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 more less close to each other.

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

The IIM-tag predisposes people to think positively about you

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

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


An MBA is about a lot more than your first job

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the rationale behind this?

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

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

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

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


Choose other colleges over new IIMs

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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163 Response Comments

  • Ankit  May 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Great article, helped me in solving the dilemma that I have been facing regarding selection of college. Thanks

    • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Hi Ankit,

      Glad you found it useful to take a call. Usually aspirants have access to those who are currently studying at b-school or those with about 2-3 years of work experience. While they might be able to provide some good information about the current trends at the college, they usually do not have enough experience and exposure to evaluate how things work out in the longer-term.

      Will do another post on how to approach your MBA and the things you need to do make the most of your MBA experience.

      All the best.

      • Sai Srinath  May 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

        Hi Toni,

        I have 3 years experience as ERP consultant with a mechanical engineering background. I have some good knowledge on SCM and inclined towards operations. Citing all these I wanted to join NITIE over IIM-K . Please give me your valuable advice.

        Sai Srinath
        IMS-Hyderabad Student

        • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

          Hi Srinath,
          If you are clear that you want to build a career only in Ops then NITIE is one of the best places to go to. You will not get the same spread of Ops jobs at others colleges barring SP.Jain-Ops.

          That said, IIM-K will give you a more widespread selection of jobs, especially General Management roles in groups such as the Tatas and the ABG and some consulting firms as well.

          So the choice is essentially between a specialised MBA and a General MBA – a call that you have to take.

          • Sai Srinath  May 5, 2016 at 4:47 pm

            Thanks for your reply.

            I wanted to do MBA in operations itself. However NITIE offers a general PGDIM degree which is similar to IIMs. My question is whether I am taking a wise decision of leaving the tag of IIM-K and joining NITIE for operations.

          • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

            While the degree is similar, companies go to both campuses for different profiles. So you will get the best ops jobs at NITIE and you will get to a learn a lot about Ops.

            But you will definitely lose out on the tag, a richer overall experience and a more diverse selection of companies. Also at this stage of your career it’s better to go for width than for depth and the bigger brand. I would say IIM-K any day.

          • Sai Srinath  May 5, 2016 at 5:15 pm

            That is the reason I am confused. I am very clear to go for operations and doesnt want to leave IIM-tag. I have spoke to some of the alumni and current students from K and they said that ops profile companies are very least. When there are no placements in my interested profile what is that I will do with tag.
            For eg in IIM-K I may end up in consulting roles in IT companies and once I get in there with my 3 years pre-MBA in IT, it will be difficult to break the glass and go for pure ops profiles. But where as in NITIE there are chances that I may get pure SCM profiles.
            Please let me know if I am thinking in right track.

          • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm

            If you are very clear on Ops then go for NITIE. I had mentioned the same in my first response. Obviously you will be having a lesser brand but that is a trade-off you have to make. It is not possible to maximize all variables!

  • SARTHAK AGGARWAL  May 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Hii sir,
    I liked your article on brand value and the peer network. I am bit confused between iift kolkata and nmims and new iims. Can u shed some light on what to look for wen comapring nmims, ximb iift k amd new iims.

    • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      I would definitely say put NMIMS and IIFT over new IIMs since you will neither be looking at a great placement nor a great brand nor a great alumni network or campus life at the new IIMs.

      Between NMIMS and XIM-B you need to take a call based on the sector and firms you are looking at. IIFT-Kolkata should be your last option.

      • SARTHAK AGGARWAL  May 5, 2016 at 5:54 pm

        Sir isnt iift kolkata better than nmims& xim-b?

  • Mahendra  May 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    A great post toni.
    I would like to resolve my dilemma that still persists, even after going through your post.
    I have converted FMS and IIM-L, and decided to go for FMS. Resons being: my straight 70s in X/XII/Grad; small batch size,thusly no eaten-alive-phenomenon in summers; more chances of having a peer group with the similar profile. This while I’m not quite sure if I’d ever want to go for entrepreneurship, and fee factor doesn’t matter.
    I understand the Advantage-IIM, and have choosen to forgo it.
    What do you think?
    Am I right in choosing FMS over IIM-L, considering my below average acads?
    Or would you suggest otherwise?

    • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      With FMS it’s always a tricky issue. You raised a valid point about competition. In the past, I have advised students to go for B over A since I felt their personality types were more suited to the sober B compared to the hyper-competitive A since how you fare at the college and feel about yourself can play a huge part in your final placements.

      So if you feel that you will perform better in the smaller batch size at FMS, go for it.

      As I said in a reply to another query, one cannot maximize all variables. So you will be letting go of the brand but it might be better in your case.

  • Mohsin Mohamad  May 5, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Wonderful article. Filled me with all the positives around possible. IIM it is.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Mohsin, Glad it put you in the right frame of mind.
      All the best!

      • Mohsin Mohamad  May 6, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Trying to get more opinions. Would you rather choose a new IIM over an institute like NITIE or DoMS IITM?

        • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

          Yes in case of new IIMs versus other schools, I would always advise other old schools since the new IIMs will not give you access to big peer and alum network, the campuses are not yet fully set up, the placements are still below par. IIM-Shillong can be considered but not the rest.

          • Mohsin Mohamad  May 6, 2016 at 2:44 pm

            I don’t want to be specific but I do hear that some new IIMs are doing pretty good in terms of placements and even shifting to permanent campuses. What would you advise me if its only alum network that differentiates them?

            N.B IIM Tag is what everyone craves for with their CAT dreams. 😛

          • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            Yeah Trichy, Ranchi and Raipur have built up a good reputation. If you are okay with taking a bit of a risk with respect to placements at new IIMs vis-a-vis older, more established schools then go for the new IIMs and invest in getting the brand on to your resume.

          • Mohsin Mohamad  May 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

            Thanks a lot for your time. 🙂

  • Harsha  May 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Toni, its an amazing perspective.
    I need your advice in choosing between IIML and IIMK. Kindly help.

    • Tony Xavier  May 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Harsha, No comparison, the older the better, as far as IIMs go 🙂

      • Harsha  May 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm

        Thank you:-)

  • Shyam  May 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Dear Tony Sir,
    I am DA candidate got calls from k,i,iitb, new iims and got waitlisted by iitb, i and rejected by k. If I convert I or iitb should I join them or shud try for cat16 and A/B/C.?

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Hi Shyam, It’s a tough call to take. Ask yourself three questions – Do you feel you can get a higher percentile on a retake, do you feel you will have the time and stamina for a retake and whether you feel you are made for a better IIM. If the answers to all three are yes go for a retake.

  • Priya  May 5, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Tony! A really helpful article! So I’ve to decide between SP Jain fin and IIM K.. And I’ve decided to go with IIM K..I know ur article makes it pretty clear.. But still SP jain is located in the financial hub Mumbai and it also has a very different and I feel better academic curriculum.. Wats ur take on it?

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi Priya, If you are not an engineer, your profile is aligned to FIN and you are looking at FIN then if you choose SP you will get a Fin job on campus. If you choose K then you will have the brand but will have to find the Fin job off campus since except at A and C, Fin Jobs are slim pickings on most other campuses.

      • Priya  May 6, 2016 at 11:15 am

        Ohh! But on comparing placement reports, it seems K has more fin companies coming in comparison to SP. That’s what made me decide K!

        • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

          S.P has a smaller batch size so it might need free firms. Also while there might be a lot of fin terms in name, banks for example, the roles need not be pure Fin. Also if you have a Fin Profile, commerce or Eco or CA then you can choose K. Even if you don’t get the specific Fin job you need, say IB or trading or ER, at K you can still easily get it off campus through the network.

  • Isha  May 6, 2016 at 12:13 am

    Hi there, really good article. However, need an advice. I am interested in finance and have to choose between IIM Kozhikode and IIFT Delhi. I wish to join IIM K for the reasons mentioned in ur article but I am not sure of the finance placements at K. As in wdr they r as good as Iift or not in terms of both package and profiles. could u suggest?

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Hi Isha, There is a huge brand difference between IIFT and IIM-K . You need to check how may really good Fin jobs are there at IIFT. They get a lot of marketing jobs due to the Delhi location and lots of commodity trading jobs(usually an Africa posting). The full buffet of Fin jobs are available only at A and C and to a certain extent SP Finance. You might not get your desired Fin job at K but if you have a Fin profile, commerce background or CA you can get a Fin job off campus without much difficulty.
      See if you can speak to this year’s IIFT grads and find out. I have reached out a few past grads to find out more.

      • Isha  May 6, 2016 at 2:04 pm

        Thanks for your prompt response. I have talked to a few people from IIFT and they are happy with finance placements there. I am sure though that they still do not compete A/B/C/L. Anyway, considering that I have an engineering backgroud with 21 months of engineering/analyst experience, and wish to pursue MBA in Finance, should I still join K over IIFT? I am not so sure of finance placements at Kozhikode. Kindly suggest. Thanks

        • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 2:36 pm

          Let me speak to a few students currently studying at K and get back. By when do you need to pay the fee?

          • Isha  May 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm

            Alright thanks. I have paid the fees at both. I need to cancel one in a week’s time. Thank you so much Sir 🙂

  • Akshay Kumar Nikhil  May 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

    What about IIMK and IIFT? Esp in the marketing domain? With respect to batch size, profiles offered etc? Does the IIM tag put K above an institution like IIFT? K will be completing its 20 year, so that’s a significant milestone, but IIFT has also improved in the last couple of years.

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:05 am

      For Marketing jobs you should choose an IIM, IIFT will not get you any better marketing jobs in comparison to IIM-K. Campus and brand value will be much bigger and better if you choose K. One cannot play it too safe and too short-term.

      • Akshay Kumar Nikhil  May 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm

        Thanks, sir.

  • Venu  May 6, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Hi Tony sir,
    I have converted IIM S and IIT B, which should I choose and why. I am a fresher ( B.Tech – Mech, VIT) and want to settle at an international arena ( either directly or after 3 yrs of work ex by getting a career consultant / taking GMAT to enter Ivy leagues( max. 5 yrs work ex) ). So with the above constraints in mind, pls pour in your views. Expecting to hear back from you at the earliest.
    P.S I was in that IMS Tambaram WhatsApp grp

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:37 am

      Hi Venu,

      In the shorter-term given that the market is currently pretty good IIT-B will give you a better first job. My student who graduated from IIT-B said placements were very good last year.

      In terms of your long-term plan, financing an education abroad is not easy so the more you save up towards that in the short-term the better.

      Also, when applying abroad the brand name of the college matters and IITs have a super-sized reputation abroad as compared to IIMs.

      So I would suggest IIT-B over IIM-S for your career plans.

      All the best.

  • Nakul Kapoor  May 6, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Hello Sir. A great article, again. I need your advice on this.
    I scored 96 percentile in CAT 2015 (First Attempt). My acads are below average, being (80,70,80 in X, XII and Graduation(BITS Pilani)). I am from Merchant Navy (Non Engineer) and have about 2 years of experience.

    I may convert MDI PGP-HRM (355 WL).

    I want to get into consulting firms and there are firms like Aon Hewitt, Mercer, EY, Hay Group which come to MDI for HR students.

    Should I go for it or should I wait for few more years and then try for ISB?

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Hi Nakul,

      You have a different profile and only the XII marks are below par so to say.

      Firstly do you want to get into HR consulting or consulting in general? If it is HR then join the MDI HRM program.

      But if it is business consulting you want to look at then definitely ISB, they get close to 300-350 jobs every year in Consulting. So with 1 more year and a 700 plus GMAT score you should be able make it to ISB.

      HR is a very niche field and it’s usually next to impossible to move from HR to business roles whereas the other way round is not difficult at all.

      All the best!

      • Nakul Kapoor  May 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

        Hello Sir

        Thankyou for a quick reply.

        What is the difference between business consulting and HR consulting? If you can clear this thing to me, it would be of great help in deciding what I want.
        I do know that in business consulting, you advise clients on strategy and approaches. But I have no idea about HR consulting.

        Moreover, I don’t have a corporate background and if I combine this with my average academics, is it realistically possible to go into business consulting post ISB?

        • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 11:54 am

          Hi Nakul,

          HR consulting would involve helping out companies with recruitment of resources at various levels, organization structure etc.

          So if you feel HR is your preferred choice and you want to get out of the Merchant Navy (my dad is a shippie as well so I can understand to a certain extent) then go for MDI HRM.

          ISB only looks at graduation academics and if your grad marks are below 80 then you will definitely need a score around 740.

          All the best.

          • Nakul Kapoor  May 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm

            Thankyou Sir.

  • Madhura  May 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Hi, I have calls from XLRI HR, SP Jain Finance and IIM Indore. Waitlisted by IIM B( 82 in open category). X, XII, grad, cat (95.38,91.67,9.33 COEP BTech IT, 95.98).
    I am not sure about HR. So ruling out XLRI. I am confused between Sp J and IIM I. I think I like finance. I have 10 months work ex at Credit Suisse in an IT Tech role. Please advice. Thank you in advance.

    • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Madhura, It’s a tricky situation. You will be assured of a good Fin placement at S.P.Jain, the odds of the same are lower at IIM-I. If you had a commerce background I would have suggested IIM-I since you could have easily got a Fin job off campus.
      So if you are really really keen on Fin then may be SP is safer. If you are open to other sectors and roles you should join I. Women generally fare much better in campus placements due to the diversity factor.

      • Madhura  May 6, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        Thank you for prompt reply sir. Will CFA L1 help in final placements at Indore? I am quite keen on finance. Giving CFA this December.

        • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          Yeah that would definitely help. At IIM-C there are more than 70 people with atleast a CFA L1!

          • Madhura  May 6, 2016 at 6:31 pm

            Ok thank you. More inclined towards iim Indore right now. One more question, is the batch size of IIM I really a big issue? Also its reputation has taken a big hit in recent years apparently, so it is a big risk to go to I right now?

            Many thanks in advance. Really appreciate the help sir.

          • Tony Xavier  May 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

            In the longer run the current rep among aspirants won’t matter. Batch size need not be consideration for you since women usually tend to get placed fastest on campus!

  • Vikram  May 7, 2016 at 1:56 am

    Hello Sir,
    A great article indeed.I am a graduate from NIT Surathkal and have work ex of 2.5 years in ONGC.I quit my job last year to give CAT.Couldn’t do as well as had expected.Got offers from SIBM-P and NMIMS and was rejected by SPJ(Ops).Chose SIBM but I am not that much inclined towards Marketing.Now I have received an offer from IIM Nagpur.I would like to know how important a brand is if we consider the long term prospects that includes an entrepreneurial stint.Also an year gap would be justifiable only if I land into one of the IIMs.I also think that with NIT+ONGC tag an IIM would be a better choice than SIBM.A bit confused.What’s your take.Thanks.

