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Executive MBA vs MBA for Executives – The Big Indian Confusion

Best MBA BookIn India, mention ‘Executive MBA‘ to an MBA aspirant and ask him how it differs from an ‘MBA for executives’. The odds are high that you’ll end up confusing your friend. And not without reason. Several popular post-graduate management courses offered by our IIM clan (Indian Institutes of Management) have the word executive in them.

So, if you are looking for a 1 year MBA in India, you’ve got IIMA PGPX (Post Graduate Programme for Executives at IIM Ahmedabad), EPGP (Executive PGP in Management) offered by IIM Bangalore and IIM Indore, PGPex (Executive PGP at IIM Calcutta and IIM Shillong), IPMX (International Programme in Management for Executives) by IIM Lucknow and several others.

If you have already read Beyond the MBA Hype (if you haven’t, get a copy ASAP), these are the programs you are targetting along with many others abroad. But these courses, in the technical sense, are not the same as an Executive MBA.

The terms ‘MBA’ and ‘Executive MBA’ might be clear to folks outside India. But back home, the concept of an MBA aimed at experienced professionals (or ‘executives’) is relatively new. And leading publications (like the Economic Times) add to the confusion by posting headlines that incorrectly use the term ‘Executive MBA’.

In this post, we try to address the difference between the traditional Indian MBA, the traditional executive MBA and the not so traditional new-kid-on-the-block – the MBA for executives in India.

Executive MBA: Getting to the root of the confusion

MBA programs come in various formats. In addition to the full-time MBA, there’s also the part-time MBA, executive MBA, dual MBA, distance learning MBA and so on. MBA applicants often get confused about these myriad options.

Historically, the general approach in India for those interested in getting an advanced management education is to aim for one of the conventional 2-year MBA programs immediately after graduation. The IIMs and the other MBA institutions, where candidates get in through their CAT scores, accept students right after their basic graduation.

So when a new breed of management courses made an entry in the Indian market and started insisting on several years of work experience, folks started equating them to executive MBA programs. However, even after all these years, the perception doesn’t seem to have changed much. Many applicants who approach us for help with the application for the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) at ISB Hyderabad (or the ISB Mohali campus) refer to it as an executive MBA. It is not!

The same is the case with IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP and IIMC PGPEX. These are one year programs targeted at professionals with experience (executives), but they’re full-time MBA programs and not executive MBA programs (like this one – IIM Bangalore PGPEM Review).

Applying to such programs in India is similar to other comparable programs offered by other top international business schools. Among other pre-requisites, they all require a GMAT score and some work experience.

Experience criteria for an international MBA program:

For applying to a two-year full-time MBA program from the U.S., a minimum of three year work experience is usually recommended. This way a candidate would be in a position to come up with a competitive application.

The candidate, having spent few years in professional environment, would now be able to relate to various concepts being taught in B school.

Many candidates would also have chalked out a definite post-MBA career goal for themselves. In the UK, full-time MBA is usually one year in duration (with exceptions that offer longer and shorter MBA programs as well) and the experience of the candidates applying also tends to be slightly greater in comparison to the MBA programs from the U.S.

So what’s an Executive MBA then?

To clarify the concept of an executive MBA, we’ll highlight a few aspects of an executive MBA program and how it tends to differ from a regular MBA program.

– Candidates applying to the executive MBA programs need to have significantly greater experience depending on the school applied. The average experience of the candidates in these programs is around ten years or greater. Each executive MBA program is suitably designed so that professionals can pursue it simultaneously while continuing with their current job. These sessions are usually held on Fridays and over weekends. So you need to work it out with the company you work for so that they offer you the flexibility of attending the sessions.

– An Exec MBA (EMBA) generally tends to be much more expensive than a regular MBA from the same institution. The time spent in the class is much less and the interaction with your peers would not be as much as a full-time MBA could offer. However the greater work experience of your batch mates would translate to a rich learning experience through interactive sessions.

– Acceptance criteria for an executive MBA tends to be less stringent in comparison to a full-time MBA. GMAT scores for an EMBA are lower and the selectivity is more favourable to applicants. The intake capacity is also very limited.

– The biggest downside is that the kind of a ‘complete MBA experience’ that a full-time MBA offers would be lacking. The social life and the network opportunities that form an integral part of a full-time MBA program would not be possible on a similar scale due to limited time availability.

– Managing an MBA along with your job can be hectic and exhausting depending on your office workload. However it is best suited for mid-level positions wherein professionals wish to acquire the required managerial skills and business knowledge to ramp their career graph without taking a career break. So though you’ll end up spending more on the program, your income stream is still on which can be a huge relief. At the end of the program, you have an ongoing job or if you land up with a better job option, you can go for it!

Keep the above points in mind so you don’t mix up terminologies.

Each program has its pros and cons and something which may work perfectly well for one may not work for the other. So candidates need to do the required groundwork as to what their post-EMBA aspirations are and how the program would assist in taking it forward.

