 5th term and L2 after graduating) since it has almost become a hygiene factor that will get you many more shortlists (both on and off-campus)

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!



        Thank you sir😄. Had joined Indore. Now just converted SJMSOM. Your views?


  41. Sarthak Basu says

    Hi Sir,
    Thank you for all the guidance that you’ve bestowed over so many years. I have converted NMIMS Mumbai and have a fair shot at JBIMS as well. Would you recommend JB over NM and how would you rank JB amongst Indian B-schools.
    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi Sarthak,

      Congratulations on the admits! The so many years makes it seem like a really long time!

      I have very little information about JB since most of the students I have trained have not been from Mumbai and so I have no personal take on JB that you will be unaware of.

      Between the two the bigger brand is JBIMS and a smaller batch size, so I would recommend that.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Confused Soul says

    Hello Tony sir,
    I got admits from both MDI (PGPM) and IIM Shillong ( not inclined towards marketing), I am in a dilemma of choosing between these two or go for a retake next year my cat score this year was 99.2 (94/99.12/97.8). I have gone through about both the colleges and found that they didn’t have any significant differences between them and also the roles offered were also the same this further adds to the confusion, both colleges don’t get prestigious leadership roles like TAS, ABGLP or P&G ELP.
    I am a GEM with 22 months experience. acads 93.1(CBSE)/95.2(State)/77 (NIT). I have gone through about both the colleges and found that they didn’t have any significant differences between them and also the roles offered were also the same. Would like your opinion on this so that I can take an informed decision.
    Thanks in advance.


    • Hi CS,

      Well, as you have mentioned a few times there is little to choose between the two and anyway choosing between schools in not a MCQ situation.

      I wish I could suggest one over the other but any reason will end up being purely personal (I would choose Shillong purely because I would like to travel across that part of India)

      As for a retake, given that your Acads are fantastic and that you will have only 34 months of work (by no means on the higher side) by June next year, there is no downside profile-wise and options-wise in taking another shot.

      You need to evaluate based on your your aspiration for a bigger college & bigger firms, and appetite & aptitude for another attempt.

      Hope you have read this post — https://thecatwriter.com/2021/02/15/to-re-take-or-not-to-re-take-the-cat-4/

      All the best!


  43. Hi Sir, first of all thank you so much for all the articles out there! Whoever knows that these exist, are indeed blessed.I have convert MDI HR, IB; and IIM Ranchi. I am also waitlisted for IIFT-K(WL-72)Considering ROI and not much interest in HR, I have ruled out MDI. But still will be keen to know your views!! Kindly guide in choosing the right B-School.
    Profile: GEF 9/9/8 26 months in Ops, 18 months gap and 2 months in IT(2017 BTech passout)
    Interest: Prodman; Consulting


  44. Janhavi says

    I agree with EACH AND EVERY point mentioned here.
    Also, I would like to thank you! – I converted IIFT Kolkata last year and I asked you whether I should join or not. You advised me to give another attempt.
    I Was contemplating a second CAT attempt since I’d a 52 percentile in varc( 89 overall)
    I ended up scoring a 98.8 in CAT with all sectionals above 90. Got calls from L, K,I, MDI.
    Waitlisted at L. Converted K ,I, MDI would be joining IIM K. 🙂 My mom proudly tells everyone now that her daughter got admission into an IIM. The feeling is surreal!


    • Congratulations, Jahnavi!

      Really happy to hear that you succeeded on the retake and how!

      Soak in the feeling and savour all the time you can get with your mom.

      All the very best for your MBA!

      I am doing a session Sunday morning on how to make the most of your MBA. Will put up the link here.

      All the best!


  45. Hello Mr. Xavier!
    This post was really insightful! Thank you for this…
    I am in my second year and really sure about doing an MBA. But, I will join a b-school in 2023 or 2024. I have a lot of doubts regarding my profile and how it would fair inside the B-schools. I have a good idea about the selection procedure of most b-schools and how it changes every other season. Due to this, I might have very limited options as my profile is weak. I am utterly clueless about the things that happen inside the b-school. Many people have suggested me to only think about this after I have a convert in the future but I am hesitant about spending 20 Lakhs(that is a huge amount for some of us middle class peeps) to only end in the bottom of the batch. Would you please help answer some of my questions regarding this?

