ISB shifts placements to Mohali, algorithm to decide choice of campus for candidates

With Mohali on the scene now, The Indian School of Business, (popularly called ISB Hyderabad) is tweaking its admission process for the next academic year. This is to make both the campuses (Mohali and Hyderabad) one unified campus in the genuine sense of the term.

To begin with, from the next academic year, one combined merit list will be prepared for both the campuses. The list will have 770 names which is the collective strength of both the campuses. After the list is prepared, the campus will be allotted algorithmly to the students. The practise of having candidates choose their campus will be done away with, in a sense. Yes, the candidate will still be able to list his choice of campus during admission but whether he/she will get it, will depend what the formula throws up.

There is however, a provision for an ISB student to undertake a campus exchange programme between the third and fourth semester provided there are enough students to keep the balance. So, in effect, the choice of campus is actually only for the first two terms. It is seen from those who selected Mohali (in April earlier this year) versus Hyderabad, that the different electives at both the locations was the main reason for choosing a particular campus.

According to Mr VK Menon, ISB’s Senior Director- Career Advancement Services, Admissions and Financial Aid at the ISB, the move will hopefully truly integrate both the campuses. “The facilities and all infrastructures are just the same in both Mohali and Hyderabad, so a candidate should not have a problem. Anyway, it is a residential course.”

The second big difference is that for the next academic year, Mohali will be made the central point for placeements. ISB follows a ‘rolling’ process wherein the placements carry on for approximately 3 months. Since Mohali is in the picture from this year, it has been decided to start the placement process in Mohali. As of now, the first two phases of the placements will be in Mohali and students from the Hyderabad campus will be parked at Mohali for that period. Talks are on to conduct the last two placements in Hyderabad, which means students from Mohali will go to Hyderabad for the second phase.

“The entire placement process will be done though a single mechanism. This means that recruiters will get one consolidated list of candidates and their profiles and the campus location will be just incidental,” added Mr Menon.

Another change that ISB will fructify this year will be arranging students in groups according to their profiles at admission time itself. ISB has a version of this practise already at the Hyderbad campus. At Mohali too, students will be grouped according to their profiles (five diverse profiles in one group). “The group remains a single entity during the entire year and is rated as a group for every project undertaken. If one person does not perform in the group, it impacts the whole group. This technique will be further fine-tuned since the results so far have been quite encouraging,” said Mr Menon.

The changes or the need to provide the Mohali campus, the same treats as the Hyderabad one, is seen as a move to strengthen Mohali’s presence. ISB’s Hyderabad location has been in operation since 1996 and earned itself a name and place in the MBA circuit. Touted to be one of the best b-school campuses in India, its infrastructure is the big reason (provided finances are in order) that candidates choose to study at ISB Hyderabad. On the other hand, Mohali is yet to make a name for itself and if given a choice, a candidate will any day prefer to go to Hyderabad instead of Mohali.

ISB is possibly trying to run its school on the lines of INSEAD which has three global campuses. One in Europe, second in Asia and the third in the Middle East. Its students get a chance to study in all three campuses in a single academic year.

Some of the changes that ISB has planned are already in practise but are going to be perfected from the next year onwards.

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