Is ISB Hyderabad better than IIM?

Updated: Oct 31

ISB and IIM are top ranked schools in India and worldwide. IIM and ISB are however different in may ways like the average class profile, work experience, kind of industries that graduates get opportunities post MBA and functional roles offered in the placements at IIM vs ISB. If one goes by the rankings above ISB definitely stands a level higher than IIM. However, to address the question of is ISB Hyderabad better than IIM, we will take a standard roadmap of what the program offers and the program structure. To decide between ISB vs IIM for a specific profile depends on what the applicant is seeking from the MBA program.


What Matters when you compare IIM vs ISB? How do Admits choose ISB vs IIM?


Admits share - Why they chose a specific school IIM vs ISB or ISB vs IIM? What's important to apply for an MBA program? In September 2022, we conducted a survey of what was important when the admits to ISB and IIM one year programs chose their programs. The admits to top one year MBA programs in India reported the following preferences:

  1. Rankings like FT, economist - 36.4%

  2. Class average age - 9%

  3. Class size - 12%

  4. Fees - 12%

  5. Location of the school - 33%

  6. Class average work experience - 9%

  7. Past placements in a specific sector of the school - 63.6% admits preferred this as a top reason to choose an MBA program

  8. Personal reference from a friend or family - 6%

  9. Past placements in terms of salary offered on campus - 60.6% admits preferred this as a top reason to choose an MBA program

The difference between IIM vs ISB can be categorised into 20 criteria in order to be able to decide which out of IIM vs ISB will be suitable for a professional.


1. Placements at IIM vs ISB over the past few years:

If one evaluates the salary packages at IIM vs ISB, career growth and opportunities IIM and ISB are quite comparable. It depends on the profile, sector, education background and goals of the applicants.


How was the IIMA PGPX average package in 2022?

  1. 20% increase in the median salary in IIMA PGPX placements 2022.

  2. Domestic average salary at IIMA PGPX in 2022 increased by 6%.

  3. 35% students of the IIMA PGPX 2022 were hired by consulting firms.

  4. Executive MBA at IIM Ahmedabad students in 2022 received 5 International offers.

  5. Online services sector hired 20% of the Executive MBA from IIM Ahmedabad in the IIMA PGPX placements 2022.


Based on the latest placement reports there are four major sectors where placements for IIM vs ISB impacted the most:

  1. Consulting

  2. BFSI & Banking

  3. IT and ITES

  4. Ecommerce and Retail

These were also the most preferred sectors by admits to the top one year programs in India. According to our survey in September 2022 admits reported their most preferred sectors and functions to apply to the IIM or ISB as follows:


The top preferred sectors for applicants to One year MBA in India as reported by admits to ISB and IIM are:

  1. Consulting - More than 50%

  2. IT / ITES - 36%

  3. Banking / BFSI - 6%

  4. Retail/ Ecommerce - 6%


IIMA PGPX Placements trends till 2022:

IIMA PGPX placements in IT Sector in the last 5 years:

  1. In 2018 IIMA PGPX placements had 38 recruitments in IT sector

  2. In 2019 IIMA PGPX placements had 47 recruitments in IT sector

  3. In 2020 IIMA PGPX placements had 42 recruitments in IT sector

  4. In 2021IIMA PGPX placements had 44 recruitments in IT sector

  5. In 2022 IIMA PGPX placements had 17 recruitments in IT sector

IIMA PGPX placements in Consulting Sector in the last 5 years:

  1. In the year 2018 IIMA PGPX had 6 recruitments in the consulting sector

  2. In the year 2019 IIMA PGPX had 2 recruitments in the consulting sector

  3. In the year 2020 IIMA PGPX had 13 recruitments in the consulting sector

  4. In the year 2021 IIMA PGPX had 12 recruitments in the consulting sector

  5. In the year 2022 IIMA PGPX had 41 recruitments in the consulting sector

Salary Trends in IIMA PGPX in the last 5 years (INR Annual):

  1. In the year 2018, the highest salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 54.6 lakhs

  2. In the year 2019 the highest salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 60 lakhs

  3. In the year 2020 the highest salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 81 lakhs

  4. In the year 2021 the highest salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 82 lakhs

  5. In the year 2022 the highest salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 75.2 lakhs

Median salary offered in IIMA PGPX in the last 5 years:

  1. In the year 2018 the median salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 28.4 lakhs

  2. In the year 2019 the median salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 30 lakhs

  3. In the year 2020 the median salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 30 lakhs

  4. In the year 2021 the median salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 30 lakhs

  5. In the year 2022 the median salary offered at IIMA PGPX was 36.2 lakhs


How was the ISB Hyderabad placements 2022?

