Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Business Today Rankings 2007 dissected

It’s the season of bschool rankings once again. First, Business Today – which has definitely gotten worse. If such a thing were possible.

I won’t go into the details of why their methodology is flawed. I’d outlined my objections to the A C Nielsen ‘Winning Brands’ methodology last year and you can read it here. In a nutshell, winning educational brands are not built along the same parameters as winning FMCG brands – and hence can’t be measured in the same way.

If you use a weighing machine to measure height you will obviously get strange results…

Instead of acknowledging the problem, BT has simply gone ahead and staged a repeat performance with even more mindboggling results. Take a look (click for larger view):

• not in top 30 last yr/ did not participate last year

Chief objections
- No student will choose Symbiosis over IIM L, K and I – keep dreaming
- No student will choose ICFAI Hyd or NMIMS over S P Jain and FMS
- You simply can’t rank MDI Gurgaon # 18 and ABS Noida # 20 as if both are at the same level!
- XIMB should definitely be in the top 20.

The survey was conducted in 2 phases. In phase 1 ”we shortlisted the 30 b schools that were to be ranked by asking MBA aspirants and recruiters to name those they would consider applying and hiring from, respectively.”

- The first boo boo is at this stage itself. Important schools like NITIE and SJSOM are missing (although IIT Delhi makes the grade).
- Goa Institute of Management, IMT Ghaziabad and IMI Delhi (which any student should count in the top 30) are also missing
- Symbiosis seems to be a ‘blanket’ brand – SIBM, SCMHRD, SIIB, SIFT are not listed separately.
- Sectoral schools like IRMA, MICA are not considered at all, although many students would prefer to join them over other options included in the BT top 30.
- 'BIMT' is apparently in Chennai. It’s actually BIM Tiruchirapally.
- For reasons unspecified, IIPM Delhi has not been included. The college ranked an amazing # 11 last year, ahead of IIM K and S P Jain. The sudden disappearance of IIPM Delhi (and the fall of IIPM Mumbai from # 16 last year to # 26 this year) begs an explanation.

And well, I could just go on dissecting the vagaries of this wasted exercise. But I shall cease and desist. Artistic tables and graphs are all very well but … credibility is another thing altogether.

On the positive side, there are some interesting stories accompanying the rankings.

- ‘A Tale of Two cities' examines the slide of FMS and IIFT in the rankings and notes that both institutes are taking steps to upgrade infrastructure. And that both are ‘centres of learning that have a lot to offer budding MBAs and India Inc’. Their selection procedure is rigorous, course fee reasonable and placement excellent.

FMS in particular – didja know it’s the ‘least expensive management school in the world’ (Rs 20,000 p.a. wonly).

- ‘Chasing the gravy train’ – finance and consulting are the favourite career choices of bschool grads. Of course this is true mainly in elite schools… further down the ladder you are basically marketing financial services, IT. It’s what the economy needs, stupid. You don’t have much of a choice

- ‘Essentially entrepreneurs’ – snapshots of recent passouts who’ve started their own companies.

However, none of this compensates for the lapses in the survey itself.

Overall rating to BT bschool rankings 2007: D.

Kindly re engineer to make this a useful and relevant exercise!

Tomorrow: Outlook bschool rankings 2007 – not perfect but quite useful


  1. You know Rashmi, I guess the time has come to simply disregard the rankings. Plain Rankings are never a parameter for judging a B-School. And then again, which ranking do you trust ? The one which Outlook gave or the one which business today gave ? In any case, my experience in the Corporate world shows that reputation persists and it takes a lot of bad eggs to tarnish it. As a result, the perception of schools such as IIMs, FMS, XLRI, IITs , SP Jain in the industry remains where it is - among the best . It will take a lot of bad passouts from these schools to tarnish the reputation.

  2. IIPM DElhi to mumbai explanation would be - because IIPM delhi last year was in the list so lot of students applied for it. That served the purpose of IIPM. Now obviously they wan t lot of people to apply for other places as well so they asked BT to add that also in the list. BT would have said ok pay twice of what u paid last year. IIPM would have said we will only pay as much as we paid last year. So they deleted IIPM delhi and inserted IIPM Mumbai. Kuch purane institutes upar aa gaye, IIPM mumbai andar aa gaya, BT ne paisa bhi nahin khoya, dono khush!!!

