PGPMAX vs PGPpro vs ILPSE – Which is good for you?


It is absolutely hard to set aside the importance of trained managers who can be instrumental in driving an economy towards faster growth by making sound and strategic business decisions. Skilled senior managers are essential to capitalize on all the available resources to get the best in returns for their organizations.

And after a decade worth of work experience, with a significant stint at a managerial level, you may just be in the right position to accelerate your career trajectory to the top gun, while creating an environment of development in the organization you are associated with.

Perhaps, you may be even looking into taking your training to venture out into the world of entrepreneurship. Whether your goals are localized to your professional growth, or the more global organizational improvements, a professional advanced business administration training may just be the right seasoning needed in your future plans.

A mid-career management course is a perfect opportunity to rejuvenate your career, taking it a few rungs higher on your growth ladder. And unlike a full time MBA program, programs designed for working executives afford its patrons the flexibility of keeping their jobs, and earning a steady income, whilst pursuing the course that can parachute them into a better pay, a better role, more responsibility, and the all encompassing knowledge for success.

And the Indian economy needs such pathbreakers in senior management, pushing it further into the glory it deserves. Perhaps, that is the very reason that premier institutes like ISB and INSEAD now offer some of the best management education programmes catered to the wants of the domestic Indian corporate scene – The Post Graduate Programme in Management for Working Professionals (PGPpro) at ISB, The Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior Executives (PGPMAX) at ISB & INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives – India (ILPSE).

If you’re wondering if it’s IPLSE or ILPSIE, here’s some food for thought. ILPSE was originally called INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Indian Executives (ILPSIE). They probably dropped the reference to ‘Indian executives‘ to make the program attractive to a larger international audience. Just our guess.

Please note that PGPMAX and PGPpro are positioned as Executive MBA equivalent options (Global Executive MBA and Weekend EMBA to be specific), whereas ILPSE isn’t. So, it isn’t exactly a like-to-like comparison. However, we’re doing so on the request of many applicants who tend to club them together. Keep that aspect in mind before you make your choice.



All three programs are ranked among the best management programs for executives in India. And with INSEAD topping the charts in Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings, and ISB not too far out at position 27, the brand names alone provide enough mileage towards success, enough to reap its benefits by you, your children and your grandkids to come. And both have been creating an excellent learning platform for executive education in the world.

INSEAD, the older among the two, currently operates in three campuses – Europe, Asia and Abu Dhabi. Since the 1960s, well over 140,000 executives have attended INSEAD. ISB, established in 2001, has already made itself a formidable competitor among the top B-Schools in the world.

So, with the three world class options, for executives to pursue their advanced management qualifications, without a career break, what are the individual salient features, and key differences, that distinguish each program.

Differences between PGPpro, PGPMAX and ILPSE


Candidate Profile:

Aimed at working professionals in mid-level management.

Mid-Career rather than Senior Executives

Candidate Profile:

Aimed at candidates who are functional or business heads of organizations.

Candidate Profile:

Senior Indian Executives looking to boost their career or propel their organization to the next level.


Any Bachelor’s with some managerial experience.

5-12 years full time work experience.


More than 10 years of full time work experience with admitted average crossing 15-18 years. Seniority and quality of work experience is expected.


Candidates should have proven leadership potential, with a minimum of 10 years and average of 16 years, with significant time in management.

No GMAT required1 No GMAT required1 No GMAT required1
Program Period:

16 months.

Program Period:

15 months

Program Period:

1 year

Program Fees:

2018-19 program fee is INR 30,41,000 plus taxes.

Additional INR 1,00,000 plus in:

– Travel expenses to ISB Campuses & International Tickets/Visa

– Accessories like laptops and electronics.

Program Fees:

2018-19 program fee is INR 37,90,000 plus taxes.

Additional INR 3,00,000 to 6,00,000 in:

– Travel to ISB Campuses

– International Travel.

– Accommodation/travel during field trips.

– Accessories and Miscellaneous.

Program Fees:

INR 26,00,000 including teaching, academic material, accommodation except for Telepresence sessions, lunches and selected dinners.

Travel expenses extra.


Loan tie ups available.

No Sponsorship from Company is required.


Loan tie ups available.

No Sponsorship from Company is required.


Financing options available.

No Sponsorship from Company is required.

References and Letters:

Professional Evaluations from current and previous supervisors.


Letter of Financial support in case of company sponsorship.

References and Letters:

Letter of support from employer acknowledging your decision to pursue EMBA.


Letter of Financial support in case of company sponsorship.

References and Letters:

Two professional references.


Letter of Financial support in case of company sponsorship.

Placement and Job Search Support:

PGPPro helps students with identifying job goals and helps in job search.

For company sponsored candidates, no job search support is provided.