  1. 41.21% of placement offers were made to female students.

  2. ISB Hyderabad placements 2022 saw 39% female students in the class, which is among the highest in leading business schools in this part of the world.

  3. During the ISB placements 2022 maximum positions offered were by the Consulting industry, IT/ITES/Technology industry, BFSI industry, FMCG/Retail industry and Pharma/Healthcare industry.

  4. The ISB average package for 2022 was INR 34.07 lakhs

  5. ISB average package 2022 reflects an increase of 20.78% compared to the previous year average CTC of INR 28.21 lakhs.

  6. The ISB class of 2022 achieved an approximately 3 times increase as compared to their their pre-ISB packages.

  7. During the ISB placements 2022 a total of 2066 offers were made with every student receiving an average of 2.32 offers.

ISB average package 2022 for different sectors is as below:

  1. ISB average package 2022 for Advertisement/ Media sector : INR 32,72,727

  2. ISB average package for BFSI in 2022 : INR 36,82,710

  3. ISB average package 2022 for Conglomerate sector : INR 25,04,286

  4. ISB average package 2022 for Consulting sector : INR 34,25,089

  5. ISB average package 2022 for Technology sector : INR 38,01,875

  6. ISB average package for Urban Mobility sector in 2022 : INR 37,18,519

  7. ISB average package 2022 for Pharma/ Biotech sector : INR 31,34,575

  8. ISB average package 2022 for IT/ ITES sector : INR 35,15,260

  9. ISB average package for Manufacturing sector in 2022: INR 27,70,000

  10. ISB average package 2022 for IT Consulting sector : INR 30,28,571

  11. ISB average package 2022 for Education sector : INR 25,92,502

  12. ISB average package 2022 for Infrastructure sector : INR 28,00,000

  13. ISB average package for Oil/ Energy sector in 2022 : INR 34,00,000

  14. ISB average package 2022 for Transportation/ Logistics sector : INR 36,40,000

Get in touch with an experienced MBA admission consultant at GOALisB for a profile evaluation or application assistance.


Comparing placements for IIM vs ISB over the last few years we find:

  1. ISB PGP average placements for 2021 average: INR 27,13,055

  2. IIMA PGPX placements for 2021 average: ~ INR 28 lacs

  3. IIMB EPGP placements for 2020 averaged : INR 29.88 lacs

  4. IIMC MBAex placements for 2021 averaged : INR 28.75 lacs

The numbers below show the placements at ISB vs IIM in the year 2018 - 19

  1. ISB PGP - INR 25,08,897, Batch size - 884

  2. IIM A PGPX - INR 24,12,774, Batch size - 137

  3. IIM B EPGP - INR 25,74,000, Batch size - 73

  4. IIM C MBAEX - INR 26,98,000, Batch size - 64

The numbers below show the placements at IIM vs ISB in the year 2017 - 18

  1. ISB PGP - INR 22,13,592, Batch size - 873

  2. IIM A PGPX - INR 24,00,000, Batch size - 115

  3. IIM B EPGP - INR 25,74,000, Batch size - 73

  4. IIM C MBAEX - INR 23,67,000, Batch size - 66

The numbers below show the placements at IIM vs ISB in the year 2016 - 17

  1. ISB PGP - INR 20,90,211, Batch size - 903

  2. IIM A PGPX - INR 24,02,908, Batch size - 91

  3. IIM B EPGP - INR 23,60,000, Batch size - 70

  4. IIM C MBAEX - INR 20,14,000, Batch size - 68

The numbers below show the placements at IIM vs ISB in the year 2015 - 16

  1. ISB PGP - INR 22,58,273, Batch size - 813

  2. IIM A PGPX - INR 24,93,000, Batch size - 85

  3. IIM B EPGP - INR 24,90,000, Batch size - 72

  4. IIMC MBAEX - 25,33,000, Batch size - 54

The numbers above give the averages and it is quite evident that they are quite close for IIM vs ISB.


