Placements at B-schools in India - Rankings (Updated 2011)

2oth March 2011 - Update (Scroll down for original article dated 23/2/2010)

The tide seems to be turning again and the cheer is back on campuses. Suddenly everything wrong on campus stops mattering to people. As long as good jobs are available to people, other dissatisfaction is forgotten.

While there may not be too much of a difference in the ranks as compared to last year, there is some perspective to be added. Across campuses things have improved. However, improvement on campuses like IIM Lucknow,Indore and Kozhikode is noteworthy. I had written in my previous note how IIM I and K had been big losers in the meltdown. But then they seem to have gained the maximum in the upturn as well. My understanding is that in any scenario of expansion when a company is forced to look beyond IIM ABC, the other IIMs(LIK) will always benefit before other good campuses. While you may debate it, I see a strong trend towards this. Eventually, brand IIM matters.Globally IIM is becoming a strong brand and you have to thank campuses like IIM A and IIM C. In a booming market, the gap between a XLRI and IIM Indore narrows to an extent where for certain domains its sometimes better to be in IIM Indore than XLRI or FMS.

If you look at the top 50 jobs of XLRI,FMS,IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode you will not see too much of a difference - neither moneywise nor profilewise. In fact I'm tempted to say that SPJIMR may have actually slipped.

Biggest issue for IIMs is the ever growing batch size. 4 good campuses XLRI,FMS JBIMS and SPJIMR are taking it very slow in terms of expansion where as the IIMs have had to at least double batch sizes to implement the OBC quota entirely. Hence, for an aspirant it might still make more sense to compete with lesser people on these 4 campuses than to compete with say 400 in Lucknow, 450 in Indore and about 300 in Kozhikode. (There are just 38 open category seats in a batch of 120 at JBIMS! Probability of landing one of the top 10 jobs in insanely high!)

One of the trends I see is the high number of consult jobs across campuses especially the IIMs. There are more consult offers and also new companies in the consult space. My sense is also that FMCG companies will give lesser offers in the IIMs,FMS,XLRI etc. going forward. We will not see proportionate growth in that space as compared to Banking or Consulting. Another trend that might be setting in is that institutes may be building strength in specific domains. Institutes want to be most preferred campuses for particular type of jobs. Institutes seem to have identified this as a way to differentiate themselves in a cluttered market.

The kind of money being thrown by Investment banks and Consulting companies in IIM ABC is mind boggling. I think all previous records will go for a toss.There is a huge gap between the top 50 jobs at ABC and anywhere else.

Overall I believe it is one of the best times to join a B-School. The rate at which India is growing and with the financial meltdown behind us (seems like that at least for the moment) there will never be a dearth of good jobs nor dearth of decent money. There will be enough rewards for working hard.

I would still say however that the batch of 2008 was the luckiest batch of all time because cost of the programme across campuses was at least 3 times cheaper. So in terms of ROI they still win hands down!

I still maintain - Look at the companies that visit a campus and try to find out from your friends on those campuses about the profiles being offered. Average CTC figures are misleading and with such huge variance in batch sizes comparison is difficult. You cannot compare 15 lakhs in a batch of 120 with 14 lakhs in a batch of 300! Hope you can clear the smoke and look through the placements reports!

(I have tried to be as objective in my analysis as possible based on facts. However, it is possible that you may find a bias towards favouring IIM Indore. It will be unfortunate if you get such an impression)

Scroll down below for original article dated 23/2/2011

- Ankit Doshi

View Comments

23rd February 2010

(Some of you may not agree with my analysis but let us agree to have a different view. I have tried my best to base my analysis on actual facts and in an unbiased manner. Also, ISB Hyderabad has not been considered for these rankings as it is not directly comparable with the other institutes in question.ISB on the face of it would any day command the superstardom slot. However, since the average work ex is 4yrs+ I have not considered it.)

Let me tell you at the outset that I am not going to use exact statistics and data for this article. I have done thorough research before writing this one but due to disclosure issues I cannot share figures.

To begin with, choosing a B-School based on the highest average annual CTC (Cost-to-Company) may not always be the right thing to do. It is definitely not how students choose the schools abroad.

There are a multitude of factors that one must consider. Diversity of students, Quality of faculty, Course Outline, Pedagogy,Infrastructure, Exchange programmes, Alumni Base, Entrepreneurship cells, Quality of speakers for guest lectures, impact of reservation, Location etc. Unfortunately, in India majority of the crowd looks at placement figures to choose one school over the other.

Point #1 - Nothing wrong in doing that as long as you realise that most B-Schools have really fudged up Placement figures. It would be highly unwise to take the figures at face value. More often than not they are manipulated and inflated.

Point#2 – 100% Placements is increasingly becoming a utopian concept. With batch sizes of over 400 soon and 50% reservations, the IIMs can definitely not place each and everyone. They should not and they were never supposed to in the first place.

Let me give you my rankings. If you had to choose B-schools on the Placements’ parameter this is how it would look. This has been made after thorough research. You may choose not to believe it but I cannot disclose certain data publicly.


