Considering an MBA from a top-ranking business school in India? Well, great decision! This article is here to explain why enrolling in an MBA program in one of the best business schools in India is an equally rewarding choice when compared to studying abroad. Furthermore, it lists and discusses the top MBA ranking colleges in India. 

Why Choose the Best MBA Colleges in India?

India is a rapidly growing nation with a diverse economy and fertile soil for unicorn tech start-ups. Naturally, the demand for managerial talent is equally high to scale business growth using their expertise and business knowledge. To cater to such rising demands for professionals with management expertise, several business schools have risen in the country within the past decade, some have even raked a global reputation for themselves amongst the elite Ivy League universities. However, this article discusses the tuition fees, entrance tests accepted and flagship courses of each of the 10 top MBA ranking colleges in India for business and management studies. This should further help to simplify your search for your dream business school in India.

When you think of top MBA colleges in India, the IIMs are the first set of institutions that come to mind, rightly so, due to their immense popularity. However, several reputed business schools have cropped up over time and offer top-notch education and employment opportunities, at par with the IIMs. Here is a list of the 10 best business MBA colleges in India.

  1. Indian Institute of Management

The IIMs have almost become a brand name that is synonymous with the best MBA colleges in India, rightly so because of the fact that they are every Indian MBA aspirant’s desired business school. The quality and standard of management education imparted by these set of institutions is second to none in the country. The quality of their MBA programs is such that a few top employers insist on having an MBA degree from an IIM institution as part of their job requirements. The reputation of an IIM being an excellent provider of business education is credited to its flagship program – the PGP. However, you should not note that not every IIM is highly ranked. The top-ranking institutions under the IIM brand are IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow and Indore. Furthermore, amongst these IIM institutions, IIM – A, B and C are repeatedly ranked amongst global MBA schools and universities and take the first three spots amongst the top MBA ranking colleges in India. The other institutions, all though being IIMs, do not fare well on MBA rankings in India, neither when compared to intuitions outside the IIM brand name, nor within the IIM group. In the further sections, we will discuss each of these three IIMs, particularly, in detail.

  1.  IIM – A
    IIM Ahmedabad leads the charts when it comes to business school rankings in India. It is also an institution popular for having MBB – McKinsey, Boson and Bain – the three big boys within the management consulting industry sourcing their talent from this prestigious institution.  IIM Ahmedabad’s flagship program is their Post Graduate Program (PGP).  The eligibility criteria to enrol into IIM – A’s PGP program is:
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a score of 50% or above
  • A valid CAT score with over 80 percentile or a GMAT score for overseas applicants (average GMAT required -720)

The fee structure of the PGP course at IIM Ahmedabad for the class of 2021 is set at INR 23,00,000.  In addition to a PGP, IIM – A also offers the following programs:

  • PGPX – 1-year full-time PGP in management for executives
  • MBA – FABM – A 2-year postgraduate program in the food and agriculture business  
  1. IIM – B

Similar to its sibling, IIM Bangalore also offers a PGP course as a flagship course. Nevertheless, IIM Bangalore seems to always have tough competition with its counterpart in Ahmedabad when it comes to business school rankings. While the overall admission requirements and tuition fee are the same, the cutoff, however, for the CAT scores are 85 percentiles for their PGP.  In addition to its PGP, IIM Bangalore also offers the following courses:

  • EPGP – Master of Business Administration, a one-year full-time program
  • MBA – Two-year weekend program
  • MBA Business Analytics – Two-year full-time program
  • MMS PP – Master of Management Studies Public Policy 
  1. IIM – C

Coming in third place behind IIM – A and B is IIM – Calcutta. It also offers a PGP course as its flagship course and seems to be the first preference amongst students looking for a career in finance and consulting. The admission requirements and fee structure of its PGP program are similar to its siblings IIM – A and B.

  1. Indian School of Business

When it comes to ranking the best MBA colleges in India, the Indian School of Business is one of the only few institutions that gives a tough competition to the first-three, top MBA ranking colleges in India, IIM – A, B and C. The Indian School of Business is a private institution and is the only highly-ranked business school from outside the IIM brand name. It is also one of those Indian business schools that has a global business reputation and is ranked in the top 100 QS world university rankings. Similar to the IIMs, ISB offers a PGP program as a flagship course. However, its admissions requirements are not only different but are also quite difficult when compared to the IIMs. The admission requirements are mandatory and are as follows:

  • A valid GMAT score
  • 24-months of full-time work experience (one of the only institutes in this list that demands work experience as part of its requirements)
  • IELTS or TOEFL scores for international students whose primary language of education was not English
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent

The Indian School Business’s PGP program can cost you around INR. 34,00,000. However, ISB students see a high return on their investment, with the average salary of the class of 2019 being INR. 24,00,000.

