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IIMC PGPex for Executives | 1 year MBA at IIM Calcutta

IIM Calcutta offers a 1 year MBA Post Graduate Program for Executives (PGPex) that is meant for those with many years of work-experience. It competes with IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad that have similar programs.

Just like in the case of 2-year MBA programs offered by IIMA, IIMB and IIC, the shorter MBA programs (accepting GMAT as opposed to CAT scores) compete with each other for the best students from India. Ashish Rastogi explains why IIM Calcutta (PGPex) got his vote and scored over IIM Bangalore (IIM EPGP).

Why I chose IIMC PGPex over IIMB EPGP
– Ashish Rastogi

IIM Calcutta IIMC PGPeX MBA ExecutiveAfter spending almost a decade in the industry, I am now back to school pursuing a full-time residential one-year MBA program at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. The MBA program, popularly known as PGPex – Post Graduate Program for Executives, offers a great platform for those with 5 or more years of professional experience targeting senior management positions in their professional careers.

It was almost two years back when I was looking for some guidance on which schools to apply in the US. I had been in the states for quite a long time and wanted to target top international schools for my MBA.

MBACrystalBall was launched around that time and I got in touch with them to get the proprietary Mock Application Process (MBA MAP). It helped me gauge where I stood with respect to the overall competition.

One of the significant advantages that I saw with such a report was that it recommended an array of MBA programs that I could target considering my personal profile, GMAT score, and past work experience. Sameer spent quite some time discussing with me the strong and weak points in my profile that really helped me understand what I could do to improve upon and perform better.

During that time, I also learned from one of my friends about the full-time one-year MBA programs offered by the IIMs in India. These one-year programs attracted me instantly because of the very fact that they offered the highest quality of management education in India, had a higher ROI compared to that of the two-year programs and focused on imparting general management education.

Moreover, the Indian and the Asian economy in general have been growing steadily and it made sense to pursue an MBA in India instead.

Another important thing was that unlike the part-time executive MBA programs offered in the US, these IIM programs were offered full-time and had more-or-less the same academic curriculum as the regular two-year programs.

I eventually decided to apply and submitted applications to schools in India. Though I did not apply to ISB as I was looking to apply for programs where the average batch experience was above 8 to 9 years of experience.

To be very honest, my profile wasn’t a rock star one. I belong to the ultra-common IIM (Indian IT Male) category and had a not-so-great GMAT score. But there were other elements in my profile – professional certifications, non-profit experience, extracurricular achievements, 6.5 years of international experience and a good career progression that gave me the confidence of targeting top schools.

The feedback received from MBA Crystal Ball really helped me here. Before joining PGPex, I was working as a Project Manager with Infosys and my purpose of doing an MBA was to get exposure to all facets of management, broaden my horizons and reinforce my leadership capabilities in the process. I did have a fair idea of my career goals.

But I also knew that I had to work hard on my applications and thus prepared diligently for my interviews. I spoke with current students and alums to understand how I could strengthen my candidacy. Finally, I received calls from everywhere I applied and eventually secured admits from IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta, while I was waitlisted at IIM Ahmedabad. Since then, there was no looking back.

Choosing between IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta was a tough decision, nonetheless. Like many others with multiple admits in my PGPex batch, I chose IIM Calcutta for my MBA. At least six of us made the same decision.

My reasons for the choice were many but smaller class size, an option to pursue international study tour or industry internship, on-campus accommodation, exceptional alumni network, and the highest ROI (fees for the PGPex is the lowest among the top three IIMs) were key factors in the decision making process.

The PGPex placements have also been great year after year with many diverse recruiters coming back to the campus every year. Though not a deciding factor, it was definitely assuring to learn that all students opting for placements were really happy with the job profiles being offered.

IIM Calcutta is famous for its academic rigor and PGPex is no exception to that. The course work is really demanding and requires a lot of perseverance and focus. With about 30 core courses and 18 elective courses to be completed in six terms, each term being of 6 weeks, students all always on their toes.

That said, PGPex students are also very actively involved in sporting activities and student clubs such as Consulting, Initiative for Community Action (INCA), Dramatics, Quizzing, Entrepreneurship Cell and many more. I have also joined INCA and wish to contribute to the community during my time here at PGPex. I intend to continue enjoying my time here at Joka and hope to find a job opportunity I am passionate about.

