PhD in Management in India

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How the PhD in Management in India has changed

A PhD in Management in India is not an option that most people who wanted to teach/research in India took even a decade back. A PhD from a top school abroad was considered to be the holy grail of academic excellence which would help top professionals find the best teaching opportunities in India. Further, not many institutions in India really offered true research opportunities, leading many to believe that the best opportunities for professional growth after a PhD in Management lay outside India.

Over the last decade, things began to change. A lot many more professionals began to realize the value offered by top programs for PhD in Management in India.

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) had always been the holy grail for management education in India till this time, and the Fellow Programs in Management (FPM) at the IIMs began seeing renewed interest.

The PhD had often been seen as too long, too unnecessary, and too involving to be worth its pursuit. Many professionals now began to see the FPM as a great alternative – spend around 4 years after your Bachelor’s in getting a PhD equivalent from an IIM and be considered head and shoulders above others in terms of education.

The FPM programs at the IIMs have always been excellent options, and FPM graduates from the top IIMs (IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, and IIM Lucknow) have found excellent teaching as well as consulting options for themselves.

IIM FPM admissions, applications, stipend, interviews, and placements

Where are the best PhD programs at the IIMs? The best programs offered (by way of reputation, placements, and later career opportunities) are invariably the FPM programs at the top IIMs. Links: FPM at IIM Ahmedabad, FPM at IIM Bangalore, FPM at IIM Calcutta, FPM at IIM Lucknow.

IIM FPM placements: The IIM FPM programs are considered PhD-equivalent in India. Graduates typically go on to positions in the corporate world (consulting is a hot favorite) or to teaching positions.

Most taking the teaching route take up teaching opportunities in India, including those at the IIMs themselves. The IIMs have a separate placement process for FPM graduates, helping them secure academic/corporate positions.

IIM FPM applications and test scores: Those interested can apply using their CAT/GMAT/GATE/GRE scores. Applicants DO NOT need a Master’s degree to apply – a Bachelor’s degree or even a professional certification (CA/CS/CWA) is enough.

Applicants should also check each particular IIM’s website to confirm if their test scores can be used to apply for their particular specialization. For example, IIM Ahmedabad requires applicants using their GMAT scores to have taken the test within the last two years before applying.

Its areas of specialization in Agriculture and in Economics also are not open to applicants taking the GMAT (one must take the CAT instead).

IIM FPM areas of specialization: The areas of specialization offered at the IIM FPM programs are many and one must check each particular IIM’s website to check the range of options offered by it.

For example, IIM Ahmedabad FPM offers a specialization in Agriculture and also one in Business Policy. IIM Lucknow on the other hand offers a specialization in Decision Science.

These are of course besides the traditional areas of specialization such as Finance, Marketing, and HR Management which are offered by all the IIMs.

– IIM FPM fees and stipends: Typically, students take courses in the first two years of the program and then conduct research towards their doctoral dissertation.

No tuition fee is charged from Indian students, and they receive a stipend (which ranges between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,000 per month) as well. At IIM Ahmedabad, foreign students need to pay for the program – to the tune of around US$20,000 per year.

The ISB FPM program – an excellent new option for a PhD in Management in India

While the FPM programs at the IIMs have gained more popularity, Indian School of Business (ISB) launched the FPM (Fellow Program in Management) in 2011 as a fantastic option for people looking for a doctoral option in management which provides excellent global exposure while staying in India.

The program has been specifically designed to help students who wish to pursue options in academia after the program (although those looking for corporate careers should have no problem either!). The ISB FPM therefore has a strong research focus.

Around 3 years of the 5-year ISB FPM program will be dedicated to research while 2 years will be dedicated to taking courses in one’s area of focus.

What is different about the ISB FPM?

The ISB FPM offers a number of new and important opportunities that should gladden the hearts of PhD in Management applicants in India (this is not meant to be a comparison with the IIM FPM but just a highlighting of the facilities on offer at ISB):

– More international research opportunities: ISB has a bevy of faculty and research staff coming in from its partner schools (LBS, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, and Fletcher), which means more opportunities to conduct research with faculty from these schools.

As ISB closely partners with these institutions, there will also be more academic and research opportunities at these schools.

An opportunity to apply and learn from the vibrant research centres on campus: ISB has a number of Centres of Excellence in areas such as Analytical Finance, Investment, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership.

Accomplished faculty members from top schools around the world: ISB faculty members come from top global institutions and are tenured faculty members, with research as a core position requirement. ISB itself states that it was the first school in India to set up this system, placing research at the very core of faculty activity.

Clearly, being a part of such a research-centric environment will foster more opportunities for publishing, research, and learning.

ISB FPM admissions, applications, stipend, interviews, and placements

Salient details about the ISB FPM program and process are as follows:

– ISB FPM Admissions: Admissions are conducted on the basis of academic profiles, and require a Bachelor’s degree at the minimum (no work experience needed).

GMAT/GRE scores are needed, and most successful applicants have 700+ scores on the GMAT. It also bears mentioning here that ISB is looking for strong research potential in FPM applicants – in the past, it has denied admission to all applicants for particular areas of specialization when none were found suitable.

– ISB applications essays and applications: The ISB FPM requires applicants to submit, in addition to the usual academic records and documents, a 1500 word Statement of Purpose discussing career plans and reasons for applying to the FPM.

Applicants also need to discuss their (potential) chosen area of specialization, and the reason for wanting to pursue doctoral studies in that area.

After submitting the application, candidates may be called for an interview – an interview is not an essential requirement for admission.

ISB FPM stipend: ISB offers a generous stipend of Rs. 40,000 per month to FPM students, besides fully-furnished accommodation, health insurance, and travel allowance for research purposes. No fees is charged from FPM students.

– ISB FPM placements: The ISB FPM program is still very young and its first graduates are yet to step out beyond ISB’s doors. ISB mentions that it will pursue top placements for these graduates in research/teaching/corporate positions.

While the fact that ISB is not recognized by AICTE (the Indian higher education body) might present some obstacles in FPM graduates seeking teaching positions in government institutions in India, there is expected to be very high demand for these graduates in industry. Opportunities abroad for FPM candidates are bright.

Planning to apply to the ISB FPM? Click here to read about the ISB FPM success story of Akshay Gupta, a successful ISB FPM application (2014). If you are looking for application help and PhD SoP help for top PhD programs, email us today at: info [at] gyanone [dot]


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2 Responses to “PhD in Management in India”

  • Richa / / Reply

    Great perspective on IIM and ISB PhD programs Gyanone! If work experience is not required for these programs, is having work experience still an advantage?

  • Anant / / Reply

    Can one get a teaching job abroad after PhD from IIM?

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