This phenomenal growth in supply of business schools was largely due to the

This phenomenal growth in supply of business schools

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This phenomenal growth in supply of business schools was largely due to the changing business scenario in India. After the economic liberalization in 1991, India saw a huge growth in its business sector with increasing demand for qualified managers in business enterprises, and non-profit and non-govern- mental organizations. Professionally managed organizations were looking for people familiar with business semantics and thinking, which brought hope to the aspiring managerial class, especially those on the sidelines of India Inc. to dive into jobs that brought wealth and respect. This change in India implied hiring someone receiving a stamp (degree) from a top ranking MBA school ( Business Today , 2010 ). India’s seemingly unstoppable economic rise, an aspiring middle class desire to stand out in a competitive job market and a lucrative opportunity for investors fuelled a bubble in the business education marketspace (Shah, 2012 ). Each year IIMs alone receive over 200,000 appli- cations and such huge demand is primarily the result of prestige associated with the MBA profession, the employment potential and the image associated with some of the top business schools in the country. Being admitted to a top business school is like ‘being born with the silver spoon’; as everything includ- ing a dream job falls into place at the end of the program. Barring the presti- gious administrative and foreign services of India, MBA ranks first in the pecking order of professions (Philip, 2008 ). Overall, management education is a big business not just in India but across the world. The global management education market is estimated at approx. US$22 billion and growing annually at 10–12% (Friga, Bettis, & Sullivan, 2003 ). Over the past four decades, IIMs, which are the super league schools in India, have withstood the test of time and emerged as centers of excellence. The acronym IIM connotes a very strong brand image, but there were several factors including faculty, location, recruiters and research that helped build the brand, says Chandra of IIM-B ( Business Today , 2009 ). The 51-year-old 178 A. Aggarwal Sharma et al. Downloaded by [Sapna Popli] at 08:08 20 December 2013
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IIM Ahmadabad is considered the best B-School in the country and the IIM brand is second only to the IIT brand (Indian Institute of Technology) in terms of recognition and imagery (Yesodharan, 2004 ). Besides legacy, there are many other factors which have made IIMs the most coveted institutions. According to Bakul Dholakia, Director of IIM Ahmadabad (IIMA), the IIM brand encompasses the quality of students, a focus on diverse areas of training and the contemporary nature of the faculty. The alumni also play a big role as brand ambassadors. Finally, to excel as a brand, IIMA has cultivated a global image through interfacing with alumni globally and offering students an inter- national exposure. P.G. Apte, Director IIM Bangalore, said that rigorous student selection, an excellent learning environment, wide choice in the learning process, flow back of experiences into syllabus and pedagogy, and top
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