Archana M Prasanna
The one-year executive management programmes that Indian B-schools offer have emerged among the toughest in the world to gain admission in terms of average Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A)'s Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX), for instance, has recorded an average GMAT score of 728 among successful applicants — the highest for any one-year management executive programme in the world (see table). IIM-A’s average GMAT score has shot up from 695.42 in 2006.
IIM-A was followed by the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad's one-year programme which recorded an average GMAT score of 714 for the 2008-09 batch, ranking it third in the world. In 2006-07, ISB's average GMAT score was 707, rising to 710 in 2007-08.
Unlike the two-year MBA programmes, executive management programmes have a minimum work experience criteria — five to seven years, though those who sign on usually have average work experience of eight to 10 years.
"We look for high GMAT scores, leadership qualities and quality of work experience while evaluating a candidate," said a spokesperson for ISB, which pioneered the one-year executive management programme concept in india.
Average GMAT scores in 2008-09
Cornell University 708
NorthWestern University 700
Cambridge University 690
* Two-year post-graduate programme; the others are one-year courses
The one-year programme has been so popular in the country that the number of applications has been rising steadily. Last year, ISB received 3,000 applications for 440 seats. This year, the number of applications is expected to grow 40 per cent and the institute has decided to increase the number of seats to 550.
The executive programmes have also been a hit with recruiters in the last few years across campuses. Recruiters like McKinsey, Microsoft, GE, Shell, Booz Allen Hamilton, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, ITC, RPG, Yes Bank, Infosys and Tech Mahindra have hired in big numbers among such graduates.
The response to the ISB and IIM-A programmes has encouraged other institutes, including IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) in Manipal and Nirma Institute of Management (NIM). All of them are in various stages of launching one-year post graduate executive management programmes.