New IIMs or Top Non-IIM B-schools – Which one to choose?

New IIMs or the top Non-IIM B-schools; if you are also confused as to which MBA college should you join after CAT 2019 exam. Here’s a comparative analysis of advantages and disadvantages of picking either for your MBA education.

New IIMs or Top Non-IIM B-schools – Which one to choose?
New IIMs or Top Non-IIM B-schools – Which one to choose?

IIMs and MBA or management education have been synonymous in India for a long time. However, with the rising popularity of MBA as a career option, the need for top B-schools in India has also grown exponentially. Catering to that demand, several new IIMs have been setup by the Government of India. Currently, there are a total of 20 IIMs, which includes 6 old IIMs setup before 2007 and 14 new IIMs or the ones which were established after 2008. Just like the new IIMs, several non-IIM B-schools have also come-up in the last 30 years, which are listed among the top MBA colleges in India.

Old IIMs vs New IIMs vs Other Top B-schools

When it comes to quality of management education in India, the general perception is that the 6 old IIMs i.e. IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Indore, are much better compared to the new ones. There are several factors like industry perception, legacy, experienced faculty, diversified alumni group and others. While most of the new IIMs are being mentored by the older B-schools, still there remains a significant gap between the qualities of education offered.

Career Counseling

While, picking between Old and New IIMs is pretty straight forward choice, the case is not that simple when it comes to a face-off between a new IIM and other top B-schools. Aspirants face a severe dilemma when it comes to picking between older and prestigious non-IIM MBA institutes like XLRI and SPJIMR and newer IIMs like IIM Sambalpur or Bodh Gaya.

Interesting Read: If not IIMs then what other options as top colleges of MBA

So, before you decide the B-school you want to join, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the either decision.

A Quick Watch:

Advantages of New-IIMs

Let’s first consider the key advantages of picking newer IIMs to pursue management education.

1. IIM Brand Name

This one is most obvious and will surely sway many aspirants – the IIM Brand. Irrespective of which IIM you join, you will always have the advantage of the brand that IIMs have become today. Also, these newer IIMs might not seem quite appealing today, but in the long run, once they get into their stride, they are surely going to be able to stand their ground against other non-IIM B-Schools. For instance, IIM Sambalpur, despite being one of the recently setup IIMs, managed to secure highest international package of Rs 53 lakhs for one of its students in final placement season of 2018, which is at par with most top B-schools in India.

2. World-Class Infrastructure

Being the benchmark of management education in the country, IIMs are backed by the Central government in terms of funding and facilities. This also translates into world-class infrastructure for the IIMs B-schools, including the new ones. The infrastructure at IIMs include both physical infrastructure like classrooms and campus as well as intellectual infrastructure such as library, resource centres, experienced faculty and others.

3. Degree vs. Diploma

One of the less considered factors while thinking about management education in India is that most B-schools in India offer Diploma programmes i.e. PGDM. Whereas, with the passing of the new IIM Bill, the IIMs will be able to accord MBA degrees to the students, which holds more value as compared to a diploma.

4. General Perception

In India, IIMs have become synonymous with an MBA degree. Therefore, the general perception will always favour the students who have completed their management education from an IIM, irrespective of the fact whether it is old or new. At times, this also works in the favour of candidates during job interviews and promotions as well.

5. Location Advantage

With the setting up of 17 new IIMs, they can be found in most of the regions and the majority of the states in India. Even smaller towns like Ranchi, Udaipur, Kashipur, Sambalpur, Sirmaur, Amritsar, Jammu and Rohtak have IIMs now; making them more accessible to students. On the contrary, majority of non-IIM premier B-schools are concentrated in a few educational hubs or big cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and others. Even the few private non-IIM top MBA colleges that are located in remote location are known for specialized programmes for instance IRMA is popular only for rural management while XLRI is deemed to be ideal choice for HR specialization.

