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INSEAD admit with scholarship for Indian applicant

When applicants ask us how many schools they should apply to, we suggest having enough on the list to manage the quality (of each application) as well as the risk (of not getting into their top choice). Most candidates follow our advice, but occasionally we come across a few who’ve pretty much made up their minds about the way ahead.

Anjali Grover (name changed) was completely smitten by one school, and she wasn’t willing to look at any other backup option. That raised the stakes (and expectation levels) to a different level, since this MBA program has been ranked as the best in the world by Financial times this year.

INSEAD admit with scholarship

by Anjali Grover

Born and bred in Chandigarh, I completed my B.E. in Civil Engineering. Post graduation, I started my career with a research and analytics firm, which gave me hands-on experience in analysing market landscapes for large businesses and finding data-driven solutions aimed at improving efficiencies.

In 2012, I moved to Romania to continue my assignment. While my journey with Evalueserve was a great learning experience, I realized that to move to the next level, it is imperative to add new skills and widen my network. Hence, I decided to pursue an MBA from INSEAD.


I had a few criteria for my school selection:

a) a top ranked school
b) a one-year MBA.

However, in the end it was all about the fit for me – culturally and professionally, INSEAD rang a bell close to home.

With a strong academic record, a GMAT of 720, I knew I had a decent shot for an admit. Initially, I did not think of professional help, as most of them appear to be money-minting machines. Since I was only applying to one school and that was THE school for me, I wanted to leave no stone unturned.

I had been introduced to Sameer Kamat from MBA Crystal Ball a few years back through an MBA forum (I had also read his book – Beyond the MBA Hype, back then). He came across as an enthu cutlet who can talk to you both as a friend and a mentor.

You will instantly know that he is genuinely interested to help you figure out next steps in your career, which may or may not be an MBA. Needless to say, the conversation is far from being a sales pitch.

This time when I reached out to Sameer, he connected me to MG so I can decide how comfortable I am with my him as my potential consultant (I don’t know if any of the other consultants do this!).

One phone conversation later, I knew I wanted to leverage MG for my application. MG’s critique of my essays really helped me to understand how my essays would appear to a third person. He helped me put my best foot forward with a well-rounded application.

INSEAD application results

With God’s grace, not only did I make it to INSEAD, I also received two financial grants (MBA scholarships) from the school!

In my opinion, an MBA application is your life’s story in a nutshell, and thus the application is a test of storytelling. No one can change your story, but good MBA application consultants can help you tell it in a way that no one else can tell it better.

Most of the top-ranked schools have some commonalities i.e. hubs of type-A personalities, most of whom were super achievers in their past life and will write great success stories post MBA.

While INSEAD also boasts of such accolades, its variegated student set, and spirit of collaboration, make it very different from other top ranked schools.

The treasure of knowledge that comes with a very culturally diverse class is overwhelming and fulfilling at the same time. It was a totally life changing experience, which I am grateful to have had.`

– Anjali

Read these related stories:
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INSEAD MBA diversity scholarship with an average GMAT score of 700 in Round 2
1 Year MBA Abroad (INSEAD) vs 2 Year MBA in India (IIM)
INSEAD Singapore vs MBA in India, USA and France
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Best MBA consultant for INSEAD essays

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Manish Gupta
About Manish Gupta
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Email. Or follow on Linkedin, Facebook.

24 thoughts on “INSEAD admit with scholarship for Indian applicant”

  1. I have 10 years of work ex with Bharat Petroleum. BE mechanical from a very avg college and very limited exposure on job (typically a case in PSU- doing the same job from last ten year) . I am also short on fund to finance 50-60 lacs for an MBA. My field of interest is in academics. (I joined BPCL as I desperately needed to support family, couldn’t afford a PG after grad.) I want to do MS or MBA @ total cost of around 25 lacs.plz suggest will I be eligible for MS from Canada or US with 10 year work ex. and is it a good option ?

    • Rakesh,

      Most good schools in US/Canada have folks in 5-6 years average experience range. There are a few good programs you can check such as Sloan Fellows and Stan MSx. However, it would be impossible at the cost point you have unless you get some financial aid. I would not recommend MS in general – better suited for those with 0-2 years of experience ideally.

  2. Hi MG,

    My GMAT score is 600 (q 44 ; v 28) . I have 7 years of experience in IT and I am working currently with PWC.
    10th ~ 78, 12th ~ 67 , BTech ~ 66 .
    Extra Curricular – I am a State level Gymnast. I have won national award in painting. I am a professional model and have done some very good assignments.
    I also operate a food chain , as my side thing. I have decent record of awards and certificates related to above.
    I am interested into marketing profile and want to target some good B- school in Australia. My plan is to study and settle in Australia.
    Kindly suggest me some B- schools to apply.

  3. Hey buddy congratulations
    But its just that does a brand name of university as is in india like IIMs FMS n others they really make a difference when u get a job like they ask you about your college n then provide you with the package…so my question here arises does a brand of universities also the same in foreign countries?

  4. Hi MG,
    I wanted to know if someone has a target country like Netherlands so won’t rotterdamn be more valuable than INSEAD for them in order to settle in Netherlands.

    • Abhinav,

      The answer to this is pretty subjective depending on specific industry/sector. In general, a global brand such as INSEAD is acceptable universally. But local grads may be better entrenched in some industries which may make this easier from a process and pull perspective. So the answer is not a clear yes and no really.

