Tall Claims This is a first of a series where JAM evaluates educational institutions in the private sector. You see the ads in the papers almost everyday. They claim to be one of the 10 best B-schools in India, and in some 'fields' even BETTER than the IIMs. We wanted to be doubly sure, so we did a little asking around, and here's what we found out! There are many questions that come to mind when one glances at IIPM's full page advertisements. Will it REALLY be beneficial to my career if I complete IIPM's MBA program? Can all of these promises made be backed up by facts? And will I get a suitable return on my investment?
"The truth is out there" they say. And with that thought in mind, we went fact-finding.
- Arjun Ravi
THE RANKINGS: "IIPM - One of the Top 10 B-Schools in India" "Ranked #4 in Industry Interface (Ahead of 3 IIMs)" "Ranked #7 in International Linkages (Ahead of 2 IIMs)" "Ranked #8 in Extra-curricular activities (Ahead of 6 IIMs)" - as advertised by IIPM in Times of India, dt May 16, 2005
This "data" is from the Outlook-C fore rankings 2003. IIPM Delhi was ranked 17th in the overall list of the Top 50 B-schools. No other branch of IIPM made it to this list. But that's not the only thing surprising about it.
A brief visit to the webpage of the list on www.indiabschools.com (a website run by C fore, the research agency which put together the list for Outlook) will give you this information - "IIPM has been removed from ranking as we received serious complaints about the veracity of information given by them."
So how can IIPM continue using these rankings, AFTER they've been removed from them? We asked Premchand Palety, CEO, C Fore and this is what he said, "Most of their (IIPM's) advertisements are false and overstate facts. The action has to be taken by some regulatory body related to false advertisements."
THE CAMPUS: "The 8 Wi-Fi IIPM Towers in India which are modern architectural wonders equipped with air-conditioned classrooms, auditoriums huge state-of-the-art computer dromes and well stocked libraries. The IIPM campus gives students a completely international feel with its beautifully landscaped surroundings, an unique blend of old English architecture with modern exteriors and has facilities like swimming pool, mini golf, billiards, etc."
We visited IIPM's Mumbai campus in Bandra, posing as prospective students. The 'campus' is a four-storied building, with some parking area around it. There is a small 'canteen' section that can seat, at the most, around 10 students. We entered the air conditioned reception area that was bustling with activity in the limited space available. But you're left wondering - where in this one tiny building can they be hiding that swimming pool they promised in the ads?
We also checked out the campus in Delhi's Qutab Institutional Area. There too we couldn't find a swimming pool, mini golf course or billiards table. Again, there wasn't any "old English architecture". The building tower resembled any other office complex in Delhi. There was no Wi-Fi on campus, or in the library. The librarian didn't even know what Wi-Fi was!
However, there is ONE campus for second year students in Delhi's Chhatarpur area which has a swimming pool.
THE FEES: "FREE study tour to EUROPE for 2 weeks inclusive of industry visits for all IIPM, India students." "FREE LAPTOPS for all IIPM, India students."
At what price does this education come for? Well it depends on what year you took it.
MBA students of batch '02-04 paid Rs 2.75 lakh as fees. Students who will pass out in 2006 paid Rs 4.25 lakh. Those joining the batch 2005-07) will pay Rs 4.86 lakh. Students of the combined BBS/MBA program pay Rs 7.5 lakhs for a combined three year programme. These are the students who go to Europe on the free study tour. MBA students have to pay an additional Rs 50,000.
Incidentally, it is only from this year on that students will be provided free laptops.
THE FACULTY: "First time ever in the world, be taught by professors from Harvard, Columbia, Yale, Insead... only at IIPM."
Just to make sure, we asked students from IIPM's Mumbai campus who had passed out already, AND those who are currently taking the MBA program. NONE of them have attended lecturers by professors from foreign universities. From what we gather though, the students seem satisfied with the college's permanent teaching staff
THE PLACEMENTS: Arindam Chaudhuri, in an interview with the Times News Network, stated - "As far as placements are concerned, I admit that due to the historically established industry bias, IIMs and a few other institutes get better packages. But we are catching up fast. What is important is that all our students get placed." Let's just repeat that last sentence - "ALL OUR STUDENTS GET PLACED".