Advantages of Top non-IIM B-schools

Did the aforementioned points convince you that the new-IIMs are better compared to non-IIM MBA B-schools in India? If yes, you should put your decision on hold until you go through the various advantages that Top non-IIM B-schools have to offer.

1. Alumni Network

One of the biggest advantages for the MBA aspirants opting for non-IIM B-schools over the new IIMs has to be a large and rich Alumni network that they can leverage. Generally speaking, in the managerial profile, the campus placements and the future growth largely depend upon the extent and kind of influence that alumni have in the corporate world. This influence takes decades to build and is not something that can be easily achieved. Therefore, premier non-IIM B-schools like IRMA and MICA will always have better and more organized alumni network compared to newer IIMs.

2. Experienced Faculty

In the last decade, a total of 14 new IIMs have been established in India. But, when it comes to faculty, these institutes are still being groomed by their bigger siblings i.e. IIM A, B, C, L and I others. Therefore, most of the faculty at these new IIMs are also new, apart from  a few visiting faculty members from the older ones. Compared to this, the legacy institutions like XLRI, SPJIMR and Symbiosis B-schools have right intellectual capital including top-notch Faculty. The knowledge and experience that these faculty members bring to the table gives the premier non-IIM B-schools an edge over the newer IIMs.

3. Many non-IIM B-schools offer MBA degree

The point that the majority of the private B-schools offer diploma or PGDM degree isn’t really true. In fact, many of the non-IIM B-schools that are ranked higher than newer IIMs are affiliated to universities and offer MBA Degrees. For instance, FMS, JBIMS and UBS, all offer MBA Degrees. Moreover, the different between MBA degree and a PGDM diploma is merely of nomenclatural. A PGDM diploma is equivalent to an MBA for all practical purposes.

4. Industry Perception

While the general perception would favour students from IIMs, irrespective of whether they are from newer IIMs or the older one, the industry perception will always favour students from premier B-schools, irrespective of the IIM moniker. Recruiters know the inside story and so have a better view of the top non-IIMs as opposed to the newer IIMs. The recent placement reports of top non-IIM B-schools compared to newer IIMs, gives us a clear picture of what the real perception of management graduates is in the corporate world.

Average Placement Packages of New IIMs

New IIM Name

Average Placement Package (2018)

IIM Shillong

Rs15.5 Lakh

IIM Bodhgaya

Rs10.60 Lakh

IIM Rohtak

Rs11.7 Lakh

Average Placement Packages of Top Non-IIM B-Schools

Top Non-IIM B-school

Average Placement Package (2018)

FMS Delhi

Rs 21.1 Lakhs


Rs 19.23 Lakhs

SPJIMR, Mumbai

Rs22.24 Lakhs

5. Specialized Institutes for different sectors

Another unique advantage that non-IIM MBA colleges have is that of sectoral specializations. Many B-schools have developed their course curriculum and teaching pedagogy to suit a particular industry or specialization. For instance, MICA is a preferred B-school option for candidates who want to build their career in media and entertainment sector. Similarly, XLRI is an option more suited for students who want to pursue Career in HR or IRMA that specializes in the field of rural management. On the contrary, the IIMs, especially the newer IIMs, have very generalised approach to management education which gives equal importance to all streams.

To sum up…

After going through all the different pros and cons of both new IIMs and premier non-IIM B-school, one this is clear that it is not going to be an easy ‘Black & White’ decision. The decision whether you should join either would be a layered one and will depend upon a number of different factors including your percentile, affordability of MBA programme and others. However, it is important that you understand the pros and cons of either before taking a final decision. You can also visit our institute section to get detailed overview of the different MBA colleges that are best suited for you.

To visit our institute section, please click here.

Also Read:-

MBA Colleges in India

MBA Colleges in Delhi

MBA Colleges in Ghaziabad

Also Read: Top 10 Non-IIM Institutes as per NIRF-MHRD Rankings

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