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I have just returned from a fascinating three-week AMBA & BGA Roadshow in India, presenting to schools and holding capacity-building workshops in a number of major cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. 


India is already the fourth-largest country in the AMBA & BGA global business schools network, after China, the UK and France, with 15 accredited AMBA schools and nine BGA member schools. The demand for business education in India continues to expand since, unlike many European and Asian countries, India has a rapidly growing young population, with 50 per cent of its citizens – equivalent to around 700 million people – under the age of 25.

The most ambitious Indian schools are keen to differentiate themselves by enhancing their teaching and learning quality standards, since there are few barriers to entry in setting up a business school there. A staggering 4,000 of the estimated 16,000 business schools worldwide are in India. The formula for success is based above all on achieving two key criteria: attracting applications from the very best students on entry and attracting lucrative career placements from the very best employers on graduation.


The highest quality Indian business schools achieve high global rankings, such as the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, SP Jain in Mumbai and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kolkata. All three are AMBA-accredited. Indian schools face a challenge in terms of student and faculty internationalisation, since 99 per cent of their AMBA programme postgraduate students are from India and just one per cent are from overseas.

This partly explains why many Indian postgraduate students choose to study overseas, particularly in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, giving them more international experience and often work placements upon graduating. This obviously generates lucrative tuition fees for business schools in those countries. International schools are now seriously considering the opportunity to set up campuses in India, following a major development from India’s Ministry of Education.

In the past 12 months, new government legislation has been passed there that will enable business schools from overseas to set up schools in the country. This will increase competition within India and drive up quality standards, as Indian business schools will be forced to compete with high quality international schools domestically. In 2024, Australia’s Deakin will become the first to open an international teaching campus in India, in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City. The financial attractions are obvious – Australia has a population of 26 million, just two per cent of India’s overall population, and of course land, construction costs and staff salaries are vastly cheaper there.


In addition to our well-established portfolio of 15 AMBA-accredited business schools in India, we are experiencing a strong surge in demand from Indian business schools keen to join our Business Graduates Association as members and subsequently achieve BGA accreditation. This reflects an increasing desire among Indian schools to enhance teaching and learning standards, as well as become more international through joint programmes, faculty exchanges and student placements – and we are equally keen to welcome them into our AMBA & BGA global network.   E

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