A student seeking my advice on which MBA institute should he join said “Sir, if I were your nephew then after considering all factors which out of these three institutes would you recommend?”

There is always a dilemma when it comes to choosing an MBA institute because a wrong choice of institute could very easily lead to a poor career growth or waste of money or both. Unfortunately, most rankings do not consider the student’s point of view and have a low weight for one of the most important criteria – the placements.

To my mind the most important measure of the worth of a B School is its placement record and hence my preference for an institute is determined primarily by the placements. Placements refer to not only the average/median salary but also include the difficult to quantify factors like the reputation, quality of opportunities and the kind of companies that visit the institute. Secondly, with most of the good institutes charging a fee of over Rs 12 lakh for the MBA program, the cost of doing an MBA is a factor that cannot be ignored.

Between similarly placed MBA institutes the location becomes the tie breaker. I also believe that all programs in an institute are not at the same level and hence I have a program-wise order of preference and not institute-wise.

So dear nephews/nieces, my order of preference of over 150 MBA programs is given in the table below. Please note that this should not be misunderstood as a ranking of MBA institutes/programs.

The institutes/programs of different levels are placed in different clusters and within a cluster the ones on top are preferred over the lower ones. However, institutes within 2-3 places of each other are at par and you could choose any of them.

For the institutes in Cluster 6 it might be useful to prefer an institute in your state/region as the overall cost would be lower and being from the region could be helpful during placements. For example, if you are from West Bengal then IISWBM is likely to be a better option than IBS Hyderabad.

Finally, do not rely only on this table, do check the other sources (especially current and past students) as well and take an informed decision looking at all factors that are important for you. This table has around 150+ institutes/programs and there are many good institutes that I am not aware of.

Hence for institutes not in this list (also for Cluster 6 institutes) a campus visit along with interaction with current students are recommended before the final decision.

It is worth noting that Institutes in the first few clusters have been ranked based on a few more parameters.

While one really cannot differentiate between IIM A, B and C. IIM A tops the list based on reputation and C comes in second place since its fees is the lowest amongst the three.

FMS is in the top 5 in the list because of the ROI. JBIMS is a little lower since there is reservation for candidates from Maharashtra.

TISS is a little lower in the list but that’s mostly because it is a specialized program. A general management program is preferred (over specialized programs) as it allows you to choose your area of specialization after studying all subjects in the first year.

However, if you are interested in that stream then it would rank higher for you. For e.g. if you are looking for a specialization in HR then XLRI, TISS and IIM K would be your preferences.

 Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 1

Undoubtedly, like every year IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Bengaluru acquire the top three positions in best B- schools’ rankings respectively. With the best placement records, great reputation and endless opportunities these institutes stand as crème de la crème institutes. FMS Delhi, IIM Lucknow and XLRI are all equally good and one can choose either of these based on one’s specific requirements. If you are a candidate with over 3 years of work experience then you should be looking at ISB Hyderabad which offers a one-year course and accepts GMAT scores for admission. FMS, TISS and JBIMS stand out in terms of excellent Return on Investment (ROI) due to their very low fee and excellent placements.


1. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) Ahmedabad PGP
2. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-C) Kolkata PGDM
3. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-B) Bengaluru PGP
4. Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) – Delhi University New Delhi MBA
5. Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad PGP
6. Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur HRM
7. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-L) Lucknow PGPM
8. Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur BM
9. Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) Mumbai MMS
10. Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon PGPM
11. SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) Mumbai PGDM
12. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai MA HRM LR

 Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 2

Many other IIMs and non-IIM colleges are part of cluster 2. This cluster shows that some non-IIM institutes make their mark as better B-schools than most of the IIM colleges in terms of growth, learning and placements. IIFT Kolkata is also listed in cluster 2 along with IIFT Delhi because that they have common placements and hence there is no disparity among the two institutes. IIML ABM is preferred over IIMA FABM because while IIML does not differentiate between ABM and PGP in terms of placement opportunities, IIMA has a separate placement process for PGP and FABM. Most interesting is National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) renowned for its operations courses making its way in cluster 2.

* same ranking for the two institutes because of the common placements and almost the same set of faculty teaching at both campuses.

13. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-K) Kozhikode PGP
14. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-I) Indore PGPM
15*. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) New Delhi MBA
15*. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Kolkata MBA
16. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-L) Lucknow ABM
17. Indian Institute of Management Shillong Shillong PGPM
18. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay – SJSOM Mumbai M. MANAGEMENT
19. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) Ahmedabad FABM
20. National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai PGDIM
21. Indian Institute of Technology Delhi – DMS New Delhi MBA

Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 3

The new IIMs feature in this cluster. IIM Ranchi is seen to be gearing up as the HRM program by IIM Ranchi has been appreciated by the industry. IIM Udaipur has done exceedingly well in the last one year in building its reputation as a good B-school among the new IIMs. Its AACSB accreditation will helps its cause.

