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The‌ ‌Great‌ ‌MBA‌ ‌Dilemma:‌ ‌India‌ ‌or‌ ‌Abroad?‌ ‌

One of the most important aspects of a coveted MBA degree is its universal appeal and recognition. In addition, pursuing an MBA from a good b-school significantly enhances your chances of getting absorbed into large corporations at respectable salaries. 

However, MBA aspirants, especially Indians, can often be overwhelmed to choose between an Indian MBA degree or a foreign one. The following post can help you decide which bus to take and why.


MBA In India

There are more than 4000 business schools in India offering MBA. In India, AICTE approval is mandatory for every MBA course and approval from UGC is required for the institute offering the course. Many reputed b-schools like IIM offer Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM), considered at par with an MBA degree.

Many Indian business schools like the IIMs, XLRI, etc., are recognized globally and have produced famous alumni.


Top 10 Business Schools in India

Ranks Business School
1 Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata
2 Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
3 Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
4 Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow
5 S P Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai
6 XLRI- Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur
7 Indian Institute of Management, Indore
8 Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
9 Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi
10 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi

Source: India Today 


International MBA

Many applicants prefer to pursue MBA abroad. The USA, Canada, the UK are popular destinations for such candidates. However, the USA is undoubtedly the favoured destination for many as the country is home to some of the most acclaimed B-schools globally, providing quality education.

Besides, the US MBA grads have a natural geographical advantage as a large chunk of Fortune 500 companies are situated in the USA. Therefore, an MBA degree from a US college can be a gateway to a job in a US company and the US residence thereafter.


Top 10 Business Schools in World

Ranks Business Schools
1 Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
2 Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania
3 Booth School of Business at University of Chicago
4 Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
5 Harvard University Business School
5 MIT Sloan School of Management
7 Columbia Business School
7 Hass School of Business, University of California- Berkeley (Haas)
9 Yale University School of Management
10 Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College

Source: US News]


Key Differences – MBA in India Vs MBA Abroad

While the duration of courses in Indian and overseas MBA is quite similar to the usual two-year or one-year courses, some key differences are mentioned below.

  • Admission Process
  • India:

Admission to Indian MBA schools is made through entrance tests such as CAT, XAT, MAT, etc., followed by group discussion and a personal interview. However, some of the top b-schools in India, such as the IIMs, accept GMAT scores for their 1-year MBA programs. Students in the final year of their graduation course can also appear in the entrance test.


[READ: GMAT VS GRE VS CAT – Which One Should You Take]


  • Overseas:

The admission process in other countries, especially the USA, is quite non-linear in comparison to India. First of all, the applicant needs to have a good GMAT or a GRE score. Additionally, the applicant has to clear TOEFT or IELTS. 

Moreover, the US business schools give a lot of weightage to work experience, unlike India, where freshers regularly get admitted to management programs. Moreover, you will need to submit two (or more depending on the B-schools) high-quality essays, letters of recommendation, proof of experience, etc., along with your application, followed by an interview.


[READ: 4 Steps to Strengthen your MBA Application]


  • Time

The entire admission process is very long in US B-schools compared to Indian B-schools. While most MBA schools in India wrap their admission process in 6 to 12 months, US B-schools can take as long as 24 months to complete an entire admission cycle.

  • Average Cost

The average cost of pursuing an MBA from India can be significantly low as compared to the USA. For instance, MBA from the top-ranked IIMs can cost you around Rs 30 lakhs or less. Compared to this, an MBA course from a top university can cost you over a crore in rupees.


[READ: Cost of Studying MBA in the USA]


  • Program Structure

The programme structure and teaching methods are very flexible in the USA, where the stress is given to practical knowledge. For insurance, Harvard MBA students can study up to 200 business case studies while in college, followed by group discussions, interactions, etc.

Indian MBA courses stress theoretical knowledge, although this is changing now as more and more focus is given to real-life problems and simulations as well.


  • Placement and Salary


A key difference between a b-school in India and abroad is the placement process. While Indian b-schools typically promise students placement through on-campus interview and selection drives, recruitment works differently in international b-schools. Alumni networking is a significant contributor abroad to help students get the best job. While some companies publish their job requirements on the college’s portal, b-schools don’t guarantee placement. 

Most of the reputed Indian B-schools usually clock a 100 per cent placement record every year, just like top US B-schools. However, the average salary offered at US B-schools at around $1,38,000 is miles higher than the Indian B-Schools where the average starting salary lurks around Rs 14-20 lakhs ($20,000 – $30,000).

[READ: MBA Programs with the Highest Salaries]


How to Choose- Which is Better?

Choosing between an Indian MBA degree and a foreign one can’t be an automatic choice in favour of one as both Indian and International MBA grads have spectacular achievements under their belt. However, you can choose by weighing in the following factors.

  • Reputation

Be it India or abroad, the college’s reputation is of paramount importance as good companies don’t go searching for their next Sunder Pichai or Satya Nadella in a sub-standard college. You have a better shot at a glamorous job if you have graduated from a reputed institution like the IIMs, XLRIs, Harvard or Stanford.  

  • Return on Investments

You should not confuse the return of investments with a cheap price. Instead, calculate ROI depending upon how quickly you can pay back your student debts and start accumulating wealth post MBA. 

For instance, pursuing MBA from a sub-standard college at a low cost, say Rs 5 lakhs or lesser, doesn’t make it a good ROI since you are unlikely to get a good job offer at such colleges.

[READ: ROI of MBA from the USA]

  • Your Career Goals and Objectives

If you plan to stay and work in India, you can consider pursuing an MBA from a good college here. However, if you want to work in foreign countries, have international exposure, and plan to settle abroad in future, an international MBA can be your go-to option.

Indeed, the learning environment doesn’t matter for a good and hard-working student. However, the place and college do matter a lot for MBA education. If you are still unable to decide, you can consider taking the help of an expert to guide you in the right direction. 

You can achieve your dreams by pursuing MBA either locally or globally only if you are willing to work hard and keep believing in yourself.

For over 15+ years as an Entrepreneur, and India’s Top Educationist, Jatin has led a range of initiatives in the Education Industry. In this role, he has created many successful educational services and products geared towards generating success for professionals aspiring to join IVY League and global Top Tier Universities for MBA Programs, Masters Programs, and undergraduate courses. He is the Founder and CEO of PythaGURUS Education, and has been recognized as a thought leader in the Higher education sector. Economic Times, Hindustan Times, Times of India, India Today, Business Today, Tribune, and many other national newspapers have recognized his work, and have given him numerous opportunities to be a regular columnist. He has also served as a panelist for NDTV, and other national news channels.

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