ISB is over the sun and the moon for cracking the Financial Times bschool rankings once again. They have in fact moved up 5 places - from # 20 last year, to # 15.
I have the highest regard for ISB but to be honest, I do not buy the # 15 ranking. Reasons are as follows:
* These are 'global MBA' rankings. But how global is ISB? The student community is 96% Indian. Only 4% hold non-Indian passports (and my guess is many of those would be of Indian origin).
The faculty is only 82% Indian, despite the many many visiting professors.
* In the area of research ISB is ranked no 75 out of 100. It does not have a 'doctoral rank' at all because it did not have a PhD program till recently.
So where does ISB score? The weighted salary (calculated in PPP) and % salary increase (before and after the MBA). Those figures stand at $148,339 and 160% respectively.
These two parameters account for 40% of the weightage when calculating the ranking.
The question however is, if you were anywhere in the world and aspiring for an international MBA would you place ISB higher than Northwestern Kellogg (#21), Duke University: Fuqua (#22) or UCLA Anderson (# 29)?
I think the absence of international students at ISB is telling. But who know what came first - the chicken or the egg? A few more years in the FT top 20 is just what ISB needs - to make that demographic shift.
The second big question everytime the FT rankings are released is: "Where are the IIMs"? Well, they do not qualify as 'MBAs' under the criteria used by FT as they also admit fresh graduates.
As far as I know IIMs do plan to approach FT to rank the 1 year PGP X program where work ex is compulsory. These programs become eligible only after 3 batches graduate as the survey requires historical salary data and alumni responses.
But PGP X is not the flagship program of the IIMs, so it will still seem unfair - at the end of it.
Reminds me of the hoo-ha in India over our films making it to the Oscars. A Bollywood film - no matter how good - is only going to be considered under the category of 'best foreign film'. It takes a movie like Slumdog Millionaire, in an Indian setting but with a Western sensibility to get 10 Oscar nominations.
But the box office reaction to Slumdog in India is mixed.
Similar is the case with the IIMs. For the average 21 year old they are THE bschools of choice. ISB will never get 250,000 applicants for its 400 odd seats.
And yet, IIMs - or at least their alumni - do itch for the 'Oscars'. But are the institutes willing to cater to the international audience? Or take an interest in marketing themselves?? The answer is "no".
So they remain kings of the local market (for the near future - aagey ka keh nahin saktey). Like the quintessential hit Hindi film!
My comment on ISB in FT rankings last year