Andrew Wilson took a route less travelled by when he relocated from the US for a one-year MBA at the Indian School of Business (ISB). He says that the experience of studying in India has given him a special advantage.
Students on the ISB MBA, known in India as a Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP), use the same case studies and are taught by a mixture of local and visiting professors from top US schools.
What’s different, says Andrew, is that students get special access to the world’s second-fastest growing economy after China—what the dean of ISB, Rajendra Srivastava, calls a leading ‘growth market’.
Opportunities for ISB MBAs
With its rapid pace of development, India is crying out for professionals with advanced management knowledge, sparking a wealth of opportunities for MBA graduates.
Around 98% of MBA students at ISB are placed into jobs three months before they graduate. The average salary increase of MBA students at ISB after graduation is 187%, with alumni earning over $150,000 three years after graduation, according to the Financial Times 2019 MBA Ranking.
In 2019, ISB MBA students received the highest ever number of job offers from recruiters in the school’s history, with 1,383 job offers made on day one of the on-campus recruitment program alone. Companies hiring ISB MBAs include McKinsey, Bain, Deloitte, Google, and Amazon.
Andrew chose ISB for its strong performance in international rankings tables—ISB is ranked first in India and 24th in the world by the FT—and to have an immersive and affordable experience living abroad. While US MBA programs can cost over $100,000 in tuition alone, the ISB MBA costs around $34,000.
Andrew lived on-campus in Hyderabad—the school also has a campus in Mohali—and spent two months in Israel as part of a study abroad program. Now a developer at Indian multinational Tata Consultancy Services, he says his career is on a positive trajectory because of the MBA.
“It’s a one-year program, where you only take a year out of the jobs market, and you get a real sense of what’s going on in India; the growth and opportunities there. I also got a 50% tuition scholarship. For about the price of a new car, I got a quality education!”
While India offers a unique study experience, for ISB MBA students like Pakorn Jatejarungwong, from Thailand, going to India for an MBA was a chance to learn from a fellow growth market and use that newfound knowledge to drive business back home.
“I never looked at the US or the UK,” says Pakorn, who got a full scholarship to ISB. “There’s so much to learn in Asia and India is the place where the growth is happening.”
After completing his MBA, Pakorn transitioned from finance to consulting, securing a job at Deloitte in Bangkok. “Having the MBA, combined with my India experience, helped me outshine a lot of other candidates for the job,” he continues.
“Studying in India, I get access to an ISB network which is growing by 1,000 people a year. I know I can leverage that five or 10 years down the line.”
Benefits of doing an MBA in India
Why study an MBA in India? There are unique advantages and opportunities on offer that are not available in the West. Knowledge of business in India can also be a differentiating factor.
Pakorn, who has already found his India exposure invaluable working with Asian clients at Deloitte, has just joined the innovation team at Lazada, the number one e-commerce company in Thailand.
India is the world’s fastest-growing market for e-commerce, with the Indian e-commerce market expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026. Pakorn says he will be looking to leverage his experience in India.
John Matu is another ISB MBA alum who’s using his knowledge of India to drive development back home. “If you look at IT, most big companies are outsourcing to India. Microsoft, Google; they’re all hiring from the pool of talent there,” says the Nigerian professional.
John left his family behind in Nigeria to study the ISB MBA for a year.
“How India learned to transform agriculture; the competition in the market with old and new brands; how much the Indian economy has changed; how the Indian market is much more open than China; the shrewdness of the average Indian when doing business; anyone going to India can take something away from that.
“To me, the US and the UK are mature markets and have their own challenges,” John continues. “But, being an African, India is one of the countries that we can mirror. We can look at how they’ve solved challenges they’ve faced and learn from that.”
Working with growth markets is a must for any multinational company or burgeoning international startup, and going to India for your MBA will prepare you for that.