50 Things To Know About IIMs

  1. If you think an IIM admit is your ticket to happiness, you’re already bracing yourself up for a lot of misery. Think ‘experience’ and you’ll just about get by
  2. Unless you are dropping the idea of doing an Indian MBA or are going abroad (to a ‘better’ place) it is foolish to reject an offer from any of the IIMs(at least the top 6) for something better next year. Selection criteria of IIMs are as unpredictable as Sreesanth’s form with the ball. CAT has become a little like shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.
  3. There is not necessarily any correlation between efforts and (at least short term) rewards… In fact more often than not it does not exist
  4. It’s all about doing the right things rather than doing everything
  5. Most people in an ‘Indian’ Institute of Management still  feel they are representing their state here
  6. No one likes attending guest talks. Somehow most speakers are made to believe that they are really wanted. Most young speakers promise not to bore by being short and ‘interactive’ and they do exactly the opposite
  7. It is all still ‘Sarkari’. Very Sarkari
  8. Fresher girls get placed fast and easily so. A boring engineer with IT work ex of over 3 years is a pain for the placement committee
  9. Bigger the batch size, higher the free riding
  10. Everyone ‘globes’. Even those who call others globers.
  11. Facebook stalking of girls who could join your IIM is rampant. That guys in most IIMs are desperate is an understatement.  Professors, Students and Recruiters – all are.
  12. It is still ABC and the rest.  But the good news is that L is almost there and I,K are catching up fast
  13. Directors of all IIMs always want more girls in their incoming batch. Very few succeed
    (Update 2nd August 2013 : Ah! Well! They have forced their way to diversity 😉 )
  14. There are a lot of professors who are there just to make up the numbers. There is a severe crunch of quality faculty across IIMs
  15. Everyone has a view on reservations but is too uncomfortable a topic to talk about openly
  16. Everyone complains about mess food. No matter how many times you change the contractor, no matter which IIM you go to. Someone will always complain
  17. Participate in B-school events. They are fun and an excellent opportunity to meet new people.  About 50% of the batch goes/plans to go home or on a trip when their institute’s fest is on. Quite a shame
  18. IIMs and ethics don’t really go hand in hand
  19. Alumni play a bigger role than you can imagine. Follow them, network with them and make them happy.
  20. Read cases. There are no rules to solve them and it is one place where you can combine creativity with intelligent analysis. If nothing they are nice stories to read.
  21. Never miss a good professor’s class. They are a rarity and you may take back life’s lessons
  22. Plagiarism is rampant and often excused. Good professors will make you pay for it
  23. Teaching associates check your exam papers. With burgeoning batch sizes that’s the way ahead. There is always a question on how qualified they are.
  24. Student exchange in Europe is really cool. 5th terms can get extremely boring, especially if you have a PPO or/and you are not part of the B-School festivals in your institute nor are you participating in some.
  25. It takes courage to be different in a B-School. Being courageous also means sacrifice
  26. Higher the degree of honesty, greater the chances of you being in trouble
  27. 100% placements of QUALITY is a relic of the past.  That concept doesn’t even make headlines anymore. It’s all about the big names, big money.
  28. Big money can make a mockery of all your loyalty towards a particular profile or domain during placements. In desperate times, placement policies force such an effect.
  29. Batches of 2009 and 2010 are 2 of the unluckiest batches since liberalization across IIMs but more specifically at L,I,K
    (Update 2nd August 2013 : Sorry 2009/2010 guys, the crown now clearly lies with the Class of 2013)
  30. There is little value addition in most classes. That time can be used so much better. However, it is professor dependent. A good professor can make attending lectures a delight. Even the laziest bums on campus will work when a good professor is around.
  31. PPT styles and videos of a lot of professors are of an era gone by long ago.
  32. Communication lectures are the most abused but no other course is as important as written and oral communication. Ask people who have just been placed.
  33. Microsoft Office is more important than any other software in the life of an IIM grad. Mastery over MS-Excel and MS-PowerPoint can take you places.
  34. The probability of you getting into Mckinsey and Co. when you’re taking the CAT is less than 0.02%.
  35. Entrepreneurship is cool. Being an entrepreneur while being on campus is cooler.
  36. Pagalguy.com is part of B-school folklore now. It’s already a case study in IIM Bangalore and IIM Indore. It’s a lot of fun to see real life personalities of people whom you have made an image about while interacting on pagalguy. Double thumbs up to pagalguy.
    (Update 2nd August 2013 : Prof. Prabhu does not take New Product Development at IIM Indore anymore. So no pagalguy case study for Planet – I folks!)
  37. It is a Post Graduate Programme in Management with a degree called PGDM and not a MBA.
  38. Sports meets are awesome fun.
  39. No one has a clue what they want to do with their life. Most just pretend that they know
  40. Sometimes almost everyone seems better than you.
  41. You will never get time for yourself.  Trust me; it’s a good state to be in.
  42. Do as many activities as possible on campus. It may be the last chance before you get back into the real world.
  43. If you can avoid peer pressure on campus, you’re already on your way to becoming great.
  44. No matter where you are, you will always feel something else is better.
  45. It is not very easy to win B-school competitions. Respect the ones who do.
  46. Generally it is clear from class participation/desperate class participation who has substance and who has the faff. Quality interactions between faculty and students are rare.
  47. Never miss out on a rural stint. It can be life changing.
  48. Never grudge anyone their success. Just know that if you’re working hard, your time too shall come.
  49. Nothing is more important than networking. If you fail to know at least 70% of your batch and 50% of junior batch, then you have missed out on a golden opportunity. ( You can make adjustments to the stats if batch sizes are huge or/and if you’ve gone on an exchange programme :P)
  50. Over 99% of the people in your age group in this country will happily swap places with you. No matter what the B-school communities say, you’re lucky to be in an IIM.

