You’ve decided to pursue an MBA. Good for you! The MBA degree is one of the most sought-after qualifications by top recruiters across the globe. According to the GMAC ™ 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey, 86% of the companies surveyed planned to hire recent MBA graduates, a trend that has held-up in subsequent years. However, like any other investment, the MBA needs to be carefully planned to not have a positive RoI. Bear in mind that the MBA has both explicit (application and tuition fees) and implicit (time spent away from employment) costs, further raising the stake for meticulous planning – starting with picking the right b-school and program.
In our series covering various one-year MBA programs, Team S4G will help you get started with your journey. Today, let’s take a closer look at IIM-B’s one-year full-time MBA – the Executive Post Graduate Program (EPGP).
About the program
In 2020, the IIM-B EPGP program closely beat out ISB to claim the no.1 rank among full-time, one-year MBA programs in India. With a handsome 157% increase in salary post-MBA
2on average against a fee range of INR 27-29 lakhs, it’s an attractive destination for professionals with 5-12 years of work experience. IIM-B typically conducts two rounds of admissions with the 1st round stretching from June to August and the 2nd round from September to November. The school accepts graduates from all disciplines with a valid GMAT or GRE score. The admission process involves submitting an SOP highlighting your career goals and two professional references. Once shortlisted, you are interviewed by a panel of IIM-B alumni and professors as the final step in the admission process. The typical class size ranges from 70 to 75 students with the majority holding an engineering degree (86% for the class of 2019-20). While IIM-B does not specify a cut-off GMAT or GRE score,
th percentile (700 GMAT or 320 GRE). However, it is skewed by the intake of a large proportion of professionals with engineering degrees. Across b-schools, candidates with an engineering background tend to need higher scores vs. their peers as they form the largest pool of applicants and have to beat out candidates with similar backgrounds.
The EPGP academic year is divided into 5 terms – two terms of core courses covering management basics and two elective terms. One term (usually term 3) is allocated to the “International Immersion Module,” where you spend time in a campus abroad learning about international business practices. In absence of a summer internship, the program features a “Comprehensive Project” in term 4, where students get an opportunity to solve real-life industry problems. The EPGP also features a “Seminar Series” in the middle of the year, where guest speakers ranging from industry experts, media personalities, and academic dignitaries participate in panel discussions and lectures.
About the campus
The IIM-B campus is a prominent landmark in the Bannerghatta area of south Bangalore. The 100-acre campus features stone architecture, with long covered corridors and beautiful, lush green woods. An interesting trivia about the campus is that it was used as the shooting location the movie “3 Idiots” in 2009, the same year the EPGP program started. EPGP students are housed at “Ajmera Green Acres,” a few hundred metres from the IIM-B campus on Bannerghatta road. While students have an option to choose a different accommodation, given the amount of group work required for the duration of the course, we strongly suggest staying in the same apartment complex to be close to your peers.
The campus offers a variety of extra-curriculars, ranging from management clubs where you can interact with peers over shared interests in specific academic areas to clubs where you simply unwind by participating in dance, drama, music, and sports. While the low-stakes learning experiences of extra-curricular activities can be hugely rewarding, the general feedback from EPGP ex-students has been that they barely had time to participate in them during their year on-campus.
The IIM-B EPGP is a favourite hunting ground for tech consulting, with recruiters such as Deloitte and Accenture rolling out multiple offers every year. In 2019, close to 50% students opted for consulting and IT services roles during placements. The remaining 50% were spread across BFSI, Analytics, Automotive, Manufacturing and other roles. The industry background of the incoming batch plays an important role in the placement mix, with the IIM-B EPGP career cell optimizing companies participating in placements based on the class profile.
You should consider this program if
Your choice of the campus should depend on a fit of your career aspirations and what the campus offers. The EPGP best serves professionals between 5-10 years of experience, looking to break into middle to higher management positions in the technology sector. While the EPGP admits students from all disciplines, up until the class of 2020, it had a higher representation of engineers (86%3) compared to ISB (67%). Geographically, the campus benefits from being in the IT capital of India by way of easily accessible industry connects with leading technology firms. The combination of these 2 factors lend the IIM-B EPGP an edge when it comes to preparing its students for roles in technology.
How should you prepare?
The EPGP admission process starts with submission of an online application form that captures details of your previous education, work experience, professional and academic achievements along with basic personal details. Candidates from any discipline with minimum 5 years of experience (as of March 31 of the application year) can apply over 2 rounds stretching from June to November. The actual opening and closing dates of these rounds changes every year and can be accessed on the IIM-B EPGP admissions webpage. The program accepts both GMAT and GRE scores, with the average score for successful candidates close to the 90th percentile for both tests. In addition to the SOP, the admission process also requires 2 professional references – at least one of which has to come from your current manager.
Statement of Purpose
As part of the admission process you will need to submit a 600-word statement of purpose. The SOP is made up of the following components
- Your short-term (2 to 3 years after EPGP) and long-term (5-10 years after EPGP) career goals
- Current gaps in your skillset that prevent you from attaining said goals
- How the EPGP can bridge the skill gap and help you attain your goals
The world limit is rigid and encourages candidates to not beat around the bush and get to the point straightaway. By being the only question asked by IIM-B of its EPGP candidates, the SOP underscores the importance the admissions panel places on the “Why MBA” question.
Submitted applications are reviewed by the IIM-B EPGP faculty committee and assigned a composite score to shortlist candidates for a personal interview. The panel typically consists of 2 IIM-B faculty members and an alumnus who evaluate the interviewee on work experience, motivation to join the EPGP, diversity, leadership qualities, social sensitivity and multifacetedness. The interview is preceded by a written ability test where you need to write a 3-para long essay on a topic assigned on the spot. Scores from both the interview and the written test are added to the overall composite score to determine the final offer.
Offers for rounds 1 and 2 are rolled out around October and December respectively based on overall composite score cut-offs decided by the admission committee. Key factors that determine your score are –
- Academic track record
- GMAT/GRE score
- Quality of work experience
- Performance in the interview and written ability test
How does the IIM-B EPGP compare with the ISB PGP?
The EPGP is the highest ranked 1-year MBA program in India as per 2020 FT Rankings. However, as per feedback from outgoing batches, it best serves professional over 5 years of work experience. For candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience, the ISB PGP has an edge being a flagship program, with a batch that is considerably more diverse (67% engineers vs. 86% for EPGP). Except for the conspicuous absence of FMCG companies, ISB placements closely resemble IIM PGP placements, both in terms of the companies that participate and seniority of roles offered. At ISB, hiring for senior executive roles, typically begins on Day 2 or 3 of placements. On the other hand, the IIM-B EPGP has moulded its annual placement strategy towards landing senior executive roles for its class.
ePGP Program Official Video (courtesy: IIM Bangalore official YouTube channel)
Hope this gives you a good insight into the program and whether it is right for you! For more information, reach out to us at