A bigger bang for your MBA buck in India

It pays to read between the lines when B-schools make tall claims

There are close to 4,000 business schools in India, and more than 3.5 lakh graduate from these programmes every year. Can the country’s job market create so many well-paying jobs? Before aspirants set out to do their MBA programme, it would be worthwhile to ask what B schools tell you and what you should be asking them.

We have a 100 per cent placement record:

You will see that even Wharton or Harvard do not have the ability to guarantee a 100 per cent record. What you need to ask is “How many people got placed in the school’s most recent class?” Do not look at statistics on placement from four years ago. Many schools will have 3-to 4-year old statistics.

If a school claims to have placed 10,000 people, ask out of how many? Many MBA programmes have multiple branches. Ssimply looking at placement numbers without the denominator is not sufficient.

Average salary and the value addition: The average salary of the students was ₹4 lakh or ₹5 lakh or ₹8 lakh Does that average salary include the following:

Joining bonus: If the average salary figure includes a joining bonus, or relocation bonus, then that should not be a part of the average salary figure. The joining bonus is not given every year; only the first time. However, some schools will use that for the average figure.

Does your average salary include the people who were not placed? For example, if out of 100 people, only 1 gets a placement with a salary of ₹4 lakhs per annum and the remaining don’t get employed, you need to ask if the schools include the zeroes for those who were not placed. The way they do their calculation, the average salary will still be ₹4 lakh even if 99 students weren’t placed.

Our students got placed at Reliance, HSBC and Dabur

You need to understand the roles they were recruited for. You also need to understand the progression of those roles. You cannot be driven by the key word ‘Manager’. Lay your hands on the following:

1. What is the nature of the entry-level position? What will my role be?

2. What is the progression in that role? What will that role grow into in five years?

How can you get this information?

Alumni records: Ask the school for their alumni. Or simply reach out to people on LinkedIn. If you are good at networking, you can even have a chat with them and understand more about the progression of that class. Job description on the company’s Web site: Most of the companies will have posted jobs on Naukri or even their own Web sites for positions. If a job is within your area of interest, you need to understand if this company is hiring for that role from your target school.

We offer exchange programmes to many other global campuses

You need to understand if your employer will even care about the fact that you spent another ₹5 lakhs for a one month educational trip to another business school. There are many MBA colleges outside India that are keen on maintaining 100 per cent operational capacities, and they do not mind getting into an exchange programme if that brings them an additional fee.

The most important factor is the return on investment. Therefore, you need to consider the following:

If you are earning or can earn ₹20,000-25,000 per month without an MBA from these colleges, and these colleges will get you a placement worth ₹35,000 to 45,000 a month, that essentially means you are getting a return of ₹10,000-15,000 per month (1.2 to 1.8 lakhs per year) on an investment of ₹10-15 lakh (fee).

There is also an opportunity cost of ₹5 lakh (two years of your salary that you did not earn while doing the MBA).

If you are investing ₹10-15 + 5 lakh = ₹15 to 20 lakhs, and if you get an incremental earning of ₹10,000-15,000 per month, it will take you a lot of time to recover that money. This calculation is without the loan interest on your initial investment.

The writer is CEO & Co-Founder, PythaGurus, an admissions consultancy

Read full story: Hindu Business Line

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