The last two years have not been easy for the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.
This April, its founder-chairman Rajat Gupta resigned after his name came up in the Galleon Hedge fund insider trading case in the United States.
Board member Anil Kumar had been the first victim, resigning in January 2010. A year earlier, dean Mendu Rammohan Rao had to quit in the wake of the scam in Satyam Computers, where he was an independent director.
However, ISB appears to be bouncing back. A second campus is coming up at Mohali, Punjab. The B-school has set an April 2012 date for classes to begin at the new campus.
The vibrant 260-acre Hyderabad campus is located near IT majors such as Infosys Technologies, Microsoft and Wipro.
Faculty members attribute ISB’s ‘upbeat mood’ to Godrej group chief Adi Godrej, who took over as chairman of the executive board some time back. Despite the negative publicity — Godrej insists the scam-induced resignations did not harm the school’s image — ISB continues to be a top attraction for students.
ISB gets an average 130 applications for each seat. The school has 29% women students, which is among the highest for any B-school in India.
Founded in 2001 by a group of corporate honchos and academicians keen on creating a world-class school in Asia, ISB offers a one-year post graduate programme (PGP) in management. This programme is not approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), which accords recognition for MBA courses in the country.
“We want to be regulated by AICTE, but it believes you just cannot have a one-year MBA programme,” says Ajit Rangnekar, dean of ISB. But it’s nevertheless, popular.
Proof: year after year, both Indian and foreign companies have been snapping up ISB graduates at high salaries and many other B-schools have begun offering me-too courses.
ISB has pinned hopes on the new education policy union minister Kapil Sibal is pursuing. Alternatively, the school is seeking accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, an industrial body. For now, the school offers international exposure through visiting faculty from abroad and student exchange programmes. ISB has partnerships with 37 leading schools abroad. In January, the Financial Times, London, had ranked ISB 13th on the Global Top MBA list. It also singled out the school for the highest ‘salary percentage increase’ among the top 100 schools.
ISB has lined up a series of initiatives in keeping with the diverse background of its students — India’s first audio book author, a doctor-turned-bureaucrat, an Indian Navy commander and choreographers.
“Three aspects give ISB an edge — extremely competent faculty, excellent infrastructure and diverse background of students,” says Manish Gupta, Class of 2007. “Also, ISB takes in students who have some work experience. The level of maturity makes all the difference,” says Gupta, a deputy general manager with Honeywell in Pune.
Established in: 2001
Main courses: PG programme in management
Other courses: PG programme in management for senior executives, fellowship programme in management
Course fee: Rs 20 lakh/$40,000
Number of students per batch: 770 (after Mohali campus starts in 2012)
Faculty-student ratio: 1:14
Facilities offered: Studio apartments for married students, fitness centre, swimming pool, football/cricket ground, courts for squash, tennis, basketball and other sports
Day zero placements in 2011: None, as entire process takes at least 15 days
Top recruiters: Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Deutsche Bank, Conde Nast, Amazon, Arthur D Little, UST Global, Boston Consulting Group, Nomura, Cisco, Citibank, McKinsey & Co
Famous alumni: Vijay Dalmia, director, MLD group, Raphael Hegeler, director strategic initiatives, Dell