Now you'd expect the Dean of the institute to have the best data about placements in his college, right? WRONG!
Student Speak We spoke to several students who passed out from IIPM (Mumbai campus) in 2004 and 2005, and this is what we found:
1. Only around 50% (a liberal estimate) of the students got placed in companies through the college.
2. Most of the jobs that were offered to students were for marketing DSAs (Direct Selling Agents).
3. Not enough companies came to the campus to recruit, and those that came took on an average of 4-5 students.
4. A number of the students were hired by Planman Consulting, which is IIPM's consulting branch.
5. The students who did not get placed were left to fend for themselves. Swapneel, who passed out in 2004, says "Only around 30-40% of the class got placed. The remaining have to hunt for jobs on their own."
Swapneel had to hunt for a job himself as he did not get placed through IIPM's campus placements. "I posted my resume on naukri.com and other job websites, and then got a job through a placement agency." He currently works at General Electric in Collections.
Statistics IIPM does not offer any organised statistics about its placements. We spoke to Anirudh Sharma, the Campus Placements Manager at IIPM Delhi, and were told that that information will not be available. He said "We can give a list of recruiters, but detailed information is not available." This means that no one can know exactly which companies came to IIPM campuses during any particular year, and how many students a company picked up. We did a random search of a few private B-schools including TAPMI, NMIMS and Welingkars. All of them had the data available on their websites.
Placed Where? And speaking about websites, the "Placements" section on IIPM's website has not been updated for 2 years, and still features their old advertisements that claimed McKinsey & Co. as one of their on-campus recruiters. We had earlier checked with officials at both McKinsey & Co. and McKinsey Knowledge Center (just to make sure), and at both places we were told the same thing - neither of them have hired students from IIPM campuses. In response to a mail sent to them regarding the matter, a senior official at McKinsey said, "We have neither hired anyone from IIPM, nor picked up anyone for summer training till date."
"The Year 2005 has seen more than 400 companies visiting the IIPM Campus..." Max New York Life is one of the companies mentioned in the ad as one which has �visited the campus'. Kapil Mehta, VP Business Development Max New York Life, says "We have never visited IIPM campuses for placements."There is, though, one IIPM student working at Max New York Life's head office in Gurgaon, but this student got the job by applying himself, and not via IIPM.
"Highest International Package: 36 lacs" Everyone knows the name of the student from IIM Ahmedabad who was placed with HSBC for a record $152,000(Ravi Singhvi, for the uninitiated).
We called IIPM to find out about their prodigious "36 lacs" placement, and were transferred to four different people before being told that the placement was from Delhi, to a company called Primus Telecom. Still no name of the student placed though. Also, a majority of IIPM's international placements are to Planman Consulting ofiices in different countries.
ING Vysya, mentioned in IIPM's ads as a campus visitor, has also never been to IIPM for campus placements. Rakesh Parangat, HR Manager for ING Vysya Business, said "IIPM had approached us for a summer placement initiative, but we didn't find it worthwhile... ING has not been to IIPM campuses to recruit students. If an ex-student, so to speak, of IIPM has been hired by ING it is because of that person's own initiative."Sri Ganesh, HR Manager for ING Vysya Life Insurance also confirmed the same. "ING Life has not been to ANY college for recruitment, let alone IIPM" he says.
We also spoke to Mr. Ajay Kumar, Management Development Manager, HLL. He informed us that HLL has never visited IIPM's campuses for recruitment. We are told though that HLL Network, the direct selling arm of HLL, has hired students from IIPM. The jobs that these students are given are related to sales and direct marketing. The pay scales, perks and designations are considerably lower than those of the students hired by HLL.
Kalpana Rao, Talent Director Ogilvy & Mather India, confirmed to us that O&M; haven't been to IIPM for recruitment. "We haven't gone to any campus" she said. She also told us that O&M; had not hired anyone from IIPM in the recent past.