Placement and Job Search Support:

No placement provided to honor the support from current employers.

Placement and Job Search Support:

Job search facilities provided.


For company sponsored candidates, no job search support is provided.


Content here


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Class Schedules:

Alternate weekends in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi NCR.

Class Schedules:

Week long classes every six weeks at ISB Mohali or Hyderabad Campus.

Class Schedules:

ILPSE run by a local firm, Eruditus, in India.

Classes held in Singapore, France, India (Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai) and Telepresence (India, Singapore, UAE).

Time away from work:

15 working days is required, over all. 432 contact hours.

Program includes trips to Mohali/Hyderabad campuses and International Immersion.


Online component includes

Synchronous (Interactive with live online instructions) & Asynchronous (as per candidate convenience), depending on course and faculty.

Time away from work:

Classes held at ISB Mohali and Hyderabad campuses, every six weeks and additional time in International Immersion.


Total number of working days required is 62, excluding travel time. Requires 8-10 hours per week in course work preparation.

(Same number of contact hours as PGPPro)

Time away from work:

Schedules range from a single to maximum 5 day slots with about 35 days in face to face classes.

International exposure is included.

Tele-presence and preparation requires additional time.

1GMAT is not mandatory. However, if you have already taken the test before, you can submit the score for consideration.
All three being excellent choices, it is recommended that you bring your fine-tooth comb to research which one suits your needs the best. Also, be aware of what a part-time course can and cannot do for your career.

Here are some additional reading material for your education:

Good Luck!
Sources:1,2,3,4 | Image credit – ILPSIE

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


  1. vandan says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I am evaluating my suitability of the Exec MBA program from INSEAD ILPSIE Vs UCLA PGPX. Any pointers to this will be highly appreciated.

    Ps: I am at 10 years of experience in IT Consulting and have an international experience of over 3 yrs.


  2. Guri says:

    Hi Sameer sir,
    i hv 55% in BA. I want to do MBA from australia. M I eligible to get admission in australia if i get good score in GMAT.

  3. JATIN says:

    How can i get into INSEAD for MBA?
    I am currently in 2nd year of B.TECH Food Technology.
    I know french very well.

  4. Surender says:


    I am in desparate need of adding one the big colleges brand’s feather to my cap(you may laugh post having glance at my academics).
    Keeping in mind my pathetic academics
    10th 48%
    12th 69% commerce 50% Delhi University Correspondence

    Then 6 months Post Graduation Diploma in Banking and Financial Services from random institute but that helped me gaining enough knowledge and confidence to have entry level job in captive.

    Now, I am working as Asst. Manager (Team Leader- more of an IC role than people management)

    In total, I have gained 6.5 years of experience so far.

    Would you suggest me somethig that I can be capable of worth pursuing to have little more pace in my career and to have little good thing added in my resume from college/academics perspective.?

  5. Disha Shrivastava says:

    Hi Sameer,
    I have a Btech degree in Petroleum Engineering with 3 yrs of relevant technical experience. I am facing job insecurity problems given the worldwide downturn in the Oil & Gas industry. I am currently working and was contemplating on pursuing a management degree mainly for the purpose of switching industries. Is that a wise thing to do. Also is it a viable option to pursue an EMBA considering my “no managerial” work experience.

    Thanks in advance for your response.


  6. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Vandan: With 10 yrs of work experience, you could still try for some full-time 1 year programs. The experience and takeaways are very different.

    @Guri: Hmm, low grades. Check this article out:

    @Jatin: It’s good that you know French. But don’t rush into it when you aren’t ready. INSEAD applicants have several years of solid work experience. Focus on that in the next few years after graduation.

    @Surender: Executive MBA programs aren’t as stringent with their academic requirements. And you could get a good brand on your resume, if that’s what you want. But don’t expect it to transform your career all by itself. All that you’ve done so far in life will also matter when you are looking for new opportunities.

    @Disha: I assume you are referring to regular GMAT MBA programs (designed for folks with your experience), and not Executive MBA (meant for senior professionals). We’ve worked with several Oil and Gas professionals who’ve used the MBA to switch tracks. So viability isn’t the issue. However, if you’ve had no relevant experience earlier, it may get tough for you to get a job after graduating.

  7. Gayatri says:

    Hi Sameer. I’m a Chemical Engineer (worked with non-ferrous giants for 3 yrs) turned Banker (working with one of the largest pvt sector banks for 3.5 yrs). I still want to come and join isb pgp program. Is it a good idea as I’m already in middle management role earning good salary. I’m a bit confused between pgp and pgp Pro. Any insights!!!

  8. Ripul says:

    Hi, Any idea about advanced management programs in ISB for infrastructure, manufacturing and operations, healthcare and public policy?

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