The season of scams is taking its toll. If 2011 was all about 2G, this year it’s Coalgate. A general downturn in the US and Euro markets as well as the UPA government’s “policy paralysis” has created a cloud over the general business environment and corporate sector. Falling GDP growth rates have prompted many to negate the India story. But it’s also a fact that India is one of the few markets globally actually generating decent growth. Most MBA students Outlook met shared an undaunted optimism over India’s future.
Obviously, the aura around business studies has diminished a bit (many seats in B-schools went abegging). The numerous reports pointing to over a hundred B-schools closing down didn’t help matters. Finally though, quality shines. In this scenario, the Outlook-MDRA ranking of India’s Best Business Schools assumes special significance for those in the decisive phase of choosing the right B-school. The rankings reveal no change among the Top 5, but many schools saw a noticeable improvement in position. There are 13 new entrants in the master list. We also have a preliminary ranking of the fast-growing 1-year MBAs (see page 30), which we will broaden next year.
Outlook also looked at various traditional business communities to figure out what makes them tick. The result is a fascinating peek into a part of India’s traditional business classes—topics they don’t teach you at B-schools. Do read the ongoing debate of the relevance of B-school curriculums, and just which Indian firms are creating jobs in the US. As always, choose wisely.
Stairway to heaven Students at IIM Ahmedabad, still top of the league. (Photograph by Kedar Bhat)
Coffee time At FMS Delhi. (Photograph by Jitender Gupta)
Methodology For The 2012 Outlook-MDRA B-School Survey
In order to rank India’s best B-schools, Marketing & Development Research Associates (MDRA) designed a rigorous methodology involving all the stakeholders—B-schools, recruiters, faculty and students. First, a comprehensive list of B-schools who offer two-year full-time management courses and are recognised by a government body (AICTE/NAAC/AIU), are at least five years old and have at least three passed out batches. The list of parameters and sub-parameters was kept the same as last year’s to have consistency and comparability. As many as 187 colleges from across India provided their objective data. Data from 10 colleges was received too late and was not included. IIM-L, MDI, JBIMS, VGSOM and MICA did not submit their data within the stipulated deadline and hence were not considered for ranking.
Simultaneously, perceptual questionnaires were designed and face-to-face interviews conducted with 753 key stakeholders. MDRA investigators visited 12 cities (Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi—covering three key cities from each zone). The respondents comprised 194 final year MBA/PGDM students, 252 experienced faculty members and 307 seasoned professionals/recruiters—the unique point here being that their perception was based on their experience and not just on secondary information.
The second phase involved verification and audit of objective data provided by the B-schools. Initially, all information was carefully examined by checking through past data. Thereafter, 21 of the institutes were visited for physical audit of the data to verify their authenticity. Colleges that provided suspicious data were removed from the ranking exercise at that stage.
The marks in the five parameters of the objective phase were then added to get the total objective score. The perceptual ranking was arrived at by allotting weightage of 40, 30 and 30 per cent to the perceptions of recruiters/industry professionals, faculty members and final year students respectively. To arrive at the final composite score, total perceptual and objective scores were given equal weightage of 50 per cent each. This total score was used to assign the final rankings. The ranking of B-Schools offering 1-year Executive MBA/PGP programmes was based only on perceptual data. The MDRA research team consisted of Abhishek Agrawal, Abnish Jha, Avanish Kumar and Gaurav Kumar.