  1. XLRI Jamshedpur

XLRI Jamshedpur is also a privately held business school and is also one of the oldest premier institutions in the country. Located in the city of Jamshedpur, named after Jamshetji Tata, famous for its heavy industries such as Tata Steel and Tata Motors, XLRI offers a 2-year full-time PGDM course. Unlike the IIMs and ISB, XLRI has its own aptitude test – XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) – that MBA applicants are required to take to enrol into its MBA program. The admissions requirements are as follows:

  • A valid and recognized bachelor’s degree
  • XAT scores
  1. SPJIMR Mumbai – S.P Jain Institute of Management Research

SPJIMR is one of the only six Indian business schools to be ranked in QS’s ‘Global MBA rankings’ along with ISB and the IIMs, as reported on its official website. SPJIMR – Mumbai offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, which is a 2-year full-time MBA program. The PGDM program at SPJIMR is the flagship program offered at the business school and is popular for its high global relevance. The entrance tests accepted at SPJIMR include CAT, XAT and GMAT. The MBA program at SPJIMR costs around INR, 17,50,000 which includes tuition and accommodation fees.  

  1. Indian Institute of Management – Indore

It is no surprise that yet another IIM appears when looking for the best MBA colleges in India. IIM – Indore offers a PGP program just like its more highly ranked business school siblings and accepts CAT as the entrance test to be eligible for admissions in their PGP program. Other courses that IIM – Indore offers apart from the PGP MBA course are: Executive PGP, PGP – Mumbai, Five-year IPM, PGP – MX and PGP – HRM. The cost of IIM – Indore’s PGP program is around INR16,00,000 for domestic students. Foreign applicants need to present their GMAT scores, three LORs and language test scores. Foreign students have to pay a fee of INR. 24,00,000.

  1. Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow

The Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow is another IIM in the rankings coming in on the 8th spot of the top MBA ranking colleges in India. Similar to its highly ranked predecessors IIM – A, B, C and I, IIM – Lucknow also offers a PGP course. The eligibility requirements of its PGP course are:

  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent with over 50% marks
  • CAT scores for Indian applicants and GMAT scores for international students

In addition to the eligibility criteria mentioned above, your application is evaluated on the following basis:

  • Overall academic performance
  • Performance in written ability tests
  • Performance in a group discussion
  • Lastly, performance in the personal interview

The overall cost of the PGP course at IIM – Lucknow is around INR. 14,00,000 for the class of 2021. 

  1. Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University

The MBA program taught at FMS Delhi is a highly coveted MBA program in the country. One of the major reasons being is that the program is titled Masters of Business Administration and not a PGP or PGDM. Since FMS is an extended arm of the University of Delhi, it enjoys the benefit of offering a program that is titled – MBA.

Furthermore, another reason for students to seek admissions to the MBA program at FMS, Delhi is its fee structure. Despite being a highly-ranked business school, the tuition fee charged by the business school is INR. 1,92,000 making it not only the cheapest MBA program but also the MBA program with the highest ROI. FMS Delhi accepts CAT scores as part of its admissions requirements. 

  1. IIFT Delhi

Last but not the least, on the rankings for top MBA ranking colleges in India we have the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade – Delhi. Its flagship program is also an MBA program; however, it is specialised in international business. Hence, the master program is titled MBA (IB). The program also has a substantially lower fee when compared to other MBA programs at INR. 7,60,000 annually. IIFT Delhi has its standardised test that is considered for enrolling into its MBA program. Foreign students can also apply using their GMAT scores.

Now that we have ranked and explained about the top MBA ranking colleges in India, you are in a better position to plan your application process to the best MBA colleges in India. However, ranking is not the only factor. It is essential to consider your career goals and financial feasibility before applying to MBA programs. Furthermore, if you study your MBA program at a top-ranking business school in India then you can certainly do very well in your career. By effectively participating in campus placements, you can be sure to land your dream job at large corporations that visit the best business schools in the country to source top management trainee


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