IIM-A PGPX: Eligibility, Fees, Class Profile, Admissions, and Placement Statistics

Looking for an executive MBA from a top business school in India? Here is all you need to know about IIM-A PGPX eligibility, class profile, fees, application process, and placements.

You’ve decided to pursue an MBA. Good for you! The MBA degree is one of the most sought-after qualifications by top-recruiters across the globe. According to the GMAC™ 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 86% of the companies surveyed planned to hire recent MBA graduates[1], a trend that has held-up in subsequent years. However, like any investment, the MBA needs to be carefully planned to net a positive RoI. The fact that the MBA has both explicit (application and tuition fees) and implicit (time spent away from employment) costs, further raises the stake for meticulous planning – starting with picking the right b-school and program.

In our series covering various one-year MBA programs, Team S4G will help you get started with your journey. Today, let’s take a closer look at IIM-A’s one-year full-time MBA – the Postgraduate Program for Executives (PGPX).

About the IIM-A PGPX program  

IIM-A PGPX Rankings

The 2020 FT rankings placed the IIM-A PGPX at the 61st position among global b-schools and 4th in India[2]. As a testimonial to the strength of the IIM-A brand, the program ranks 7th in the world and 2nd in India in “Career Progress” – based on the seniority of roles and the size of companies PGPX alumni work in after graduation.


The cost of the 1-year program is INR 28 lakhs, with a 91% average increase in salary after graduation.  While at first glance the increase in salary after the IIM-A PGPX may look small compared to ISB PGP’s (188%), IIM-B’s EPGP (157%, and IIM-C’s PGPEX (138%), it’s skewed by the higher work experience of the IIM-A PGPX batch compared to other 1-year programs in India.


The pre-MBA salary of IIM-A PGPX admits is the highest in India, 75% higher than those admitted to ISB and 40% and 37% higher than admits to IIM-B EPGP and IIM-C PGPEX respectively. Putting this in perspective, the weighted post-MBA salary offered to students of the IIM-A PGPX is the 8th highest in the world and the highest in India.

IIM-A PGPX Eligibility

It’s commendable that the IIM-A PGPX manages to successfully meet post-MBA career expectations of its 140 strong batch having 9 years of work experience on average, most of whom already occupy mid to senior-level roles before joining the program.

IIM-A PGPX Eligibility

The IIM-A allows candidates with a minimum of 4 years of experience to apply with a valid GMAT or GRE score[3]. The admission process consists of an online admission form which is used to shortlist candidates for the second and final stage. The second stage consists of an online essay submission on a topic provided to candidates when they are notified of their shortlist for the second stage. Candidates also undergo a personal interview by a two-member panel consisting of IIM-A faculty members.


Similar to other 1-year MBA programs in India, the median GMAT and GRE scores for admitted students lie above the 90th percentile i.e. about 700 for GMAT and 320 for GRE. Admissions take place over two rounds stretching from May to August and August to October respectively. Since the actual dates may vary each year, you should check the actual dates on the IIM-A PGPX webpage.

IIM-A PGPX Class Profile

IIM-A PGPX Class Profile
IIM-A PGPX Class Profile

The PGPX academic year consists of 5 terms – 2 of which focus on core courses while 2 consist of electives. The 3rd term is earmarked for International Immersion – where students spend 10 days in a campus abroad gaining valuable insights in international business. Students interested in working with an IIM-A faculty on a short research topic can also opt for an “Individual Research Project.” At the end of the program, all students participate in a Capstone Project where they apply learnings from the program to an advanced business simulation overseen by faculty members.

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About the IIM-A Campus

The IIM-A campus lies in the sleepy suburb of Vastrapur in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Spread over 100 acres, the campus is divided into 2 wings – the old campus with exposed red-brick architecture designed by Louis Kahn in the sixties and the new campus with modern grey-concrete buildings opened a decade-and-a-half ago. PGPX students are housed primarily in the new campus (dorms no. 19-33). Married accommodation is available for students who wish to stay on campus with their spouses. The program is fully residential i.e. staying on campus is mandatory.

While the campus does offer opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities ranging from participation in management clubs to simply unwinding while pa music, sports, dance, and drama groups, the overarching feedback from PGPX students has been that they find little time outside studies to spend on these activities.

