Although full-time MBA programs are still the most preferred MBA option for Indian citizens, 19% of Indian candidates now actively consider applying to EMBA programs, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).
In 2018, 14% of Indian business school candidates had India as their preferred study destination; the second-most-preferred after the US.
The advantages of doing an Executive MBA in India are numerous: lower fees, online learning, high-quality cohorts, and excellent job prospects thanks to a strong Indian economy.
Who is an EMBA for?
The Executive MBA degree is for mid-career working professionals, often with a minimum of 10 years of work experience. They are looking to gain strategic insight, enhance their decision-making abilities, and develop leadership and management skills.
“EMBA programs help participants stay one step ahead and boost their managerial acumen for achieving higher roles in the corporate world, or driving their own business,” says Sunil Varughese, chief brand and sustainability officer at XLRI—Xavier School of Management, in Jamshedpur, India.
Unlike full-time MBAs taken on campus, EMBAs do not require candidates to quit their jobs. EMBAs therefore are generally longer, with participants taking classes in the evenings and/or at the weekend. That means they can apply what they have learned immediately in the workplace.
What are India’s leading EMBA programs?
EMBAs in India are generally styled as Postgraduate Diplomas in Management (PGDM). At XLRI, the EMBA is branded as such. The three-year part-time weekend program comprises 900 hours of coursework. The sessions are conducted mainly on campus, with a few classroom-based sessions.
The EMBA programs at the Indian School of Business are also among the best-known in the country, since ISB is among the few Indian institutions that is ranked by major publications such as the Financial Times.
The ISB courses are branded as PGPpro and PGPMAX. Other well-regarded options include the EMBAs at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management, for example at Ahmadabad or Calcutta.
Check out our lists of top MBA colleges in India:
How can you select the right EMBA for you?
With so much choice, there are a few things to consider if you’re looking for an Indian EMBA. One is the cost. EMBAs are generally cheaper in India than they are overseas, but it’s still a significant investment. Consider the funding options at each institution, as well as the associated travel costs.
Another consideration is the cohort itself. EMBAs are senior leaders, so learning from the group is important; look for a high quality cohort. Also bear in mind that a diverse and dynamic peer group is an added advantage, since participants contribute towards an enriching learning experience.
Comparing institutions is a good idea, though the branding of EMBAs in India can make this a challenge. Looking at EMBA rankings such as those produced by The Economist, accreditations from the AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS awarding bodies, as well as word of mouth, should help you filter the programs best fitted to you.
What are the outcomes from an EMBA program in India?
The career outcomes are generally impressive, thanks to India’s strong economy and jobs market. “India is seeing unprecedented growth in almost every sector,” says an ISB spokesperson. “There is tremendous growth and learning opportunity for any individual who wants to succeed in this market.”
Diverse alumni networks also help people to work not just in India but elsewhere in the world too. ISB’s alumni network consists of more than 9,500 members who work across the globe and in a wide variety of industries including management consulting, technology, finance, real estate, media, manufacturing and healthcare.
More than 5% of them are chief executives and over 400 run their own entrepreneurial ventures or family businesses.
What is the future for EMBAs in India?
The branding of the Indian EMBAs as PGDM’s may not be as familiar to recruiters overseas as degrees styled as EMBAs. But the ISB spokesperson says that “companies are accepting candidates with EMBA equivalents. Several companies are also encouraging and sponsoring their employees to pursue EMBAs [in India]”.
The future thus looks bright for EMBAs in the country. As many Indians value job security, EMBAs are becoming more popular since they can be taken part-time and pursued via distance learning, so students do not need to leave the job market or forgo a salary.
ISB’s spokesperson says there’s a continued increase in the quality of applications for the school’s programs, as well as demand for them. ISB has made the PGPpro is available in Mumbai and Bengaluru, in addition to the Hyderabad and Delhi. And the PGPMAX now has two intakes each year.
“Executives with a few years of work experience are now swiftly waking up to the reality that an EMBA from a premier b-school will help them in climbing up the corporate ladder and may aid a career shift as well,” adds Sunil at XLRI.
As Indian EMBAs are generally much cheaper than elsewhere in the world, and as they are increasingly being accepted by international recruiters, the return on investment may be large. That should continue to attract more candidates from across the world to Indian EMBAs.