2. Prominent Sectors in Placements at IIM vs ISB differ:

Over the years we have observed with our admits that the one year MBA programs whether IIM vs ISB both have facilitated both role change and sector change for applicants. When we look closely we find the recruitment patterns as follows at IIM vs ISB:

  1. At IIM Executive MBA the largest sector pool recruited was the IT sector, followed by online services, then consulting and then BFSI amongst other sectors which include energy, Pharma, manufacturing, FMCG etc.

  2. In terms of function, the majority placements took place in marketing roles, followed by operations and general management at IIM Executive MBA.

  3. On the other hand at ISB PGP a large proportion of hiring takes place in consulting, followed by e-commerce, FMCG and retail and finance/ financial services.

3. Salary progression in Placements at IIM vs ISB also differs:

The CTC enhancement at ISB for graduates across a range of work experience for the class of 2021 has been observed as below:

  • For graduates with a work experience of 2 years to 3 years the hike in CTC post an ISB MBA has been recorded at close to 275%.

  • Graduates with an experience in the range of 5 to 6 years achieved an enhancement of approximately 145% in their CTC post the ISB MBA.

This evaluation of IIM vs ISB might be important for some applicants who are quite sector and role focused in their MBA investment decision.


Industry wise average CTC offered to Co2021 at ISB vs IIM below shows that both the schools are quite close.

  1. BFSI sector: ISB MBA placements average CTC - INR 26 Lacs & IIM Ahmedabad PGPX placements average CTC - INR 28 Lacs

  2. Consulting sector: ISB MBA placements average CTC - INR 24 - 29 Lacs & IIM Ahmedabad PGPX placements average CTC - INR 22 - 25 Lacs

  3. E-commerce sector: ISB MBA placements average CTC - INR 32 Lacs & IIM Ahmedabad PGPX placements average CTC - INR 27 Lacs

  4. Pharma Sector: ISB MBA placements average CTC - INR 27 Lacs & IIM Ahmedabad PGPX placements average CTC- INR 26 Lacs

4. Batch size at IIM vs ISB differs giving a very different learning experience to students:

Amongst the IIM Executive MBA programs, the batch sizes are very different and every student has a different preference - a small batch size or a large batch size.

  1. IIMA PGPX enrols a batch size of 140,

  2. IIMB EPGP usually enrols a batch size of 75 students,

  3. IIMC MBAeX enrols a batch size of 79.

  4. ISB PGP enrols a batch size of close to 900 students.

The applicant must evaluate how they learn best and choose between IIM vs ISB accordingly.


5. Range of work experience in the class is different at ISB vs IIM which creates a different class room experience:

  1. ISB work experience range: 2 years - 20 years

  2. IIMA PGPX work experience range: 4 years - 19.5 years

  3. IIMB EPGP work experience range: 5 years - 13 years

  4. IIMC MBAEX work experience range: 5 years - 17 years

6. The average work experience of the class is also quite different which again adds up to a different cohort composition at IIM vs ISB:

  1. ISB average work experience: 4.6 years

  2. IIMA PGPX average work experience: 8 years 3 months

  3. IIMB EPGP average work experience: 7.42 years

  4. IIMC MBAEX average work experience: 8.1 years


7. Rankings of the IIM Executive MBA and ISB with respect to International exposure


IIM vs ISB as per the FT Business School Rankings 2022:


If you consider the FT Global MBA rankings 2021, ISB does rank higher than IIM, however the response to IIM vs ISB would be different for every individual.


8. According to FT rankings for Business Schools 2022, in terms of percentage of International Faculty, ISB vs IIM fares as below:

  1. ISB scores: 13 percent,

  2. IIMB scores: 8 percent,

  3. IIMA scores: 2 percent and

  4. IIMC: 3 percent.

9. International career opportunities available to graduates at IIM vs ISB differs:

The International mobility ranks comparison of IIM vs ISB:

  1. ISB in FT rankings 2022: 88

  2. IIMB ranks : 82

  3. IIMA ranks : 72

  4. IMC ranks : 89

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.


10. International rankings of IIM vs. ISB

According to the FT Rankings for MBA programs 2021:

  1. ISB MBA rank : 23

  2. IIM A rank : 48

  3. IIM B rank : 35

  4. IIM C : 44

Similarly, IIM vs. ISB in FT Rankings 2020 were as below:

  1. ISB : 28

  2. IIM A : 61

  3. IIM B : 27

  4. IIM C : 42

If we go further, the IIM vs. ISB in FT Rankings 2019 were:

  1. ISB : 24

  2. IIM A : 47

  3. IIM B : 33

  4. IIM C : 49

The above information reflects that 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.