Students & Alumni from the best 1 year MBA programs in India

Many current students at the top 1 year MBA programs in India and alumni are getting frustrated explaining to folks around them that they are associated with highly selective, well-respected and mainstream MBA programs that accept GMAT scores instead of CAT.

If you fall in that category, we’d request you please share this blog post on your official / personal blogs, bschool website and social media pages.

Let’s create more awareness and respect for this new breed of programs that is getting recognition outside India (through international MBA rankings) but ironically many Indian employers, students and colleagues are still confused about.

Next Steps: Develop an action plan

The BIG question you need to address now is whether a full-time MBA makes sense considering your profile and career plans or if there are cheaper, easier and less risky options to explore.

Step 1: Introspect – Start off by reading Beyond The MBA Hype. Caution: If you have a flawed view of what an MBA can do for you, the book could be your wake-up call. But better to get the shocks right now & get the expectations in order, rather than when you are midway into the program, right?

Step 2: Execute – We have helped hundreds of candidates like you tackle this challenge. Check out our MBA MAP and Career MAP packages & see if either might be worth taking up.

Also read:
Part-time MBA vs Executive MBA (EMBA) vs Full-time MBA
IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives MBAEx
Is an Executive MBA (EMBA) worth it or not?
Executive MBA from IIM (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta)
Best Executive MBA Programs
Chicago Booth Executive MBA admit for Indian Architect
Michigan Ross Executive MBA after MS in USA

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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

60 thoughts on “Executive MBA vs MBA for Executives – The Big Indian Confusion”

  1. Hi Sameeer!

    I have around 12 years of experience and currently working as a Senior Business Systems Consultant with a top ife insurance and asset management company in Canada. I am exploring the possiblity of doing an Executive MBA from Rotman or Ivey. Given the high cost (appox. $90,000 CAD) do you think it would we worth pursuing or would you recommend a part time MBA?

    Would also like to know what’s the scope of these international Executive MBA programs in India?


  2. Rahul,

    You haven’t shared your expectations from the program. Is it knowledge, a career-change, growth within the current company, better salaries, international mobility, the network or the opportunity to interact with classmates from different industries?

    The answer would vary accordingly.

  3. Sameer,

    My expectations from the program are knowledge, growth within the current company or outsid, better salary and networking. I am not looking for a career change.

    I should mention that my biggest concern is the scope of the program in India as I want to settle down in the home country in five to seven years.


  4. Rahul bhai,

    For those aspects, yes, it would be worthwhile looking at the Executive MBA option.

    Don’t bet on the degree being too much of a help back in India. There are too many guys with full-time degrees from international bschools (even the top 10) who are returning to India. And executive search firms are facing a tough time placing them.

  5. So how about doing an Executive MBA from an Indian b-school like ISB PGPMAX? Would that be a better option in terms of settling in India?

  6. Rahul, if you aren’t planning to come back to India in the next 5-7 years, how does the PGPMAX option fit into your plans?

    While we wait to hear about that, here’s the story in general when it comes to management education in India.

    Whenever someone in the Indian corporate world refers to an MBA degree, they are most probably referring to the regular CAT based 2-year MBA degrees offered by the IIMs and other Indian MBA courses.

    In comparison, GMAT based full-tme MBA degrees have made their entry only recently.

    Apart from the regular campus recruiters on the ISB, and IIM campuses, most corporates still haven’t figured out what this ‘new’ concept is all about.

    Forget employers, many MBA applicants are confused about this concept too. And by naming them as MBA for executives, MBA colleges aren’t making life any simpler for the other confused souls.

    That’s precisely what prompted us to write this post about the difference between an Executive MBA and a regular GMAT based MBA.

    Now, if that’s the story with full-time GMAT based MBA courses, imagine how much clarity might be there in the corporate world about the other ‘derivative versions’ such as the Executive MBA.

    Coming back to your main query, the response is pretty much the same that I shared earlier. If it’s about the knowledge, network, vertical growth (to some extent), then the Executive MBA makes perfect sense.

    Anything else that you might get from the degree would be an added bonus, but don’t hold your breath for a miracle to happen.

    Hopefully that allows you to weight the pros and cons of taking up an Executive MBA degree.

  7. Smaeer,

    First of all thank you for the prompt replies.

    I am planning to stay here for a number of reasons and MBA is one of them. Executive or otherwise. ISB came to mind because of the reason that I mentioned earlier, I want to settle down in India if ISB is more acceptable in the Indian corporate world then I would focus on that and give up my plans to continue here.

    Although to my surprise ISB is not charging any less than what I will end up paying in Canada for an Executive MBA.

    Regarding the regular MBA, that is not something that I am looking at as I don’t want to leave my job for an year or two.

    So i guess my dilemma continues…


  8. Sorry Sameer, for some reason I have been spelling your name incorrectly. My sincere apologies for that. Nothing intentional. Please correct the typos.

