This coming week, the director of the MBA programme will visit India and conduct application interviews for about 5 candidates in Mumbai. My colleague James Barker will also host an information session for a small group of pre-screened prospective candidates.

It is no secret that after the US, India is one of the two largest countries in terms of GMAT test-takers (the other country being China). Given the large number of Indian applicants to the Cambridge MBA, it is also no surprise that admission into the Cambridge MBA is extremely competitive among Indian candidates. Unlike some schools who share our claim to have a global MBA, we have resisted the temptation to pack our class with a high percentage of candidates from any one region, and that includes India.

The Cambridge MBA admissions team has not visited India for many years. This is largely because every year, we receive a large number of applications from Indian applicants. However, a high percentage of these applications come from the IT consulting world, which makes it very difficult for these applicants to distinguish themselves. I have believed for some time that there are more engines to India’s economic growth than just IT consulting, large though that might be. I have attended many talks at the Business School hosted by the Centre for India and Global Business that touched on innovation in various sectors in India — from  how pharma companies in India are moving from outsourced clinical research into higher parts of the value chain; how new business models are begin developed to sell to the emerging Indian middle classes and the so-called bottom of the pyramid, down to how India rocked the global cricket market by starting a new TV-friendly format for cricket (don’t ask me what it all means, after four years in the UK, I still don’t understand the game).

We have therefore tried to invite a wider cross-section of Indian applicants for interviews. At the same time, we will continue to keep the number of Indian students in our MBA class at present levels.  Which brings me to this week’s trip to India. We felt that the time was right to visit India to convey the message to Indian MBA applicants that the Cambridge MBA is highly selective but we also want a wider representation of India’s growth sectors. A Cambridge MBA will help our Indian students gain a deeper understanding of globalisation and innovation and I hope that many of them will return to India to help their country continue to grow economically.

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8 Responses to India

  1. After posting this entry, someone pointed out that at least we know which region India belongs to. One business school’s website states that 23% of its class is from Central Asia and there is no entry for South Asia. Looking through their class photos, I could not see that many people from Central Asia but a large number from South Asia. Case of the missing continent perhaps?

  2. It could be Case of the missing continent or perhaps an oversight .

    Recently a admission counsler informed me that we cannot apply to both Oxford and Cambridge for MBA , is that true ?

    • No, it is incorrect. You can apply to both the Cambridge and oxford MBA, and many people do. The confusion might arise from the fact that there is this restriction for undergraduate admissions.

      Conrad Chua

  3. Hi

    I went to IT consulting after my Diploma in Business Administration from a top 10 Indian school. Though there were other options as well, I chose the industry for the opportunities in terms of client management and impact it can have on the way the clients could benefit. I want to do a global management course (completed 4 years in job and plan to apply for 2013 batch). Does the industry background create a dent in chances of mu application at top school like Cambridge?

    • Rohit

      I don’t know why you feel that your industry background will create a dent in your chances. However, I should say that we receive many applications from people with an IT consulting background and it takes a very strong application to get an interview. Because of the sheer number of MBA students worldwide with an IT consulting background, it is also more difficult for someone with that background to make a big career switch, even with an MBA.

      Conrad Chua

  4. Hi Conrad,
    Many thanks for sharing this. The effort for a wider representation of Indian profiles in the class will be a boon for people who don’t belong to the usual sunshine sectors (IT, Telecom, IB etc).

  5. Hi Conrad,
    I am from India and was keen to apply for the Cambridge MBA program.
    I have a non-conventional work experience which includes working in a non profit organisation(1 year) and then in a major public sector bank(2 years).My gmat score is 780 and i have a postgraduate degree in business law form top law school of india.
    So, all i want to inquire is that are applicants from such background competitive enough.


    • Ron

      I can’t say whether your application is competitive because, as a matter of policy, we do not give individual assessments of candidates. However, I would say that we do not exclude someone from NFP backgrounds, or who have studied in law school.

      Kind regards