The Indian School of Business (ISB) has pipped the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) for the top-ranked B-school in the country in the latest Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking. ISB moved up five places to 23rd in the global ranking, while IIMB fell from 27th spot last year to 35th this year.
Insead, based in France and Singapore, the UK’s London Business School, and the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business were first, second, and third overall. IESE Business School in Spain and the Yale School of Management in the US tied for fourth position. Significantly, three of the last year's top five B-schools —Harvard, Wharton, and Stanford — chose not to compete.
The FT Global MBA Ranking lists the world’s best 100 full-time one-year and two-year MBA programmes that require prior work experience for candidates. The IIMs run separate MBA programmes for executives that require prior work experience.
Apart from ISB and IIMB, there were three other Indian B-schools in the top 100. IIM Calcutta fell two places to 44th from 42nd last year; IIM Ahmedabad improved its ranking by 13 positions and was 48th, compared with 61st last year; IIM Indore made its debut and was ranked 94th.
A total of 143 B-schools took part in the 2021 edition. The ranking methodology accords weighting to 20 different criteria, including salary, weighted salary, salary increase, value for money, career progress, aims achieved, international faculty, international students, international board, and faculty doctorate, among others. The ranking surveys alumni three years after completing their MBA, and requires a minimum 20 per cent replies. Due to Covid-19 disruptions, FT considered schools with a lower response rate as well.
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Among the parameters that the ranking focused on, IIM Ahmedabad led the pack on multiple fronts. The premier B-school top ranked globally in the international faculty criterion, apart from being the second best globally in terms of career progress. The other two Indian B-schools that did well in the career progress criterion were IIM Indore and IIM Calcutta, being ranked globally at fourth and seventh positions, respectively.
The career progress criterion looks into the level of seniority and size of the company the B-school's alumni are working in now. IIM-A also ranked high globally, at sixth position, in terms of the recommend criterion, wherein alumni were asked to choose three schools from where they would recruit MBA graduates.
ISB, on the other hand, is the second-best school globally in terms of international students and ninth-best in terms of women on the board. IIM Calcutta and IIM Bangalore also emerged as top B-schools globally in the international faculty parameter, being ranked at fourth and seventh spots, respectively.
The ranking highlighted IIM Calcutta's leadership in delivering global management education, said its MBAEx Programme chair, Manju Jaiswall. "The timely responses to the change in the mode of teaching this year to virtual reflect our resilience and preparedness towards our students’ safety and learning, and this effort has certainly paid off well."
ISB Dean Rajendra Srivastava said the ranking highlighted and strengthened the premier B-school's efforts to produce world-class research and encourage more women to join the management workforce. "The increasing number of prominent business schools from India making their mark globally makes the world notice India as a destination for high-quality management education."
IIM Calcutta Director Anju Seth said that with the Covid-19 pandemic shocking the global education sector in 2020, physical education delivery model came to a standstill. "However, we emerged strongly in adversity by introducing a blended model for learning continuity. Education in the new normal will be about resilience and non-stop learning," Seth added.