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IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives MBAEx: Fees, eligibility, placements, application experience

Most searching for IIM Calcutta Executive MBA are actually interested in the IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives program.

IIMC renamed their one year MBA program from PGPEx to MBAEx.

[As we’re compelled to do each time we refer to full-time one-year MBA programs in India, we’ll clarify that this is not an Executive MBA from IIM Calcutta. Read this: Executive MBA in India vs MBA for Executives]

Assuming we’re clear on the terminology, IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives is a pretty solid program for professionals with experience.


IIM Calcutta (IIMC) has built a strong brand reputation in India over the years. IIMC’s one year full-time residential MBA for Executives Programme (MBAEx) is one of the very few top Indian MBA programs that has made its way into the prestigious FT (Financial Times) global MBA rankings. In 2021, it was ranked at 44 in the world.

Eligibility and GMAT score

The IIM MBA for Executives is suited for mid-career professionals with a minimum five years of work experience. The other eligibility criteria includes a GMAT score not older than 36 months from the application date. The average GMAT score is close to 700.


With a program fee is INR 27 lakhs and a one-year duration, it offers an excellent ROI compared to other 2- year and 1-year international MBA programs which would dig deep into your pockets.


The placement statistics for the MBAEx class of 2019-20 shows the highest salary of INR 77.60 lakhs and an average of INR 26.24 lakhs (average work experience of 8.75 years). 92% of the class had confirmed offers.

Application experience

To understand what kind of applicants consider this program and what it takes to get in, we invited Mayank Agrawal, a 35-year of seasoned technology professional to share his story.

He was looking for the best one year MBA with the best RoI to take his career to the next level. IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives was one of the programs on the business analyst’s list, along with international business schools.

IIM Calcutta MBA for Executives

My IIMC MBAEx Application Experience

by Mayank Agrawal

IIM Calcutta MBA Executive

As a technologist who has transitioned successfully into a Business Analyst role, I have worked at the intersection of business and technology in the financial domain for 11+ years.

In my latest role as Assistant Vice President at Citi (Pune), I was responsible for business analysis and implementation of changes in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application used by 300+ Citi Sales and Relationship executives worldwide to capture client deals and bids.

Also, I was leading stakeholder discussions on strategic changes to be implemented on the application to smoothen the user experience.

While working on requirements, I was deeply involved in making product roadmaps with Product Manager. I got a glimpse of the responsibilities of PM while interacting and working closely with the PM.

From liaising with engineering team to handling customer expectations, I was fascinated with the wide range of skills required to be a successful PM.

To achieve my transition into a product management role, I aim to supplement my current skillset with a better understanding of key business frameworks and product development concepts. I believe an MBA is the best way to accelerate this learning.

Though my work experience (11+) and age (35) were on the higher end of a usual average MBA cohort, I thought this would be my last chance to take a shot for the admission. I was targeting only 1-year program to minimize opportunity cost.

Considering my educational and professional background, IT-Male-Engineer, an over-represented pool of applicants, I always knew competition for getting an interview call would not be easy. I have to really put some extra efforts on my GMAT preparation and applications.

I had taken GMAT 3 years back but I knew that score would not be enough. So, I started GMAT preparation again with the new target score and timelines. I studied mainly from online resources available on various platforms such as GMAT Club.

After 3 months of preparation, I took the exam and got a score of 680 (Q48, V35). Though my target score was 700+, I do not want to spend more time on retake and thus decided to apply with this score and focus on essays and LORs.

I applied to few B schools in 2018, wrote essays on my own and got them reviewed from couple of friends.

However, I couldn’t get the desired results that year, with only 1 interview call.

This year I decided to take a professional help because I wanted to apply to some of the top international and domestic B schools. I just don’t want to repeat the same mistake I did in 2018.

I spoke to a friend of mine who got into one of the top B-schools of Europe, and he suggested me to take the help of MBA Crystal Ball (MCB).

I read few blog posts on MCB and was convinced that Sameer Kamat and his team would be able to provide me required consultations for my applications.

Without wasting any second, I contacted MCB and explained them my MBA goals & plans. After going through the entire process, I decided to take help on applications for 3 B-schools.

At this stage of my career, I do not want to go for a 2-year MBA program due to high opportunity cost, so I restricted my options to 1-year full time program only.

Since I would be staying with my wife and daughter, I also had to consider the overall living cost along with tuition fees.