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Vikram,
      Given that you are from an NIT you need to do your MBA from a brand that at the least has the same standing as NIT. SIBM-P is a good brand but it is not in the same league as NIT.

      Also, Marketing firms do not take people with more than 12 months of work experience unless that work ex is relevant. So the job offers for your profile and background might be far and few at SIBM.

      So if you need to join this year and have an entrepreneurial bent of mind then definitely you have to take risk with IIM-Nagpur keeping the longer term in mind.

      Another option is to start working again and give a shot at S.P.Jain and ISB via the GMAT.

      Hope this helps.

  • Akash Choudhury  May 7, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Toni Sir,
    Thank you for such a helpful article.
    I am undecided between SPJAIN Fin and IIFT D
    I am an engineer with an IT background at IBM of 9 months . Given the fact that IIFT has 6 semesters and SPJ has 4 (which translates to IIFT having more class time than SPJ) and the fact that Investment Banking Roles were absent from this year’s plcement report at SPJ , what would you advise?

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      It’s a very tough call to make. Does IIFT have IB firms visiting?

      • Akash Choudhury  May 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        Yes some do visit, albeit for the summers and not the final placements. Eg:- Goldman Sachs.
        If I decide to pursue a career in corporate finance , what then?
        Since front end IB roles are available only in A and C in India.

        • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 6:49 pm

          Corp Fin roles are available at both SP and IIFT, which has trade fin roles as well. Honestly in terms of placements both won’t differ by much. It’s just that SP is the bigger brand and not by much. Also SP filters on CAT, XAT, GMAT scores( all three of which are tougher than IIFT) and does not have category, so peer group (with no offense to anyone) will be better.

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      In terms of brand SP is the bigger brand in a way and also in terms of location for Fin. At IIFT Goldman Sachs and HSBC come for Fin roles but they take people with relevant background such as CA, CFA or Commerce or work experience. So if you are planning to really focus on IB you have to do a CFA L1 by December since almost all engineers really serious about Fin are doing it. Else even if you go to IIFT the odds if you cracking that Fin job are low, making SP a better net since they will get 60 Fin jobs for all the seats they have.

  • Viresh Verma  May 7, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Sir, I’m a fresher (Xth-95, XIIth-90.60 and Grad- 90.60, XAT-99.327, CAT-98.51). I have converted XLRI-BM and IIM-Shillong this year (wailtlisted in IIM Indore) and have a job offer with Grofers. With the unpredictability of CAT/XAT and other such exams, do you think it would be wise to give up XLRI-BM/IIM-S to try for a top-3 school next year?

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Vireah, The choice depends on your career aspirations. If you are looking at Marketing or Finance this work ex is not going to matter much you might as well join now and join XL-BM.
      If you are looking at Consulting or Technology firms such as Amazon and Flipkart or Gen. Mgt firms such as TAS or ABG join Grofers work for two years and then get in.
      If you have no clue as to your career plans join XL-BM now!

  • Ajinkya  May 7, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I have converts from iims and nitie and am expecting to clear the mdi pgpm waitlist. I am an engineer – male – general category with acads as follows – 10th 90.30, 12th 86.83, grad 69.07 MIT,Pune. I was interested in finance and ops, but I’m planning to opt for ops/general management since with my profile and converts, I don’t think I can get the best finance roles. Will nitie be a good option? Also I quit my job in August to prepare. How should I approach to explain that in summer placements?

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Which IIMs do you have? And can you tell me about your work ex?

  • Mba_aspirant  May 7, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Hello Tony,
    I have a 3.5 yrs exp in IT field and have received an admit from iim indore and waitlisted for iit b(shall clear in the next list). Being a category student the fees for iim i will be triple of iit b. I am from Mumbai i would prefer this location.
    Another factor that prompts me to go for iit b is the fact that i have average acads (80s) and the batch size is a big advantage. Competing with 120 seems easier than competing with 500.
    My first preference is consulting and second is finance.
    Please help me make a decision.

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      With your profile IT Consulting and Technology Firms will be the jobs that you are likely to land.
      If the financials are a huge constraint then join IIT-B, else it will not be that tough to get into IT BD or Pre-Sales at IIM-I despite the batch size since they recruit in large numbers.
      So join IIM-I if the budget permits.

  • Jyotirmoy Ghosh  May 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Hello Sir,
    After reading through your article I have a good understanding about the brand importance. But can you please help me with the choice between IIFT Delhi and IIM Indore. I am a final year Mechanical engg. student. Also are the commodity profiles at iift open for freshers?

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Jyotirmoy,
      The choice depends a lot on the sector you wish to pursue. If you are keen on Finance or Comodity Trading then IIFT will be the better option, provided your profile is suitable, especially so for Finance.
      Since you are engineer and have no certifications related to Finance it will be tough to crack Finance with your current profile unless to join IIFT and clear the Level 1 of Finance in December and learn more while preparing for L2.

      Comodity trading jobs you can get through doing the course work, securing the required grades and knowing more about the sector during your time at IIFT. While a few trading firms do visit other campuses as well it is at IIFT that would will get the maximum roles.

  • Rushit  May 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Tony Sir,
    I got admitted into IIM-I ’16-18 Batch.
    My acads are 89/94/8.7 (VJTI CS’14, Mumbai).
    Currently working in IT with a CTC of 13 LPA with a keen inclination towards finance. I will be appearing for CFA L1 this june but am not sure how I will fare in it. I read in one your comments that Fin jobs have slim pickings in most of the colleges except A & C. If that is the case, is it worth joining I considering my current CTC and overall academic background ? Can I expect good jobs in Fin @Indore ?
    Thanks !

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Rushit, Indore will not have the full buffet of Fin jobs but if you do a CFA L1 and L2 you can get a shot at IB jobs off campus.
      If you have the stomach for it you should take another shot given your current CTC and try for A and C.

  • Kanishka Gupta  May 7, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Should I prefer new IIMs like Ranchi , Trichy over established colleges like IIFT & MDI , for the brand?

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Nope not new IIMs over MDI or IIFT.

  • Chandrakanth  May 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Hello Sir,

    First of all thanks for such a superb article.Please help me with my dilemma.

    I’m currently working in BPCL as Ops. Officer (Pipelines) with 35 months work ex. I’m a graduate in Mechanical engg. from NIT Nagpur. My acads. are X/XII/B.Tech. – 84.2/92.2/68.3.
    I converted NITIE and IIT B, waitlisted in IIM Indore(hopefully convert it). I’m interested in Ops. slightly inclined towards NITIE (as per advise of seniors).
    Please help me make a decision between these three colleges. I’m worried about my low CGPA in B.Tech. I would also like to know whether brand NITIE help me down the line(you have never mentioned NITIE in your post)

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      If you want to build a career in Ops alone, go for NITIE. If you are looking at a more Gen Mgt. profile choose IIM-I. It is choice between a specialized option and a general option plus brand.

      • Chandrakanth  May 7, 2016 at 7:34 pm

        But just talking of NITIE and considering its vast alum base, ROI and various other factors how would u rate NITIE out of 10.

        • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm

          For Ops 9.5/10 As a full-fledged MBA program about 7/10

  • Nikhil  May 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Hi Sir,
    I must say that your article has removed all the doubts linguring in my mind. I wanted to ask if iim Indore is suitable for finance and banking domain. Please enlighten if you have any idea.
    And also is the batch size of iim indore something to worry about?
    Thanks in advance

    • Tony Xavier  May 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Nikhil,
      Pure finance jobs are available only at A, C and to a lesser extent at IIFT and SP Jain. While banking will be available at all campuses.

      IIM-I batch size will be a problem depending on where you stand in the batch. I think it should not be too much of a problem if you finish in the top 100, which is not very tough.

  • Abhishek  May 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Sir,

    I have converted both IIM Indore and IIFT Delhi. My inclination is towards finance and I would be preferring consulting or technology profiles for job.
    My profile:
    10th – 90.46%
    12th – 75.67%
    B.E. – 72.69%
    1.5yrs workex in IT
    Considering my profile, will I be even eligible for consulting roles in Indore?
    According to you, which college should I go to?

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 9:32 am

      Hi Abhishek, A small query I don’t understand what you mean by inclination towards Finance and job preference for Consulting and Technology?

      For IT Consulting you definitely have a shot. For business consulting it depends a lot on your college background. Getting a shortlist is tough if you are not from an IIT/NIT unless you have relevant work ex in consulting at firms such as ZS or GS.

      So I would suggest you go for the brand.

  • Krishanu Bhattacharjee  May 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Hello Sir,

    While you have really written a very insightful and informative article here, it places me in a slightly difficult position and I would request your advice on this.

    Currently I have converted DU(MBE) and DoMS IIT Madras, while being waitlisted at IIM Indore. Considering that I do not clear the IIM I waitlist, I had decided to go with any of the new IIMs which I might convert. I was under the impression that that the IIM brand would counter the fact that these schools have only been set up recently.

    I do not have any definite specialization in my mind and only a slight inclination towards the HR domain which is subject to change. As such, what would you suggest me to do considering the long term prospects.

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi Krishanu, The options you have apart from the IIMs are slightly safer bets than the new IIMs. So if you are okay with a bit if unpredictability regarding how placements will turn out. I will say go for the new IIMs since IIT-M and DU(MBE) are only marginally better. The brand will win out in the longer run.

  • Roshan Desai  May 7, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Hello Sir, I have converted IIM Indore 2016-18. I scored 98.43 in CAT, 99.823 in XAT and 99.67 in NMAT. I did not get a call from XL (didnt cross the DM cut-off) and NMIMS (hadnt filled the institute form). I have a job offer from ZS Associates in an IT role. My acads are decent (Xth/XIIth/Grad: 95.82/91.5/82) I am not really sure about my specialisation. I have an affinity towards the media sector. With this background, should I join IIM I or should I get some work-ex and try again?

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Hi Roshan, It’s a tricky question. If you feel you can get a higher percentile and crack the top three go for a retake. Also ZS is a good brand to have on your resume so it will be good for you in terms of enhancing your profile.

      So if you have a bit of a risk appetite I would say take the job and give it another shot, else join now.

      • Roshan Desai  May 8, 2016 at 7:56 pm

        My designation at ZS Associates is Service Delivery Analyst, which is kind of a back-end IT role, with not much to learn (based on inputs received from seniors working there). At present, I am not really aware of what a consulting job really involves. Could you please shed light on that? Also, do media companies like Multi Screen Media and Star have any preferences regarding experience?

        • Tony Xavier  May 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm

          Hi Roshan,

          Consulting firms a work with organizations to help them improve their revenues. This can be through strategic consulting to help them decide their future strategy, this can be through ops consulting to improve their operational efficiencies and brand consulting who help reposition the brand. Different consulting companies develop expertise in specific industries some can be really good in the power sector, others in It others in manufacturing etc. Every project is taken on by a small team that works with the client to first understand the business inside out and then suggest and implement a solution (the latter depends on the scale of the project). So when in consulting you will not be sticking to single firm but working with different firms over a short periods. Eventually you might choose to become an expert in a particular domain.

          Media companies do not have any preference per se since it is very tough for them to find people with relevant work experience. A student of mine who graduated from IIM-C the year before last is currently working with STAR, where he got placed from campus after converting a PPO. He is from an NIT and had work experience of more than 2 years in Neyveli Lignite. So what they look for is a profile similar to those sought by Marketing firms (sans the fresher requirement) — good extra-currics, exceptional communication skills and a way with people.

          Hope this helps.

  • Raghav Agarwal  May 8, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Hello Sir. I am interested in pursuing a career in finance. I have calls from all the new IIMs. Can you please suggest which parameters should I consider while choosing my B school. Can you also shed some light on the importance on bloomberg terminals as udaipur is the only new IIM with bloomberg terminals. Moreover trichy and udaipur are shifting to their permanent campus this year. How important this will be in the long run?

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Raghav,
      The first criteria to select is to see if the b-school caters to or is known for the sector/roles you wish to pursue.

      Finance is a niche sector with only few colleges offering high quality finance jobs. While banks hire from new IIMs, the roles tend to be marketing roles rather than pure finance.

      So if you are really serious about Finance, you should pursue an MBA from OLD IIMs especially A and C or SP or IIFT.

      Also if you are engineer you should take up some certification courses in Finance such as FRM or even better if you can take the CFA since you will be competing with Commerce grads and CAs.

      • Raghav Agarwal  May 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        Thank you for the input.

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      The bloomberg terminals are comps with access to Bloomberg data on the markets, which in itself is just an add on. The main thing is that fin companies have to visit the campus. Or should have the profile to get a Fin job off campus.

  • Ms. Krishna Gohil  May 8, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Hi Tony, the post sure is good.

    Could you give your perspective for IIM Indore v/s MDI.

    I am a BBA grad from Symbiosis Pune and have 20 month work ex in Personal Finance Advisory.

    I want to take up finance or strategic consulting during MBA.


    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Krishna,
      I know MDI might seem to be a safer bet given IIM-Is batch size. Finance and consulting is a niche field and not really too many jobs will be there on offer on both campuses. Your profile is suited to finance so you will easily get whatever a Fin jobs are available at both places.

      I would suggest IIM-I since batch size should not be a criterion for female aspirants, they tend to get shortlisted by almost all the firms.

      With an IIM degree and your background you can easily build a career in Finance.

      Hope this helps.

      • Ms. Krishna Gohil  May 8, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        Thanks 🙂

  • pradeep  May 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Hello !!

    I’ve converted NITIE, NMIMS and IIT b. I have a work ex of approx 4 yrs and 6 months and Im planning to take up finance as specialization. Can you please tell me which colg will be good the MBA in finance. I’m very confused.

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Pradeep, If your profile does not have anything related to Finance – education, CA or work experience – you will not be getting Fin shortlists despite going to any of these colleges since you have 4.5 yrs.
      You are most likely to get senior roles in the sector/domain in which you have been working.

      • Pradeep  May 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion tony!!! I have work as technical sales engineer !!! So In that case marketing would be better to choose I guess rather than finance stream. But will be any problems during placements for me. Like do companies prefer candidates with low exp than high exp candidates ??

        • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm

          You are more suited to a Marketing profile and while normally Marketing roles are given to freshers those with relevant experience can get shortlists. You would need to participate in marketing contests become part of the marketing clubs and stuff.

