Do you want to get into an IIM? Are you confused about the returns on investment if you pursue a graduate program at any of the IIMs? We will explore the potential pay an IIM graduate is offered once they have completed their course. 

Before we move on to understand the salary increase of an IIM graduate, let us discuss a necessary requirement if you are planning on applying to a management institute in India.

Common Admission Test (CAT)

The Common Admission Test (CAT)  is a computer-based MBA entrance test administered by IIMs to shortlist qualified students for their business administration programmes such as MBA or Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). The CAT serves as a gateway to many other prestigious management institutes. The exam provides you the opportunity to enhance your business knowledge and to develop your technical skills within a short duration. In addition, a good CAT score not only guarantees admission to reputed business schools in India, but it is also the first step to getting into the top IIMs. 

Business Schools in India that Accept CAT

Some of the management institutes in India that accept the CAT other than IIM include,  Institute of Management Technology, International Management Institute (Delhi), S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Faculty of Management Studies, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, and Management Development Institute (Gurgaon).

Potential Pay of an IIM Graduate 

One of the many perks of getting into IIMs is that the salary an IIM graduate receives is far greater than the salary offered to candidates graduating from other business schools in India. The potential salary offered to IIM graduates versus other Indian business schools are as follows: 

Business schools in India Potential Salary in INR*
Top IIMs20,00,000 
Other IIMs13,00,000
Top government universities  18,00,000
Other government universities 5,50,000
Top private universities19,00,000
Other private universities 9,50,000
Average salary for a business graduate 9,00,000

Salary Increase of an IIM Graduate 

The salary increase of an IIM graduate based on the amount of work experience they have acquired is as follows:

Graduates Work Experience Increase in salary* 
IIM Graduates 1 -2 years  20,00,000 INR
Engineering Graduates1-2 years 5,00,000 INR
Social sciences & Art Graduates  1-2 years <5,00,000 INR
IIM Graduates 3-5 years 50,00,000 INR
Engineering Graduates 3-5 years 8,00,000 – 9,00,000 INR
Social sciences & Art Graduates3-5 years 6,00,000 – 7,00,000 INR
IIM Graduates6-9 years 80,00,000 – 90,00,000 INR
Engineering Graduates6-9 years15,00,000 – 20,00,000 INR
Social sciences & Art Graduates6-9 years<15,00,000 INR 

*Important note: These are approximate values and are bound to change.

An IIM graduate from a top IIM would earn around 20 lakhs INR, but as they gain work experience year after year, the graduate can expect a significantly higher increase in salary. The salary for an IIM graduate is considerably high when compared to graduates from other other management institutes as well as graduates from various subject fields. As you can see, graduates with work experience of 3 to 5 years  earn around 50 lakh INR, which is twice their salary in just two working years! 

Placement Record of IIM 

Over the years, IIMs have recorded a 100% placement record  for all of its graduates. The top IIMs have recorded 70 lakh INR to 1 crore INR being offered as CTC. For example, in IIM Ahmedabad, the highest CTC offered for 2017- 2019 batch was 70 lakh INR per annum. The salary packages for graduates from top IIMs is far above average, however, the salary packages offered to  newer IIMs are around 10-20 lakh INR per annum. There is no estimate of the lowest  salary offered, although the lowest  salary an IIM graduate can expect would be 6 lakh INR per annum.

We have outlined the potential salary offered to and salary increase of an IIM graduate. In addition, we have also discussed the placement record of IIM as well. It is evident that IIM graduate’s returns on investment are far higher, when compared to graduates from other business schools. We hope to have provided you clarity on whether to pursue an MBA at IIM or not. All the best!


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