No of applicants for executive management in Indian B- schools rises

Having worked for over seven years in countries like the US, Canada and then in India, information technology professional Jorawar Singh plans to apply for executive management course.

Nothing surprising. Many young professionals think of pursuing an MBA degree, preferably a foreign one, after putting in more than five years in the industry. But, here, the case is different.

Mr Singh, who cleared the GMAT with a decent score, did not even apply to the likes of Boston and Ohio B-Schools. Instead, he has decided to opt for an Indian B-School.

As per figures available with Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), the agency that owns and administers the GMAT exam — a necessary qualification for admission to B-Schools across the globe; there has been a drop in the percentage of Indian candidates applying for foreign B-Schools.

In all, 42% of the full-time MBA programmes in the US reported a decline in the number of foreign applicants. Of these, as many as 70% reported the largest decrease in number of applications from India.

While the US B-Schools remain a big draw, with 64% Indian candidates sending their GMAT scores there, the number of applicants to B-Schools here has risen from 5% in 2004 to around 14% now, ranking their popularity second only to the US.

Mr Singh too feels a one-year programme with an Indian B-school will help him get better job profile in India where he wants to work and settle down. “Today, quite a few Indian B-Schools are offering quality executive management programme at much cheaper cost,” he said.

Experts say more number of Indian residents and those settled abroad favour domestic B-Schools over US B-Schools as quality education is now available here at a comparatively cheaper cost.

Speaking to ET from the US, Dave Wilson, president and CEO, GMAC, said: “More Indians prefer Indian B-Schools over B-Schools in the US. Of late, India has been offering world-class management education. Less expensive quality education provided by Indian B-Schools remains a big draw for Indian students.

People are interested in pursuing MBAs from the geography where they could continue working, and India has emerged as a preferred job destination for many.”

A total of 17,488 applications were submitted to Indian B-Schools offering MBA and executive MBA degrees in 2008, a number five times higher than that (2,976) seen in 2004, as per the GMAC, reflecting on the increase in the number of executive management programmes in the country.

Currently, as many as 24 Indian B-Schools accept GMAT scores for 53 programmes, including 17 from the IIMs. The survey also points out the lacklustre response to the executive management programmes offered by the US B-Schools. The number of applications for executive management programmes has come down by 51%.

Shailesh Gandhi, faculty member of IIM-A, who is the chairman of the institute’s executive management programme, said: “There are two broad sets of participants for such programmes. One, candidates in 30-35 age group who have worked for 10-12 years in other countries and want to settle in India; and second, Indian candidates in the same age group who prefer to work here at better positions.”

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