  • Harry  May 8, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Hi, I missed the opportunity of joining IIMs this year but got through XLRI BM program. After reading your article I am having a second thought about joining XLRI. I am from NIT with more than two years of work ex in automobile industry. Post MBA i would prefer to work in manufacturing /automobile sector or consulting sector. Please guide if XLRI is a good option or not as I have heard that for operations XL is not an ideal option.

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Harry, Firstly if you are looking at a pure Ops role then SP Jain NITIE and IITs are the best options.

      But you will be better off keeping things open as of now and look at Gen Mgt. Roles with TAS and ABG . Since you are from NIT you can also easily get roles with strategy and ops consulting firms such as Delloitte as well. So I would suggest joining XL and looking at these roles unless you are really keen on A, B, C, L.

      • Harry  May 20, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Hi Sir, I am finally joining XLRI. I don’t have much to show against co-curricular.Couple of college level certificates and an award at workplace. Will it pay a spoil sport during placements ? What will you suggest to boost my profile.

        • Tony Xavier  May 25, 2016 at 12:22 pm


          A poor profile is not a negative as much as a good profile is a positive.

          What you should take up depends a lot on the specializations or domain you want to get into:

          For GENERAL MGT Roles in firms such as TAS and ABG, you need to have some good Positions of Leadership. So if you can get elected into the student council you can rest assured that you will get shortlists from these firms (I got shortlists from these firms despite a less than stellar CGPA (6.97/10) at L.

          For MARKETING Roles, get into marketing clubs, enter marketing contests and participate in a lot of extra-curricular events — SPORTS, CULTURALS and such things count a lot for a Marketing shortlist.

          For FINANCE Roles, put your head down and slog it out to get a good CGPA. Do a certification FRM or CFA if possible.

          Hope this suffices,

          All the best!

  • TARUN ARORA  May 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    My name is Tarun Arora. Profile:
    10-9.6 CGPA
    Grad from DCE-78 Fresher
    I have prepared for more than 1 Yr for cat. I wasn’t able to score high in varc (barely reaching 85-90) in mocks. Same happened in cat where I got 97.62 overall with 82 in English .
    With this I converted my best call that I had of IIM Shillong. But I have a job offer from EXL SERVICES as well which pays me 6 LPA. Sir please guide so as to what should I do?
    And what types of profile are offered in Shillong (especially marketting and consulting) as compared to other B-Schools like MDI, IIM-INDORE. Or is this completely out of their league?

    Tarun Arora

  • Arjun  May 8, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Sir great article…
    I have converted NITIE and waitlisted at IIM I
    I have no inclination towards sales and marketing..
    And my X / XII / B TECH / M TECH
    88/ 95.33/ 7.43(69.7%)/ 9.06 will the b tech mark cause problems..
    And 0 work ex … sir which one to choose.
    Which will assure get me more shortlists for placements
    Thanks in advance

  • Mk  May 8, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    As you have talked at length on the IIM tag throughout the article to differentiate IIMs from other B-schools, I have the following pointers that I would like to present here.

    1) The lead: When you are going for, say xlri, over IIM K, you are ideally placing yourself at a higher position and at a much better pay (assuming you would perform equally well had you been in K). Suppose that lead is of 4 lacs/year in salary and a similar gap in job role. Will an IIM tag help you so much as to overcome this difference in short span of time. Will it not take at least a decade (again with assumptions) to cover up this lead? Will you not be living a much better life during the period with better pay and profile.

    If not, aren’t you compromising on your well being to get that IIM tag, so that “common people” perceive you favorably. I am sure a well informed person will always know the difference between IIM K and XLRI.

    2) The tag itself: To whom are we looking to show this tag. Will the MBA grad headhunters not understand the difference between an XL grad and an IIM I/K grad? Especially, when he/she will be frequently coming across lots of MBA grads because of the nature of his/her job. Should we classify those professionals as ill informed to consider XLRI/FMS as a better institute than IIM I/K? They certainly are better informed to consider this have been making right decisions (see point no.3)

    3) Current situation: Now, it’s a paradox that is being witnessed if we were to believe your set of reasoning.

    How on earth recruiters keep giving those opportunities to these non-IIMs colleges over other lesser colleges which happen to be IIMs. If that really works, how is it not working?

    Why all those reputed profiles and roles are still being offered to a XL/FMS student and not IIM K student. The IIM tag is clearly not working here.

    4) Friends/families/that other person who talks about people in authority.
    I don’t understand the purpose of “IIM tag” here. How will it help with these people’s perception. He might be chit chatting about that manager being an IIM grad, but he will not have a say anyhow. As I said, the headhunters/top professionals will know.

    All I have to say is that the IIM tag is misplaced. It’s not working at places where it really matters. It’s working to give one a false sense of pride among common/less informed people. Surely, we are moving towards wrong directions with this piece of your article.

    • Tony Xavier  May 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      Firstly, a company does not offer a lower role to a guy at IIM-K as opposed to a guy at XL, neither will the firm offer lower pay. So the head start will not be in terms of pay nor in terms of role since when we are talking averages it does not mean that every guy at XL will get 4L more than every guy at IIM-K. So if your profile is suitable to say HUL, the only thing that matters is whether HUL visits IIM-K or not. Hence, essentially what you are missing out on is the firms that visit one campus and not the other.

      Now why do some companies go only to XL and not to IIM-K. Companies go because of two reasons: they have been going there traditionally and have relationship with the campus and they have alums from the college working with them.

      How do colleges attract recruiters? The placement cells of colleges keep a track of the alums and where they are working. They contact the alums and ask them to see if they can visit the campus. So when a college is new it’s alums would have spread out across various sectors making it difficult to get the whole range of firms to campus. This is the big reason why young colleges have a tough time. The placement cells will try their best speaking to firms and positioning their campuses but their is only so much they can do. But over a period of time as more and more alums spread out to more and more firms and take up senior roles, those firms start visiting campuses.

      This year when they wanted to recruit more people the big consulting firms recruited from IIM-K as well. I am sure in a few years they will start regularly visiting IIM-K as well. In our batch at L, for the final round of McKinsey our students had to go to Mumbai (and not on campus like it was on A, B and C), L was not considered big enough then but now McKinsey is a regular on campus. What changed, time and alums from L working at McKinsey reaching senior positions.

      XL has a huge advantage in the fact that HR departments tend to have a lot of XL people. So they will visit XL and placements will never be a problem.

      Lets ignore all the common people and focus only on the corporates. 10 years back XL will have been ahead of IIM-L because K was just established in 96-97 but today with 20 years, enough alums and having become fully established the gap is narrower and will continue getting narrower.

      Most importantly the guy getting into IIM-K has cleared the CAT a test that is taken by twice as many people as the number that take the XAT. So the same percentile means more on the CAT than the XAT. A small but relevant point that makes cracking the CAT a bigger accomplishment than cracking the XAT.

      So what is essentially left is the perception or rather the prestige associated with an IIM.

      At the end of the article I have clearly mentioned that the views are my own, knowing fully well that people might differ in their opinion.

      • Mk  May 8, 2016 at 11:05 pm

        Fair enough Sir. I felt it can be discussed objectively so I made those few points.

        Also, regarding admission procedures in these colleges, I have to say, IIMs will still fail to score here with CAT as they have close to 50% students under reserved category versus all merit in XL.

        Additionally, there are too many variables that you have not taken in account in the CAT vs Xat argument. By that logic, SBI PO should have been the toughest exam in India. I (and sure many other would have) had found it very easy to crack this year compared to CAT and XAT. Though, that’s a different debate altogether and I should keep it for some other day as this article is here to make a different point.

