This coming week, the director of the MBA programme will visit India and conduct application interviews for about 5 candidates in Mumbai. My colleague James Barker will also host an information session for a small group of pre-screened prospective candidates.
It is no secret that after the US, India is one of the two largest countries in terms of GMAT test-takers (the other country being China). Given the large number of Indian applicants to the Cambridge MBA, it is also no surprise that admission into the Cambridge MBA is extremely competitive among Indian candidates. Unlike some schools who share our claim to have a global MBA, we have resisted the temptation to pack our class with a high percentage of candidates from any one region, and that includes India.
The Cambridge MBA admissions team has not visited India for many years. This is largely because every year, we receive a large number of applications from Indian applicants. However, a high percentage of these applications come from the IT consulting world, which makes it very difficult for these applicants to distinguish themselves. I have believed for some time that there are more engines to India’s economic growth than just IT consulting, large though that might be. I have attended many talks at the Business School hosted by the Centre for India and Global Business that touched on innovation in various sectors in India — from how pharma companies in India are moving from outsourced clinical research into higher parts of the value chain; how new business models are begin developed to sell to the emerging Indian middle classes and the so-called bottom of the pyramid, down to how India rocked the global cricket market by starting a new TV-friendly format for cricket (don’t ask me what it all means, after four years in the UK, I still don’t understand the game).
We have therefore tried to invite a wider cross-section of Indian applicants for interviews. At the same time, we will continue to keep the number of Indian students in our MBA class at present levels. Which brings me to this week’s trip to India. We felt that the time was right to visit India to convey the message to Indian MBA applicants that the Cambridge MBA is highly selective but we also want a wider representation of India’s growth sectors. A Cambridge MBA will help our Indian students gain a deeper understanding of globalisation and innovation and I hope that many of them will return to India to help their country continue to grow economically.