If you are targeting this program, move to our discussion forum and ask Ashish on the IIM Calcutta (IIMC PGPex) forum. Also, check out our post on the best one year MBA programs in India
IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives MBAEx

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Sameer Kamat
About Sameer Kamat
Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here's more about me. Follow me on: Instagram | Linkedin | Youtube

44 thoughts on “IIMC PGPex for Executives | 1 year MBA at IIM Calcutta”

  1. Hi, greetings!,
    Thank you for your valuable experience. My self 31 years old an average skilled person with BCA graduation in 2005. was not able to study n did not get any good opportunity to improve my skill. I have dream to get into the flow and i am dreaming an MBA. Currently working with finance company as Associate from last two years but don’t want to stick with the same position n skill. Just looking forward a bright career and want to grow up professionally. Only MBA is the way to get into the flow.
    Plz suggest which is the best way. Looking forward your guidance.

    Thank you.
    Regards Goutam

  2. Dear Sir ,

    This is to apprise you that i am a working professional with 9 years of work Experience , willing to go for Postgraduate programmes for executive , kindly guide me how to proceed further .

    Thanks & Regards
    Sameer Chaudhary

  3. Hi Sameer,

    I have around 9 years of work ex, currently managing the western region of Loyalty business for French based MNC in India. I do have 7 years of managerial exprience in the field of Loyalty and e-commerce space. i am keen to pursue my MBA from India and have frozen upon ISB as one of the options , could you share some insights on other avenues in India and second option would be Asia , please advice , looking foward for your inputs.


  4. Hi
    I have around 12 years of experience in TCS, mainly in technical domain with managerial experience -around 5 yrs , however I have around 7 yrs of international work experience. Would it be wise to pursue a Executive Managment course to add value to my career at this stage ? Which Indian institutues will be the best/reasonable choice ? Is there a good part-time management course that I can pursue ?
    Looking forward for your inputs

  5. Hi Sameer, Ashis,

    I have 2.5 years of work experience in IT in a MNC. I am interested in management role and want to go for an mba. Could you please suggest any executive or 1year regular programs for me ?


  6. @Sanjeet: For your level of experience, IIMA PGPX will be the closest fit. Part-time programs will not have the same impact on your career. So watch what you are signing up for.

    Btw, IIMC PGPex is not an Executive MBA. Ditto for the similar programs offered by the other IIMs. Read this post –> Executive MBA vs MBA for Executives – The Big Indian Confusion

    @Rakesh: Most folks who target 1 year MBA in India, UK, Singapore etc have much more experience than you do. Either wait for a while more, or look at 2 year MBA programs in USA.

  7. Hi Sameer,

    I am working as a manager – product technical support and have 9 + year of experience. I am looking for an executive MBA program but really confused and not able to decide which one to chose. Can you please guide me ? My skills: – customer support, eLearning, people management, training.

  8. @Prashanjit,

    Don’t go for an executive MBA in India. You will gain nothing. You may already be drawing 20-25L. After MBA, you will be begging for that salary.

  9. @MBA Hopeful

    Unfortunately I don’t get that much 🙁 . In India which executive MBA would be good for me. Thanks.

  10. @Prashanjit: I’m hoping you are using the term ‘Executive MBA’ in the right sense (considering I’ve been repeatedly pointing out the difference). If you are expecting the MBA to give you a platform to manage a career change then go for a full-time GMAT based program, not an Executive MBA.

  11. Hi Sameer, read your book and loved every bit of it. I need a little advice.
    I have 9 years of work ex out of which 6 years is in the Army( Left as a Major) and 3 years in a Big Indian Project Execution company. I had taken GMAT in 2010 and got 640, but never had the guts to apply to any B school because I believed without 700+ you don’t stand a chance. Do you think with my score and profile I should apply to IIMs ? or to which school?

  12. Hi,
    I have around 3.5 years of experience in IT as a developer. I was looking for doing MBA , but bit confused regarding Executive MBA or MBA for Executives. Basically at this moment , i don’t want to leave my job. Please suggest whether execute MBA will suit me & if it is so which is the best Business School to do that.

    Thanks ,

  13. @Roy: With an unconventional profile (like yours) you should go ahead and apply. If you are clear about your expectations from the program, Adcoms might want to give you a shot. You might find this post useful –> GMAT-based MBA abroad for Indian army officers.

    @Maumita: Generally folks with your experience level would be considered too young for an Executive MBA. If a regular full-time MBA doesn’t work for you, you could try a part-time option. But then you need to be clear about what you’d get from it. All the good brands offer the Executive MBA, part-time MBA in some form or another. So do your research and then take a call.