They remain the premier institutes for recruiters and will continue to do so. With brands as strong as theirs and alumni bases which are 4 decades old, it looks unlikely that they will ever lose favour with the biggies of the corporate world. The top most consulting firms only visit these 3 campuses (Some do visit Lucknow for Summer Placements) Update - BCG has started visiting IIM Indore and XLRI from Finals of 2011. The top Investment Banking firms only go to these campuses. Update - IIM Lucknow and XLRI now have front end IB offers (sources say they are still 2-3 offers though). IIM I,K will be there by 2012/2013 too. Meaningful International placements are secured only at these campuses. A lot of firms open up front office jobs only to students from these campuses. The approaching superstars and stars usually get middle office or back office jobs from the same companies. I have not ranked the 3 campuses because it is silly to do so. I am sure Placement Committees of all 3 campuses can give reasons why they should be ranked above the other 2, but for someone who is deciding to choose a B-School, placements would not matter if you got into any of the 3. Consider yourself fortunate to be in any of the 3.

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

Approaching superstardom

These institutes always remain in the shadow of the 3 biggies. Though, one has to admit that IIM Lucknow has made rapid strides over the last few years. It helps that they now have an alumni base which is 25+ years old. It would be unfair to evaluate IIM L with 100% placement parameter. They have burden of a huge batch size (350+) and reservations. IIM Lucknow should soon be in the above category.

4) Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

Always approaching superstardom but not quite making it is XLRI, Jamshedpur. Technically, it is India’s oldest institute (Yes, older than IIM A and C) and also has the distinction of being India’s best HR managers producing institute for decades now. The XLRI BM (Business Management) course is more than 4 decades old now. Yet, it has not been able to leverage its position. Even if there are certain big brands that go to the superstar institutes and IIM L and also come to XLRI, the profiles are markedly different. It leads to difference in pay scales and locations. Also do understand that average placements at XLRI and the 100% placement stat are aided by the following factors: XLRI-PMIR placements, batch size of 120 for XLRI-BM and 60 for PMIR (120 from 2011 batch), few reservation requirements. There is some gap between IIM L and XLRI. However, XLRI is far ahead of the other IIMs.

Going forward I think XLRI is going to be a big gainer. First, because of reservations at the IIMs. Second, improving connectivity to Jamshedpur city.

5) Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur

I am not sure why FMS is so overrated. But there is always a very high positive perception about FMS. But again FMS is old. And I think it is the alumni base that helps it always be amongst the top in most rankings. Whether it will ever achieve the Superstar status is debateable. (Update : IIM Indore beat FMS when it came to a big name like BCG. However, FMCG roles and certain Finance roles still keep FMS at No.6 above IIM Indore and Kozhikode)

6) Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi

The Stars

They were the biggest gainers of the great Indian economic boom. In spite of being relatively young, due to sheer demand Placements at these institutes were very impressive. These were also the institutes that took the maximum hit during the last 2 years. CAT is a major reason why these institutes did so well. Most of these institutes have students with a 98.5%ile+ score in CAT and that’s a great benchmark for companies.

Except for SPJain none of the stars have profiles like TAS and ABG being offered. Based on relationships certain companies may go to x campus and not y campus and certain others may do the opposite. But there is not too much of a difference to elevate or relegate some from this category.

SPJain due to its distinguished positioning and high diversity is ranked higher looking solely at the future and will make it to the next level earlier according to my estimates. Again it will be aided by the fact that it is a private school approved by the AICTE. No reservations, no RTI filing. All this helps in building a truly diverse batch.

7) S.P.Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai (Update : Would shift it below IIM Indore for 2011 rankings to number 8)

All the others in this category are excellent places to seek employment from. They are no comparison with the superstars but will do extremely well when the economy is on an upswing. In fact IIM Indore and IIM Kozhikode have probably been hit massively in the last 3 years due the following factors: 1) Slowdown 2) Reservations 3) Increase in batch sizes at IIM A, B, C, and L. Slowdown being a major reason.

There are stories we have heard here at IIM Indore that 2 years back people used to play cricket in their final month with 2-3 offers in hand already and the Placement committee would run and request them to finish off their remaining interviews so that relations with companies wouldn’t be spoilt. How much of that is true, I do not know but what is definitely true is that no such thing is happening in any campus in India right now.

8) Indian Institute of Management, Indore (Probably one of the most improved campuses - would go up one place to No.7 above SPJIMR)

9) Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode

Other stars in no particular order

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon

Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Delhi

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune

Institute of Management and Technology, Ghaziabad

(SJSoM, Mumbai and NITIE,Mumbai are only for engineers and pure science backgrounds. I have not included them here but they would probably be a part of Stars category)

If I had to choose any of the above stars placements would be a wrong parameter. There is not much to choose between them. My decision would be based on other aspects of a B-School. I would not be surprised if some these institutes especially MDI, NMIMS, SIBM and IMT overtake the IIMs because of increasing batch sizes at the IIMs, 50% reservations at the IIMs, lack of diversity at the IIMs and erosion of quality at the faculty level at the IIMs. It may take a few years or a decade but it is a distinct possibility.

30-40 students not getting placed at the end of official final placements is already a reality. A lot of campuses give out false media reports of 100% placements. However,rolling placements are always on.

I think a B-School's brand image and placement potential can be measured by looking at the placement of the top 50% in the batch. That is a fairer way to look at the situation.

In my opinion the best way to judge a B-School's placements is by looking at the companies and the profiles being offered. Average CTC is passe.

View Comments