  3. I cannot digest these rankings at all.... newaz...wouldnt it be fair to take ISB hyderabad into picture also when ranking these institutes....????

  4. top b-school ranking thing has always been a problem. I never understand what parameters do they judge upon, the ones they publish present a diff. story far away from reality.
    I think its time we need something authentic, judging the bschools in a way which reflects reality.
    The result is ppl find it better to consult their seniors and coaching trainers for guidance. But the ones who lack proper guidance end up making the worst out of their good results.

  5. These rankings have almost zero influence on SERIOUS CAT takers, how can anybody ICFAI Hyd better than MDI/IIFT/FMS. Media is too busy making bucks than making nation. Poor Media. Disgusting Show

  6. Being a student from MDI...which is surely among the top 6-7 b-schools in the country, I do not really care about the ratings..NMIMS above MDI, NITIE and a lot of other discrepancies is unpardonable. Some mistake are acceptable but such glaring ones are too much to swallow

  7. Another instance of the irresponsible behaviour of Indian media today? It definitely seems to have become a fad for each magazine to come up with its own B-school ranking. All these people end up doing is making a farce of the whole concept. Not even students of some of the "highly ranked lesser colleges" would have taken these rankings without a bucketful of salt. All these rankings do is tarnish the reputation of the truly decent Business Schools, in the industry... i mean come on...Business Today, Business World and the likes are well respected Business magazines, apparently up to speed with all that's happening in the corporate world. So, a lot of recruiters would assign some weightage to these ranks when they decide which campuses to visit for summer and final placements. With such skewed rankings, all I can do is hope that we at MDI and other such institutes are not adversely affected.

  8. Well....we all know that these ranking thing is all marketing gimmick and well paid by the respective colleges....even if A/B/C dont pay...no survey can manipulate the survey and put them down the ladder...but the same thing can be done for the other colleges which dont pay what the magzines ask for....and this is pricesly whats happening these days.....and how many ppl do actually take these rankings seriously and alter their decisions for taking admissions? Its a high time now that we question the sole purpose of these rankings....if they really want to attract ads...they can publish a separate edition on b schools...instead of misguiding people on the name of b school rankings...well..Outlook has lost its respect..in my eyes...

  9. There is no point debating which should have been higher than which - we should treat such reports with the contempt they deserve.Ignore then.

  10. Business world has a guide on facts and data of various B-Schools. Suggestion to aspiring MBA candidates , it is better to refer data and understand yourself rather than reading rankings on manipulated data.
    Ofcourse that data could be manipulated too, but it would be more difficult for the magazine to manipulate facts because that will put them in legal troubles.
    But surveys can be manipulated because first data is collected and then the approach is decided so that approach becomes suitable for the desired colleges based on the facts available.

  11. All these surveys lost there credibility.It just proves how easy Indian media can be manged.

    a sting operation on how b-schools buying ranking.. will certainly bring trp's

  12. Most mags mess up the rankings of engineering colleges as well

  13. The BT rankings are, quite simply, breathtaking. To carry off so much hogwash as a respectable ranking exercise takes guts. A funny thing I have noticed is that most of these publications 'graduated' to hiring MBA's as writers some years back. These were obviously from the so called lesser insitutes, as the IIM's, FMS's etc of the world were totally into corporate jobs (exceptions like Sandipan Deb, IIM-C, notwithstanding). I have actually started seeing a lot oif these alumni push their colleges aggressively, onjectivity be damned. Particularly true of ICFAI, IMT Ghaziabad (which has thankfully actually improved a little in the period. The Symbiosis Group, IIPM, Amity, these have of course barged in by sheer force of their media spending clout. I mean Amity, figures nowhere in any of the rankings, but if you are an outsider, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking they are among the top 5, going purely by the media noise they make. One reason nonone dares criticise them too.