        Anyways, thanks for your inputs and analysis.

        • Tony Xavier  May 9, 2016 at 12:07 pm

          Hi MK,

          While our discussion has veered towards the narrow path of IIM I-K versus XL, my post was intended more towards colleges such as IIFT, SP or MDI. The XL versus IIM-I and K debate as I said after a point becomes a matter of preference. If you see most of the queries to the post, in fact not a single query refers to the XL versus IIM I-K conundrum — may be because people have no doubt and have made a clear choice in favour of XL. But there is another reason as well.

          XAT and CAT are very different as tests since XAT tends to favour those with good Verbal Ability with more than half of the test having a lot of reading owing to the DM section, whereas CAT is skewed towards Quant, DI and LR. This is one of the reasons why over the years there I have found only a small overlap between CAT crackers and XAT crackers. Another reason is also the fact that once you know you have done really well on the CAT, well enough to clear the sectionals and overalls one tends to tail off on the XAT. But those who are good but have a bad day on the CAT, approach XAT with more earnestness. So as tests we should not actually be comparing the two qualitatively. And yes, ff the same audience taking the CAT and XAT takes up the SBI PO as well, it will become a really tough exam.

          The thing about reservation is that it is here to stay whether we like it or not. While 50% of the seats at IIMs are reserved, they have increased the total number of seats, making the number of general seats at XL and the old IIMs will comparable give or take 20-30. Corporates have not shown less interest in IIMs post the increase in reservation (While deserving General candidates are missing out, corporates are finding value in the candidates who are there. Many of my students who have an NC-OBC category have done exceptionally well at the IIMs, getting into firms such as Amazon after going through a gruelling 4-6 rounds of interviews).

          I deliberately made the post not about numbers since people are being too objective and having queries between IIM-I and IIFT-D and I had mentioned the same at the beginning of the post! Now it might be that in the short-term IIFT-D looks like a sure-shot bet and IIM-I has not covered itself in glory by increasing its batch size. But over the longer term your resume is going to say IIM or IIFT and definitely the IIM brand will get you more look-ins and a larger network.

          All the best.

  • TARUN ARORA  May 8, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    My name is Tarun Arora. Profile:
    10-9.6 CGPA
    Grad from DCE-78 Fresher
    I have prepared for more than 1 Yr for cat. I wasn’t able to score high in varc (barely reaching 85-90) in mocks. Same happened in cat where I got 97.62 overall with 82 in English .
    With this I converted my best call that I had of IIM Shillong. But I have a job offer from EXL SERVICES as well which pays me 6 LPA. Sir please guide so as to what should I do?
    Tarun Arora

    • Tony Xavier  May 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Tarun,

      You should take a call based on two things:

      1. The kind of jobs you are looking at post your MBA and
      2. The appetite for another attempt

      Firstly, if you want o build a career in Sales & Marketing then you should take up an MBA straight away since Marketing firms usually prefer freshers.

      If you are looking at jobs in Consulting/General Management/Technology firms(such as Amazon/Flipkart) you should get work experience of 2 years and then join.

      I think a 97.62 is a good percentile on a first attempt and I think you can improve on VA-RC for sure provided we are able to identify what the problem is. You are not alone in facing this problem, many students have improved dramatically one section in their second attempt.

      So if you ask me you should give it another shot since EXL is a good, non-standard, brand to have on your resume, unless you are very keen on Sales & Marketing.

  • Srikant Nair  May 8, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Sir. Thanks for the wonderful article.

    I am chemical engineering fresher from a college in Gujarat. 93.1/90.8/ 80.7.. X, XIIth and Grad respectively. I have a campus placement at Reliance Industries Limited.

    I have converted NMIMS and IIFT K. I am waitlisted at 277 for MDI and 304 for IIM S. I do not have any specialization in mind right now. So in the broader prospect of things, should I take a second shot or join IIFT K/NM this year?

    • Tony Xavier  May 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Srikant,

      Honestly, it is tough to answer the questions since you do not have any specific preference.

      For example, if you had mentioned an interest in Marketing I would have suggested joining straightaway.

      If you had mentioned Finance then I would have suggested taking another shot, clearing CFA L1 and cracking A, B, C or SP Finance.

      If you had mentioned General Management/Consulting roles then I would have suggested working for two years and then joining.

      So it is a bit tricky for me to suggest anything if you do not have a specific preference.

      Hope this helps.

      • Srikant Nair  May 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm

        It indeed is helpful. Thank you sir.

  • Aditya Sharma  May 9, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I have converted IIMK.Should I join it or try for cat next year(10-92,12-86,Grad-86(Manipal University)).Also have converted XL HR,IIFT D,MDI.

    • Tony Xavier  May 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Aditya,

      The retake is always a tricky decision to make. If you are passionate about Marketing and want to build a career and rise to the CEO-level via the marketing ladder join now (unless you have a sales & marketing job in hand) since all leading marketing firms prefer freshers to work ex candidates (unless they have relevant work-ex)

      If you are undecided about which sector you want to choose, I suggest you use the following parameters to decide (since it would be wrong on my part to put myself in your shoes since we both of us will be very different).

      Firstly, do you believe that you deserve and have the ability to get into the A,B, C or L?
      Secondly, do you have a job that will look on your resume — Analytics, Core, E-Commerce (anything non-IT)?
      Thirdly, do you have the stamina for another attempt (how much did this attempt take out of you)?

      If the answers to ALL these three questions are YESes then take another shot, else join K.

      Hope this helps.

  • Lalit  May 10, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Hello Sir. I’m Lalit, doing my final year:B.E-Mech Engg in a college in Chennai affiliated to ANNA UNIV.
    My profile 10.0/92/{7.5(until now)}
    I’m looking forward in writing the CAT & GMAT.
    Considering the fact that I’m interested and more inclined towards taking a Consulting based career, what do you suggest I do; should I gain work-ex initially or get an MBA as a fresher?
    Secondly, is there any chance to do an MBA abroad at a good university without work-ex?
    Last, comparing the MBAs from India and abroad, which degree stands to get a better job(better salary packages)?

    • Tony Xavier  May 10, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Lalit,

      For Consulting if you have an exceptional academic pedigree (IIT/NIT) and marks you can get shortlists even as a fresher. Those from other colleges can also get shortlists, a senior of yours from Mech. had almost all consulting shortlists at IIM-A as a fresher but his profile was outstanding in terms of Acads as well as extra-currics.

      So in your case you would have to make it up with work experience.

      Colleges abroad have a separate program for freshers called Masters in Management that caters to freshers looking to enter into the field of management. Two of your seniors are doing their MiM currently from ESSEC in Paris, I can put you in touch with them so that you can know more about those programs.

      For MBA programs abroad you would need at least 3 years of work experience.

      An MBA abroad as opposed to an MBA India operates on a much larger scale. So if fees & average salary at IIM-A are around 20L, the same will be $100000 at Harvard. So a higher salary but at a higher fee. What will also be magnified is the range of firms and breadth of jobs on offer as the US economy is 8 times the Indian economy in terms of GDP.

      Since you are in Chennai, I suggest you drop by for a meeting so that we can chart out a plan. You can call 9500122125 to fix up an appointment.

      • Lalit  May 11, 2016 at 8:56 am

        Thank you Sir.
        I’m looking forward to meet you. I shall give you a call.