B-schools such as MICA and IRMA that offer specialized programs also find their spot in this cluster. It must be understood that in their specialization, these two B-schools are the best in the country. For example, MICA is regarded as one of the top most B-schools in country for its Marketing and Advertising program. NMIMS should be looked up for finance while SIBM for marketing and HR.

For candidates with over 2 years of work experience Great Lakes Chennai 1 year program (PGPM) can be considered over others as it has excellent industry recognition, but it is not approved by AICTE as PGDM hence those looking for further studies or Government/PSU jobs should also enroll for distance learning MBA from IGNOU or Annamalai University else they would be considered as “graduates” and not “post graduates” in India. In this cluster the IITs can be preferred over the others due to their low fee and good placements.


*same ranking for the three institutes as the placements are at par and all three have similar location benefits and are at parity with each other.

22. Indian Institute of Management Ranchi Ranchi PGDM
23. Indian Institute of Management Udaipur Udaipur PGP
24. Indian Institute of Management Trichy Trichy PGPM
25*. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) Pune MBA
25*. Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD (SCMHRD) Pune MBA
25*. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Mumbai Core
26. Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon PGPM HRM
27. Indian Institute of Management Raipur Raipur PGP
28. Indian Institute of Management Rohtak Rohtak PGP
29. Indian Institute of Management Kashipur Kashipur PGP
30. Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA) Ahmedabad PGDM-C
31. Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur Global MBA
32. Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad PGDM
33. Indian Institute of Management Ranchi Ranchi PGDHRM
34. International Management Institute (IMI) Delhi PGDM
35. Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur – VGSOM Kharagpur MBA
36. Institute of Rural Management (IRMA) Anand (Gujarat) PGPRM
37. Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Chennai PGPM
38. Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB) Bhubaneshwar MBA BM
39. Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE) Mumbai PGDBM
40. Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon PGPM IM
41. Indian Institute of Technology Madras – DMS Chennai MBA

 Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 4

The highlights of this cluster are B-schools like IMI Delhi, XIMB, KJ Somaiya, TAPMI which are ranked on the basis of quality opportunities and location. These colleges are equally good based on their past records. In terms of ROI the best institutes in this cluster are MFC, DU and MSc Finance JBIMS followed by NITIE and the IITs.
42. T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) Manipal PGDM
43. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-V) Vishakhapatnam PGP
44. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-N) Nagpur PGP
45. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-Amritsar) Amritsar PGP
46. Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur – DMS Kanpur MBA
47. Masters in International Business (MIB) Delhi School of Economics DU Delhi MIB
48. Master of Human Resource and Organisational Development (MHROD) Delhi School of Economics DU Delhi MHROD
49. Master of Finance & Control (MFC), DU Delhi MBA Fin
50. Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies Mumbai MSc Finance
51.Indian Institute of Management (IIM-S) Sirmaur PGP
52.Indian Institute of Management (IIM-J) Jammu PGP
53. National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai PGDISEM
54. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru M.Mmgt (Tech Mgmt& Biz Analytics)
55. Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee – DMS Roorkee MBA
56. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies


Mumbai MBA HR
57. Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB) Bhubaneshwar MBA HRM
58. Indian Institute of Management (IIM-L) Lucknow (Noida) SM
59. Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) Pune MBA IB
60. K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR) Mumbai PGDM, IB, FM
61. Goa Institute of Management (GIM) Goa PGDM
62. Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM) Tiruchirapally MBA
63. Master of Business Economics (MBE), Department of Business Economics, DU Delhi MBE
64. Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai PGDM
65. FORE School of Management New Delhi PGDM, IB

Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 5

Apart from the ones mentioned above, even other colleges are not far behind. Many aspirants who are unable to crack CAT with good score can definitely think of taking up any of these colleges. The final choice is made based on preferences and the requirements of the candidate. Also, Bennett & Coleman Group’s Benenett University finds its way in this cluster right in the first year of its inception. This is majorly because for its first batch, Bennett had assured a package of at least 7.5 LPA, for every student, at any of the companies of the Times Group. This kind of a placement guarantee helps it in getting to Cluster 5.
66. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Bengaluru PGDM
67. BITS Pilani, Department of Management Pilani MBA
68. Delhi School of Management – Delhi Technological University (DTU) Delhi MBA
69. Nirma University – Institute of Management (IMNU) Ahmedabad MBA
70. Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (LBS) Delhi PGDM, Finance
71. Institute of Financial Management & Research (IFMR) Chennai PGDM, PGDM-WE
72. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) Bengaluru MBA
73. Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM) NASIK MBA Ops
74. International Management Institute (IMI) Delhi PGDHRM
75. Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management (SITM) Pune MBA
76. Bennett University Greater Noida MBA
77. Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS) Pune MBA
78. Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Chennai PGDM
79. Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication (SIMC) Pune MBA CM
80. ITM Mumbai PGDM
81. TAPMI School of Business, Manipal University Jaipur MBA
82. UPES Dehradun MBA
83. Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) Bhopal PGDFM
84. Faculty of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University (FMS BHU) Varanasi MBA MBA IB
85. IFIM Business School Bengaluru PGDM
86. Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Gurgaon PGPM 1 year
87. IILM University Gurgaon PGDM
88. Vanguard Business School  Bengaluru MBA
89. University Business School (UBS) Chandigarh MBA
90. PUMBA (University of Pune) Pune MMS