IIM-A PGPX Placements

The placement process for PGPX takes place on a rolling basis, typically starting in November and concluding at the end of the program. Placement trends[4] suggest slightly less than half of the batch opting for mid to senior level roles in IT. Remaining students favored roles in BFSI, Engineering and Technology, eCommerce among other sectors. The median salary for the 2019 batch was INR 24 lakhs, with the highest offer of INR 40 lakhs made for a senior role by an IT company.

Why should you consider the IIM-A PGPX program?

IIM-A places due emphasis on academic rigor and developing strong business fundamentals. Consequentially, the IIM-A PGPX is the most academically demanding of the top-4 1-year MBA programs in India.

On average, 85-88% of the incoming batch has an engineering degree[5] (vs. 67% at ISB), offering ample opportunities for peer-to-peer learning in quantitative disciplines. However, the program suffers from a lack of diversity with only 12-15% of the batch comprising of students with a background in a non-technical field (BFSI, Advertising, and Education).

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You should consider the program if you are looking to transition to a senior role in the technology and engineering sector that requires rigorous application of management theory. However, if you are likely to feel impeded by the absence of a diverse peer group or opportunities for all-round development, you may want to consider other one-year MBA programs.

How should you prepare for IIM-A PGPX?

IIM-A PGPX Admission Basics

The IIM-A PGPX conducts a two-stage admission process over 2 rounds, with Round-1 starting in May and Round-2 in August. The actual dates vary each year and can be accessed on the IIM-A PGPX webpage[6]. The first stage consists of filling an online form capturing details of work-experience, academic background, and personal details. Candidates are short-listed for the second stage based on their GMAT/GRE scores, academic achievements, work experience, and diversity.

Shortlisted candidates are required to submit 2 online essays, whose topics are conveyed after the release of the second-round shortlist. In addition to the essays, candidates are also required to provide 3 professional references, at least one of which needs to be from their current employer. As the final step of the admission process, candidates are invited for a face to face interview with a two-member faculty panel.


While the actual wording of the 2 mandatory essays varies every year, typically one essay focusses on your career highlights and showcasing your professional achievements while the other probes your motivation to pursue the PGPX. In other words, the essays focus on 2 questions (i) “Why should the PGPX pick you?” and (ii) “Why did you pick the PGPX?” In some years, IIM-A has picked essay topics prioritizing only the first question, with both topics focussing on the candidate’s professional experience. The essays are limited to 500 words each.

IIM-A PGPX Essay topics that have been asked in the past include:

 Essay 1Essay 2
Describe your best day at workWhy would you not like to go back to your last organization?  
Describe the most challenging situation you encountered in your career and how you managed it. What were your learnings?  Describe a situation where you demonstrated your leadership abilities.  
If there is one thing you are allowed to change in your present organisation, what would that be?  What is your dream job, post-PGPX?
Describe a situation where your professional ethics were challenged and how you came to terms with the situation. What did you learn from this?Describe a situation where you failed and how did you deal with this experience. What did you learn from this?

IIM-A PGPX Interviews

The IIM-A PGPX panel interview is an outlier among interviews conducted for similar one-year programs. While typical b-school interviews probe the candidate primarily on his/her motivation for pursuing an MBA, competence, and learning ability, the PGPX interview focusses on the candidate’s quick thinking ability, ability to remain calm under stress, and awareness of business topics. Stress interviews are not uncommon, with professors looking to throw the candidate off-balance with counter-questions and quick change of topics. 

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Final Offers

Offers for round 1 and round 2 are rolled out in October and December respectively. Offers are typically rolled out within 30 days of the interview based on the overall score. Key components of the score include

  • Academic track record
  • GMAT/GRE score
  • Quality of work experience
  • Performance in the interview and essays

[1] GMAC 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey – https://www.gmac.com/market-intelligence-and-research/research-library/employment-outlook/2017-corporate-recruiters-survey-report

[2] FT Global MBA Rankings – http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2020

[3] IIM-A PGPX Webpage – https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgpx

[4] IIM-A Annual Placement Reports – https://web.iima.ac.in/iprs/download.php#1

[5] IIM-A Batch Profile – https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgpx/students/current-batch-profile

[6] IIM-A Admission Timelines – https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgpx/apply/admission-timeline

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