Executive MBA Programs Gain Popularity in India

Now, more and more of India's top business schools are offering one-year executive M.B.A.'s, mostly to computer professionals and others with technical backgrounds

For decades, the only way to get into top Indian graduate business programs was to take a competitive entrance exam while still in college. Fewer than 1 percent of applicants were accepted. Those who did not make the cut went overseas if they could, or studied another subject. Once they had moved on, there was no going back.

Then, 10 years ago, the Indian School of Business opened its doors in the southern city of Hyderabad, offering something different " a midcareer M.B.A. in just one year. Enrollment in its flagship program, which requires a minimum of two years of work experience, grew to 575 this year from 126 in 2001. Demand is growing and the school plans to open a second campus next year for more than 200 students in Mohali, in Punjab, one of India's richest states.

Now, more and more of India's top business schools are offering one-year executive M.B.A.'s, mostly to computer professionals and others with technical backgrounds who want to change careers or take on new roles at their organizations.

While the institutions offering such programs say their graduates are every bit as capable as those who receive traditional two-year M.B.A.'s, some employers are doubtful. But teachers, alumni and job-placement officers say there are reasons to believe that recruiters will eventually overcome their skepticism.

Demand is climbing at top institutions that offer one-year executive M.B.A.'s. Across the Yamuna River from New Delhi, the Noida campus of the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow was set up only for executive education.

Enrollment in the one-year program was just under 50 for the first three years but has now risen to 67, said Archana Shukla, the top official there, thanks to a new residential building...


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