  9. I completed my B.Tech in IT from NIT in the year 2008. Currently working for Cisco systems as software developer. Have a total experience of 4+ years in the field.
    I want to pursue 2year MBA full time from India or abroad. I am planning to take CAT 2013. So is my experience too much for a regular 2 year full time course from top institutes in India (Till then 5+ years) ?
    Or shall I take GMAT and apply abroad. Is my profile weak for the schools abroad ? I will summarize my profile as follows :
    1. 10th (CBSE) : 83.9%
    2. 12th (CBSE) : 73.0%
    3. B.Tech (IT NIT) : 84.4%
    4. work ex: 4 years (Cisco Systems + Motorola).
    5. 1 international IEEE paper.
    Not very active in extra curricular activities.
    I am in a fix if I will get a good B.School with a good score in GMAT because of my weak profile.
    Please help me out.


  10. Dear Sameer,

    Finally someone in the media gets the story right! Thanks for clarifying this for all. Very well written too!
    – Alumni, One Year Full Time MBA – EPGP at IIM Indore

    • Hi Dhiren,

      I wanted to know the benefits of this 1 year course that you had pursued from IIM Indore.
      What is the scope of this course in India?


  11. I would also like to share that the One Year Full Time MBA has been leading on rankings for quite some time now. for example in the most prestigious rankings worldwide – the Financial Times London ranking of MBA’s the IIM A One Year full Time MBA (PGPX) is ranked at number 11 in the world alongside two year full time MBA for experienced candidates (harvard, stanford) and One year full time MBA for experienced candidates (insead, HEC paris, Oxford). The two year MBA from India at IIM A or any other school is not ranked in the list of MBA’s as it is not considered an MBA abroad, which is strictly a post experience programme. The IIM A 2 year MBA is ranked in a separate ranking called Masters in Management (not equivalent to an MBA). This list does not have the schools offering an MBA like harvard, wharton etc.

  12. Hi Sameer,

    Can you please advise how good an online EMBA would be (e.g. [edited out by moderator]). My expectations from the program are similar to those of Rahul – knowledge, growth within the current company or outside, better salary and networking. I am not looking for a career change. I am in IT. After working for a decade abroad I returned to India a few years back. I find myself ‘stuck’ in technical roles though I aspire for more business and managerial content.

    thanks & regards,

  13. Hi Sameer,

    Wanted to provide more details about myself – I am a CA & CWA by qualification. After working as a Financial Analyst / Management Accountant for several years I switched to IT (ERP). In IT I have been working mostly as an individual contributor in a variety of technical and functional roles. I am looking to supplement / update / upgrade my skills as explained earlier.

    Look forward to your feedback!


  14. @Kapil: We are providing profile evaluations on our forum. You might want to check it out. But if I were to provide some quick inputs – Yes, it might be a little too late for you to start thinking about 2 year MBA programs in India. Most Indian applicants have your profile. So it’s not weak, but it’s too common.

    @Srikanth: From what you’ve described, you are looking for a career (i.e. role) change. That might be a tough one to achieve without a regular, full-time MBA.

    @Gagan: Thanks for sharing the additonal information.

    @Dhiren and @Raj: Glad you liked the post. If you are interested in sharing more about the IIM Indore 1 year MBA program, drop me an email (you’ll find the ID in the right navigation panel)

  15. Hi Sameer,

    I have read the above post and also have been through your blog site as well. I must congratulate you for that effort first,

    The reason of my email today is to seek an opinion/ guidance with regards to pursuing an exec MBA from good B Schools in India.

    My background

    CA and CPA (Australia) with 11 years of work exp (6 years in Australia and 5 years in India)

    Had migrnated to Australia in 2006 and am coming back to settle in India in two weeks.

    I always wanted to do MBA … but ended up doing CA anyways that’s different story.

    Question:- Can you guide me in regards to the process / eligibility and preparation required to do an exec MBA,
    My reason for doing MBA :- 1) Better career oppurtunity 2) Geeting into Sr Managerial category with MBA creating the pathway 3) Career progression

    Please advice,

  16. Aarun,

    The process and eligibility criteria are quite similar to full-time MBA programs. Most of the good Executive MBA programs (assuming we aren’t mixing up terminologies and formats here) ask for a competitive test score, essays, recos and an interview.

    The first two reasons you’ve listed might be tough if you are planning to change employers.

  17. @Dev and Dhiren: Thanks for chipping in. The intention behind this post was not to have a comprehensive listing of ALL the 1 year MBA programs in India. It was essentially to highlight the difference between formats.

    Parantu aapke bhavnaon ko samajhte hue, I’ve added IPMX to the list (incidentally the IIM Lucknow website itself calls this an Executive MBA). EPGP at IIM Indore was already there.

    In fact, we have a bigger post to take this story forward by an IIM Indore alumnus who’s also been trying like hell to change the perception of the hard-earned degree that he and his ilk have slogged for.

    So rather than just listing down names of 1 year MBA programs in India, a better approach would be to offer a peek into these programs. So if you know anyone who’d like to write a guest post for us about programs that we haven’t covered as separate blog posts yet, ask them to contact us.

