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Crore-plus salaries make their debut at IIM Bangalore's executive MBA programme

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI/BANGALORE: American multinational e-commerce company Amazon and at least one other company have just offered compensation packages in excess of Rs 1 crore for the first time to two students from IIM Bangalore’s full-time Executive Post-Graduate Programme(EPGP), a sign that recruiters are not totally averse to hiring bright talent even in this bleak environment.

One student has been placed in India, and the other in the US. Amazon declined to comment on an ET query.

The average salary at IIM-B also went up to Rs 26 lakh this year, from Rs 23 lakh last year. About 55 companies came to recruit for the programme for a batch of 74 students, and about 50% were repeat recruiters. This is the best placement season in IIM Bangalore’s EPG’s four-year history.

“The one-year programme, with its four-term model and an international immersion programme, is comparable to global business schools,” says professorSankarshan Basu, chairperson, career development services at the institute.

For institutes that offer full-time, one-year programmes, the trend is a refreshing change. In the past, the programmes have been in the sidelines for their lack of summer internship options – a prerequisite for job offers – and the absence of a ‘holistic’ two-year perspective. This year, though, they seem to be finding favour with recruiters at campuses like IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, MDI Gurgaon and SP Jain in Mumbai.

crore plus salaries make their debut at iim b executive mba

Corporates are warming up to the content of these programmes, encouraged in part by success stories. For instance, NC Bopanna, COO of manufacturing firm KeldEllentoft andPiyushDeogirikar, COO of Mother Earth Retail have graduated from IIM-B’sprogramme.

Recruiters queue up

Consulting firm KPMG would earlier hestitate to recruit from one-year MBA programmes. Now, however, it is seeing value in the course. “Some of these programmes have successfully distilled what was taught in two years at these institutes with their modules, faculty and course content,” says Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner – management consulting & national industry head for education, KPMG.

At other institutes offering the programme, it’s the same encouraging story. The highest salary for the one-year MBA programme at SP Jain Institute of Management & Research this year has gone up to Rs 40.5 lakh for India compared with Rs 28.5 lakh last year. The average salary has gone up to Rs 16.71 lakh from Rs 15.63 lakh last year. Top recruiters included Amazon, KPMG, ICICI Bank, Infosys and McKinsey.

MDI Gurgaon, one of the first in the country to start a one-year, full-time, post-graduate programme for executives in 1988, has also reported better salaries. The highest compensation this year was at Rs 18.2 lakh compared with Rs 16.8 lakh last year.

The average salary this year is at Rs 13.2 lakh compared with Rs 10.2 lakh last year. “Surprisingly, the salary package increased this year in spite of the economy not being in good shape,” says Kanwal Kapil, associate professor and chairperson, placements at the institute.

IIM Lucknow declined to share information on salaries citing confidentiality clauses, but claimed to have had the best placements among the IIMs this year for its International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX). Rolling placements for the batch of 2012-2013 commenced in November at the institute’s Noida campus. Deloitte, IBM, EXL Services and TCS were among top recruiters.

Rahul Joshi, enrolled for IPMX this year after over a decade’s service in the telecom sector – his last job was with Ericsson Global as lead solution architect. “Having worked in telecom throughout, my knowledge and ideas about business were fairly restricted,” he says.

More rigour

On their part, the institutes have attempted to strengthen the credibility of the one-year programmes by making them more rigorous through changes in course content and modules on international immersion, a format followed by global business schools. “We are making the programme much more action-oriented so that every student will have multiple opportunities to get involved with organisations and the senior management,” says professor G Shainesh, chairperson of the EPGP programme at IIM Bangalore. Emerging Economies and Entrepreneurial Management are now offered as core courses in the programme, he says.

IIM-B has also included a business project component in its international immersion programme. Student groups will work on projects sponsored by organisations in Singapore this year in a consulting mode.

A typical project will be spread over six to eight weeks, starting with a brief given by the sponsor.

It will involve a focused problem or opportunity analysis, data collection and multiple interactions with project sponsors. During the two weeks of international immersion, being hosted at the National University of Singapore, students will present their recommendations to the sponsoring organisation.

IIM-B has also reduced the work experience criterion for executives to 5-15 years for next year from 7-15 years, so as to attract a wider set of executives.

“One of the significant changes over the past two years at SP Jain has been the focus on the international immersion programme,” adds Indu Niranjan, a professor of finance and deputy director of the PGPM programme at the institute. SP Jain has tied up with highly-ranked schools in the US, and the participants will be going there for three weeks’ advanced courses in the area of specialisation, she says.

The schools for this year are NYU Stern for finance, Michigan State University for business analytics and operations and USC Marshall Business School for marketing. “We are looking at creating concentrations within the specialisation to increase the employability of the participants and enable them to be more focused in the domain and function,” says Niranjan.

At IIM Lucknow, the international business module will be held at ESCP Europe, Berlin and Paris in September. The focus will be on managing complexities and prospects in the European business environment. Indian business schools compete seriously with other global business schools, says William Litwack, a consultant for IIM Bangalore’s EPGP who has worked on projects for Instead.

“In terms of average GMAT scores, project work and the international immersion component, some of these schools are at the same level as global B-schools offering a one-year MBA,” he says. The number of class hours are almost the same as a two-year MBA, and these professionals have to work harder, he adds.
But KPMG’s Ramswamy feels there is still a long way to go. “Indian business schools need to be much more agile and flexible according to the changing needs of industry, like global business schools,” he says. If institutes focus on non-traditional modes of course content and faculty, the one-year MBA can reach greater heights, he says.

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