Saturday, February 11, 2006

The other side of IIMs?

I came across this good article on what ails the IIMs. I must acknowledge that it’s a very decent effort on part of Apurv to give the other side of the story, but I feel some points have been over-emphasized. I agree whole-heartedly about students being disinterested in second year, lack of research, infrastructure in some of the old IIMs being bad etc, but here are my add-ons to the article.

National demand of 20,000 IIM students per year:

I agree that 1,500 is a paltry number when it comes to number of pass-outs every year. But I really don’t think a 20,000 count is where we want to head. Looking at the industry recruitment trends, there is sure some room for say 2500 more, but I feel it would be a disaster to increase the number any point beyond. For one, there are other good B-schools that chip-in in the gap. Two, with that kind of a massive number, there would just be too much of difference within the IIMs. In other words, there would be a huge quality difference between the top IIM students and the bottom ones, which isn’t really good for anyone. Remember, the numero uno reason why IIMs, in general, are considered good is because of the quality of intake. If numbers swell and intake goes down in quality, it is something to worry about. And salaries are something you can’t ignore. You really wouldn’t want to pass out from an IIM only to know that some of the non-IIT Engineering pass-outs earn more than you.

About International ranking:

The other issue that comes often is how IIMs are never among the top-50 B-schools in the world. Those surveys are biased alright, but am I the only person to think that these international surveys are heavily biased against non-US B-schools? Does everyone really agree that 55 out of the top-100 B-schools are in US? Is education throughout the rest of the world that bad?

Rashmi has highlighted some points about the problem with taking GMAT scores for ranking, but here’s one more: 15% of the overall weightage is given to salary upon graduation, which is always measured in dollar terms. Someone go and tell them there is something called Purchase Parity adjustment and Cost-of-Living adjustment. In other words, Indian salaries don’t stand a chance when converted to dollar for rankings, but is more than enough for a king-size life in India. This 15% alone could be the deciding factor.

My point is: IIMs don’t stand a chance in these surveys even if they deserve it.

Student diversity

Agreed that 70% of IIMs are engineers, but I wouldn’t call it staid, particularly in the Indian context where Engineering is given so much of importance. It’s not that talented people from all streams are not given a chance and only engineers are pulled in. Most of the good guys go to engineering.

But overall, a really great attempt to give an overall picture.


At Saturday, February 11, 2006 6:49:00 PM, Blogger harry said...

our cost of living is relatively cheaper
cost of living in developed country = 3.9 times cost of living in india .
so assuming a 10 LPA avg sal...
our avg sal can balloon to 40 LPA..
which is close to 90,000$ .. and that too for a 24 year old..which is amazing..,.

what abt ROI??? and see the acceptance rate and what abt the intelligence factor of indians.gimme a break..we are way on top..its a matter of time before we beat the other schmucks out..

At Saturday, February 11, 2006 7:05:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Harry: True abt opening salaries. Converted to the purchasing power parity of countries, our entry salaries are atleast as good as any univ. in the world. And yes, ROI too is astonishing.

The intelligence factor of Indians, even if taken to be equal to others, should see our B-schools somewhere in the top-20-30... but alas, there is really no reason for those international surveys to be fair to us. By saying 55 of top-100 B-schools are in US, they are fooling everyone.

At Saturday, February 11, 2006 9:41:00 PM, Blogger Manish Saini said...

If Roorkee Engg. College can be converted into an IIT, I am sure there are colleges which can be given IIM status after a thorough review.
This I believe would definitely take care of a few apprehensios raised.

At Monday, February 20, 2006 12:19:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Um Govar,

While I'm fine with the rest of the post, I have a small issue with one statement!!! The one with "most of the good guys go to engineering" part. Don't you think that is too generalist a point-of-view?


At Thursday, March 30, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Apurv said...

hi Govar, and thanks for the feedback (by the way, never got to know where you're placed. do update me)

i agree with you on some of the points. i too think that 20,000 is too large a figure for managerial demand. but i sure as hell do think that there is a need for 20,000 MBAs who after passing out start businesses.

i agree that IIMs cant stand a chance in international rankings due to the huge weightage to salary factor. another argument is that IIMs are not comparable to foreign bschools because IIMs basically impart entry-level management education to freshers. but even if you keep that aside, there is too much ailing the IIMs to score in other areas. a blog comment is not the right place to go into details, but you would generally agree that a LOT needs to be corrected in the IIMs to even consider calling them global level. yes, things will gradually improve and mature over time. or maybe competition from US bschools post FDI in higher edu will be that one-tight-slap to get HRD ministry to put their act together.

as for your statement that 'most of the good guys go to engineering', i think you are wise enough to see how blanket and generalising that sounds. do consider that CAT is too superloaded on quant-skills for non-engg applicants to show their abilities. being an engineer myself, i know and you would agree that we suck at networking and people management. we indians can quantify things and crunch numbers like gods but we totally suck at looking people in the eye and not speaking utter globe while trying to sell them something. no amount of MBA classes can repair that, only the real world can. so i wouldnt confuse good number crunching aptitude with good managerial/leadership aptitude.

anyway, good to hear your views on the issue and i agree with your earlier post on IIM shillong. keep in touch!



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