The Indian School of Business (ISB) has become one of the most sought-after destinations for Indian MBA aspirants. Founded in 2001, ISB is still very much in its diaper years when compared to top international brands like Harvard, Stanford et al. However, it took only 12 years for it to place 20th in the Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings in 2008. The MBA program (aka PGP) at ISB has consistently featured among the top 30 in the world rankings on FT since 2017 (and within the top 35 – 40 for almost a decade).
ISB has got two campuses – Hyderabad and Mohali, which share the same resources, placement services, and faculty. Additionally, it has got collaborations with international business schools like the Wharton, Kellogg, Fletcher (Tufts), and the London School of Business. Though it doesn’t have an AICTE (All India Council of Technical Education) accreditation approved by the Indian government, it does have an AACSB and EQUIS accreditations.
Currently, with a shrinking economy across the world, brand name, placements, and ROI will be very critical for MBA aspirants. Hence, for the cream Indian applicants who are looking for MBA in India, ISB comes as an automatic choice. Read ISB PGP vs IIM-A PGPX vs IIM-B EPGP vs IIM-C PGPX: Rankings, Eligibility, Cost, Placements, and Salaries.
In this post, we will look at the ISB admissions statistics, typical profiles, and placement statistics.
ISB Class Profile, Admissions & Placement Statistics 2020
By Abhishek Chawla (ISB’ 2016) & Manan Puri (ISB’ 2013)
ISB Profile Evaluation: All you need to know about a good ISB profile
Getting into a top business school such as ISB isn’t an easy feat. What is the recipe for success? Well, nobody really knows! Over the years, we have seen various surprises when it comes to ISB admissions.
A candidate with a high GMAT score (> 720) not getting in, while another candidate with a 640 getting an admit. A candidate with 3 years of experience getting an interview call vs. another with 7 years of experience getting a ding!
To cut a long story short, no one knows what an ideal profile for ISB is. However, we can still help you understand what a top school like ISB is looking for. Before we do that, let’s look at the ISB Class of 2019 – 2020 profile.
As you can see, the class at ISB is very diverse ranging from 22 years to 46 years of age, 2 years to 20 years of work experience, and 600 to 770 on the GMAT. However, we can still boil down to a few points which are common across profiles.
What does ISB look for in MBA applicants?
Overall, a top-tier B school such as ISB would look for a well-rounded profile across the “3 Es” of an MBA / PGP aspirant. These are Education, Experience, and Extra-curriculars.
Let’s look at them one by one:
1. Education: The higher the grades, the better. Brands such as IIT, NIT, SRCC, St. Stephens, Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (CBS) also help. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will make the cut based on high grades or a brand alone. Consistency in academic performance is another factor. That’s still not all, you need to do well on the other 2 Es as well.
2. Experience: The second E is probably the most important one as this is where you can differentiate yourself the most. Leadership, which is an important trait top B schools such as ISB look for, can be demonstrated effectively through your experience. Managing teams, leading projects, and working across countries/continents are some of the differentiators you can talk about in your application essays.
3. Extra-curriculars: Extra-curricular achievements help add color to your profile and make it truly well-rounded. Volunteering, sports, art, and clubs such as toastmasters are some of the ways to showcase your personality and diversity that you bring to the class at ISB. However, keep in mind that achievement and not mere participation will help you get points in this area.
If you lack in one area, you can cover up in another one. However, since your academics and experience are broadly “unchangeable”, the only room for improvement can be in the extra-curricular or the GMAT / GRE score, of course!
Related Article: Is an MBA abroad worth amidst the COVID-19 Situation and Recession?
As ISB alumni and by our experience of consulting and mentoring candidates over the years, we can tell you even if you check all these boxes, you may still not be invited for an interview.
There can be a classic case of the “problem of plenty” where you are an awesome candidate (which ISB may love to meet for an interview) but you write too many points to impress the admissions committee and end up confusing them or not create enough impact because you just mentioned too many points. Hence, ensure that if you have the right ingredients, you prepare a delicious dish in the form of your application.
ISB Placements: Class of 2020
Indian School of Business (ISB) has been at the forefront when it comes to supplying top talent to corporates. No wonder that such a young B school (established less than 20 years ago in 2001), has been able to earn a position in the “Indian Ivy League”. Placements at ISB, for its flagship PGP program, have always been an area of interest. And why not? – it speaks about the quality of the students, the faculty and the quality of the school as a whole.
ISB Placement Highlights
ISB’s placements have been “record-breaking” for the past few years, surpassing its own previous records each year and this year was no different. The class of 2020 saw 1,383 offers coming their way on Day 1 vs. 1,194 offers for the class of 2019.
Out of the 890 students in ISB’s class (across its two campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali), 884 participated in placements. Despite a big class size (almost 3x of some other top Indian schools), 85% of students got placed on Day 1!
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The average CTC for Day 1 placements was Rs. 26.15 lakhs per annum. This is the highest “average CTC” in the history of ISB and is well above the previous years’ average of Rs. 25 lakhs.
According to ISB, “ISB students received the highest ever number of offers from recruiters this year and saw a 124% jump in their compensation compared to their pre-ISB CTC.”
Related Article: MBA is Still Effective for Salary Hike
Top ISB Recruiters
Continuing the historical trend, Consulting firms were major recruiters from ISB with marquee names such as McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Bain & Company, and AT Kearney hiring in large numbers. The Big 4 firms, i.e Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PwC and KPMG also hired significantly. Overall, there were 314 offers made by consulting firms, confirming their belief in student quality at ISB.
Hiring for general management and leadership programs also saw an uptick. Major corporates such as Aditya Birla Group, Reliance, Adani, and Piramal hired students for the Chief of Staff and other important roles.
E-commerce/start-up poster boys such as Uber, Ola, Zomato, Flipkart, and Amazon also hired Product Managers, Program Managers, and Strategy guys in big numbers from the school.
The BFSI sector was represented by big banks such as Citi, Credit Suisse, Barclays as well as Private Equity / Venture Capital firms such as Matrix Partners who hired the best of the best from the class.
FMCG/Marketing companies accounted for more than 7% of the total offers made: AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Godrej, HUL, L’Oreal, Nestle, Procter and Gamble, and Samsung continued to hire from ISB; ITC and Marico joined the list of recruiters this year.
Global companies such as Apple, Deloitte, EY-Parthenon, and Landmark Group also hired from ISB for international roles, especially looking to fill senior executive positions with students having significant prior experience.
Related Article: Top Sectors to Work after MBA in India
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