Western India has four of India's Top 10 and nine of the nation's Top 20 B-schools, according to the second Hindustan Times Best B-schools in India Survey, which was carried out in collaboration with TNS India.
The north is next best; it has two of India's top 10 and five of
its Top 20 business schools. The south and east each have two institutes in the first category and three in the second.
You can slice the data differently, but you'll still come to largely the same conclusion — that western India has emerged as the cradle of Indian management studies. Yes, the south has two of the Top five B-schools, but that's where its bragging rights end.
The 10th ranked institute south of the Vindhyas is the Tiruchirapally-based BIM. Its overall rank: 58th. By contrast, its counterpart in the west, Symbiosis SCMHR, clocks in at a highly respectable 25th rank overall.
The rest of the survey has few surprises – the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, remains the numero uno B-school in the country, followed closely by IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Calcutta.
The only changes in the Top 10: Two Mumbai institutes, S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research and Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies clocked in at Nos 9 and 10, respectively, in place of DMS and IIFT, both of Delhi. This, in a way, confirms the conclusion about the west emerging as the cradle of management education in India.
Now for the really good news: Placement and salary figures show that the good times are back. High paying jobs have returned to the campuses, as have the blue-chip recruiters — McKinsey & Co., Booz Allen, P&G, HUL and ITC, among others.
But the most interesting findings of this survey remain the regional divide.
The east lags behind most in this regard. Once you're done with the likes of IIM-Calcutta, XLRI, Jamshedpur and XIM, Bhubaneswar, the standard begins to fall off rather precipitously. Numbers 6, 7 and 8 in that region correspond to all-India composite ranks of 68, 69 and 70, respectively. In fact, the east is the only region for which this survey could not come up with a top 10 list. Reason: Only eight institutes from the region made it to the universe of 72 top B-schools, according to the 2009 HT Best B-schools in India Survey.
Rather sad for a region, which spawned India's first management school, All India Institute of Social Welfare and Management, which later became IISWBM.
Even if there wasn't much change in the composition of the Top 10 institutes, the survey found that several others, ranked slightly lower, had improved their rankings quite dramatically.
Mumbai's L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management, for example, jumped from rank 43 in last year's Hindustan Times Best B-schools in India Survey to rank 16 this year, an improvement of 27 places.
We chose five such institutes at random to find out how they did it — the only caveat: they must have improved their rankings by at least five places.
These — Narsee Monjee, SIBM, XIME and IIM-Khozikode, apart from Welingkar — have been profiled in a separate section starting from Page 7. And three of these five institutes are — you guessed it — located in western India.
Incidentally, have you ever wondered why the IIMs, which are ranked so high in Indian surveys, seldom show up in global ones?
Apparently, it's because UK and US publications, which come out with the most prestigious global lists of Top B-schools, rate only those that are accredited to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) — a universe comprising less than 5 per cent of the world's business schools.
Now, IIM-C is eyeing such an accreditation. "This will make our students more coveted in the international job market as well as attract more foreign students," said Sougata Ray, dean and professor in-charge of IIM-C's students exchange programme.
The institute is the first IIM to target this accreditation. Once IIM-C, and then, maybe, other IIMs get on board the AACSB, they should start showing up on global lists, adding yet more shine to the IIM brand.