Selecting The Best B-Schools In India – A Complete Guide

Selecting The Best B-Schools In India – A Complete Guide

MBA in India
MBA in India

When it comes to choosing the most beneficial post-graduate course, most people in India opt for an MBA qualification. With the huge demand for MBA professionals in business organizations, it is not surprising that more than 3000 schools are offering various forms of this education program across the country. Sadly, only a small percentage of these B-Schools are able to offer the level and quality of education that meets international standards and creates true professionals out of naïve students.

Given the huge number of B-Schools, it is definitely not easy for the aspiring students to identify the best ones simply on the basis of tall claims made by each one of them. In fact, students need to conduct an in-depth analysis of the various factors that are essential for making a B-School truly worthwhile. Once they become aware of these factors, students can compare them with similar aspects offered by other institutions and shortlist the ones that meet their aspirations and expectations in a realistic manner.  This ensures that the students make an informed decision and end up choosing a good institution that enhances their future career and growth opportunities.

We understand that carrying out the aforementioned activities takes valuable time and effort on the part of the students. This in turn can hamper their studies for the qualifying exams that most B-Schools conduct to ensure that they enroll only the most suitable candidates. To make the process easy by annually compiling a list of the best B-Schools across India, which are further categorized according to the type of courses they offer. The list is compiled by professional experts after months of research and analysis of the various B-Schools across the country.

Discussed below are the various factors that we consider for grading the B-Schools in India.

  1. Quality Of Placement

Even though most B-Schools offer placement services to their students, it the types of organizations where they help to place the students that essentially matters. Most students would love to enroll in an institution which is renowned for placing students in companies that not only offer a good salary package but ample opportunities for professional as well as personal growth. This is quite expected in the modern times when financial stability and success is considered to an evaluation of the capability and skills of an individual.

Many B-Schools, being aware of the significance of good quality placement services, tend to make tall claims about the average salary packages their students get. However, rather than taking these figures at face value it is important to ascertain their authenticity. Even if the figures are correct, they might be a combination of the various allowances, bonuses and other add-ons that the candidates might be getting.

In view of the above facts it is advisable to learn about the mean salaries that candidates placed by a specific B-School are drawing, rather than their average salaries. In addition, the students should also check the list of the companies offering placement to the students of the institute to gain information about the type of organization that favor the institute. This gives the aspiring students a better idea of the quality of placement being provided by the institution and helps them to decide accordingly.

  1. Expertise Of Faculty

The experience and knowledge of the faculty teaching at a B-School, plays a critical role in shaping the future of the students. That is why most top-ranked B-Schools do not leave any stone unturned to hire the best professional trainers in this field. They even offer a perfect mix of full-time and part-time faculty members, so that the students can get reliable advice and guidance about specific topics at almost any time.

The full time faculty is generally responsible for offering constant guidance over the two-years of program duration. They also monitor the progress of students and point them in the right direction whenever they feel the need for the same. The part-time faculty offers a more practical view of the program and help the students understands the various aspects of working in their chosen fields and gaining access to real time projects.

  1. Type Of Students Enrolled

Another major factor that helps students understand the standard of a B-School is the type of students it grants admission to. A major part of the learning in B-Schools happens outside the classroom through students interacting with their peers.  Students mostly gain greater knowledge by interacting with their colleagues in assignments, group discussions and other such group activities. As such the level of knowledge and intelligence of students being enrolled by the institution plays a critical role in enhancing its standard.

In order to provide a better learning experience for the students, most top ranked B-Schools follow a rigorous admission process. They choose only the most deserving candidates based on not only percentile/score cut off in the written entrance tests, but also the performance of the candidates  in the group discussion/essay writing/interview rounds that follow the test. Learning the details of these entry criteria helps the students to understand the level of candidates that can gain admission in the institute, which in turn is a direct indicator of its standard.

  1. State Of infrastructure

Having the right kind of infrastructure is essential to provide a great learning experience to the students. This is one of the major reasons that lead the top ranking B-Schools to invest a large chunk of their budget in creating the proper infrastructure. These institutes make constant efforts to provide spacious and well furnished classrooms with audio-visual aids, well-equipped computer labs featuring latest technologies and high speed internet connectivity, and of course a well-stocked library that is regularly updated with latest books and has subscriptions of almost all renowned management journals.

The top B-Schools also support a full-residential program to enable students to learn without any restrictions of time. This not only helps in ensuring the all-round development of the students through free interaction with peers and teachers, but also creates a better learning ambience which offers much better results than the traditional day-scholar program.

  1. Good Will Of The Institution

Aspiring candidates also need to pay attention to whether or not a B-School enjoys a positive reputation within the student community. In addition, the good will of the institute within the industry circles also plays a vital role in determining its standard. Even though B-Schools that have been running for years tend to have a better reputation than those that are fairly new, this statement does not affect the general grading procedure. This is because while an older institute might help in setting up a new institute it might not actually have much control over the operating aspects of the new B-Schools.

The significance of Brand-image of a B-School can be ascertained by the fact that it helps the candidates to be interviewed by the appropriate business organizations and also open the gates for countless opportunities of career growth in the long term.  In fact, the power of the brand image of a top ranked B-School works its magic even years after the students have graduated from the institute.

Just like enrolling good students forms the key to ensuring better rankings for B-Shools, getting admission in top ranked institutions paves the way for a successful and satisfying career for most students. That is perhaps why, when an established B-School opens a new campus at a new location, it naturally performs well as compared to an institution that starts from scratch. Just the name of renowned institutions offers a kind of assurance for the students as well as the faculty about the high standard of education and the consequent professional success.