Also, I wanted to attend a B school whose cohort’s average work experience would be closer to my work ex so that I could get right mix of experienced professionals in the classroom.

School selection was an important first step for me, so I shared my criteria and couple of school names to MCB team and seek their opinion. Manish (MG) understood my profile in detail and suggested few other B schools that would be best fit for my profile (IMD, CJBS, IIMC, IIMB, ISB).

In fact, IIMC was not my first choice to start with, but it became my favourite one till the end of the process. I spent time on researching these B schools and spoke to current and past students to understand key features of the program. E.g. what exactly happens in Live Projects at IIMC.

I used this knowledge in my applications to explain why I am best fit for certain program. Finally, I decided to apply to IIMC, IIMA, IIMB, CJBS, Cass and ISB.

I got a chance to work with Vibhav on my applications. Right from the first interaction, I could connect with Vibhav’s way of working and his thought process.

By asking key questions around my projects and work experience, Vibhav made me think deeper on the kind of work I did and the impact those projects made on my personality. I couldn’t have visualized these aspects of my personalities on my own.

For example, I had experience of managing teams from cross-cultural backgrounds. Vibhav asked me to retrospect challenges that I faced while dealing with team members from diverse experiences and how did I overcome those challenges.

Despite coming from common pool of applicants, I could clearly showcase my strengths in the applications with the help of these discussions, which I believed made the difference.

Vibhav has a vast experience as Product Manager and his insight helped me to evaluate whether I can pursue my career into Product Management.

He shared so many nuances around PM role that I wasn’t aware.

This benefitted me while preparing storyline for all the applications. Using his insights, I could link my past work experience with the future aspirations, and most importantly how an MBA would help me to make that transition.

After endless hours of drafting and polishing essays and resumes, I finally submitted applications in R2 & R3.

I was confident of at least 1 interview call, but to my surprise, I got the interview calls from 3 B-Schools and I was totally delighted, after all it is one step closer to the admit.

In 2018, I couldn’t convert an interview of a dream college, so lessons learnt from it, I don’t want to keep any stone unturned this time.

So, I enrolled for Interview practise with MCB and Vibhav helped me in sharpening my answers for interview.

IIM Calcutta, IIM Ahmedabad and Cass Business school (City, University of London) are the 3 interviews lined up for me.

All the interviews were taken by professors of respective colleges.

IIMC and IIMA interviews were mainly on current affairs, my current roles, and how this
program would benefit me in achieving my future aspirations.

Cass MBA interview was more about knowing each other well. I think professor was looking for clear thought process and if it aligns with the program.

I was thrilled to get final admits from IIMC and Cass, City-University of London, however I was waitlisted at IIMA.

I thought writing essays is the most difficult part of the application but it turned out that deciding 1 school between 2 options is in fact more difficult one.

Apart from alumni from these B schools, I spoke to Vibhav and Sameer in making an informed decision. Their insight helped me evaluate few more parameters that I did not pay attention to earlier.

The most important advice that Sameer gave me was not to speak to too many people, as it would only add to the confusion.

But I did not listen to it 🙂. Eventually, I got confused as he warned me.

Then I sat down with my wife with all the collated points for ultimate evaluation and made the final decision to join IIMC.

I regret that I did not contact MBA Crystal Ball 3 years back when I attempted applications on my own, but I am glad I took the right decision this year.

I firmly believe that key insights and candid suggestions of MCB helped me to come up with the best possible applications for all the colleges that I applied to.

When I compared my essays of 2018 and now, I could easily see the difference. The conversations and email exchanges made me to introspect and become self-aware.

In the hindsight, the whole application experience not only benefitted me to secure an MBA admit from top B school in India, but helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses.

Managing family, coping work, writing GMAT and drafting essays all in parallel was not easy by any means.

I never imagined that I could do it, but that’s the best part of this process. It brings best out of you and you literally discover yourself in the journey.

After hard work of close to 1 year, I am elated now because I am pursuing my long-time dream of an MBA.

At the age of 35 – with a settled family, decent pay check – it was not an easy decision to go for an MBA.

However, I was looking at the long-term goals and benefit of an MBA in my remaining years of career.

For mid-senior professionals who haven’t done MBA already, I suggest irrespective of whether you would go for an MBA or not, you should take time to understand what is taught in the program, speak to people with similar profiles who have done MBA.

This might help you decide whether an MBA is the right program for meeting your career aspirations.

Also read:
How I got into IIMA, IIMB and IIMC

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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.

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