Ahmedabad: The Indian Institute of Management here—India’s premier management school— is starting to find a few more global takers among those looking to go back to a business school.
Some 23% of applicants for its 2008-09 one-year post-graduate programme for executives (PGPX) have come from outside India.
The PGPX course, started in 2006-07, is aimed at mid-level executives and managers with at least seven years of work experience, and awards successful students with a diploma.
IIM-A said it has received a total of 1,347 applications for the programme, up from 849 for the current batch of 73 students. This will be the third batch of students for the course, which starts on 6 April.
“What is most striking is the diversity of applicants, in terms of the nations that they have come from and thesectors that these aspiring candidates work in,” says ArvindSahay, admission committee chairman.
Some 311 applicants are working outside India, including 201 in the US, followed by 36 in the UK, 17 in Singapore and 10 in Germany. Other applicants are from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, the UAE, Seychelles, Vietnam, Japan, Brazil, Iran, Ivory Coast, Bulgaria, Finland, Cyprus, Bahrain and China.
“In all, we have received applications from over 38countries, apart from India. This, I think, is as good as any global B-school would ever get,” says Prof. Sahay. About 10% of the applicants are foreign nationals.
In the current batch, there were 200 such applicantsfrom outside India out of 847, or 23.6%, and among those who got selected, eight are from abroad—three foreigners and five permanent foreign residents.
Some 21 candidates were residing outside India in five countries prior to the course. The fee for the latest course has also been hiked, to Rs14 lakh from the Rs10 lakh for the 2007-08 course.
“The good thing about these applications is that a majority of applications from abroad are from developed nations like the US and the UK. This is a very good sign because (applicants) in these countries normally apply to what they perceive as the Top 10 B-schools,” says Bakul Dholakia, director, IIM-A.
On its website, the institute compares its programme with one-year courses offered by Insead in France, the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines, the University of Pittsburgh, Cranfield in the UK, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.
Dholakia says he believes that growing foreign participation in the one-year programme will have a positive spillover on the institute’s flagship two-year MBA programme and that more overseas students would consider IIM-A for such studies.
“Once our PGPX graduates go back to these foreign lands and begin working, they would extend our brand name and help us attract the right talent to the PGP course,” he said.
The minimum age for admission to the PGPX course is 27. The average age of applicants this year is around 33, with average experience of about 10 years.
“This has also helped us segregate the market,” saidProf. Sahay. “If you want fresh management graduates, you can recruit from our two-year post graduate programme students and, if you want more experienced people, you have PGPX students.”
Prof. Sahay said the number of women in the course is also likely to be somewhat higher this year. In previous batches, women made up 5% of thestudents.
The course began with about 60 students but for this batch, IIM-A expects to admitabout 100.