  18. Dear Sameer,
    Above discussion is refer to EMBA & MBA, i want ask something about part time MBA. I am working with an automobile company as a Purchase in Dubai with having Exp of 3 year plus. i got an admission to one of top Indian institute for PGDBM, Course is of 3 years. For this i have energy & willing to learn approach too to complete this PGDBM but since it is a part time have some below query, i required your guidance regarding this.
    1.If I do Part time 3 years PGDBM from reputed top 5 MBA institute will help me to get job in India, as after completing this course , i will left my Dubai job & i am planning to move to India permanently & since it is part time so no campus placement.
    2. If i did full time MBA course in india but got admission To institute like Pumba or welingkar or other B or B+ or college ranking after top 20 then is it better to do part time from premier institute like IIM or xlri.
    3. As certificate will be of Indian institute but classes attending from Dubai so that kind of reputation it will be consider in India or not.
    4. After doing this PGDBM is it possible to switch to marketing area.
    I hope you understand my scenario , waiting for your valuable feedback.

  19. Dear Mr.Tare,

    the above article does concern exactly what your are looking to pursue – an EMBA which as Sameer’s article explains is a part time mba not a one year mba which is actually a regular full time mba in a shorter duration.

  20. Hello Sameer,

    Thanks for the insightful information you provided above, and in your blog too!
    I too am looking for your opinion with regards to pursuing a 1 year MBA from good B Schools in India.

    Here is my background:

    IITB-BTech (materials), Princeton-PhD, 4.5 years in US as a scientist in technology licensing company primarily on tech and process development.

    Thinking of moving back to India but not so easy for a scientist with non-IT background.

    I am inclined to pursue a 1 year MBA program from a good B school in India, focusing primarily on technology and operational management and consulting, with an intention of either being able to get a mid-senior managerial level position in engineering companies or consulting companies.

    Is there something I am missing in assuming that I will be able to get to the target that I have put up for myself?

    Do companies look for exactly matching pre-MBA job profiles when they hire after MBAs?

    Please advice,
    Thanks a lot,

  21. @Dhiren: In all fairness, the Executive MBA and Part-time MBA programs (with more regular evening classes) are also two distinct programs with inherent differences (more confusion?). But we’ll save that discusion for another day.

    @Gaurav: Unlike a regular full-time MBA, all part-time variations (like an Executive MBA, Part-time MBA, Correspondence MBA, Or one of those new videoconferencing based Distance Learning programs) are all meant for folks who already have jobs. If they were able to achieve the same objectives as a full time MBA, nobody would take the risk of leaving their current jobs, stop their salaries and spend a fortune on their degrees.

    So again, be cautious about what you are getting into and what you are expecting from it. If you are hoping for a career change, geography change or anything that’s stretching the scope of the degree, chances are high that you might be disappointed.

    @Prashant: IITB + Princeton PhD! Nice work, buddy.

    The tech licensing work also has more prospects in the US than in India.

    So yeah, seems like you’ve put yourself into a completely different league now and our desi companies wouldn’t know what to do with someone with your profile.

    Unless you tell them how you can be a real asset to their team.

    >> Do companies look for exactly matching pre-MBA job profiles when they hire after MBAs?

    Not necessarily. But having a bigger overlap makes it easy to sell your story. Many MBA grads manage a career change – some more dramatic than the others. But you need to demonstrate tangible and proven skills that your new employer can use and not just the theory picked up in an MBA class.

    Btw, I’m keen to know why you are considering an Indian MBA. After a dhinchak Ivy League qualification, wouldn’t another generic but global degree be more beneficial?

  22. Thanks, Sameer.

    I am keeping the option of a global degree open also. My reasons for inclining more towards Indian institutions are:
    Unlike Indian, the global institutes don’t provide as much help in getting placement, so one has to make a jump again coming to India from outside.
    To make up for what I invest in a global degree, I may have to work outside of the US for at least a few years, before again looking for prospects in India.
    Not sure how much a degree from a global institute will be recognized in India.

    I am completely unaware of the changes after a generic global degree, to be a part of the Alumni Network and all. So I can only hypothesize.

    You have that kind of experience. What is your opinion?
    I copied the term ‘generic’ global degree, but am not exactly sure of the full meaning.


  23. Hello Sameer,
    A very happy new year to you..
    My brother is currently working in a top notch IT company for around 7 years. Now he wants to pursue Executive-MBA and is thinking about EPGP-EG from IIM Indore. I am also pursuing full time MBA, but I am not sure about the prospects of this program.
    Given that this program has started last year by GOI, Can you please tell me how useful an Executive PGP in e-Governance would be?
    My brother expects to move to a managerial position in an IT company after pursuing this program which is not possible in current scenario.

  24. @Prashant: By ‘generic’ I referring to a location neutral brand that would allow you the flexibility of working anywhere in the world. As a general rule of thumb, many top global brands are recognised in India, but many Indian brands don’t command the same brand recall globally.

