(This article is based on the National Rankings list of the PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings, 2010.)

The years 2008 and 2009 made business schools extremely vulnerable to the same market forces that they had been training managers to deal with. In many ways, the PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings 2010 mirror the performances of b-schools during the economic recession of 2008-09.

Take the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad for example. Ranked 4th right after the top three Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in 2009 PaGaLGuY rankings, ISB Hyderabad has dropped to rank 7 this year. ISB’s nightmarish experience in placing its class of 2009 has arguably hit its perception.

The biggest gainer at ISB’s expense is Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies, which now shares rank 4 with XLRI, Jamshedpur. Between ISB and FMS, the return on investment might have been the deal breaker. With total expenses amounting to nearly Rs 19 lakh at ISB, many students were reported to have graduated with annual salaries as low as Rs 8 lakhs as employment dried up in the market. In times as adverse as these, graduating with any salary at FMS was utopian, since the institute’s total feel for the two years is less than Rs one lakh.

The top three slots in PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings 2010 were retained by the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta respectively.

Here’s one thing you might wonder about while browsing the rankings. See the screenshot below.

Why does is ISB Hyderabad ranked 7 Overall but 5 in freshers, work experience, women, alumni, aspirants and students? Or why is FMS ranked number 4 overall but 5 or 6 in other heads?

The answer to that is in understanding that the aggregate of Women, Freshers, Alumni, etc is not the universal set of respondents. They are all subsets with common elements (some women are freshers, some aspirants have work experience, and vice versa). The overall ranking also includes respondents under the ‘Others’ category, which might swing the aggregate rank despite the rank in the individual heads. So if you find cases such as these, do not be alarmed. All is well.

One clear trend emerges in the movements within the top 20 b-schools of this year’s rankings: older institutions that have been around for ages overtook newer institutions, perhaps implying that in an uncertain job market, the respondents are showing preference for a stable brand over newer b-schools.

So SP Jain, Mumbai displaced the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi to reach rank 10, while the 47-year old National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) jumped two places up despite being open only to engineers. Similarly, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune jumped one rank up to 16 over the previous year.

All IIMs except IIM Lucknow either retained or increased their ranks between the PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings of 2009 and 2010. IIM Lucknow fell one rank to number 6 (to the gain of FMS, Delhi University) while IIM Shillong received pretty much the same votes as Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) and Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi, sharing rank 21 with the two.

We have always stressed on the importance of ethical integrity in the PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings and have been warning the b-school student communities of dire consequences of trying to rig the rankings. Two years ago, one business school in South India came close to expulsion from the rankings, but the school’s administration saved the day by penalizing the students with compulsory social service.

This year however, two b-schools pushed our tolerance of survey rigging to the very limits. Reluctant as it was, we decided to disqualify these two schools: Vinod Gupta School of Management (VGSoM), IIT Kharagpur and International Management Institute (IMI, Delhi) fron the rankings. These two schools have not received a rank in PaGaLGuY B-school Rankings 2010. More about it here.

Here are some more interesting trends in PaGaLGuY.com B-school Rankings 2010 compared to previous year’s rankings:

  • Among the IIT schools of management, IIT Madras (27) overtook IIT Kanpur (33) to become the third most preferred IIT MBA after IIT Bombay (19) and IIT Delhi (21).
  • Among business schools accepting the SNAP exam score, SIBM Bangalore (26)overtook Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB), Pune (29) to become the third-most preferred Symbiosis b-school after SIBM Pune (16) and SCMHRD, Pune (20).
  • Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai (37) became the fourth most preferred institute accepting the XAT score exclusively, after XLRI Jamshedpur (4), XIM Bhubhaneswar (16) and Goa Institute of Management (26). Last year, XIME Bangalore (43) occupied this position.

You can view further comparisons between national schools here by using the ‘filter by exam’ feature.

The National rankings also lists the most preferred b-schools according to Women, Freshers, Work-Experienced aspirants, MBA students and MBA alumni. Use the slick interface and the ‘Compare B-schools’ feature to contrast the rankings of b-schools with each other and across demographic parameters.

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