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Back to B-school

With the meltdown taking away thousands of jobs and the future not looking too bright, the CAT to the IIMs saw many executives and those who’d received pink slips vying for seats in the prestigious institutes, reports Prasad Nichenametla.

delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2008 01:07 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

With the meltdown taking away thousands of jobs and the future not looking too bright, the Common Admission Test (CAT) to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) on Sunday saw many executives and those who’d received pink slips vying for seats in the prestigious institutes.

The IIMs, which got 2,47,000 applications last year, got 2,75,839 this year, up 11 per cent.

“I have two years’ experience and I’m taking the CAT to get a better managerial position,” V. Veeresham, with Tech Mahindra in Mumbai, said. He added that he knew several out-of-job techies who were taking the CAT.

A good number of IIM students already have at least a few months experience. For example, more than 60 per cent students at IIM-Calcutta have some work experience. This number is expected to grow. In the aftermath of the global meltdown, executives are utilising the lean period to equip themselves with skills to deal with hard times in the future.

With the IIMs seeing a steady increase in applications for mid-career management development programmes, the globally acclaimed Indian School of Business (ISB) too reported a 30 per cent increase in the number of applications this year.

“There’s been a 30 per cent increase in the first round of applications this year, in comparison to last year. It can be attributed to the meltdown as that is the trend in the West whenever such a crisis occurs,” ISB dean M. Rammohan Rao said.

Most students at ISB are those taking a break from their careers to get in tune with developments in management. The ISB charges about Rs 16.5 lakh for its one-year management programme.

The response to short-term management courses, which run into a few days, is also quite good, as is seen in the Ahmedabad and Calcutta IIMs.

Ashok Banerjee, chairman of consultancy and MDP, IIM-Calcutta, said: “There has been an increasing response to mid-career courses which might be a result of the global crisis.” He said the institute had 70 days of such courses that concentrate on programmes on managing crises and change, and are tailored according to resources and response from time to time.

“Though we cannot put in numbers what the growth is, there has been a certain increase in the number of applications we are receiving as part of our short-term management development programmes,” an official associated with the management development faculty at IIM-Ahmedabad.