    @Ankur: What saar…you have ‘flushed water on my doings’ (the hindi version sounds so much better ‘Kiye karaye par paani fer diya’). I spent a whole blog post trying to highlight the difference. Aisa zulm naa karo hum par, janaab 🙁

    EPGP-EG is not an Executive MBA. As the website explains, it is a ‘intensive one-year residential programme’.

    Alright, nomenclature related confusion aside, I’m personally not comfortable joining any program that might have a good brand name backing it, but there’s no track record yet. If I’m leaving my job to pursue a full-time course, I need some more assurance of what I’d be getting at the end of it.

    But that’s just the over-conservative me. If your brother sees value in it, ask him to do more research on the pros and cons of attending a new program and then take a call.

  25. Hi Sameer,
    Happy New Year 2013.
    I am a Mechanical Engineer, working in Oil & Gas sector from last 8 years. I have a total work ex of almost 9.5 years. I am planning to do an MBA for career change (as oil & gas sector in India stagnates at one level) and better salary. Please advise me whether i should go for 1 Year or 2 year MBA and from where. i.e. what options to consider.


  26. Hello Sameer,
    Happy new year!

    I have about 8 years of work ex in Market research (Marketing & BD) and have worked in 5 different companies (about 2 years in each company), no big brand names. My acads are not too good, 65% in 10th, 85% in 12th and 58% in bachelors. I work currently as a Marketing Manager. I don’t know if i can even afford to think of an MBA from some top notch institute. I don’t know if an IIM or some big institute would even consider my profile for an executive MBA. Is there any age limit for applying to these courses?. Please help.

  27. Hi Sameer,

    Wishing you a very happy new year. I have few queries related to executive MBA.

    I have toatl 9 yr of experience in IT industry . i am looking for better position/role in same company or outside. Obviously skill upgradation is first criteria. Please suggest which course is more beneficial.

    I heard courses organized by NIIt imperia also, so much it’s beneficial. There are few programs like “certificate in Software development and management”, “Advance program in strategy management from IIM calcutta.

    Please advice.

  28. Happy New year to all my beautiful peeples here!

    Smart and good-looking you already are. Hope the association with MBA Crystal Ball can make you richer too in the coming years.

    @Prasad: For your profile, you’d be an outlier for most 2 years programs. 1 year MBA in india or abroad might be a better fit. But it’ll depend on your pre-MBA profile and your specific post-MBA goals.

    For instance, if your skills and target industry have no potential in Asia, then no point in looking at schools like ISB, NUS, HKUST etc. And vice versa.

    When you are ready to start the application process, take up the MBA MAP Profile evaluation and application strategy development package. It’ll give you more clarity and a solid gameplan to proceed.

    @ Kareena: There are no formal age limits, but you will face an uphill battle if you choose the wrong schools. Read this related post for some more perspectives on the age aspects –> MBA after 30: Am I too old for a full-time bschool degree?.

    As far as funding is concerned, again it comes down to choosing the right schools. The top schools will be out of reach even if you can crack their tough application process. But if you can get a strong GMAT score and put in good applications to the decent (but not very competitive bschools), you could get an admit and scholarships to lighten the financial load. Another related post –> MBA Scholarships for Indian students.

    @ Manjeet: I’m not familiar with the NIIT course you are referring to. But I do know someone who recently completed the IIM Calcutta distance learning course. He found the new theory and fundes useful. Will he’ll be able to use it to negotiate a better designation or a fatter salary?

    He might. But more because his skills are in a niche industry and he’s a shrewd negotiator, so there’s not much competition. But I doubt that the added qualification will play a big role in the process.

  29. hi sameer sir,

    i’m doing my btech(IT) and is in final year. I am very much interested in doing mba bcoz i would like to change my tech job at some point . I am confused if i should directly go for full 2 year mba program after btech or should apply for mba after some experience in the industry. And if so what kind of course would be helpful and will mba at later stage will really help me change my field?

  30. Hi Sameer,

    My case is somewhat similar to Kareena, the profile goes like this:

    Exp: Brand Management / Marketing Communications – 6 Yrs, I started as MT in one of the TATA Group Company, switched 3 companies, currently working with 2nd largest telecom operator in India where I am handling marketing communications portfolio for one of the largest telecom circles in India. So out & out exp in Telecom only.

    Acads not good: 10th: 55%, 12th: 55%, Graduation Bsc – Comp Sc : 55%, (so a hatrick of 55% ‘s plus I am already an MBA (FT) from 2nd rung B-School, the exp I was counting was gained after my MBA (FT)).

    Since I couldn’t score (due to whatever reasons) in CAT I settled for a 2nd rung institute which incidentally / surprisingly helped me secure a decent job with Tata’s initially, but now I want to 1yr MBA from top institutes from India, top 3 reasons being 1. Knowledge 2. Carrer change 3. Higher salary.

    Which colleges are the best bets, if I score good in GMAT will they consider my profile ???

