Number of students from small towns have gone up from 25 in 2001-02 to 92.
Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, has dared to tread a path that no other business school in the country has walked. It is promoting itself across the country to attract students for its one-year MBA programme.
Roadshows are being held in various cities and towns to promote the MBA programme taught, among others, by experts from well-known business schools such as Wharton and Kellogg.
The towns where the roadshows are being held include Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Allahabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Trivandrum since the school recruits through GMAT, GRE in addition to common admission test (CAT).
Apart from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore, this year the team is holding roadshows in Chandigarh, Visakhapatnam, Indore, Kochi, Pune, Lucknow, Jamshedpur and Ludhiana.
In addition, the road shows are held in a host of tier II and tier III towns like Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Indore, Jamshedpur, Bhopal, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Mysore, Cuddalore, Asansol, Sambalpur and Siliguri.
“Next year, the teams may go to the Northeast from where there has been a lot of interest,” said a senior ISB functionary. “We go to towns and cities where we have not gone before and where there is a lot of interest from students,” she said.
She said the school monitors from which areas admission queries have come before deciding on its tour itinerary.
“While other business schools are faced with a surfeit of applicants, ISB has a peculiar problem. While the top GMAT scorers go abroad, the ones who cannot make it to the US, either don't know about ISB or think it is too expensive. By doing admission road shows focussed on the smaller towns, the school has managed to solve both the problems in one go. It has filled up its seats while catering to aspirations in small towns,” said an industry analyst.
“When we started doing road shows to promote the school, we thought of including the smaller cities and towns too. There are a lot of bright young people in India and many of them are located in smaller towns. So we decide to reach out to them,” the ISB functionary added.
And the strategy has paid handsome dividends. In the last five years, the number of students from the smaller cities has risen sharply, from 25 in 2001-02 to 92 this academic year. In the next academic year too, the school expects at least 25 per cent of its students to come from non-metros.