    Profile— 85/85/88 in 10th/12th/graduation, female, BA in journalism, ECAs at college level, some good internships at Ogilvy and PR companies.

    1. As I am considering MBA a little far in the future, would a 8/8/8 profile still get the same company shortlist as it did a few years back(or around this time?), I know you cannot predict the future but I am aware that companies have their own rules for shortlisting candidates, does this change with the applicant pool they are dealing with or it is constant for years?

    2. How do you think a 8/8/8 profile fair during summer internships or finals in IIM BLACKI, FMS, XLRI or MDI? Should I target colleges like MDI or IIFT where I would most likely find students with profiles like mine? I know I do not stand a chance in IIM Indore or IIM Bangalore but the rest of them I have some hopes.

    3.I am interested in Marketing and brand management. How do these companies shortlist candidates? Do they put emphasis on academics score, UG brand name or ECAs? If not the parameters I mentioned then what do they look for? Do you think my profile stands a good chance?

    It would be really helpful if you can answer these three questions. I was planning for GMAT(MiM in Europe most probably) as well but due to family obligations and greater financial problems, I am not too sure about that. If I can get an answer from you it might be help a lot!
    Thank you!


    • Hi Misha,

      Glad to come across students asking the right questions at the right time so that they can do what is necessary to build a great career.

      Firstly, you have an exceptional profile for Marketing since it ticks all the checkboxes and most importantly has the right internships as well. If I add educational and gender diversity to this you can rest assured that placements will be a breeze. So you are by no means at the bottom of the batch, if anything you will get all Marketing shortlists and will be among the first ones to land a job.

      Your 8/8/8 profile will more than suffice for Marketing since they don’t look for academic brilliance but all-rounders with great ECAs unlike say Consulting and Fin which look for outlier academic profiles both before and during an MBA.

      I have done a detailed webinar with specifics as well as actual post-MBA job roles that more than covers everything you need to know about profiles and jobs — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o46wmaM-8L4&list=PLZLYq7TWue8lNn1U5ZkRqnNtj7X-jxKot&index=5&t=2208s&ab_channel=IMSIndia

      In the meantime, take up internships within Marketing and take the CAT in the final year of your graduation.

      MiM is an option to consider if you want to build a career abroad (not really looking to come back to India) and have a bit of cash to spare, else an Indian MBA is fairly good value for money.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  46. Neeraj Goidani says

    Hi Sir,
    Thanks a lot for all your blogs. Love the content and it provides valuable insights. I would request you to help me out with which one choice too. IIFT K vs NM Mumbai.
    I have 2.5 years of work experience in IT. I’m inclined towards IT/ Prodman or Finance as my specialization. At the same time, I’m open to all specializations as I don’t want to close any opportunities right now.


    • Hi Neeraj,

      Congrats on the admit!

      Glad to know that you find the blog useful.

      Apart from the lower fee possibly, I do not see any point in choosing IIFT-K over NMIMS Mumbai. There are no roles that IIFT-K can give you that NMIMS Mumbai cannot, if anything, it will fewer roles on offer since the placements between IIFT-D and K are not completely common.

      Batch size at NMIMS might seem like a hindrance but that’s valid only if you are certain that you cannot finish in the top 300.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!


  47. Hi Sir, First of all, thank you so much for all the articles out there! Whoever knows that these exist, are indeed blessed.

    My Converts: MDI HR, IB; and IIM Ranchi.
    Waitlist: IIFT-K(WL-72) – Looks convertible as per past year trends.

    Given that I have a relatively lesser interest in HR, I am not more inclined towards HR. Would still like to hear your views.

    Kindly guide me in selecting the right B school.

    Category: GEF
    Acads: 9/9/8 (2017 BTech passout)
    Work Ex: 28 Months (26 months in Ops and 2 months in IT) with gap of 18 months in between.

    Interest: Prodman; Consulting


    • Hi,

      It’s tough to square Anshuman Mohanty with GEF!

      Well, you should take up MDI-IB since you have a good profile since it is vastly superior in terms of outcomes.

      The only reason to take up IIM Ranchi should be the finances (do not take MDI-HR due to finances)

      All the best!


    • That I would leave to you. You have the stats of both schools, it finally depends on what matters more to you — average salary or claiming that you are from an IIM — both are equally noble or ignoble 🙂

      All the best!


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