  14. Dear Sameer,
    I have done BE in Electronics & communications .I have 10 years of work experience in mobile telecommunications (technical field ). I am working as a Manager in a telecom MNC right now but my work is totally technical. These days our work field is not doing well & few of my colleagues have also lost their current job. There are no new projects & most of the companies are planning to cut down their existing manpower to cut down the cost. Secondly there is Anti- Poaching between the companies due to which people have less opportunities to switch over. Please suggest me whether i should go for an MBA or not ? I want to change the field now. My contacts & references are not reliable & i also don’t expect that they will be in a position to give helping hand to find new job after doing MBA. One of my friends who passed out from ISB told me that no telecom company came there for recruitment. Secondly, he told me that companies see your past work-ex & telecom experience is not in demand right now. Pls suggest, is it worth doing MBA for me?

  15. Dear Sameer,

    One more thing to add in my previous post, i am already on a package of 13 LPA. My purpose to plan for MBA is not to attain high package but to secure a good job ( even with existing package will also be sufficient) & i want to switch field ( don’t want to be in technical field any more). My current profile field is a highly technical & specialized one (Radio planning & tuning of GSM, CDMA, 3G mobile Network ) & i feel that these technical skills are not useful for me to switch the field . One of my colleague was from same field but had only 4 years work-ex. He passed out from ISB this year & got a job in a telecom related company in management. He advised me that since i have 10 yrs of work – ex, i won’t be able to switch field now. Secondly, i don’t have reliable contacts , getting a new job after MBA will not be easy.

  16. Hi,
    I’m just a student of BBA (3rd year) in Bangladesh. I do want to complete my MBA from IIMC.
    To make my career dynamic, i think, this will be best for me. As a foreign student, what criteria will be required to get chance in IIMC? Will i get the facility of the scholarship? I want to complete regular full-time MBA. I’ll be thanking you if u provide me with the info. in need. Please, suggest.

  17. Badrinarayanan | Wednesday, 10 July 2013 at 7:50 am …(WIth additional points)

    I have 11years of experience working with IT company in business solutions team. Looking to join some 1 year MBA program full time. I completed my Bcom Graduation in 2002 and PGDBA finance (Distant) in Symbiosis. I was not able to complete my GMAT sessions last year bcos of frequent onsite travel. But i felt that it is more of school maths like Geomentry, Algebra. I dont have any challenge in studying maths, but have to brush up school maths of several years because Maths is not my core in school days (Accounting background) like engineering. Is there any way i can puruse MBA regular in well reputed B school without writing CAT,e GMAT etc..Please help me with some schools. I saw ISB, but it is almost 40L. Else Is it possible for me prepare for GMAT or CAT. I am only worried about the effort on Maths. I strongly believe that pursuing higher education is the only thing that can help me to improve my career in this competitive world. I am fine to leave my job one or two years for education. Please advise

  18. @Sachin: The trouble with the technical field (any, not just telecom) is that skills tend to be in a very niche area. The more experience you get, you get paid more for those skills, but you are also digging a deeper hole for yourself. Which is why many experienced folks with solid technical skills are still at the mercy of a few companies.

    The big question you need to ask yourself is – ‘How do I pick up new skills?’

    An MBA is a good but risky option. As your friends rightly tell you, getting a career shift isn’t easy. Have you read Beyond The MBA Hype yet? It’s got several non-MBA alternatives to think about. See if any of those alternatives work for you.

    @Mahi: Sorry, bro. We can’t help out with CAT based programs. That’s not our forte.

    @Badrinarayanan: Try not to bypass the competitive exams (like GMAT). Your choice of good bschools will go down dramatically. Like you rightly said, the GMAT syllabus has mainly high-school level concepts, so don’t get intimidated by it.
    Btw, you got the ISB fees wrong. It’s a little more than half of what you are assuming.

  19. HI Sameer,
    Thanks for reply. What if i do 1 year Executive MBA from a renowned institute ( admission through GMAT) ? Will it help me in getting a job in my field or other field or will it be a wastage of time & money & i should think of Non MBA alternative in that case?

  20. Hi Sameer,
    I have more than 9 years experience in IT industry. I was preparing for GMAT for past 4 months, But I have doubt on my educational history, I am a MCA graduate
    SSLC 90%
    PRE -degree-59%
    Graduation(b.Sc Maths) :67%
    MCA 75%

    If I get a good score in GMAT is it possible for me to get admission for 1 year executive program.
    I want to move to consulting or business services, Since I am an MCA graduate they are always pushing me for application development. Could you please clarify my doubt

  21. Thanks Sameer for your quick response

    As suggested by you, i will prepare for GMAT. My age is 31 now. I dont have great academic records. But I somehow improved and completed BCOM in first class and PGDBA finance (symbiosis – distant) in second class. After 2010, my interest moved towards purusing higher education that too specifically with well reputed B schools. I know it is too late, but i dont want to stop my dream

    Since I am almost 10yrs away from college days, i have to brush up my maths knowledge. I bought CBSE books (OXFORD publication) from 6th standard to 12th Standard. My plan is to complete these books in next 3-6 months (depends on my work schedule). Once this is completed, will start with GMAT books and other relevant GMAT maths materials.

