NEW DELHI: Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have always been the dream destinations for youngsters in the country aspiring to make it big in the corporate world. But brand IIM has also managed to attract a good number of NRI students. This year, the number of NRI students who have joined IIMs has gone up considerably. There was only one NRI student at IIM Bangalore’s post graduate programme (PGP) last year while there are five who have joined IIM-B this year. Similarly, 11 such students have joined IIM Ahmedabad this year vis-a-vis only six last year. At IIM Calcutta, while nine NRI students joined last year, 14 have joined this year, and at IIM Lucknow, five have joined this year compared to just two last year. "India is an attractive economy which is emerging at the global level. We see a lot of Indians coming back home to work here and also many expats who choose India as their workplace. This, coupled with attractive offers from various MNCs which come to IIMs to offer jobs in India or anywhere around the world, has attracted many NRI students. We will see the numbers only increasing in the coming years," said IIM-A director Sameer Barua. For Varun Bhandari, who did his B.Sc. (Economics) from the London School of Economics and has worked in investment banking with banks like Deutsche and HSBC in London, seeking admission in IIM-B is a preferred way to come back home. "An MBA from IIM not only gives you an elite Indian branding, but also costs a fraction of overseas MBAs," says Varun. Similarly, Sumant Bhutoria, who did his masters in electrical engineering from Arizona State University, US and worked there for over three years, has opted for IIM-A and hopes to lay down a career path in the financial services sector. On the other hand, Aastha Sahdev, who is pursuing PGP at IIM-C does not want to restrict herself to India in the immediate future. She would like to work for the county eventually, especially with organisation like the United Nations. She did her masters in environmental engineering from University of Toronto. The route for these NRI students is not through CAT, but GMAT. Every IIM sets a cut-off for the GMAT score as well. According to an IIM student, while IIM-A had a cut-off of 760 for GMAT this year, at IIM-B and IIM-C, it was 700. Not only that, NRI students have to shell out extra money to pay the fees as well. For instance, while the PGP fees for resident candidates is Rs 6-7 lakh at IIM-C, the same is Rs 16 lakh for NRI students.