India's MBA Ranking Shakeup

Posted by: Alison Damast on August 30, 2011

It comes as no surprise that the majority of India’s top management schools are the government-run Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). But which of the elite IIMs is the best? For most of the last decade, it has been IIM Ahmedabad, one of the oldest and best-known management schools in the country, but this year there has been a shakeup, according to the Business Today-Nielsen ranking of India’s Best B-schools

In the latest ranking, IIM Bangalore was named the number one school in the country, making it to the top slot for the first time since 2002. In second place is IIM Calcutta, followed by IIM Ahmedabad. It is the first time in eight years that IIM-Ahmedabad has not held the top slot, the editors said.

The IIMs make up seven of the top ten business schools in the rankings, including IIM Indore, IIM Lucknow, and IIM Shillong. “In the context of business education in India, an MBA degree from an IIM has always been the key to riches, glory and recognition,” according to the Business Times’ article revealing the rankings.

The privately funded Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad holds the eighth spot in the ranking, dropping one spot from last year. FMS Delhi and XLRI Jamshedpur both share the tenth spot.

IIM Bangalore has made its way to the number one position because of "its unmasked ambition for growth and an increased thrust on research," according to the ranking editors' note.

One big question the rankings editors raised is what impact the Foreign Education Bill will have on Indian business schools. The bill is being considered by India's parliament and, if it passes, would allow the entry of foreign universities into India. Schools like Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, York University's Schulich School of Business (link) and Georgia Institute of Technology have expressed interest in setting up campuses in India.

Most leading Indian business schools do not appear to be worried, so far at least. "Yes, good institutions are likely to come, and we could all do with some healthy competition," said IIM-Ahmedabad's Director Samir K. Baura, in the Business Times' ranking story.

I'll be curious to see if there will be a more serious shakeup in the BT-Nielson rankings in the coming years when - and if - the Foreign Education Bill passes. Will Indian students want a degree from a brand name Western business school or an IIM, if given the choice? Only time will tell.

Reader Comments


August 30, 2011 4:47 PM

Allison, would you have any interest in doing a piece on the 50th anniversary of IIM Ahmedabad, by far the most sought after b-school in India and whose history is a nice example of successful soft collaboration between the US and India?
New York

Dr Alok Jain

August 30, 2011 10:34 PM

Dear Alison

In India, there is an importance given to the age of things. IIM Ahmedabad and Calcutta had no competition when they were launched. But a lot depends on the tenure of the Director of IIMs who is appointed for 5 years. In Indian Management set up, Director is the head of the B school not the Dean. Management education in India has spread like a wild fire knowing no direction. Out of 4500 B schools, only 200 are doing well. Out of 200, only 50 do not struggle for students. IIM Bangalore's current Director is a visionary. Interestingly, most of IIMs Directors are IIM Ahmedabad faculty only. Soon,there should be a planning to circulate faculty amongst IIMs with promotion to juniors.


August 31, 2011 3:01 PM

Competition is the mother of All progress.


Aloke Chakravartty

September 8, 2011 4:26 AM

It would be good for the country. This will force private B Schools to improve or close down.Some of the Universities will have to improve or will have to close MBA courses. Some state Universities run these courses like Mcom,BSc etc these courses should be closed.
Dr Aloke Chakravartty
Dean,Brainware School of Management

R Nayyar

September 11, 2011 4:32 AM

The success of foreign universities in India will only be determined by the market which recruits the graduates from these colleges. Unless foreign universities back their investment with an MBA delivery model that is based on global research, new study models, case studies and an international faculty, they will struggle to compete with low cost colleges.

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