    I am planning to write my GMAT exam by April, else by july. Please let me know whether these plans will work out or do i need to something else (like maths tuition, quitting the job and just focus only on GMAT etc). I know I am taking high risk, but feel worth taking risk rather than dying with low end BPO profile:)

  22. Hi,

    Im a CA working in a MNC auto major in a middle management level. I have 13 years of experience and would like to know the virtual Executive program given by IIM C on senior management. What I need to learn is to get myself Incumbent on higher management skills of managing and negotiation. Hence, I thought of taking up this course. What is your view about this program especially will it help my objective. Or can you suggest some.

  23. @Sachin: Assuming you aren’t mixing up terminologies, an Executive MBA (which is a part-time option) can’t match the opportunities that you’d get from a full-time MBA program.

    @MBA aspirant: I don’t see any issue with the educational history. What were you hinting at?

    @Badrinarayanan: Saaaar! You don’t need to buy school books to prepare for GMAT. Here’s a list of the Best GMAT Books.

    @Venkat: Virtual programs are good to get a theoretical knowledge, but the market value isn’t the same as regular, full-time MBA.


  25. Hi Sameer,
    I belong to large Indian IT crowd. I have got ordinary IT profile (Total 9 years of exp, 5 years of overseas exp) and currently working as project manager. My GMAT score is on the lower side(only 680). Would it be wise to apply for IIMA-PGPX this year or should I work on my profile and GMAT score and aim for next year’s application?
    I am planning to write GMAT again and waiting for the minimum 31 days mandatory gap between two exams to get over.
    My question is – I might be able to re-write GMAT before IIMB and IIMC deadline (31st Aug). But if not, then is GMAT-680 enough for IIM-B and C considering my profile ? Or should I wait for one year for IIMB and IIMC as well (I have average work profile and NO start-up experience).

  26. Hello Sameer,

    I have a total of 23+ years of work experience across Insurance (11+ yrs) & IT (12+ yrs) industries. I am currently a Senior Manager in one of the reputed MNCs in India. Could you please suggest me the right management course which I should be taking up.
    My educational details: 10+2+2.
    Certifications: I have accomplished few IT related certifications during my career.

  27. @Gopal: It gets increasingly more difficult to manage a career change even with an MBA after a certain point. So think whether it makes sense to leave your job, or would a short-term or part-time program help you gain new skills.

    @Ravi: I don’t know much about what you do in the IT role, so I’ll make broad generalisations and say that a higher score alone won’t help. You’d still need to work on highlighting the aspects that make you special among the IT applicant pool.

    @Anonymous: You haven’t mentioned about why you are looking for a management course. So my general response will be similar to what I suggested to Gopal.

  28. Dear Sameer

    I am IT profressional with around 15 yrs of expiernce . While journey so far has been good but off late i am feeling complete lack of creativity in my work. Most of my work now involves doing transactional work rather than any decision making or strategy work . I see stagnancy in my own work and also in mgmt layer where i report into .. Around me i see many people have good MBA/PG deegree and are equally qualified as myself to move to next level. Slowly i am getting a feeling that Full Time MBA deegre is almost necessary to operate at Sr Mgmt . I am drawing handsome salary ( 20+) and wondering worth of investing 35 lac ( 20 lac salary + 15 lac fees) in current market conditions

    Request you to pls share your thoughts on doing MBA

  29. @Namit: If you go in with the right expectations and into the right program (read Beyond the MBA Hype to know what that means), then it’s well worth the investment. But with your experience level, from a ‘fit’ perspective, the number of right programs will be far and few.

    @Bipin: Your question is too open-ended. With very little profile data to go by, the only thing I can say is to define your takeaways from the MBA first and then evaluate the options.

  30. Hi Sameer,

    I am engineering graduate having 3 year working experience. Currently working in Consulting and Analytics domain. I am planning for Executive MBA as I always wish for senior management roles please suggest me right direction to step in to get in IIM or ISB.


  31. Hello Sameer,

    Appreciate your inputs on people’s queries. Please advise on mine

    I am 32 yrs old and have done BE in Computer Science from Mumbai University,MS in Computer Sciene from US University and have 9 years of experience in software industry in the US.My salary is 100k+ US$.