11. Eligibility for the IIM vs ISB program differs:


ISB MBA programs and Executive MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta are definitely programs befitting professionals with experience. In terms of minimum eligibility criteria for years of work experience for ISB vs IIM executive MBA programs compare as below:

  1. ISB PGP: Minimum of 24 months of work experience.

  2. Executive MBA at IIM Ahmedabad: Minimum 4 years of work experience

  3. Executive MBA at IIM Bangalore: Minimum 5 years of work experience

  4. Executive MBA at IIM Calcutta: Minimum 5 years of work experience


12. Score requirements for the IIM Executive MBA vs the ISB:

If we compare the score requirements for the IIM vs ISB there is a slight difference among the individual schools as below:

  1. ISB: Accepts the GMAT score or the GRE score

  2. IIMA PGPX : accepts the GMAT score or the GRE score

  3. IIMB EPGP : accepts the GMAT score of the GRE score

  4. IIMC MBAEX : accepts only the GMAT score

Average GMAT scores for the Class of 2022 for IIM vs ISB

  1. ISB : 710, GMAT score range 600 to 780

  2. IIMA PGPX : 701

  3. IIMB EPGP: 690, maximum 770

  4. IIMC MBAEX: 685 , maximum 750

Average GRE score for the Class of 2022 for IIM vs ISB

  1. ISB : 328, GRE score range 311 to 335

  2. IIMA PGPX : 323

  3. IIMB EPGP : Not declared

  4. IIMC MBAEX : Not applicable

13. Course components at IIM Executive MBA and ISB PGP:

The curriculum at both the Executive MBA from IIM and ISB PGP are based on a mix of core and elective courses. International exposure, group work, team projects, well established faculty, leadership training - all gear up students for achieving their future career goals.


14. Flagship program status at IIM Executive MBA and ISB PGP:

The ISB PGP is the flagship program at ISB, whereas the two year MBA is the flagship program at IIM.


15. Admission process of the school:

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.


16. Interview process for selection adopted by the 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.


17. Location preference of the applicants:

According to locations they prefer applicants can choose from various programs across India.


1. ISB PGP (Post Graduate Program) at Hyderabad and Mohali

2. Executive MBA from IIM Ahmedabad - PGPX (Post Graduate Program for Executives)

3. Executive MBA from IIM Bangalore - EPGP (Executive Post Graduate Program)

4. Executive MBA from IIM Calcutta - MBAeX (Post Graduate Program for Executives)

5. Executive MBA from IIM Lucknow - IPMX (International Programme in Management for Executives)

6. Executive MBA from IIM Udaipur

7. ISB Executive MBA - ISB PGPpro at Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi (NCR) and Hyderabad


18. Career progress opportunities post MBA in ISB vs IIM:

FT ranking for Business Schools 2022 in terms of career progress ISB vs IIM rank as below:

  1. ISB ranks 28,

  2. IIMB ranks 15,

  3. IIMA ranks 1 and

  4. IIMC ranks at 16.

This career progress metrics is calculated on the basis of the movement that the alumni achieve up the ladder and it takes into account the size of the organisation where the alumni work as compared to their status pre MBA. Further, the FT rankings for Business Schools Career services ranks for IIM vs ISB for 2022 is as follows:

  1. ISB PGP career services ranked at 43 and achieved a salary percentage increase of 184%,

  2. IIMA career services ranked at 93 and secured a salary percentage increase of 147%,

  3. IIMB career services ranked at 72 and secured a salary percentage increase of 98%,

  4. IIMC career services ranked at 49 and secured a salary percentage increase of 125%.

19. ROI of the IIM Executive MBA or the ISB:

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 whether ISB Hyderabad is better than IIM quite irrelevant if one considers it in slightly long term. It would be more realistic to prepare well to spell out your goals and how you wish to achieve them.


20. Degree status of IIM vs ISB MBA

The IIM Executive MBA programs award degrees approved by the AICTE till date, however ISB not being a university cannot grant degrees to its graduates.


Finally, there is no doubt that the industry acceptance of IIM executive MBA and the ISB PGP is well established in India and abroad due to the widespread reach and success of their alumni. Choosing on the basis of the criteria enumerated above, IIM vs ISB definitely reaps rewards for future career growth.


Share your profile with us and schedule a call with an MBA admission consultant at GOALisB to discuss your chances at these top tier business schools in India.

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