One Year MBA Programs in Asia: India Dominates

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INSEAD Singapore MBA

One year MBA in Asia

One year MBA programs in Asia have had a strange history. At the turn of the century, such programs were virtually non-existent. Then the Indian School of Business (ISB) opened its doors in 2001, pioneering the concept of the one year program for experienced professionals in India. Till then, the flagship programs of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), each of a two year duration, ruled the roost completely. Initially, the one year concept was met with skepticism, but ISB’s wild success in a short period forced even the IIMs to go for a rethink. At different points in the following years, the IIMs launched executive programs of their own, different from their flagship programs. Some other top Indian B-schools have followed. Today, in another twist to the tale, the IIM Ahmedabad executive program (PGPX) is ranked above the ISB PGP by the FT MBA ranking 2014 .

Are one year MBA programs in Asia just an Indian phenomenon?

Strangely enough, this seems to be the case, in spite of the fact that China dominates the general MBA ranking (across all programs irrespective of duration) in Asia. The concept may not have originated in India, but it has really caught on in the country.

Outside India, there are just two programs that are one year long in duration and are considered to have repute. INSEAD, possibly Asia’s top MBA program (in its Singapore version), and the lesser-known but fast rising Singapore Management University (SMU) MBA program complete the list of one year options in Asia.

Are all Asian one year MBA programs similar in character?

Except for their duration, some of the one year MBA programs in Asia can vary widely when compared to each other in terms of class sizes, admissions requirements, and the international nature of the program.

– Admissions parameters can vary significantly. The ISB PGP, for example, requires a minimum of two years of work experience for applicants to be considered for admission, but the IIMA PGPX requires a minimum of seven.

In general, as the IIM programs are meant for more experienced executives, the norm is a minimum of five years (as mandated), and most successful candidates have 7-8 years of experience under their belts.

– The ISB PGP, INSEAD Singapore MBA, and SMU Singapore MBA are the only programs in this list that are the flagship programs of their schools. All the others are later additions launched to tap into the one-year-MBA market for experienced professionals

– Similar programs are also offered by other top business schools in India, but they are not yet at a level of maturity to attract sizeable international attention, or to launch their students into the global market.

They have been excluded from this list for now for this reason (please note that this is NOT a comment on the quality of such programs, but only on their popularity at a global level for now)

Here is the complete Asian list of one year MBA programs:

Program name Average GMAT score Tuition fee (approx.)
IIM Ahmedabad PGPX 711 INR 21,50,000
Indian School of Business (ISB) PGP 711 INR 30,00,000
IIM Calcutta PGPEX 705 INR 18,00,000
INSEAD Singapore MBA 703 (for the France and Singapore programs combined) EUR 63,000
IIM Bangalore EPGP 695 INR 20,00,000
XLRI PGDM (GM) [formerly called the XLRI GMP] 682 INR 15,00,000
SP Jain Global MBA (Dubai, Singapore, Sydney) 650 (estimate) USD 47,000
Singapore Management University Full-time MBA 640 S$ 60,000

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Want to check out more on One Year MBA Programs?

One Year MBA Programs in Europe: Beyond IMD, LBS, and INSEAD

Best One Year MBA Programs in USA


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