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BW Businessworld

The Champion Managers

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Old is gold may be a hackneyed phrase, but it rings so true in several aspects of life, particularly education. So it is no surprise that the top three institutes in this year's BW-Synovate B-school survey are the same as last year — Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A); Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C); and Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. Six of the top 10 — IIM-A, IIM-C, XLRI, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai, and Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai — are among India's oldest B-schools, all established before 1981. Overall, about 37 per cent of the participating institutes were established before 1995.

The rest of the top 10 has seen significant changes. Narsee Monji jumped from No. 7 in 2010 to No. 4. Two institutes returned to the top 10 after long. Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), IIT Bombay, ranked No. 8, last figured in the top 10 in 2003. And at No. 10, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar comes in for the first time since 2004.

IIM Bangalore (IIM-B) joined in this year, but could not be ranked because all the data required for computing the ranking was not available. Two other institutes — Sydenham, Mumbai and MICA, Ahmedabad — could not be ranked for lack of full data. (All three have been ranked in the perceptual survey.) This year's survey saw a record 139 institutes sending in their forms, of which 136 have been ranked.

The institutes include 49 that were not in the rankings last year. Naturally, that has created mayhem in the ranks; an astounding 50 institutes' ranks have fallen this year, including 27 that saw double-digit falls. In contrast, only 30 institutes improved their ranking from last year, including nine in double digits. Certainly, the infusion of fresh blood gives a truer picture of where leading management institutes in the country stand today.

Remember, these are India's ‘best' 139 institutes (barring the few top ones that did not participate). According to Harivansh Chaturvedi, director of Birla Institute of Management Technology, India has approximately 3,900 B-schools, which churn out around 400,000 graduates every year, far more than the business community can possibly hire. So, a lot of students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 B-schools end up doing jobs such as salespersons in car showrooms (see story on page 34), jobs that don't really require an MBA degree. The fall in MBA aspirants in 2010 can be partly attributed to this reality, though better placements at top B-schools this year (see story on page 28) could stem the tide.

Like last year, this year, too, we made some changes to the methodology. For instance, auditoriums — which have now become standard at all leading B-schools — were removed. The weightage for LAN-enabled hostels was reduced from 10 to 5, as the prevalence of Wi-Fi has reduced its necessity. On the other hand, the weightage for projectors in classrooms was raised from 5 to 10, given the increasing popularity of digital teaching aids. Weightage was also increased for the parameter on student feedback mechanism to reflect its increasing importance among the student community.

Among new parameters introduced was one on a soft skills development programme, which has become as crucial as the degree itself in landing jobs for students and ensuring their continuing success. The other key new parameter is one on reviewing electives. The logic: while it is important to review the course curriculum from time to time, adding additional electives relevant to the current industry needs is also needed.

Besides the rankings, we have an interesting line-up of stories for you in this issue, from the serious to the offbeat. Turn the page to begin.


(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 27-06-2011)