The Visitors Rahul Rai, an HR representative at Indiabulls (IIPM's major recruiter - 20+ recruitments from the Mumbai campus) informed us that the IIPM students hired are placed as Selling Agents, or Selling and Relationship Agents. Their job profile is "Generating new clients and servicing them by providing investment advice on day-to-day basis." The pay package offered to these students is Rs.4.5 lacs p.a of which only Rs.1.8 lacs is fixed and the remaining Rs.2.7 lacs is variable.
Oracle, also mentioned in the advertisements as a campus recruiter, informed us that they didn't visit any B-school last year for placements, and instead conducted an off-campus program at Mumbai in Dec. �04. They did telephonic interviews with the B-Schools in the western region and IIPM Mumbai & Pune were among them. This year they plan to visit the B-Schools for placements and both these institutes are there in their list. They hired 4 students last year and the compensation was Rs.4 lacs cost-to-company.
Students also informed us that companies like ABN Amro and American Express also visited the campus.
THE DEGREE: Read the FINE PRINT.
"IIPM conducts its own programmes in Planning & Entrepreneurship (a non professional course) and does not teach any foreign institute's courses... The MBA/BBA degrees are conferred by IMI, Europe and is internationally renowned and does not come under the purview of AICTE, UGC or other state acts."
Read that last line again. "DOES NOT come under the purview of AICTE, UGC or other state acts." What this means is that the degree that you get from IIPM is NOT RECOGNISED by any Indian central or state university.
The degree that IIPM provides is from the IMI, Europe. Despite our best efforts we were unable to find a ranking for the management programme at IMI. Several students told us that when they asked their professors at IIPM about IMI, the professors were clueless as well.
We spoke to students from the 2002-04 batch who told us that they still hadn't received their degrees. Whenever they called the IIPM office to find out about the status of the same, they were greeted with the same reply - "It's coming from Delhi."
IMI, Europe: The International Management Institute, Europe is the institute that gives degrees to IIPM students. According to their website (www.timi.edu) IMI has two branches in Belgium - one in Antwerp and another in Brussels. Here's some information we dug up about the institute.
It offers a one-year full time MBA, and a part-time programme as well.
According to Businessweek magazine, in 2004, the total graduate business students enrolled in the college were just 65, of which 35 were part of the Full time programme, and 30 were part-time students. For a school that gives degrees to over a thousand students in India, this is a stark statistic.
We have mailed Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri's Delhi offices to query him about the facts that we unearthed. Despite several phone calls, emails and faxes, we are yet to receive a reply.
Dare to think beyond the IIMs? We think IIPM has a long way to go and a lot of explaining to do before it can live up to that claim.
Subject: before writing anything u should have facts Comments: u have said lots of thing without knowing the facts. yes iipm, new delhi has swimming pool, fully equiped gym, mini golf course that is in satwari. u did not hard the name i guess. i have attended classes of a professor from london school of business and one from a prof. from harvard business school dipankar from iipm,new delhi on Jul 27, 2007
Subject: do it..! Comments: it does not matter from where u are doing MBA, wot matters is wot u do there and i think in India there is no other college in which u can take admission easily and as well get something good...as compared to other colleges even ranked in CAT... Sunny from IIPM on Jul 23, 2007
Subject: IIPM juz money making business Comments: Total absurd...No point wasting 6.66 lacs fm this coll. if u not get good package Digesh from Not yet. on Jul 16, 2007
Subject: ReInvestigate !! Comments: I Really do not see any false promised in the advertisements, I am a passout of the 2007 batch placed from iipm in india's 4th largest IT firm at a consulting profile. I have been given a free laptop as well as the free Europe tour. Have attended single day lectures of more than 8 well established professors from harvard, yale and columbia. Vishal Salunkhe from IIPM Mumbai on Jul 14, 2007
Subject: Mgmt Comments: Intersting. Many private colleges have are doing similar things. High time Government took some seriou regulatory action. Neeraj from PIM on Jul 6, 2007