  1. Location Of The Institution

Most students do not give much thought to where a B-School is located even though it is an extremely important factor to consider. B-Schools located in the vicinity of business and industry centers offer various benefits over the ones located at far off places. The most important of these is that students are able to remain abreast of the latest industry and business trends, which can prove extremely critical for their learning.

Another important benefit of a strategic location is that the students generally get better placement options. This is because the companies prefer to recruit the MBA graduates from an institute located in the vicinity of their headquarters rather than send over a team to choose students from a B-School located a considerable distance away. In addition, being located in the neighborhood of a business and industry centre makes the B-Schools more attractive for the expert faculty and even students. However, the location factor does not really affect the topmost B-Schools, even though they play a critical role in case of institutes that have a lower ranking.

  1. Cost Of Program

The overall cost of earning an MBA qualification from a renowned B-School is also one of the most important factors to consider. With institutes offering MBA programs, mushrooming across the country, much concern has been expressed about the sharp hike in fee of the institutions that fall outside the list of top 50 B-Schools. The fact, that most of these institutions are not able to offer their students a reasonable return on investment in the form of program costs, through proper placement, has also not gone unnoticed.

However, the course costs do not make much of a difference for the top 50 B-Schools. This is because students can easily avail loan facilities readily offered by various financial institutions for getting education in these institutions. Moreover, with the high quality placement facilities offered by these top ranking institutions, the students are assured of their ability to pay back the loan amount in time. Most banks even offer collateral free and low interest loans to students enrolling with a top ranked institute, even though the condition tends to change with the decreasing ranking of the B-Schools.

Categorization Procedure Adopted By T.I.M.E

We at T.I.M.E. follow a well defined strategy consisting of multiple steps for categorizing the various B-Schools in India. We give appropriate credence   to not only the publicly available information about an institute, but also the professional view of our experts. With this perfect combination of expert opinion and tangible data, we are able to categorize the different institutions in an accurate manner.

The tangible factors that we consider for categorizations purposes includes

  1. Placement data
  2. Cut-off score in entrance test
  3. School’s location
  4. Duration of existence
  5. Course fee

The rating is assigned by our in-house experts based on the subjective assessment of the following factors.

  1. The brand image of the B-School
  2. The alumni base of the institution
  3. The strength of its faculty

Here it is important to mention that only B-Schools offering two-years programs and with at least one batch having already graduated, are considered for the ranking process. The institutes are then broadly divided into seven main categories discussed below.

  1. The Top 10 category consists of institutes that are at par with the best B-Schools across the globe. These generally include the older IIMs, which is dream education destination of every aspiring MBA candidate. With a 100% placement record, these institutes provide a life altering experience for even those students who do not meet their general standard of academic excellence, but still manage to get good jobs.
  2. The AAA category features B-Schools that are excellent in their own way but do not quite match up the international standards. These institutions not only offer high quality management education to the students but also have state-of-art infrastructure facilities and boast of expert faculty. These institutions also enjoy an almost 100% placement record, with a significant number of students from these institutions getting the similar placement positions as those of the Top 10 institutes.
  3. AA, A and BBB category comprises of institutions that despite offering high quality education, expert faculty and fairly good infrastructure are not comparable with the B-Schools from the first two categories. These institutions are generally capable of offering high quality placement for only their top ranking students possessing effective communication skills. Sadly they might not be able to ensure 100% placement for all their students.
  4. The final two categories of BB and B comprise of institutions that enjoy a good reputation within a local setup. Although these institutions are rarely able to place their students in national level organizations, they surely enjoy a successful placement record with leading local business establishments.

In addition to the above mentioned seven categories, we also have an “Others” category, that comprises of B-Schools, lacking in one or more of the following basic factors.

  • Infrastructure
  • Industry Interface
  • Faculty
  • Alumni Network
  • Curriculum
  • Placements

It is important to mention here, that even though these B-Schools do not feature in any of our seven main categories, they are definitely better ranked than the countless other institutes that we have not deemed fit to be categorized at all.

Students also need to understand that while the ranking of an institution is of great significance, it is their overall academic performance on campus, that actually helping them to get a good return on their investment of time and money in an MBA program. So even if candidates are enrolled in a School with a lower ranking, they can enhance their chances of getting better placement and career opportunities by working really hard to attain academic excellence.

Benefits Of This Categorization

This categorization works as a reliable guide to help you as an aspiring MBA candidate in finding the most appropriate set of B-Schools to apply to. In addition it also provides answer to the most important question of the number of schools you should apply to, based on the following factors.

  • Budget: Applying to any decent B-School can cost anywhere between Rs. 500 to Rs. 2500. As such your budget limit plays a vital role in determining the number of institutes that you can apply to.
  • Current Occupation: Your present occupation plays a vital role in deciding the number of institutes you apply to. If you are final year student or recently employed working professional, you can apply to only a select few institutions of your choice and try again if you fail to get admission. However, if you have already graduated and are currently unemployed or have been working for a few years, you might like to apply to a greater number of institutions to enhance your chances of getting an admission.
  • Entrance Exam Performance: Your performance in the entrance examination plays a vital role in deciding about the number of institutions that you should apply to. If you have not scored too well, you might want to apply to a greater number of institutions for increasing your chances of getting admission.

Once the number of schools to be applied to has been decided, you need to shortlist the individual B-Schools you would be applying to.  It is highly advisable to apply to schools across diverse categories, focusing more on institutes in categories where you are likely to get acceptance calls, and choose the best one based on the responses received.

Given below is a list of the B-School that categorized in accordance with the above mentioned guidelines.

INDIA’S TOP 150 B-SCHOOLS (all lists in alphabetical order) 





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