Friday, February 19, 2010


I can understand your state of mind. The recent developments are indeed of unprecedented magnitude and severity, and are bound to give jitters to anyone thinking of making a substantial investment an MBA is. That said, please understand that you do (are supposed to do) the MBA only once. And you must choose a school that's a best-fit for your needs and career goals. I'll answer your question by briefly giving a summary of pros and cons of an Indian MBA Vs a foreign one.

1. Rankings and global recognition.
Let's face it - No Indian school, except the ISB, features among the top 50 list in the world. I'm not saying that one should follow the rankings, but it's also true that one cannot completely ignore this data. After all, substantial amount of thought and research is put into calculating those numbers. However, that doesn't make a school ranked 5th better than one ranked 10th, for all students. Different people have different needs from an MBA course, and you must sincerely decide why a particular school is a fit for you.

Coming to the India Vs Abroad question, I feel the Indian schools will be a natural choice if your career goal is India-centric.

2. Experienced, diverse and mature class.
The Indian MBA is a great option for people with less (below 5 years of) work experience, but know that they want a career in management. A class with 40% freshers and 70% engineers is a typical MBA class in an Indian school. If this is a disturbing fact to you, you must consider an MBA from abroad. Peer networking is an important aspect of an MBA course, and sadly Indian MBA may not offer much of it to you considering your profile. However, this doesn't mean that Indian schools 'produce' any lesser-MBAs or do not offer quality environment. It's just that for an Indian MBA graduate, it takes a bit longer to 'reap' the true benefit of an MBA.

3. Cost!!
Studying and living abroad can be expensive, and typically a foreign MBA will cost you anywhere from 2-10 times a top Indian MBA. However, the recent fee hikes and inflation in India *may* make it costlier than a foreign MBA, if you qualify for a scholarship or a fee waiver. The international schools have vast resources and funding available at their disposal, and can lure a deserving candidates with loads of 'goodies'. Sadly, the Indian schools are not as scholarship-rich.

In my opinion, cost should be a low-priority criteria if you strongly feel a need for an MBA, and that from a particular school. Education is always the best investment you can make, regardless of the market conditions.

4. Job prospects.
Unlike the day-0 placement rituals that happen in India, a job will not be served to you on a silver plate in the International MBA schools. You will have to assess the job role, companies you wish to work for, and apply to them on your own. This puts your networking skills at test. Although companies do visit the campus, job offers are seldom given then and there. This may be a bit discomforting fact to an assurity seeking Indian mind, but I feel this cannot be considered as any 'risk'. You need to be prepared for this small uncertainty..


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