– Ankit Doshi

(The author is an alumnus of IIM Indore –  Class of 2011 and Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai –  Class of 2007.  He is the founder of this website and his last bit of corporate slavery was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has interned with TATA Capital and has worked with WhatsonIndia.com  in the past. He still believes that ‘Umang’ NM College’s festival was the best thing to have happened to him where he led a team of 500 students)

Other posts from this author you may want to read : Ankit Doshi

Also, read: 

  1. CAT Preparation Tips by MBA Alumni & students 
  2. The Power of a NGO
  3. 6 Traps to be wary of in a business school in India
  4. 5 reasons why student-run Placement committees should give way to CDC at IIMs

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Ankit Doshi

Creator of InsideIIM.com



Hemant Shrivastava

Candid: gems of wisdom and highly recommend for those gunning for IIM seat.


Hey doshi

Nice post..u might want to pick up 10 points from this list and elaborate them..would love to read some of the points in a more detailed description


Very true. Each and every point is bang on target.

BTW all points are true for other "premiere" B-Schools too.

Akash Kumar

It would be great if you could leave your attention-grabing opinion inave bside your living room. I am proud to have been a part of the institution that IIMs are.

If there are so many flaws within the system (which you believe you have identified correctly) I wonder why you completed our MBA in the first place.

Anyway – from whatever I can guess about you as an individual, it is unlikely that you will allow this comment to be featured on your post – I rest my case!


A perfect example of communication skills as so many positives are made to look negatives… Loved it though… Brought back so many examples…


A lot of positives are missing and negatives are hyped. sad to see this article. Anyways its an individual opinion


Anil, Sanyam and Akash, could you please demarcate the positive and the negative points given in the post above.

The author has unequivocally stated his feelings about the IIMs, these contain both some complaints and also a good outline of the opportunities available. Now, could you guys please put your opinions/views/counter-views here, up for open debate?

Saurabh Kumar

Hi most of the things are true for premier B-'sch6ools like IIMs but not for FMS. FMS is very different.

akanksha w

i dont agree on the quality of prof's. the profs in my IIM are a delight to just listen; and the passion with which they teach you along with the quality of interaction outside the class is just awesome. also IIM is a good experience; even if you dont know what you wanna do in your life it definately makes u reinvent yourself as a person.

Charan Iyengar

Like any college, you will find good and bad professors both, just like you find good and not-so-good (read: academically) students. So the quality of interaction is subjective and hence people prefer to study/teach at IIMs to ensure that the chances of getting shitty interaction is minimal. Also, this is the problem of the perception of MBA. We do an MBA because we are simply clueless in life. Rather MBA should be taken up by people who have seen various aspects of life and know what they want to do with life.


39) No one has a clue what they want to do with their life. Most just pretend that they know

Wow… I luv dis one!! 😛

rahul soni

brilliant post man……. "batch of 2009 and 2010 are the most unfortunate"…. indeed, tell me about it……

Rakesh S

Good one, but halfway through the list, I was assured that you aren’t from A. Cheers.

Rahul Yelisetti

Unverified CV point in the signature…Did your placecom approve this point? And how could it be exact 500? The probability of it being an exactly round number is less than the probability of getting into McKinsey…

Aap Dude hai

This "leading 500 ppl" is smthing he wld have used in interviews to sail through…everyone knows there are more than 50 ppl involved in any fest to manage(not lead) 500 ppl


Go do some research about Umang – NM College boss…. It is a BIG deal to be CP at Umang..It is one of the biggest things to be not only at NM but also in Mumbai

Abhi Dasgupta

Not sure about the very first point though; from where I stand, left-right-front-back, an IIM Admit does look like a ticket to happiness. At least that is what the alums say and it shows. Most of us present here will pass out with a salary and life we could never dream of in college or school.


This is what happens when you go with *lot of expectations rather than accepting the fact.


I guess one would understand them better by actually being in an IIM. Nevertheless, nice to know.


that's why a lot of people go in for GRE or GMAT =)…..or they used to before recession II

Your batchmate

@Rahul Soni – Unlucky to be part of the 2009/10 batch. I guess your OBC certificate still more than compensates for this loss of luck 😉


"Higher the degree of honesty,more the chances of you getting into trouble.."" …somewhere unconvinced and disheartened on this point…


Nice post man !
I think this is not new, every system has some flaws and I am sure most of us will agree that IIMs are the best place to get bigger opportunities in India, though it will be individual’s perception whether the opportunity is good for him; But surely one of the best one can get in India. No institute can help you become entrepreneur, thats the bottom line. 🙂


What a stupid article ….99 Percent of the junta qould like to swap places with you…for what? pay 15 lac fee and then earn a meagre peanuts? 8-10 lacs? thats an IIM? India is a poor country you dont need to be under a 15 lac debt and end up paying 20k-30k EMI per month from your peanut salary of 60k….I suppose its better to be an engineer from the top 10 colelges of the country and pay <5 lacs for your graduation and still end up earning more than an IIM guy ..IIMs are not even known anywhere outside of india ..the thing you guys are running after like rats really are not worth it..It would be better if you do an MBA in Dubai or the middle east rather than doing an MBA from India ..hell ..even any MS from dubai/Canada from a below average university will have a better ROI than you so called..Media hyped IIM…bunch of rubbish..(except ABC)

Rahul Goyal

Hey Ankit,

Superb! Loved it…but can you please explain the below point:

“Higher the degree of honesty, greater the chances of you being in trouble”… I am one of those who believes in being very honest. Its somehow difficult to digest for me.Please explain your point.