Executive MBA Program

Let’s start with the eligibility criteria. An Executive MBA candidate must have completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline with at least 55% marks. They must have appeared for a management entrance exam. Some management exams are CAT, XAT, GMAT and MAT. But here’s the twist in the tale

Candidates must hold a minimum work experience of 2-3 years.

Best Executive MBA Programs in 2021 are:-

  • IM Ahmedabad – ePGP
  • FMS – MBA Executive Program
  • ISB – PGPpro
  • XLRI Jamshedpur
  • IIM Kozhikode – Executive MBA (EMEP)
  • XLRI – Postgraduate Diploma in Management

But why should one opt for an Executive MBA? Because it builds your skill set, makes you a better leader and enhances your business mind. It not only directly benefits you and your company but also your employees. It doesn’t matter if you’re working as a corporate geek or a startup freak, an executive MBA can give you the necessary set of skills to succeed in the corporate world.

“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”– Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

So, we would conclude by stating that the best MBA program ultimately depends on your requirements. If you’re looking climb the corporate ladder faster in your current company then a part-time or an online MBA program will work best for you. If you’re looking to build up your business skill set and enter the corporate world with more vigor then with 2-3+ years of work ex, an Executive MBA would be the right path for you. Finally, if you’re looking to start a new career or a full-time job then the 2-year full-time MBA programs are the way to go.

What is an Executive MBA Program?
In US, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and China, ‘Executive MBA’ or ‘EMBA’ is generally a premium high-end modular MBA equivalent program offered to senior executives with 15+ years of experience who don’t wish to leave their well-paying full-time jobs for earning MBA credentials. The course program structure is designed in such a way that senior working executive spend 50-60 days on campus attending classes and complete the rest of the EMBA program while working.

Catering to the need of globalization of business, many of the World’s top EMBA programs are offered jointly by a few leading B-schools, usually across the continents. For instance, the Financial Times ‘Executive MBA Rankings 2018’ ranks Kellogg-HKUST EMBA, Trium: HEC Paris/LSE/NYU: Stern and Tsinghua University-INSEAD as top three EMBA programs in the world.

Key Features of Global Executive MBA (EMBA) Programs

  1. Aimed at Senior Executives with approximately 15 Years of working experience
  2. Modular program with periodic campus presence required.
  3. EMBA is NOT a Full-time Program
  4. Profile-based Admission, GMAT Scores generally NOT mandatory
  5. Placement support generally NOT offered
  6. EMBA Fee is generally 200% higher than regular MBA Fee

EMBA is a Modular Program, and Not a Full time MBA Program  
This is an important difference, and must be kept in mind. Clarifying the target audience and program mode, Kellogg-HKUST say, “The Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program is carefully designed for busy executives. It only requires around 40 days out of the office.” Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program is a partnership program offered jointly by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong.

The TRIUM Global Executive MBA, ranked No 2 on FT EMBA Ranking, is jointly issued by New York University Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science, and HEC Paris School of Management. Regarding the program structure, TRIUM website says, “TRIUM uses an executive-friendly blended learning format (in-person classroom time and independent study between modules) comprising of 6 on-site modules at multiple global locations over an 18 month period. Time out of the office is only 10 weeks.”

In India, ISB makes a clear distinction between its PGP program which is positioned as One year MBA equivalent, and PGPMAX which is positioned as Executive MBA Equivalent program. “The Global EMBA equivalent programme offers campus experience. PGPMAX has a modular format and participants reside on ISB campus during classroom sessions…, ​” says ISB. The total number of working days away from work for the duration of PGPMAX are approximately 62 days. 

Executive MBA (EMBA) in India
Coming to India, there is some unwarranted confusion between ‘Executive MBA’ and ‘One Year MBA’ and PGDM Executive programs. To understand the context, some historical perspective is useful.

In 2001, ISB Hyderabad launched its post-experience one-year full-time residential MBA equivalent program called Post Graduate Program (PGP). In 2006, IIM Ahmedabad launched its ‘Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives’, its one-year, full-time, residential programs popularly known as PGPX. Soon IIM Calcutta too launched its ‘Post Graduate Programme for Executives’ or ‘PGPEX’. In 2009, IIM Bangalore launched ‘Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management’ or ‘EPGP’. Both IIMC’s PGPEX and IIMB’s EPGP were one-year, full-time, residential MBA Equivalent programs.