  5. MG Bhai,

    Rishabh here.We spoke earlier via e-mail, an year ago, when you resolved a query of mine. I also had the opportunity to speak to Sameer bhai about his book. Nevertheless, I have a quick question, will be thankful if you can address it. Similar to the candidate in the above article I too am focused on only one B school- INSEAD. Just wanted to know how significant International Experience plays a role in getting admission into INSEAD keeping other factors aside. Asking this specifically because my whole experience of 4 years has been in working in startups in India and I don’t see any scope in the next 1 to 2 years to work in an International environment as well. Ideally i would want to apply in the next 1 to 2 years to INSEAD. So, based on your answer I can set my realistic expectations about getting to INSEAD.

    PS: I am not just dumping this question on you. I did some extensive research online but it hasn’t given me any clear insight on this topic. So, taking your help. Just thought of giving you a heads up. Thank you for your time 🙂

  6. Hey
    I’m Persuing my BTech at SRM UNIVERSITY.And I have got few arrears to clear due to getting chicken pox while semester exams,would top b-schools consider my application?
    I have no work experience but I’m the member of the core organising committee of my university and my director of engineering and technology with few other highly qualified faculty are ready to give me a LOR.
    Due you thing I can get into a good university.

  7. hi there,
    this is Dr. Romesh. I am an Orthopaedic Surgeon by profession and now look to change my field by doing MBA. I got through my MBBS in 2004 and completed Orthopaedics residency in 2009. Currently I have my own clinic and do a fair bit of freelancing. So the post MBBS experience is around 11 years while post PG its around 7.5 years. I have always been actively involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, with umpteen medals and certificates in my kitty. I have been running half marathons for last 4 years with PR of 2 hr 2 min.
    Now, the questions that bother me are:1. Is it worthwhile doing an MBA at this stage of life when you are all set into your profession? 2. if the answer is Yes, Which is the best B-school to target considering my profile? 3. I plan to settle abroad, Is it better to do MBA from a foreign university Or The prospects are actually same with Indian Universities also? 4.

  8. Dear Manish

    I am an oil and gas professional with 13 years (all in India). To accelerate my career growth should i go for a one year MBA (like PGPX IIMA) or EMBA.


    Anjum Ahmad Gilani

  9. Hi Manish, Ayush this side, I am an oil and gas professional and have been working in oil refinery for past 3 years. I will be applying for MBA programmes in 2018 and wanted to ask you specifically something about INSEAD. Since my exposure has been in INDIA only, just to diversify my profile, should I try a summer school like LSE or Harvard, which gives me some kind of international exposure as well.

    • Ayush,

      International experience is great but don’t do it just for an application and never do it at the cost of some compromise in the career. If those are not the guiding factors, sure do the summer school thing. And share with our blog readers too as to what kind of programs you are exploring.

  10. Very interesting story MG.
    I am in a dilemma sort and hence posting this ques here. I have not yet taken GMAT but confident to achieve near acceptable score (710+).
    Down side is I would have over 10 years of work experience coming July. I can apply to round 4 of admission process at INSEAD for Jan’18 intake or round 1 for Sep 18 intake. As INSEAD “prefers” to pick up brains with exp range upto 10 years, which of the choices provides better chances of an admit offer?
    Also suggest, does it help to have 750+ in GMAT, I do have a diverse experience and some good initiatives to list on application.

  11. Hi, I would like to know if I would be considered a good fit at INSEAD or other top B-school.

    I am 31, female from Mumbai with excellent academics and 10 years of diverse work exp; 8 of it with a Fortune 100 company. I am a commerce graduate, with keen interest and aptitude in languages; studied and excelled in German language and received a scholarship from Govt. of Germany for outstanding exam score. Certified translator from a German University. Initial 2 years work-ex in IT leveraging German language, followed by an intra-preneural management role in starting up the shared services of an American Fortune 100 FMCG in Mumbai. Therafter, leadership roles in the same company — business process transitions, people and operations management in engineering services, end-to-end project management of new food products commercialization. I have several awards and achievements during this tenure. In my freetime, I have been deeply involved in Yoga and Natural Healing Therapies. I quit my corporate job in Dec 2016 and founded a company that offers a natural form of healing therapy as a service. This period has offered much personal learning and I have a renewed clarity and vision for my life and career. I would like to pursue An MBA at this stage to hone my personal and business leadership, gain a global network and learn from the experiences of my faculty, classmates and industry experts.

    Thank you in advance for your guidance whether I would be considered a good fit at a top B-school.

    Best regards,

    • The overall profile contours looks good there. The goals you have mentioned will be served ‘during’ the MBA – you have to also think about what after; adcoms would want to know that clearly.

      Given the age/experience range, you should target programs that would be a good fit. So you can check IMD/Judge and also specialized programs such as Sloan Fellows/Stan MSx/LBS Fellows.

  12. Hi Sir,

    I have three questions here. I have 3 years of Sales Experience in Media and a tech company.
    1. I want to get into consulting, is it required to have MBA from top notch Universities?
    2. If I want to get into consulting which college would be best?
    3. Prior experience is into sales and marketing does it affect my entry into consulting?

  13. Consulting firms recruit candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including yours. While lateral entry is possible, they do value a top MBA brand and makes the transition much easier.

    Nearly all top MBA schools have healthy placements in consulting.


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