  31. Hi Sameer,
    Thanks indeed for your advice. Well, one of the other questions that i missed asking in my previous post was about the acads. My scores are not too good, 65% in 10th, 85% in 12th and 58% in bachelors. Will this score be considered while applying for an MBA. also, could you please suggest some bschools that i could look for? Thanks in advance

  32. Hi Sameer,
    First of all, wishing you a very very happy new year.

    I am planning to purspue EPGP at IIMB. I have almost 15 years experience in Automobile industry (Marketing – customer care). My main goal is to secure a non travelling high salary job in IT or Automobiles industry. I am also looking at adding communication skill and leadership qualities in me through this MBA program. Also, for any further growth (as i am at Senior Manager level currently) would need an MBA or would be an added advantage. I felt that EPGP or PGPX would suit my requirement.

    What is your advise? Is it a good move to leave job for an year and pusue MBA at IIM (using GMAT and courses like EPGP or PGPX)? What options I can look at in terms of placement post these programs? and is there any other better way to accelerate my career or move field like IT (say move to a company like cognizant or say SAP or say Google)?

    Pl guide as that would be of immense help to decide my b schools and other program options.
    Thank you in advance.


  33. Hi Sameer,

    I am working in an IT firm since past 2 yrs (which is my total exp.) , I just wanna change my industry will the EMBA help me in doing so if no then which MBA can do , & if so is there any chances of getting placements from the institute.
    Thanks in Advance

  34. Hi Puys
    I am an MCA passout from a good institute and having the 4.8 yrs of IT exp as software engineer.My age is now 29 yrs.I want to switch to some managerial role not technical. I dont like to do coding an all.I cant see what will I want to be in next 4-5 yrs with my current job. I cannot see any growth in IT industry if I dont like coding.
    Sometimes I think better I prepare for IT jobs in Govt. But dont know what be the growth and how I will survive in Govt job with little salary and only with job security and ‘peace’ wala 9 to 5 job..

    I want to do full time 2 yrs MBA from IIM or IIT.
    My profile is very bad also..
    10th 55% wb board,
    12th 54% wb board,
    Bsc IT 75.27 % SMU and
    MCA 6.9 CGPA from NIT.

    I want to know that If i score good in CAT 2013 can I able to make it to any good IIM/IIT/FMS with this profile.I am really not worried about placement and I Can manage of my own.Just want to work next 30 yrs in a profile where I can able make some sense as now not making any sense in coding.MBA is the only way which help me to switch to managerial role or if u have any other option plz guide me.

    AND also I heard about IIT DELHI ,IIT KGP 3 years part time MBA ,weekdays classes 6.30 to 9.30 , 4 days a week.
    I want to know that while staying in the my current job and pursuing part time MBA from any IIT ,will help me to advance my career not in my company but if after completion of course if I APPLY for other companies….or still it consider a 2 grade MBA degree…

    I really need your help ..

  35. Hi Sameer,

    It is nicely put up information, above. I really felt good reading them. For the past few days, I am thinking of perusing an executive MBA. In this context, if you provide your valuable feedback, it will be really helpful.

    I am a B.Tech (Computer Sc and Eng), having 8.2 years of experience in the field of software engineering. I have worked in one of the leading Indian IT Service Company for 5 years. I am currently working in one of world’s leading electronics manufacturing company for different software development projects. My current designation is ‘Technical Manager’. My age is 33 and I am married and also have a kid.
    All my experience is related different kinds of applications development for embedded devices, mobile phones, tablets etc. And I enjoy working with these technologies.
    I have started my career as a project engineer, then eventually I moved to senior software engineer, lead engineer and currently I am a technical manager, when I am leading multiple small teams for different software development projects.

    My expectation from future course of my career is as follows:
    1. I do want to continue my career in the companies, who are involved in Software and Technology.
    2. I clearly do not want to switch my career completely (e.g. from my current field of software to Banking or Finance etc).
    3. I do want to climb the ladder of success. I dream to become a delivery manager, general manager or higher.

    Having the current experience and expectation, is executive MBA good choice for me? Will M.Tech/ME be better in my scenario?


  36. @Arun: I’m an advocate of going for an MBA only after you have some work-ex. And sure, an MBA at a later stage can help you change your field if you have a logical story to go with it.

    @Mayur: When you say, ‘My case is somewhat similar to Kareena’, do you mean to say Saif has tattoo-ed your name on his other arm?
    The top options that offer a 1 year MBA in India (already listed in the main post above) should be good options to consider. They’ll consider your profile if you have a good GMAT score and a strong rationale for considering a second MBA from India (most prefer going abroad).

    @Kareena: 10th and 12th standard marks aren’t relevant, unless you had a big accomplishment that you’d like to highlight (like a merit list ranking). The bachelors degree would be important. Not having a first class could be a hurdle for the top schools. For the query about selecting business schools and the admissions strategy, you could consider our MBA MAP.

    @vishal: The only GMAT based 1 year MBA in India where you won’t stick out (due to the higher work experience) is PGPX. Laaving a job is always risky. So don’t assume a top MBA will make it easy to manage the transition.

