The 2007 Outlook rankings are a significant improvement over previous years. (2005, 2006).
The first good thing is that practically all important bschools are included in the 2007 survey. The IIMs have ended their boycott and participated officially. (Previously IIMs were included but on the basis of information obtained through RTI). Symbiosis was missing last year – it's there now. Sectoral schools like IRMA are also covered separately.
Bajaj and FMS are covered, although in a separate table of 'top university departments', a ranking where there are no numerical scores. (Fair enough – these instis are sadly behind in infrastructure and hence clubbing them in the regular list always results in a poor show).
So who's missing? MICA. IIT bschools like DMS IIT Delhi and VGSOM. Among private bschools: Welingkar.
Outlook does not rank IIPM due to issues with their lack of ethics in providing data to the magazine in the past.
What it says
Let's take a look at the rankings now. Since last year, Outlook has taken to ranking ‘government funded bschools’ and ‘private bschools’ separately. This year sectoral schools are included and ranked separately. You can view the rankings in that format at the Outlook site or CFore site.
We at JAM have compiled a combined table, for your benefit (which they have not provided). Click for larger image. This table has the top 30 ranked institutes - private, government and sectoral listed in order of final scores.
(The term nr* denotes institutes which were not included in last year's ranking).
The top 10 is a major improvement. Except for NMIMS which I would not place ahead of IIM K. No student would! I am happy to see ICFAI Hyderabad out of the top 10 where it was placed – undeservingly – in 2006.
This second table gives the list of institutes ranked 30 to 50. (Pardon the picture quality, some gochi in exporting from MS Word!).
Several schools have tumbled 5-10 places compared to 2006 but this is essentially because bschools which did not participate earlier have been included this time. eg Symbi, IRMA and other sectoral schools like MANAGE, IHMR etc.
These schools may see a boost in terms of applications, as many people would have been unaware of their existence and quality level. Although many sectoral schools rank higher than general bschools I would advise students to go for them only if that specialisation holds their interest.
There is a very useful table for students which has details on 'Salary offered for Indian jobs'. This could help students in making a decision. And realising the difference in future prospects between one bschool and the next more clearly. Something which is not clear from overall ranking alone.
For example, SJSOM (# 16) has a median salary of Rs 9.5 lakhs while ICFAI Hyderabad (# 14) has a median salary of Rs 6.5 lakhs.
Of course only engineers can apply to SJSOM – and I have never heard of IITians who wish to join IIT bschools. So one man's goose is another's gander...
Outlook has proudly advertised ‘India’s most objective survey’ but certainly the facts provided by the bschools require more rigorous checking.
Here's an obvious mistake which I noticed while scanning the salary/ fee table. The table states ICFAI fees as Rs 5.1 lakhs, although for the top 4 campuses it’s actually Rs 7.5 lakhs , which is a huge discrepancy.
Similarly, my eyes popped out when I saw NMIMS charges only Rs 2.6 lakhs for its MBA. The website states:
It’s not clear what % of seats are open and what % are merit but at the very least the Outlook figure is off by a lakh. I would hope there aren't too many such discrepancies - those of you currently at bschools may be able to spot more.
(Please note for all institutes – boarding, lodging etc is over and above the fees and needs to be budgeted for in the overall cost of the MBA).
I also do not agree with Premchand Palety’s assertion: “Although some are still behind the top IIMs in terms of overall scores, non-government schools are fast catching up. Don’t be surprised if IIMs lose their top positions in our Bschool rankings in the near future. It’s now in the realm of possibilities”.
Um, sure. And the government of India just handed Kashmir over to Pakistan.
Laudable as efforts likethe NMIMS joint doctoral programme are I see no change possible in the top ranking of IIM A, B,C,L, XLRI – at the very least – for the next 10 years to come. As long as the CAT selection process remains what it is
And even as far as research goes – let’s face it. IIMs are not world class in this area. But they will be ahead of the private b schools because they attract people with a more academic bent of mind. And offer more academic freedom.
Plus, private bschools have a much higher teaching load in view of profitability concerns.
Lastly, I think ISB and Great Lakes should be covered. If they can't be clubbed with the 2 year courses, maybe a separate 1 year MBA ranking. Now that there are at least half a dozen such offerings (IIM A & IIM C PGP X, S P Jain Dubai, Singapore etc). Yeah, I know some of these courses are apples and some oranges but a way has to be found to assess their standing.
All in all, the Outlook bschool rankings 2007 are a commendable effort. Of course there is scope to refine it further and it is good to see that the people behind it are open to feedback and strive to better themselves each time.
Lastly, students are advised to never rely solely on rankings and research the specific choices available to them by checking with current students/ alumni of those bschools. It is after all a major decision in life you are taking.
I would also advise a campus visit, especially if you are looking at institutes ranked lower down the placement chain.