Given that word ‘Executive’ is part of virtually all 1-year MBA programs by IIMs, media and general public started calling these One Year MBA equivalent programs as Executive MBAs. Clearly, the one-year residential MBA programs by IIMs are NOT part-time/modular Executive MBA programs, as EMBAs are known globally. Read more about One Year MBA offered by IIMs

This confusion was further compounded when AICTE, the management education regulator in India, permitted PGDM B-schools to offer ‘Executive PGDM’ – also a full-time residential 15-months MBA equivalent program. So XLRI offered PGDM (General Management) and MDI offered National management Programme (NMP). Today more than 25 B-schools including SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI New Delhi, Great Lakes Chennai, K J Somaiya Mumbai, BIMTECH Greater Noida, SDMIMD Mysore are offering PGDM Executive programs in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities. Read more about One Year MBA offered by XLRI, SPJIMR and Top PGDM B-schools.

Top Executive Programs in India 2021
Currently there are only few B-schools offering good Executive MBA programmes in India.

ISB PGPMAX and Great Lakes PGXPM are considered as the top Executive MBA Colleges in India. ISB PGPMAX, the Executive MBA by ISB, is considered as the top EMBA programme in India. ISB PGPMAX is 15 Months Modular Programme with world class curriculum which offers International Immersion. Post Graduate eXecutive Program in Management (PGPXM) at Great Lakes is one of the high ranked Executive MBA in India. The duration of EMBA programme is 20 months. The PGPXM helps experienced executives to develop general management competencies and prepares them for fast track growth to leadership roles.

If you are wondering why PGPX, IIM Ahmedabad PGPX or IIM Bangalore EPGP or XLRI Jamshedpur PGDM (GM) are not included in this list, the reason is that they are NOT equivalent of EMBA programs. They fit the description of One Year MBA Programs perfectly.

Top Global Executive MBA Programs
Financial Times publishes its much respected annual EMBA Rankings. The 18th edition of the FT global executive MBA ranking of the best 100 programmes worldwide was published in May 2018. FT Rankings show that the gap in average salaries between EMBA and MBA alumni ($220,000 vs $146,000) is similar to that between MBA and MiM graduates ($146,000 vs $67,000), three years after graduation. One of the interesting trends from this ranking is that Asia offers quite a good number of EMBA programs with Singapore, Hong Kong and China as leaders of EMBA program in Asia. Many leading US and European B-schools offer joint programs with top Asian B-schools. Sadly, no Indian B-schools or EMBA program features on this list.

Executive MBA in India
ISB and Great Lakes are the top Executive MBA colleges in India offering Executive MBA in India. Although there are many top executive MBA colleges across the globe, but the executive MBA in India is not offered by many institutes. A key point to note in regard to the top Executive MBA colleges in India is that there is no executive MBA from IIMs. Therefore, despite being the institutes of high national importance, executive MBA from IIMs has not been launched. On the contrary, a full time one year programme like IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP is confused as the Executive MBA from IIMs which in fact is not a true Executive MBA programme.

Among the top ranked Executive MBA in India are the programmes offered by the following institutes:

PGPMAX – Executive MBA by ISB
The pioneer of Executive MBA programme in India is ISB which is also the one of the top executive MBA colleges in India. PGPMAX – the executive MBA by ISB is considered as the top EMBA programme in India. The EMBA at ISB is 15 Months Modular Programme with world class curriculum which offers International Immersion.

PGXPM – Executive MBA by Great Lakes
Post Graduate eXecutive Program in Management (PGPXM) at Great Lakes is one of the high ranked Executive MBA programmes in India. The duration of EMBA programme is 20 months which is longer than 1 year executive MBA, so the executive MBA should not be confused by the full time 1 year MBA Program PGPM, offered by Great Lakes. The PGPXM helps experienced executives to develop general management competencies and prepares them for fast track growth to leadership roles.

IIT Delhi Executive MBA – 3 years MBA in Technology Management
Executive MBA programme at IIT Delhi focusses on ‘Technology Management’. This programme is designed to impart management education to working executives. The Classes are scheduled during evening hours (6.15 pm onwards) on 4 or 5 working days (Monday to Friday).

FMS MBA Executive & MBA Executive (Health Care Administration)
FMS Delhi is one of the leading B-schools in India offering a low fee Executive MBA option. The modular design of the two year evening MBA Executive and MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) programmes has been divided into four semesters over a period of two-years.  

For Admissions 2019, applicants can register themselves for admission to MBA Executive and MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) programmes by filling up online application form  by paying the requisite fee. Total number of seats in MBA Executive and MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) programmes are 172 and 42 respectively.

