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Updated: Apr 8

IIM vs. ISB is a question that we face almost other day and the clear answer is that both the institutes are stalwarts in delivering World class MBA education in India. Beyond that what you make of the education is upto you. In terms of the course content there is hardly a lot of comparison between IIM vs ISB as both enrich the graduates in experience, network, contemporary management education and provide the MBA graduates a sea of opportunities.

However, to address the question of IIM vs. ISB we will take a standard roadmap of what the program offers and the program structure.

Factually, what should be compared is the 1 year MBA program at both the schools, however the two year program at IIM also joins the race when we compare IIM vs ISB. Here we look at the 1 year programs that the IIM offers vs the 1 year PGP program at ISB.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Both the programs befit professionals with experience. In terms of minimum criteria, ISB accepts applicants with 2+ years of experience which is 4 years for 1 year MBA program at IIM A and 5 years for 1 year MBA program at other IIM s.

There are the major 1 year MBA programs in India:

· ISB- PGP (Post Graduate Program)

· IIM Ahmedabad- PGPX (Post Graduate Program for Executives)

· IIM Bangalore- EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program)

· IIM Kolkata- PGPeX (Post Graduate Program for Executives)

· IIM Lucknow- IPMX (International Programme in Management for Executives)


· S.P. Jain (Dubai & Singapore campus)

RANKINGS: Indian School of Business, IIM A, IIM B, IIM C have programs that feature a few positions apart from each other in the World rankings. Whatever be their rankings year on year it makes sense for applicants looking at pursuing a 1 year MBA in India to apply to all of these provided they fulfil the eligibility criteria.

ADMISSION PROCESS: The admission process is relatively similar when we evaluate IIM vs ISB. The basics that one must fulfil are the GMAT score, a set of essays for ISB and IIMA whereas it's an SOP for IIMB and IIMC, 1 recommendation for ISB whereas 2 recommendations for IIM. Once the application is accepted by the school and interview follows which is quite different for each school.


The interview process at IIM vs ISB differs mainly in terms of the pattern of interaction however, is a bit different for each. While IIM A starts the interview with an extempore discussion, IIM B and IIM C differ in the sequence of the events during an interview. The ISB interview categorically moves around the work experience, and it is an inquiry into the fit and the preparedness of the applicant for the ISB PGP program.

IIM or ISB both evaluate the depth of the past work experience of the applicant, the justification of the need of an MBA for the future career path along with a clear set growth plan to achieve one's post MBA goals.


Placements in IIM vs ISB are a hot topic of discussion every year. the ROI of an Ivy league program is not rightly judged in the first year, so comparing placements is a very skewed approach to enumerate the value addition that these programs provide. The actual ROI which most MBA graduates passing out from these institutions would agree comes after 2-3 years post MBA. That is when one spans out into the enigma of the institution that they have graduated from.

This makes the discussion of IIM vs ISB quite irrelevant if one considers it in the right perspective, rest priorities differ - to each his own. It would be more realistic to prepare well to spell out your goals and how you wish to achieve them.

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