    I am looking for a good MBA course for better career prospects. My GMAT is 660. Do you think I should do a MBA in India (i got into top IIM’s 1-yr program) or from a top-tier university in the US or outside India(can take GMAT again).The US universities (with 1-yr MBA) are expensive but also have higher pay after MBA course.

    Really confused about my options here?Pls advise

  32. I have only 1.3yrs experience in IT , I wish to do MBA , is that good to do MBA in part time, Executive ? I am confused don’t know what to do.Please help me to get a clear view, I didn’t get good marks in CAT , Now I am preparing for GMAT.

  33. Hi,

    Just wanted to get my profile evaluated for Executive MBA .

    I am a software engg from Pune University being a college topper.

    Xth – 90 %
    XIIth – 90%
    CBSE Board

    GMAT 700

    Total Exp – 9 yrs in IT in SAP. Rich expereince in Business and Technical Consulting with onsite exposure of 3 yrs. SAP Technical Certifications.

    Day Trader in US markets – ( Activley Traded Lehman Brother on the day that it crashed )

    Thinking of doing a SAP Finance certification to add weightage.

    Good Extra curricular at School, none after that.

  34. Hi Sameer,

    Was just reading through your blog:
    definitely a good read and a topic that needs more visibility. I say this as someone who hires and one who is aspiring for a mgmt degree.
    I have 16 years of experience in customer relations and loyalty, have always wanted to pursue an MBA earlier but due to circumstances couldn’t.
    I wish to add to the knowledge level and the same time add value to my resume which ensures it gives me that additional brownie point to move ahead.
    Are the Advanced Mgmt Programs from IIMB and IIMC good to fulfill this? in terms of courseware and genuine learning? I understand they are part time…but will have to work with study

    Request you to please share your thoughts or suggestion

  35. @Sushant: First step in the right direction is to stop referring to them as Executive MBA. They aren’t EMBA programs. Other than that there’s plenty on this site to give you more specific directions.

    @Ravi: Considering that you already have an international Masters degree, why not get a better international MBA brand and then come back to India?

    @Kuzhal: If possible, stick to full-time MBA courses.

    @Praveen: Please post on our forum where are offering free profile evaluations.

    @Trudy: The short terms courses offered by bschools are no match for the ‘real deal’ full-time programs.

  36. Hi Sameer,
    I have a work exp of 4 years in IT industry and I am planning to become a Business Analyst. I found that IIM-C is offering Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA). I had just gone through the details of the EPBA program and have seen some interesting job placements – I get the confidence that I can become a Business Analyst post the program and boost my career graph. Am I right in assuming that? Also, kindly let me know if I have a chance to get through the selection process with my IT experience. If not, would you please suggest a program for me. Please note that I cant leave my job due to some economic reasons.

    Sreedhar D

  37. Hi Sameer

    Iam a graduate and have 4.5 years of experience from (HP & in CTS) BPO Finance -Accounts payable as domain. Now iam preparing for my GMAT with all the basics, since I have a very long gap with quants. What will be my ideal time ,where I can give my GMAT (Can it be 3 months). I have a plan of applying few universities at Singapore or either at Canada for the academic year 2014 july.

  38. Hello Sir,

    I’m interested in pursuing 1 Year MBA from one of the prestigious MBA colleges. As part of evaluation process for all of the colleges, I saw one of the admission criteria as Good Academic Records. For someone with average academic record (between 55 to 60% marks) along with 6+ years of IT experience in Business Intelligence, would you encourage me to go for such it. A realistic answer would be appreciated.


  39. Hi Sameer

    I have a total of 6+ IT experience. I am planning to take GMAT in coming months. I need some advice.
    Studying abroad and investing around 20-30 Lacs is really a good move or shall I wait for some more years and apply for Indian B schools for 1 year executive MBA at a later stage (say about 8+ experience)
    I am at present Team lead.

    Another question is If I appear for GMAT now and get a good score, will it be advisable to apply to the universities at a later stage with a 8+ year experience.

    Can you please suggest? I am unable to find the answer for this.


  40. @Sreedhar: I’m not familiar with the program. So can’t give you any inputs.

    @Deepak: Yes, for most folks 3 months of regular and focussed preparation is sufficient.

    @Abhishek: Academics could be a weak link when you are competing with others who’d have good GMAT scores, good profiles and good grades.

    @Ambuj: Your GMAT score will be valid 2 yrs from now when you have 8+ yrs experience. But you are underestimating the cost of an international MBA.


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