  • Brinu Augustine  May 13, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Hi Toni,

    I have to choose between MDI, NITIE, IITB and New IIMs. My acads are not very good X/XII/Grad – 85/72/64. 3 years work ex in IT.
    I’m very much interested in General management/consulting and like most would love to work in a Mckinsey, Bain or BCG sometime in the future. Given my profile, which college do you think would help me progress towards my objective? Please find time to put in your 2 cents.

    Brinu Augustine

    • Tony Xavier  May 14, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Hi Brinu,

      Between General Management and Consulting you are more likely to crack the former and not the latter. Consulting firms usually shortlist only candidates from IITs or NITs or premier commerce colleges such as SRCC. Even among students from these colleges they usually shortlist those with stellar academic records.

      So General Management firms such TAS and ABG are your best bet.

      For these given the options you have MDI is the place to go to.

      But remember you need to make up for your sub-par Grad CGPA with a good CGPA at MDI and if possible, a position of leadership as well.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      • Brinu Augustine  May 14, 2016 at 11:50 am

        Thank you Toni.
        It is very helpful.

        One more thing though, I also have inclination towards entrepreneurship, if we take this also into account would MDI still be the best option ?


        • Tony Xavier  May 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

          Yeah MDI will be option considering that as well.

  • RAHUL AGRAWAL  May 13, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Hi sir,
    Thanks for your insights sir. It would be great if you can guide me through this-
    I have converted 3 colleges namely MDI PGP, IITB & NITIE & now I am really confused between the 3. Here is my profile-
    NIT raipur 2013 batch passout in MINING
    Working with Coal India for past 32 months & my job mostly involves looking after the operations.
    Here are my dilemma’s-
    1. What kind of job opportunities one get’s after MBA in ops(Is it similar to Coal India)?
    2.Is it advisable for me to choose finance considering my acads & profile, will it be a hurdle in getting good profiles in finance?
    3. What can I do to improve my profile if I choose finance as specialization?
    4. Which college I should prefer? Personally I’m a bit inclined towards choosing IITB from what I have gathered till now, reasons being its low batch size, good name for ops & my low %age in 12th. right now I’ve not made a decision on any specialization but bit inclined towards ops with finance. Thanks a lot in advance.

    • Tony Xavier  May 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Hi Rahul,

      Firstly let us deal with the Finance aspect of your interests so that there is more clarity in terms of making your choice.

      Your current profile is not aligned to Finance given your work experience and your educational background.

      Engineers looking to get into Finance need to show their interest by taking up the CFA, at least Level 1. At IIM-C, the best place for Finance jobs in the country, more than 70 students (engineers) have a CFA Level 1 at least. So for engineers looking at plum Finance roles a CFA has become a hygiene factor.
      Another option you can look at is doing the FRM. To decide between the two you can go through this blog: http://www.wallstreetmojo.com/cfa-vs-frm/

      So as of now Finance is a tough ask.

      What kind of jobs will you get in Ops?

      Well, most of the roles will be plant/factory roles. A student of mine who was working with NTPC for 3 years (after graduating with BITS) joined S.P.Jain and graduated this year with a job inn P&G. The roles will be in Ops Consulting or in Logistics with e-commerce firms.

      So if you want to get the best Ops jobs look at NITIE and IIT-B, either will be fine. If you want to look at a wider spectrum of roles join MDI.

      Hope this suffices.

      All the best!

  • Ankit  May 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I have MDI-hrm, IIM-S, MFC-DU. Which one should I go for?
    I am interested in finance and my first choice would be MDI-pgpm but my waitlist is 240, so I think it’s impossible to get through.
    I have completed my B.E. in Production engineering and currently I am working in automobile companyin Sales for past 1 year.

    Also my profile of graaduation and work ex suits more inn Sales and Marketing.
    Which one should I opt and in which field?

    N.B. – The fees of MFC is 24,000 for 2 years and I will get ample amount of time for CFA as it MFC-DU is of 2 sems only. But again the IIM factor is missing?

    • Tony Xavier  May 14, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Ankit,

      Firstly, rule out MDI-HRM as HR is a niche field and you cannot move from HR to business roles while the other way around is possible.

      Your profile is not aligned to Finance and as you have rightly decided you need to do the CFA. Doing the MFC from DU will do nothing much in terms of improving your profile except giving you time for CFA Prep. But most Finance firms hire from elite schools, so even if you have a CFA, you need a good brand on your resume.

      So given all of this IIM-S is the best option. You will not get too many Finance options at IIM-S but with a CFA and an IIM-tag you can find a job off-campus.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

  • Akshay  May 16, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Sir,
    I have converted IIM L and also hoping to convert FMS.
    I have decent acads with BTech from IIT(2015 grad).
    Which would be more preferable I wish to specialize in Finance?
    And how is L compared to A/C in Finance domain?

    • Tony Xavier  May 17, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi Akshay, Congrats on the L convert. Well, firstly the fin placements are best at A and C, L is not in the same league for Fin but you will have enough alums in Fin firms who would have got in off-campus and so it will not be too difficult to get a Fin job of your choice. I would definitely suggest taking up CFA or FRM based on your interest so that your Fin orientation gets a boost.

      FMS had about 50 Fin placements this year with about 7-8 in IB. IIM-L had about 100 placements in Fin with many more big name Fin Firms such as Nomura and Goldman which did not visit FMS.

      If the fees part is not a criterion then L, else FMS.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

  • Ayush kumar  May 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    hello Tony sir,
    I have converted IIM INDORE, IITB, NITIE,and IIMA-FABM. I am confused between IIM indore and ahmedabad. since i am fresher i don’t have any inclination towards any domain. I am very much confused about where to go. my academics are as follows: X-92 XII-76.8 B.tech- Mechanical (86.2).

    • Tony Xavier  May 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Hi Ayush, The ABM course will mean a certain limitation in oppurtunities as well your overall profile. Given your background you are likely to get oppurtunities in firms such as John Deere, Caterpillar etc and also other firms that visit the ABM batch. So if you are okay with that join ABM, knowing that you are doing a specialised course.

      If you want to keep your options open and look at a wider spread of firms across sectors then join Indore.

      • ayush kumar  May 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        sir my XII-76% will not be a problem during placements. and how much difference will IIMA tag will make if i join IIMA.

        • Tony Xavier  May 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm

          Hi Ayush,

          Your XIIth marks should not make too much of a difference unless you are looking at really big consults, who anyways look at people from IITs and NITs.

          You can improve your profile while on campus. You can read my reply to one of the queries posted in this thread with respect to the same.

          Do not join IIM-A ABM just for the IIM-A tag since you will not get the full range of options and courses.

          All the best!

  • Aravind  May 19, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Hello Tony sir, I have converted IIM Raipur, IIM Udaipur, IIFT Kolkata, NITIE. I am passionate about marketing. I have 2 years work experience as an entrepreneur. Please give the priority order for the above colleges for marketing career.

    • Tony Xavier  May 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

      If you are interested in Marketing then NITIE is ruled out. Between IIFT Kolkata and the new IIMs, the former will be a safer short-term bet while the latter will pay dividends in the long-run. If you are willing to take a small risk then IIM-Raipur (over the other Udaipur) else IIFT-Kolkata.