    @Rahul: I suspect you are mixing up the terms here. For an Executive MBA (going by the true definition), your experience level is too less. Read the main post to see what I mean.

    @Sandip: Copy paste of your Pagalguy post (Oxford dictionary will have Puys soon)? I also see that you’ve sent an email with the exact same content. If you’d have spent some time checking out our site, you’d realise that we don’t focus on CAT based MBA programs at all.

    Which prompts me to assume this has been sent out to many more teams without first finding out if they qualified enough to give you advice.
    With all the confusion that you are probably going through, I understand your need to get a comforting answer. But I should also urge you to be careful with such an approach. With all the opinions you get (from teams who’d want to get you signed-up ASAP), you might be more confused later than you are now.

    @Siddhartha: An MTech at this stage may not help. Changing either your industry or role or country IS a career change. So a full-time MBA might help more than an Executive MBA.

  37. Hi Sameer

    I’m 2 years experienced in IT field.Am confused as to, opt for an executive MBA or go for a regular one.
    The reason behind my confusion is,theres a notion that executive MBA is much better in a scenario when you have enough experience as in 5 yrs and above,although many premiere institutes do provide you with executive mba with an experience of 1-2 years.But am not able to decide if it would be beneficiary!
    Also,please let me know whats the scope of executive MBA as in job market,would I be able to switch from my current technical field to management level,as easily as people who complete their regular MBA?
    Awaiting your reply!

  38. Hi Sameer,
    I have 3 years experience as a systems engineer in BHEL.
    Now looking for an MBA degree ( distance / corres ) .
    Kindly suggest me a suitable course.
    Will Executive MBA work for me.
    I am not looking for a job change though but for a PG which would assist me in further promotions.

  39. Hii Sameer

    Could you please share your view about one year part time GMPE from IIML , i am shortlisted
    but not confirmed about its career impact .. will it gives me a revenue hike or its just for knowledge …
    I wants to upgrade career growth rate .. salary/designation/etc..
    i have done BE/ME and i do have around 6 years of experience in industry and academics …

    i am really looking forward to you

    Many thanks

  40. Hi Sameer,
    I am working in a software company in software development side and it has been only a couple of months.I want to switch to managerial side in near future after having 2-3 yr work experience.I have completed B.E. in Electronics and communication engineering.Please guide me what are the MBA options for me and how can I prepare for them from now itself.Also give the prospects of Distance MBA.

    Waiting for your response…
    Thank you

  41. Hello,

    This is Kaustubh working as a Lead engineer in one of good MNC company in Oil and gas automation sector.I want to change my profile to get some management role in FMCG, Oil and Gas , any other techno oriented sector hence want to pursue an Executive MBA program, Similarly i am looking at it as Lucrative scope as well.

    I have total 7 years of experience which covers end to end project management cycles where hi involvement of customer relationship involved.
    In lay terms , i am engineering graduate looking for better management role.

    I have already completed MBA in Operations management, MBA in Finance and International business from some good institutes in india but in distance learning mode. I dont think so these will assign me any opportunity in management role. Hence looking for fulltime programs with one year duration.

    I am a family member hence can spare only one year towards it, hence kindly request you, how should i got further to get good management roles in challenging organization.

    Does Executive MBA program of duration of one year having placement opportunities, so that i can get some opportunity to garnish in Management role.

    Kindly clarify as this will avoid my lot of confusions and bring more clarity hence further.



  42. Though I’m thrilled to see the amount of interaction happening out here, I’m also just a little disappointed that the basic message of the post isn’t coming across.

    Or maybe in the enthusiasm to get queries addressed, folks don’t have the patience to read the main post. Many are still incorrectly referring to GMAT MBA programs as an ‘Executive MBA’.

    If I hear the incorrect reference a few more times, there’s a high probability that I’ll start referring to GMAT based programs as Executive MBA too. [melancholy music playing in the background to highlight how sad that would be]

    The other trend is that many of the queries here are deviating from the topic of the post. Instead it’s turning into a general profile evaluation (which we do on our forum in our free MBA profile evaluation thread).

    So in order to stop confusing the new readers who are landing on this post, we will not be accepting any further questions on this post.

    We’d be happy to continue the dialogue if you can head over to our GMAT & MBA forum and post on the relevant thread. Looking forward to your co-operation, peepals.

  43. @Zoravar: This is an off-topic query for this post, bro. You may want to check these articles Best Entrepreneurship MBA Programs in the top business schools and Best Entrepreneurship MBA Resouces and successful alumni startups

    @Deepak: It would be too late for CAT based MBA programs. Think about GMAT options.

    @Namika: None of the top schools with accept 2 yrs experience for an Executive MBA. Like many others who have commented here, I think you are mixing up the terminology. I’ve started wondering how many folks are actually reading the main blog post. Sigh!

    @dantri: I don’t any of the 3 options would really put you on a strong footing for a promotion, though an Executive MBA might be the closest. A full-time program is the best.

