F1GMAT's Newsletter - Subscribe

Get Post-MBA Trends, MBA Application Essay Tips & Funding Information in your Inbox. Select the MBA programs.
* indicates required
Interested MBA Programs *
Interested in *
*Easy Unsubscribe

IIMA vs ISB: 8 Key Differences that you should Know

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) was founded in 1967 by the government of India in collaboration with business visionaries. Today it has cult status among Indian B-school aspirants and has grown into an EQUIS-Accredited internationally recognized management institution. Indian School of Business (ISB) was founded by a group of eminent industrialists and academicians in association with Kellogg and Wharton. The first student intake was in 2001, and in just a decade, the school is now nipping at the heels of IIMA for the title of India’s best B-school in most international rankings.

Although Indian B-schools rankings do not really rate the AACSB-accredited ISB, students both in India and abroad have a fuzzy perception of how these two MBA behemoths compare with each other. Some say it is like comparing apples and oranges. While that is partially true, we have undertaken the challenging task of sizing them against each other.

Do note that in India, MBA degrees can only be given by universities. That is why B-Schools here offer management diplomas equivalent to an MBA, and both IIM and ISB call theirs – PGP or Post Graduate Program.

1) Course duration

The MBA program at ISB follows the European 1-year model whereas IIMA follows the US-style, 2-year MBA. Therefore, ISB demands a shorter career-break but IIMA requires a longer interruption of 2-years. Though ISB provides a minimum classroom contact of 680 hours, similar to US’ B-schools, IIMA’s course is obviously a more in-depth learning experience.

2) Class Profile

Nearly 60% of IIMA’s class of 2014 had 1 year or less of work experience with a massive 40% having no experience at all. Not surprisingly, more than 90% were aged between 21 and 25. The corresponding figures for ISB tell a different tale altogether. Among the class of 2014, 80% were aged between 25 and 30 with 2.7 to 7.5 years of experience. This proves that ISB is suited for experienced professionals who need a shorter more intensive  management education. As for IIMA, its longer, more extensive course is just right for candidates with less experience.

3) Admissions

IIMA is considered as the world’s toughest MBA program to get into with a mind-boggling acceptance rate of

5) Alumni network

IIMA was founded in 1967, and boasts of a vast alumni network of nearly 31,000 graduates. ISB is a much later entrant to the B-school scene and its B-school graduates have only totaled 3,500+. Where ISB claws back a bit of this disadvantage is in a slightly better international networking potential.

6) Post MBA location

ISB’s 574 graduates received 92 international offers - which represent 16% of the class. The corresponding stats for IIMA are 40 out of ....

7) Exchange programs & international tie-ups

IIMA has more exchange programs than ISB, with 50 leading B-schools partners but ISB has just... IIMA offers greater options for Europe and Asia and has an exchange program in South America while ISB has none there.

8) Course Fees

IIMA costs just Rs. 14,65,000 for its 2-year program. On the other hand, ISB charges .....

Value for money?

Now comes the tricky question – which is better value for money? That is hard to judge, considering that by the time an IIMA graduate starts working, the ISB graduate has already ....

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide (
To Find out More)

Download Comprehensive MBA Research Guide

"I attended three MBA Tours in US and Canada. I could just scratch the surface compared to what the guide has included. Thank you guys for the amazing book"

1. Recommended by Alumni from Top MBA Programs

2. Research Based on Data. Not Rhetoric.

3. Extensive Analysis on 19 Specializations: General Management, Finance, Consulting, Marketing, Strategy, Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Luxury Management, Information Systems, Hospitality Management, Accounting, Energy, Non-Profit, Wine, Sports, Sustainability, Leadership Development, Military & International.

4. Latest trends in MBA Salary

5. Steps to calculate return on investment (No Fancy Tools Required, Just Basic Math)

F1GMAT has created a Comprehensive MBA Research Guide that will help you choose the right MBA program.
Don't invest 1-Year and over $150,000 on an MBA even if the program is a top ranked one. Set Clear Goals before research. We will teach you how.

Download F1GMAT's MBA Research Guide