Since FMS is a Government University, the annual fee for FMS Executive MBA is only Rs. 50,000!

IIM Kozhikode MBA for Working Executives (earlier Known as EPGP)
Empowered with IIM Act 2017, IIM Kozhikode is now offering MBA for Working Executives instead of earlier Diploma program known as Executive Post Graduate Program (EPGP). IIM Kozhikode delivers the Executive MBA programs through an Interactive Learning platform where participants can attend the classes from the designated classroom centers available at their locations.

The MBA (Master of Business Administration) programe for working executives (earlier known as Executive Post Graduate Programme (EPGP) in Management and is a two years master’s degree program in management offered on interactive Learning (IL) platform.   

The MBA Executive (EPGP) program at IIM Kozhikode is accredited by the AMBA (Association of MBAs) since 2011 and the objective of the programme is to impart management education to working executives seeking skills and strategies to take their organizations to the next level.

IIM Kozhikode has witnessed a spike of 64% in admissions, with a diverse group of 369 candidates with industry experience in its 12th batch of EPGP. The selected candidates for the batch are from varied sectors like IT, operations & services, construction and manufacturing, banking & insurance, entrepreneurship, selected as part of this batch.

Executive MBA Fee in India
Across the globe, Executive MBA is positioned as a premium MBA program for senior executives. The Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA Fee is as high as USD 1,83,000 and the TRIUM Global Executive MBA Fee is USD 181,500. The executive MBA fee in India by ISB is also equally high at Rs 39.69 lakhs.

The Executive MBA fee structure at Great Lakes Institute of Management is much lower at Rs. 8.50 lakhs, if you pay the complete Executive MBA fee in single instalment. If you choose to pay the executive MBA fee in multiple instalments, this executive MBA fee structure would be Rs.8.80 lakhs or Rs.9 lakhs depending upon the choice of instalments. Strictly speaking, there are no executive MBA colleges with low fee. If it’s a good EMBA, it will be expensive. FMS Executive MBA fee of Rs 50,000 is perhaps the only exception.

Let’s compare Executive MBA Fee with 1 year MBA Fee. 1 year MBA fee charged for IIMA- PGPX is Rs. 25 lakhs, for IIMB-EPGP is Rs. 25.89 lakhs. This is much lower than ISB Executive MBA (PGP MAX) Fee which is Rs 38.48 lakhs.

Executive MBA Placement
Since the Senior professionals in their mid career go for Executive MBA and in most cases the candidates are company sponsored, the Executive MBA Placement is not high on their agenda. The MBA colleges offer campus placement to their one year MBA programs, but there are no colleges offering Executive MBA placement in India.

ISB has clarified in regard to the Executive MBA Placement on its website, “The programme is targeted at senior executives and business owners and hence no placement/career support is provided.” 

PUMBA Executive MBA – 2 Years Post-Graduate Programme leading to MBA Degree
PUMBA Pune ‘Executive MBA Programme’ is a 2 Years Post-Graduate Programme leading to MBA Degree of Savitribai Phule Pune University. The programme is meant for working executives and entrepreneurs and the objective of the programme is to provide an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills continually.

SP Jain Global Executive MBA – 18 Months Post-Graduate Programme leading to MBA Degree
SP Jain Global Executive MBA (EMBA) is an 18-month weekend program crafted to help busy working professionals to build their managerial skillset. The EMBA program is designed to allow working professionals to work and study at the same time. After completion of the programme, a Master of Business Administration (Executive) degree will be awarded. The degree will highlight the chosen specialisation. It will be an Australian degree, awarded by SP Jain School of Global Management, Australia. EMBA at SP Jain Global is equivalent to a full-time MBA.

Apart from Mumbai, SP Jain School of Global Management has international locations in Sydney, Singapore and Dubai. The study location for SP Jain Global Executive MBA is Mumbai. The program is not accredited or approved by AICTE or any regulatory body in India. 


What is the difference between Executive MBA and One Year MBA?

Ans. Executive MBA is modular part time MBA of 1-3 years duration while one year MBA is a full time MBA  with maximum 15 months duration.

Is the eligibility criteria for Executive MBA different from one year MBA?
Ans. Yes, for Executive MBA the required work experience is 10+ years, while for one year MBA is it 2 to 7 years

Which are the top Executive MBA colleges in India?
Ans. There are very few Executive MBA colleges in India. ISB PGPMAX, Great Lakes PGXPM, FMS Executive MBA, IIT Delhi Executive MBA are considered as the top Executive MBA colleges in India.  

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