  14. One of the parameters that can really help ranking the B schools is that for every year conduct a survey among the entering candidates for different B schools. Now there would be number of candidates who would have multiple calls from different institutes. For example many people get calls from IIM I, IIM K, and SP Jain. now if majority of them chose SP Jain over IIM I and IIM K, that is a clear indication that SP Jain has a reason to be ranked higher than IIM I and IIM K. Because people who face such situation do extensive research and then make their decisions. (though at times location contributes! but such cases are marginal).
    If we base our studies on this method, then it would clearly reveal that how many people who get calls from SIMB and IIM K, IIM I, chose SIMB over IIM I and K (which are ranked lower than SIMB). Infact I know of people who were studying in SIMB, and reappeared for CAT and left SIMB for offer from IIM I and IIM K.

    The logic for this idea is that when a person faces the real situation of ranking, s/he does extensive reseach before chosing the best as it concerns his/her career directly. Also the decision is not biased with previous affiliations to any of the institutes (for example Alumni of SIMB would always rate SIMB very high in the list)
    A futher refinement in this kind of survey would give us a real picture of the rankings and preferences, and help the present MBA aspirants getting a better idea of rankings.
    Though this might not be 100% perfect but this would be better and more realistic estimator of the situation.

  15. Without being carried away too much, i should say such rankings are anti national.

    Every one in b school circuit knows it is the SIBM alumnus in Today group who ensures its rank there.

    MDI is reaping what it sowed couple of years back, buying rankings. Obviously you can not do that with everyone.

    Problem with Palety's rankings that you said you will analyse tomorrow:

    1. No data verification- If an institute publishes placement report, you should know how much does major company offer on campus and match it with the actual offers.

    2. Focussing on physical infrastructure instead of intellectual one.

    3. Quantity vs Quality of publications. You should check how many case studies are actually taught at other B schools or how many articles actually form part of discussion.

    4. Quality of students as measured in the rigor of admission process and profile of students (number of IITian, NITians etc, previous work ex)

  16. I request Rashmi not spend her precious writing skills and time on these type of paid and pathetic yearly rankings.

  17. I bought both the issues of BT and Outlook this month hoping to get a complete picture of whats happening in the B school circuit. Instead the results have left me utterly confused. The outlook report presents a better picture than BT . BT is sold for money , thats clear by the rankings they have done. Thats why we see IIPM (not even recognised by the AICTE)appear /disappear every consecutive year. Dont be surprised if some Tom Dick n harry insti . from Andaman n Nicobar makes its entry next year. :)

  18. i think you might be violating copyright act by putting the scanned ranking on your blog.

  19. Why everybody is beating around bush!

    First of all barring few IIMs they are just producing MBA clerks(MBA means Managing Barely Anything!).

    These poor people without any ground level knowledege are easily knocked out professionally and end up as big nothings after spending lakhs of rupees with these institutes.!

    These ratings are nothing but wooing gullible parents to shell out more money for coaching and then for admission to these institutes,.

    Now it is just become a indian idol show and rating,.The only thing missing is SMS polls to select a best business scholls,.

    Hindustna hai kuch bhi ho sakta hai so enjoy the articles and keep blogging


    Ps: Is it not a ploy by small IIMS to get noticed by means of Planting these type of stories !Muje lakta hai boss!

  20. Sometimes it is good to see some of these absurd rankings. Having them in this form atleast allows true aspirants/ informed guys not to accept them even with a pinch of salt.

  21. Sometimes it is good to see some of these absurd rankings. Having them in this form atleast allows true aspirants/ informed guys not to accept them even with a pinch of salt.

  22. shruti this side,basically i think rashmi you have wasted your precious time in rating this institute and plzzzz explain how iipm can even enter this ,i am also doing my mba from indraprstha university and it is AICTE approved why cant you include our university rather than this stupid iipm who has dud persons doing mba.plz try to open your minds beyond iims,etc

  23. :D.. Good One. I have always wondered about these rankings. These guys come out with absurd methods. I wonder any of these guys know basic maths :D : D

    Btw, Infra, faculty and placement is all that matters :)

  24. I am from BIM Trichy..and i cant believe the stupid rankings BT has given..based on just what comes first to people's mind when u ask them abt a B School..
    The rankings are simply outrageous...not expected out of a research firm like AC Nielson..They cant even spell my institute's name correctly forget giving us a ranking...crap...

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