How to choose an MBA Admission consultant in India

Life ain’t easy, is it? Like they say…we all come into this world – naked, hungry and crying…and then it gets worse.

The B-school story isn’t too different. It’s a complex decision for most of us coming from middle class backgrounds. For a top-school, you are looking at an outflow of $100K+ (30 – 70 lakhs cost for MBA programs from the top bschools is quite normal). And then there are the costs associated with relocation, visa…and now this growing trend in India – MBA admission consultants for the top ranking MBA programs. When everyone managed their own apps, it was still ok. Now, when my competitor has got a dhinchak MBA consultant helping him out with his apps, you can’t but feel jittery about it.

And to complicate matters, consultants come in all varieties.

– The bulk deal (people willing to do unlimited schools for Rs 15,000)

– The upgraders (CAT coaching institutions wanting a piece of the growing international MBA pie)

– The part-timers (top-school grads testing the waters, but holding on to their day-jobs while trying to figure out a business model that works)

– The serious ones (fantastic quality, great track record, but obscenely priced services out of reach for most Indian applicants)

It’s a call, you’ve gotta take, based on multiple parameters – the quality of people working with you on your apps (and not some unknown face working behind the scene on something so critical), their credibility, the track record (are there a considerable number of success stories) and of course the cost involved.

One big factor to keep in mind – Trust. If you get the feeling that the guy or the team working with you on one of the most important decisions of your life is in it just for the money, run in the opposite direction. You have a genuine desire to get into the best school that you possibly can. There has to be a genuine desire on the part of your advisor as well.

How can you judge that? Well, for starters check out how involved the consultant has been in responding to candidate queries (irrespective of whether this advice is free or paid).

– Are they providing superficial answers and MBA advice or do they immerse themselves into your world to provide practical and credible MBA advice (even if they aren’t getting paid for it)?

– Are they going by the book and giving your standard template answers or do they really know more than you do about the MBA industry and what Admission committees (Adcoms) are looking for in MBA applicants?

– Have they been successful in the real world out there (academically and professionally) or is this just bookish knowledge that they are passing on to you?

– Are their testimonials genuine and honest? Cooking up and pasting flattering feedback on websites is pretty easy.

– How many of their candidates are willing to reveal their identities and share their MBA success stories and not be ashamed of being associated with this team?

An MBA admission consultant can be your most important advisor, mentor and friend in this challenging journey. Spend time and effort in doing your homework and you will not regret your decision.

Read this related post on MBA consultants ranking factors and top consultant pricing. Also read How this candidate chose free MBA admission consulting and lost a year

And what people are saying about us in these admission consulting reviews.

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MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin
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  1. Pranjali says:

    I for one have very colorful ( not very happy colors) things to say about the admission consulting firm I hired. I had to get rid of them within a month’s time. If I had taken their advice for my essays, I would have ended up WITHOUT an admit!!
    Rs15,000 gone down the drain. I could have got an expensive Zara suit in that price!!

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    Seems like we should’ve written this post earlier, Pranjali, and saved you that money for the Zara suit.

  3. Manu Tripathi says:

    Hi Sameer,
    Can you list down some MBA Admissions Consulting Companies/Institutes who can help me in getting admissions in good B-Schools in USA/EUROPE/SINGAPORE. (Region : DELHI-NCR)


  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    Manu, there’s this team called MBA Crystal Ball that I keep hearing about. And most of what I hear is quite positive :-P

    • sindhu says:

      hello sammer…even iam a admission consultant in Bangalore for all courses..I get people only through references of the previous admissions made..students should not go behind those people who advertise a lot..they will cheat..its better to get referred by trusted friends and families

      • Prakash says:

        Hey Sindhu, no offense meant. But after seeing your language, grammar & punctuation skills, I want to know which admissions consulting company in Bangalore you work for.

        • Sameer Kamat says:

          Go easy on her (him), Prakash. There’s always scope for improvement for everyone, right?

          Btw, Sindhu’s original comment had the company name too (that you are interested in finding out), but we edited it out of professional courtesy.

  5. Sunny says:

    Hello Sameer,

    How can I register with MBA Crystal Ball for your Consultation?

  6. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Sunny: Send us an email with your profile details and the help you need. Our ID is: info at mbacrystalball dot com

  7. sam says:

    Hello Sameer,
    I am an engineering student(currently in the fourth year).I am placed at a really great firm but, I am a little skeptical about it.I would love to get some career advice from you as to how this company can affect my MBA candidature in future.How should I get in touch with you ?


  8. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Sam: I assume you are referring to one of the top IT firms (TCS, Infosys?). It this is the best company offer that you have in hand, go ahead and join. The company name, industry & role do matter in MBA admisisons. But if you can’t influence any of those at this stage, take it up and try to excel at it.

    Here’s a post on what you can work on to improve your profile:

    • sam says:

      Thanks for the great advice Sameer :)
      It’s a technical consultancy and offers the highest package among all the consultancies that visit my college(it is one of the top 20 engineering colleges in India).Also, it has a very selective process and the work is amazing.But, it is not one of the 3 big consultancies.It does’t have the brand value the big 3 have.That’s a little confusing for me.
      It would be wonderful if you could guide me a little in this regard.

      Thanks again!

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