 Top MBA Colleges: Cluster 6

91. International Management Institute (IMI) Kolkata PGDM
92. Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad DCP
93. International Management Institute (IMI) Delhi PGDM B&I
94. GD Goenka University Gurgaon MBA
95. Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University Gandhinagar MBA
96. Nirma Ahmedabad MBA
97. Woxsen School of Business Hyderabad PGDM
98. National Institute of Bank Management Pune PGDM B & FS
99. Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship (XIME) Bengaluru PGDM
100. Welingkar Institute of Management Mumbai MMS, PGDM
101. Management Development Institute (MDI) Murshidabad PGP
102. Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Hyderabad PGDM
103. Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIM Tech) Noida PGDM/PGDM (International Business)
104. International School of Business & Research Bangalore MBA/PGDM
105. SDM Institute for Management Development (SDMIMD) Mysore PGDM
106. Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Hyderabad PGDM
107. Institute of Management and Technology IMT – Nagpur Nagpur PGDM
108. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management- Hyderabad Hyderabad MBA
109. Universal Business School Karjat MBA
110. Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS) Ranchi PM
111. Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD (SCMHRD) Pune MBA-IM
112. Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) Pune MBA AB, MBA E&E
113. K.J.Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (SIMSR) Mumbai PGDM – Retail Management
114. Shri Ram College of Commerce Global Business Operations (SRCC GBO), DU Delhi GBO
115. Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Gurgaon PGPME
116. BML Munjal University Gurgaon MBA
117. Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR) Pune MBA-IT
118. Symbiosis Center for Information Technology Pune MBA-ITBM
119. ICFAI Business School Hyderabad MBA/PGPM
120. Xavier Institute of Management (XIMB) Bhubaneswar MBA – Rural Management
121. Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS) Ranchi Marketing & Finance
122.Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies Harihar and Pune PGDM
123. Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship (XIME) Kochi PGDM
124.Symbiosis Institute of Health Services (SIHS) Pune MBA
125.Symbiosis Institute of Banking and Finance (SSBF) Pune MBA BF, PGDBF
126. National Insurance Academy Pune PGDM
127. National Power Training Institute Faridabad MBA (Power Management)
128. Presidency University Bangalore MBA
129. Chetana’s Ram Prasad Khandelwal Institute of Management & Research Mumbai MMS, MFM,MMM
130. Fortune Institute of International Business (FIIB) Delhi PGDM
131. KIAMS Pune PGDM
132. Ramaiah Institute of Management Studies Bengaluru PGDM
133. ISME Bangalore PGDM
134. Indus Business Academy (IBA) Bangalore MBA
135. Siva Sivani Hyderabad PGDM
136. IPE Hyderabad Hyderabad PGDM
137. Jagran Lakecity University Bhopal MBA
138. GIBS Bangalore MBA
139. DMI Patna PGDM
140. EMPI Delhi PGDM
141. CBS Kolkata PGDM
142. LPU Chandigarh MBA
143. World University of Design Haryana MBA in Design Strategy and Management
144. Glocal Saharanpur MBA
145. Doon Business School Dehradun MBA
146. Quantum Dehradun MBA
147. Galgotia University Greater Noida MBA
148. Shiv Nadar University Greater Noida MBA
149. Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM) Kolkata MBA
150. Xavier Institute of Management & Research Mumbai PGDM
151. Institute of Management Studies Noida PGDM
152. Amity University Noida MBA
153. Llyod Institute of Management Studies Greater Noida MBA
154. PES University Bengaluru MBA
155. Alliance school of business Bengaluru MBA
156. Indira School of Business Studies Pune MBA, PGDM
157. Christ University Bengaluru MBA
158. Accurate Institute of Management and Technology Greater Noida MBA, PGDM
159. RayatBahra Institute of Management Mohali MBA
160. New Delhi Institute of Management (NDIM) New Delhi PGDM
161. Asian Business School Noida MBA/PGDM
162. Asia Pacific Business School New Delhi MBA/PGDM
163. Jindal Global University Sonipat MBA
164. University of Petroleum & Energy Studies Dehradun MBA
165. Ansal University Gurgaon MBA
166. Manav Rachna University Faridabad MBA
167. Delhi School of Business New Delhi PGDM
168. TAPMI SOB Jaipur MBA
169. North Cap University Gurgaon MBA
170. Apeejay Stya Gurgaon MBA
171. NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai PGDM
172. Sri Balaji Society Pune PGDM
173. FLAME University Pune MBA
174. SIES Mumbai PGDM
175. NIA SOM Pune PGDM (Insurance)
176. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Coimbatore MBA
177. BIMM Pune PGDM
178. Army Institute of Management Kolkata MBA

All the best