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India’s best B-schools
Arnab Mitra, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 30, 2011
First Published: 13:02 IST(30/8/2011)
Last Updated: 15:59 IST(15/9/2011)
Ready to go: Students at a convocation at IIM-Ahmedabad.
A,B, C… It’s as simple as that. The top three ranks in the third Hindustan Times-TNS Best B-schools in India survey went, as they did in 2009 and 2010, to the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta.

There’s a fair bit of churn after that — sedate near the top but gathering momentum as we go down the list. But more of that later…

No new B-schools made it to the top 10 list this year — which also means that no school in last year’s top 10 list dropped out of it. But the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, the two IIMs at Lucknow and Indore, Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, and XLRI, Jamshedpur, all joined in a game of musical chairs within the top 10 (see Top 50 B-schools on Page 2 for details).

SPECIAL: Top B-schools

The next 10 places saw four new entrants — IIM-Kozhikode, IMT, Ghaziabad, NITIE, Mumbai, and Amity Business School, Noida. Interestingly none of the institutions in the 11-20 sub-segment could retain their 2010 ranks.

But despite their dominance at the top, IIMs A, B and C are facing greater competition, most notably from IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Indore and ISB, Hyderabad.

Says Samir Baruah, IIM-A director: “It is a positive development (that the gap is reducing). But foreign universities — once they are allowed to set up campuses in India — will be our main challenge.” He adds that the best way to meet this threat is to go global.

Going global and expanding within India are strategies that several schools are following to reach out to ever-increasing numbers of aspiring students and broaden their geographical sweep. ISB, for instance, will shortly open a second campus in Mohali, near Chandigarh.

Interestingly, many more B-schools are now going beyond the nuts and bolts of management theory and focussing on issues like ethics, society and culture.

This trend, in itself, is not new. What stands out, however, is the emphasis that institutes are now laying on these matters.

“Today, business is not isolated from government and society. They are all intertwined,” says Pankaj Chandra, IIM-B director. “What we teach is management — of private businesses, of public institutions and of not-for-profit organisations.”

“XLRI is the only B-school where the study of business ethics is compulsory in all programmes,” says Pranabesh Roy, dean of academics at the institute.

Similarly, the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research offers a “Geeta in management” programme to first-year students, which, according to Ashish Uchil, an alumnus from the Class of 2007, focusses on value-based management principles.

Several institutions are also making it compulsory for batches of students to take up problems faced by slum-dwellers and other disadvantaged groups and devise solutions for them.

“Reinventing ourselves is very important,” says Sanjeev Bansal, director, MBA and doctoral programmes at Amity, which debuted in our Top 20 list this year.

Like the B-schools this issue is dedicated to, we, too, have tried to reinvent ourselves, though only in small measure (so as not to tread too far away from the format that made our first two B-school surveys in 2009 and 2010 so successful).

Like last year, we bring you in-depth profiles of the Top 10 B-schools in the country, but instead of profiling the dark horses, we’ve reported on the four new entrants into the Top 20 list, both to emphasise the intense competition among these institutions as they reinvent themselves as also to highlight what they did differently to climb up the ladder. And we’ve reported on the institute that gained the most — it’s up 22 places compared to its rank last year.

Happy reading.

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