Last week i've come in contact with many people who have asked me "How to 'do' IIM?". I was like, "You wanna 'do' IIM.??!!!" What exactly do you want to 'do' to an IIM?. This is just another example of how the IIM brand has come to define management edcation in India. I a going to MDI, Gurgaon. Yet people think that I'm 'doing' IIM. The IIMs are in the illustrious league of companies like Xerox and brands like Velcro, Sun-Mica etc.
But before the IIMs rejoice, what does the future hold for them? The lower IIMs like Indore and Kozhikode have stiff competition from the 2nd rung BSchools. Lucknow has even greater competition from the top tier institutes like MDI, SP Jain, FMS, etc.
This is not to say that the top 3 guys don't have competition. The gap between the top IIMs and other top institutes is diminishing by the day. Questions are being raised on the credibility of CAT to screen students, where students are tested on just verbal and analytical skills. With a huge sample of around 150,000 students vying for the 1,300 odd seats less than 1% make it through. The difference between a 99 and 97 percentile position will hardly be a couple of marks.
The government has planned to build some more IIMs to meet demand. But will the new kids on the block be able to piggybank on the brand of A,B and C? I know many guys who gladly join 'others' than go to K and I. I had 98.48 percentile in CAT 2004. The guy with 99.1 was just 2 marks ahead based on % scores in the scorecard. In short, the difference in quality of students across the top BSchools doesn't vary much.
Slowly but surely brand IIM will be on par with the 'others'. Till then, if you are doing a management course you can say you are doing "IIM"!!!