• By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between IIM and ISB

Indian business schools have made a name for themselves all over the world. It’s quite true that they are respected and looked over by students all over the world to get the degrees of their dreams. Institutes like IIM have made a name for themselves with people whereas Indian School Of Business is also preferred by international students. There us a lot of competition among students every year to get an admission into IIMS. Every year, lakhs of students appear for the famous entrance exam of IIMs known by the name of CAT. This exam also does not have much success rate and it’s as low as one in 200. So many students every year aspire to enter an IIM.



The Indian Institutes of Management are funded by the government of India. But the IIMs are still independent institutions. All the IIMs offer different kinds of courses right from MBA, executive MBA and PhD. On the other hand, ISB is a private institution. It also has a lavish building and peacocks can also be seen in the campus. It only offers MBA and Executive Education programmes. Each of the IIMs has become popular for their own specializations. For instance, IIM Calcutta is famous for its Financecurriculum.


IIMs have branches in different Indian states. There are seven IIMs in total, located in Calcutta, Bangalore, Lucknow, Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Kozhikode, Shillong and Indore. On the other hand, there is only one Indian School of Business which is located in Hyderabad. The government of Andhra Pradesh was responsible for the setting up of ISB.


ISB is not an institution with a long history unlike the IIMs which can claim a long standing reputation for quality. ISB was established in the year 2001 whereas IIMS have been in operation for the past 50 years. IIMs are known for their quality education whereas ISB had the 12th rank in the top 100 business schools of the world. IIMs came into existence in 1961 when the first Indian Institute of Management was established in Calcutta.


  • IIMS are very strict when it comes to admitting students. The same is not the case with ISB.
  • International alliance

    -Indian School of Business has actually formed strategic partnerships with many schools like London Business School, Wharton School of Business Management and Kellogg School of Management.
  • Origin

    -IIMs were formed by the government. Although the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandra babu Naidu, played a vital role in setting up this organization, the ISB WAS actually set by entrepreneurs of fortune 500 companies.
  • Placement

    -Placement wise, IIMS have better chances of getting one a job in any part of the world.But ISB can also national and international placements for its students. The IIMS are often compared to Harvard in terms of the quality of education.
  • Facilities

    -You can find a lot of facilities at the ISB like gardens, lawns and boulevards. IIMs are quite plain in comparison.

Which alumni includes more NRIs?
  • IIM
  • ISB

Discuss It: comments 11

  • Guest
  • mbastudent wrote on April 2010

IIMs have also intorduced 1 year MBA with GMAT and work experience as the entry criteria..thus giving the offering which was pioneered by ISB.

For example, PGPX program of IIM Ahmedabad has one of the highest GMAT averages ( 720) and average experience of 10 years with wide amount of international diversity. This is comparable to any of the best business schools in the world..


"The IIMS are often compared to Harvard in terms of the quality of education."

Do you know what you are talking about? ISB was ranked 12th in FT because it lay emphasis on research (and also because their alumni fared quite well 3 years post-graduation). International B-Schools lay a lot of emphasis on research. IIMs don't do the same! ISB is the model of what a successful B-School in India will be like in the coming decade (after India has allowed international schools to set-up institutions in India). ISB is the way forward. However, IIMs are not dumb. They will slowly move to the higher average work-ex mode too. That is the only way to match the world in terms of quality of education.

  • Guest
  • DecadentDon wrote on November 2010

FT rankings and research output are not really related. Besides I have yet to see any significant research output from the ISB faculty, the most famous of whom seem to be fly-by-night professors from the schools ISB has tied up with. Anyway the IIMs will soon be eligible for FT rankings, so we will see how they match up. A piece of advice: do not blindly choose a school using FT ranking as the only parameter.

I am absolutely aghast at the misinformation that is presented in this article. here are some facts: 1) IIMs dont have world class standard of education or research. In fact i have personally searched JSTORE- the online journal of research papers throughout the world and not a single IIM prof has a paper in either Tier 1 and Tier2 journal compared to almost hundreds by IVY league professors. Infact most people join IIM when they have failed to make a career in international university or corporate in India.Most reaserch papers presented by ISB professors are in Tier 3 journals and hence cannot be called 'international standard' by any stretch of imagination. 2) The strict criteria followed by IIMs is because they mainly cater to entry level jobs in I banking, finance . Moreover IIMs have a natural advantage in these because of very strict regulatory conditions in India for higher education which gives IIms a virtual monopoly. 3) Bottom line is that both IIM and ISb suck when it comes to standard of education but because of limited number of educational institutes and tight regulations in India, they automatically get an advantage.

  • Guest
  • XYZ wrote on January 2011

Please give the fees of both

  • Guest
  • guest wrote on March 2011

have Mr Guest ever been to ISB, people have no idea about what they are speaking but choose to vent there opinion on an open forum. Quality of students is not only gauged by Average CAT scores only, the quality of students is also gauged by the work experience of students and in that aspect ISB is far balanced BUSINESS school. all on the faculty, do any body posting has any idea of kind of professors who teach at ISB. Stalwarts from Kellogg, LBS, Wharton, Stern teach almost 50% of subjects taught at ISB, so faculty and pedagogy wise ISB is way ahead of any Asian B School leave aside IIMs.

IIMA PGPX ranked 11th MBA Program in MBA Rankings by FT 2011. ISB slips and is below IIMA. IIMA PGPX seems to be the best value for money program in the world. It is 5 lakhs cheaper than ISB and higher average salary.

Ist, Five less lakhs of fees or a few more lakhs in the immediate post-MBA salary really do not make one institution a better one, especially considering the MBA is a life-long investment. The IIM-A's average salary is higher, perhaps, because recruiters come there typically hoping to find candidates for senior management (average work exp: 10 years), while they go to ISB for middle management (avg. work exp: 5 years). But the flip side of this is that the average age at IIM-A is around 33 (minimum eligibility is 27 years), while that at ISB is around 27. The class size is also around 90 Vs 570, respectively. Female students at IIM-A constitute a sorry 2%, as opposed to ISB's 25%. All these statistics translates to a younger, more diverse group with extra-ordinary energy at ISB. IIM-A probably has a better name-recognition currently because of its 50-year legacy, but ISB is fast catching up and has achieved a lot in 10 years. One can hope that with its momentum, ISB will break into the top-10 some day soon, and would have many CEO's in its alumni network in maybe 5 years from now.


  • Guest
  • Harsh wrote on December 2011

Of course IIMA is the best! The brightest of India study there. IIMs B and C are next. ISB is at 4th place behind them. But it is also a great Bschool.

  • Guest
  • Ajay wrote on November 2013

whoopie! Debate in full flow. its always fun when some one starts comparing institutions. Alums on both sides come out in support like there is a war. Both are good i think. And i think now there are quite a few more out there. I saw SP Jain and Great lakes etc also now on Oneyearmba.co.in i think support and appreciate each other?

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