The Outlook-C-fore survey of B-schools in India started eight years back. One unique feature of the survey is that it is based primarily on objective data. The weightage to perceptual data has never exceeded 25%.The survey is also transparent as participants have access to the data of their competitors after the findings are published. (India’s best B-schools: Par Excellence)
The prime objective of ranking is to elevate the standard of business education in the country. The purpose of ranking is not to perpetuate brand myth but to evaluate the actual performance of a B-school against different parameters.
We recognize the leadership role B-schools can play in creating new knowledge and skills. So, we give substantial weightage to the research output of an institute.
The methodology of the survey was finalized after taking inputs from all relevant stakeholders such as recruiters, students and faculty. In 2001, a workshop was held at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore where the directors of all the top B-schools including the IIMs refined the methodology of the survey. This methodology is reviewed annually by experts from industry and academics.
This year, six broad parameters and 54 sub parameters were used to assess a B-school. The broad parameters used for this exercise were: intellectual capital; infrastructure; industry interface; international linkages; and recruiters satisfaction survey score.
For the purpose of the ranking, B-schools were segmented into four broad categories: government or public sector funded autonomous institutes; private; sectoral or specialized; and university departments.
B-schools that offered only one year programmes such as the Indian School of Business were not included in the survey. The survey was open to all B-schools in India at the site www.indiabschools.com from where a questionnaire designed for the survey could be downloaded. Invitations were also sent to more than 700 B-schools to participate. In all, 216 B-schools participated in the survey. The satisfaction survey of students, faculty and recruiters was also carried online at this site. This is an ongoing activity throughout the year. The validation exercise was carried out by a special team that cross-checked the data by asking for necessary documents such as appointment letters, balance sheets, annual reports, etc. The veracity of information was also checked through the ‘mystery shopping’ method where C-fore researchers, without revealing their identity, cross-checked the information provided by a B-school by interacting with its students, faculty and staff.
The key findings of the study:
• This is the fourth consecutive year that our premier B-schools have witnessed spectacular placements, improving their past records. In the top B–schools the average salary has witnessed an astounding growth of 20-30%.
• IIM-A, IIM-B and IIM-C have maintained their top positions.
• IIM-L has started a campus in Noida and this has helped it in its industry interface. The other two IIMs are still struggling. If they received a good rank in the study, its primarily due to their placements and infrastructure. Industry picks up students from IIMs as they are assured of the quality of the schools’ intake more than value addition.
• As far as growth in research is concerned, some private B-schools are working harder than their government counterparts schools such as Narsee Monjee, which has made publishing in research publications mandatory for its faculty, have improved their rank.
• With industry struggling to reach out to the growing number of consumers in emerging economies, the biggest challenge for B-schools, perhaps, is to catch up with the pace of change
• Unfortunately, faculty development is a serious concern. In more than 80% of the B-schools that we surveyed, not even 5% of revenue is being spent on faculty development.
• Another major area of concern is entrepreneurship development. Of the more than 1,300 B-schools that we now have, not even ten have an effective incubation centre to cultivate enterprise.
• University departments are continuing their downward fall because of bureaucratic bottlenecks.
• Not even 25 of the B-schools in India can be called truly-integrated. Most of them are teaching colleges disseminating existing knowledge and not making any effort to create new knowledge and skills.
Premchand Palety is director of Centre for Forecasting & Research (C-fore) in New Delhi. He writes a regular column for Mint on business schools, called Business Case.