    @Himanshu: Conservatively, I’d say it’ll be primarily for the sake of knowledge. You might be expecting too much if you include salary / designation etc.

    @Awadesh: I’m not familiar with the quality of distance learning programs. After 2-3 years you can look at any of the full-time GMAT programs offere by any of the bschools listed in this bschool ranking list.

    @Kaustubh: You can surely consider 1 year full time GMAT based programs. There are many in Europe, Asia, Canada. And again let me clarify, these are NOT Executive MBA programs as you’ve referred to them.

  44. Hi Sameer,
    I am having 8.5+ yrs of exp in telecom domain. I am thinking to change my domain by completing executive MBA. My field is core technical in telecom.
    Kindly help to know from where i can complete my 1 yrs MBA so that it can help me to develop myself & increasing my carrier options.

  45. hi sameer,
    I have been working in Oil & Gas sector ( ONGC in particular ) for last 4 years @ Mumbai offshore as a Drilling Fluid Engineer. I have only field work experience.
    I want to continue in energy sector as a management executive, i do not want to continue in field .So i am planing to pursue MBA ( Full time or Executive ).
    Would you please suggest me which MBA programme will be suitable for me, full-time or executive?

  46. Hi Sameer
    Thanks for clarifying the Exec MBA vs Post Graduate Programs for execs!
    I have been working in a reputed IT company in India for around 10+ years now and am planning for executive MBA, while working for my current firm (I cannot take a break due to some financial reasons). My overall objective is honing skills, learning from peers, take senior positions within org, salary raise, etc. if possible, could you let me know the institutions who offer such a program. Or would you suggest a full time ex-MBA program? Thanks for your advise ~Jignesh

  47. Hi Sameer,

    Mum univ at their kalina campus has Garware institute of career development which imparts PG courses for MBA. They are 1 or 2 yr full time programs. You have any update on how the same are?

  48. Hi Sameer,

    I am Anmol Awadhwal working in Canon India since from past 3 years. total exp is about 15 years. Looking ahead to do the Exec MBA for the purpose of vertical growth in the same organization. My current base location is Pune. Please suggest me from where i should do this….?

    Thanks & Regards

    Anmol Awadhwal

  49. Hi Sameer,

    I have been working in the IT industry from 2011. I will be completing my 3yrs by Feb,2014. I am interested in doing an Exec – MBA(Full-Time) as I want a switch from all the coding thing going around and also a good hike in the salary is expected. I would be grateful if you could share your views on this and suggest some good institutes in india to pursue my MBA.

    I also considered the ICICI – NIIT University MBA Programme.

    Share your views.

  50. Hi Sameer

    I have a total work experience in IT of 5 years 10 months. Worked on Finance and HR domain. Was a developer all the 5+ years and now would like to have a transition from development to HR field. I have just started with an executive MBA from NMIMS( Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies – India),will this help me in getting a transition,growth and better career opportunities. Does this degree have a value in the market?


  51. Hi Sameer,

    I am Dy GM and CFO in state bank of India, with 26 years of experience, my age is 50+, want to do MBA for executives, the purpose is to to get a change in new PSBs and to get a fat salary, will it be helpful and where from to do it.

    Best Rgds.

  52. Sameer,
    Lovely Post that clarifies the Basic doubts . Sammer would youof any Exec MBA offering here in Bangalore which are focused on entrepreneurship

  53. Guys,

    The best judge whether any MBA will help your individual profile is:

    a) If you are unemployed: Ask your Senior who is employed in a similar job position of a company that you desire or if you do not have a senior or acquaintance to ask, ask your would be boss at a meeting or conference or trade show, what kind of profiles can get to work with him. It will flatter his or her ego, you gain some brownie points and good advice.

    b) If you are employed and thinking part time programs, ask your HR whether completion of that program will qualify you for a promotion or hike or new assignments or overseas positions etc. If you don’t want to ask your HR or do not want your HR to know, and are thinking job change, ask the HR of the prospective company you intend to gain entry.

    c) If you are employed and thinking full time programs: do the opportunity cost and ROI calculation. Ask the HR of the company where you intend to gain entry, about acceptance of your profile with ‘that MBA’ that you are planning to do…

    d) If you are a student: Do NOT think of MBA for executives. These are for experienced executives with significant work experience who can relate to what is being taught. Only Think of full time MBAs and plan for a bright future…

  54. A great post!! Helpful for all those, who basically looks for One year MBA and gets it confused it with Executive MBA.

    Thanks Sameer, it helped me too in ruling out the confusion.

  55. Hi Sameer,
    Under section:

    Students & Alumni from the best 1 year MBA programs in India
    Many current students at the top 1 year MBA programs in India and alumni are getting frustrated explaining to folks around them that they are associated with highly selective, well-respected and mainstream MBA programs that accept GMAT scores instead of CAT.

    Do you mean that 1 year full time MBA offered by IIMs are not as worth as they sound like. I have been preparing for GMAT all my nights. And I want to understand if I am heading in the right direction. As I had taken already enough Risks in life 🙂


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