  • Ishu Bhardwaj  May 20, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Hello Sir,
    Thanks for the wonderful article.
    I have converted IIM S, IIT B and all the new IIMs. I was almost certain to join IIT B when I stumbled upon the face that most of the profiles offered are in ops and supply chain. Is it true?
    Should I join IIM Ranchi which is building a great reputation. Or should I opt for an older college which great alumuni base like IIT B.
    I have a wor exp of 2.5 yrs in power sector and interested in finance&consulting roles
    Looking forward to your suggestions Sir.

    • Tony Xavier  May 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm


      Very, very tricky question! It is true that IIT-B like NITIE is great for Ops profiles and jobs. So if you are looking at Finance and Consulting your might not get a lot of firms visiting IIT-B for the roles. From that perspective the new IIMs Trichy or Ranchi are better bets.

      All the best!

      • Tarun Arora  May 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

        Isn’t IIM S a better choice , given the scenario to chose between IIM S and new IIMs

        • Tony Xavier  May 25, 2016 at 5:05 pm

          Yeah between S and the newer IIMs, it would be a better choice.

  • Puneet  June 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Hi, Which should I choose between IIFT and MDI if targeting a research based masters in management from Europe[requires prior knowledge of business subjects] after pgp?

    • Tony Xavier  June 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Puneet,

      Firstly it depends on which stream you want to do your later research in. If it is Finance, then choose IIFT, If it is Marketing then choose MDI.

      Secondly, are you looking for a MIM after an MBA? Or is it a PhD>?

      All the best!

  • Karthik  June 5, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Tony sir,
    A really useful article,thank you.I need a clarification from you sir,How is PGHRM in IIM Ranchi,with two years of experience in IT.Is it wise to join the program?Please help.
    P.S:I like HR, don’t know whether its my passion.

    • Tony Xavier  June 9, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Hi Karthik,

      The PGHRM Program at IIM-Ranchi is pretty good. Join it if you want to build a career in HR. If you are not clear about the same then it will be tough for me to suggest something. If you are equally indifferent to all streams then join HR and build a career there. Also be aware that it will not be possible to shift from HR to other fields later.If you feel you do not want to commmit to HR right now and have the stamina to give another shot then take another shot.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

  • Amit Tavadia  June 6, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Hi Sir,
    What should be the preference among IIFT-K, IIFT-D(waitlisted) and IIM I(Mumbai Campus) , if I am interested in marketing.
    My profile: 89/89/67 Mumbai University B.E. 20months workex in Infosys.

    • Tony Xavier  June 9, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Hi Amit,

      If IIFT-Delhi works out nothing it like it as it will be the best option for Marketing. If it does not then IIM-Indore Mumbai campus will be a better bet when compared to IIFT-Kolkata.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

  • Ajay  July 10, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Hello Sir, in the industry, is IIM Indore Mumbai campus considered as a new IIM or in the same breadth as IIM Indore?

    • Tony Xavier  September 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Ajay,

      Currently both campuses are not treated at par during the placements itself. I have had students who studied at the Mumbai campus tell me that they were not permitted to apply to certain companies on the pretext that the companies wanted resumes of only the main campus students.

      Hope this clarifies.

  • Sukanya  August 26, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    The post is very well written. Though looking at the FT rankings and the industry exposure, I feel ISB should also be a part of the creme de la creme league in here. I’d appreciate if you can shed some light on the same.

    • Tony Xavier  September 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      ISB is an exceptionally good school and it should be a part of the list but I did not mention it here purely because it was a CAT-centric post looking options via the CAT.

      Also, once we mention ISB there is a whole lot of unnecessary fuss about the fees. ISB is a unique school that attracts a different applicant pool, so it would not have been wise to club it along with the schools discussed.

      Hope this clears the air.

  • Baba  August 27, 2016 at 8:48 am

    i’m b.tech chemical with core operations manufacturing sector background, 11 yrs experience Salary 15 lakhs/yr non-metro city,
    I have converted 1 yr PGPM of SP jain. Should i drop it to apply for IIM’s next year. Also, i’m selected Ass director (ministry of small and medium enterprises,) but salary is low 6 lakhs/yr. Should I join govt job to build up profile and then prepare. Salary loss is very high 60% . also, I can convert NITIE or IIT delhi / mumbai admissions for batch 2017-19. ( i had converted last yr but dropped out bcz of advice of seniors that i will face placement problem)

  • Baba  August 27, 2016 at 8:52 am

    i’m b.tech chemical with core operations manufacturing sector background, 11 yrs experience Salary 15 lakhs/yr non-metro city,
    I have converted 1 yr PGPM of SP jain. Should i drop it to apply for IIM’s next year. Also, i’m selected Ass director (ministry of small and medium enterprises,) but salary is low 6 lakhs/yr. Should I join govt job to build up profile and then prepare. Salary loss is very high 60% . also, I can convert NITIE or IIT delhi / mumbai admissions for batch 2017-19. ( i had converted last yr but dropped out bcz of advice of seniors that i will face placement problem) . I’m interested in making a career in operations or HR.

    • Tony Xavier  September 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      With your profile you should look at a PGP X program at IIM – A or B or the ISB PGP Program; the other programs might not fetch you good returns in terms of salaries just keep them as a back up after you have given a good shot at the IIMs and ISB.

      Do not take up the govt. job with a lower salary as that is not advisable.

      Hope this clarifies.

      • babu  September 16, 2016 at 10:06 am

        Thanks tony for advice. Please advice also about value/worth of IIM certificate courses ( NIIT / online courses through video conferencing) Will they help in job change /higher salary. also, relevant to my profile, I can convert NITIE or IIT delhi / mumbai admissions for batch 2017-19. ( i had converted last yr but dropped out bcz of advice of seniors that i will face placement problem) . I’m interested in making a career in operations or HR.

        • Tony Xavier  September 16, 2016 at 12:59 pm

          Hi Babu,

          A certification course will not be of much help in advancing your career. your higher work experience will be a bit of a problem in the placements of a 2-year program since your profile will be way too senior with respect to the roles they come to recruit for.

          So only a 1-year program where you are marketed to corporates as part of a similar peer group will work for you. So the 1-year PGP-X programs at the IIMs , the PGP at ISB and the GMP at XLRI (since you are interested in HR as well) are the programs you should be targeting.

          Hope this helps,


          • San  October 6, 2016 at 4:11 pm

            DOES SP jain operation 1 year do not offer any good placement for senior positions. in GMAT mock tests, my score coming less than 640. that’s why I fear that ISB or IIM ABC will not take me.

          • Tony Xavier  October 12, 2016 at 12:37 pm

            The S.P.Jain 1-year program is the relatively lesser known program offered by them. If their placement stats are good you can go for it.

          • babu  October 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            I plan to join SP jain 2017 1 year. If it it at all not fruitful, should I not deposit fees. I hav already resigned from company although company has offered me higher up salary

  • Atul  September 25, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Hello Tony Ji,

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

    • Tony Xavier  September 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Atul,

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

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

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

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

  • Ayush  October 5, 2016 at 11:29 am

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

    • Tony Xavier  October 12, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Ayush,

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

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

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

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

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      • Ayush  October 13, 2016 at 2:58 pm

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

        • Tony Xavier  October 13, 2016 at 4:22 pm

          Hi Ayush,

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

  • Saurabh  December 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

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

    • Tony Xavier  December 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Saurabh,

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

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

      All the best!

      • Saurabh  December 11, 2016 at 11:02 pm

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

        • Tony Xavier  January 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm

          Hi Saurabh,

          I was out on vacation and hence the delayed response.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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