The dark side of IIM A


You would be taken for granted if you are in the bottom of “profile and academic pyramid”.

Life is not easy for these people.

Now it’s your choice : To be The King of a place or To be The Peon of King’s place.


B Leaks is sharing feedback/opinion of Alumni and current students of  WIMWI  (IIM-A)






Mr X : Yes, it depends on how one thinks. Even if you end up in the bottom half, companies still value you because of IIM A brand. You might not make it to the best of consults or banks, but that brand of IIMA keeps on helping you even after you complete MBA. Though I believe, there has been a shift happening recently, where some students prefer to join B or C over A because they feel similar companies visit B and C for placements and competition is far less fierce. Personally, I have juniors who decided for B or C, got good ranks and made it to the top. 


It can be considered as a dark side because most of the students who join A have been toppers or best performers in their respective undergrads/office etc. When they come to A, they still believe they would be able to do well. But, because of excessive competition, they end up doing not so well, which I have seen is hard for some to digest. Maybe, things would have been different if they had chosen to join B or C


But all these are only conjectures. No one knows what might have happened. There was a study that most of the CEOs from A were bottom rankers. The reason for this is that toppers join banks, consult, pe, VCs and bottom half joins marketing, gen-man firms.


I am not sure whether it is a dark side in the short run or a bright spot for future. Depends on how you see it.



Ms. Y:  Its kind of true. And it really gets frustrating at times. But this affects first few Months only ( till term 2) after which the course becomes qualitative. The people who are not from a very good college usually work very hard to get a good gpa.

Sometimes maintaining GPA is not easy, since you are fighting with top brains of the country and it is frustrating too.  


Like the norms are also like in the quant courses, the papers are very tough. So many aren't able to do much in it. Then for papers where others are more comfortable with accounts and costing, therein the papers are made easy. IIM A has/had 96% engineers. So the college assumes that these subjects of commerce are tough for them to grasp so they give the option to evalauate cover best 2 exams. Whereas in quant courses all exams affect Cgpa.


So people who have less GPA and always target more in summers. They put in More effort during summers to get through the PPO route. Coz they know finals would be tough for them. Then the people who are not from stellar colleges, they usually target the Cgpa route for finals. People who have entered at fewer percentiles coz of academic diversity and are from okayish colleges usually get a decent chance in summers. And due to diversity factor if someone is getting A, they A is always better than any other IIM.


Here I want to add one more point: Also after term 2 the subjects become very qualitative and no particular background has an advantage/disadvantage. They are more like theory subjects with group assignments. It's all your luck what kind of group you get. 



Mr. Z: Partially true. But, we need to understand that one can reap the brand only for initial few years. Moving further, it all depends upon the capability of the student and the experiences that one has absorbed during the professional choice. Being at the bottom of pyramid skews one's chances of getting a good headstart in the campus which can have a long-lasting impact. The placement process designed tries to keep the process fair but, in some way, it favours the people who have a better academic track with the opportunity of accepting multiple offers. Accepted, the student should be rewarded for his/her stellar performance but, at the same time, it is abused. People keep on bagging multiple offers, not with an intent of building a career, but being paid the most. Overall, I feel the one in the bottom of the pyramid is throwback a bit.


Mr. M : I had different objectives, so the so-called profile pyramid is not of consequence to me. But I can say that in general you get very good opportunities if you prepare well. 

"Some people of so called weak profile people take the brand for granted and then they suffer". 

But yes Brand biasness is there. Brand of your UG , company.


My take is - 

For average or just below average profile you can get better opportunity elsewhere (in other IIMs)

For the bottom of this pyramid, in A - you will get a deal you won't get anywhere else.

and For the best profile, it is the place to be.


Ms. N: It's not anything like taken for granted, initially it's a cultural shock but in a time span of 1-2 months, you get the reality and can utilize the ample opportunities which this place provide, instead of focusing on where you stand in this crowd. So it's personal choice on which part you want to focus and build your career/ life.

It might be the case that you are the king of a place but might not be getting ample opportunities as the peon of other place is getting. So it's nothing to take on self esteem.. And just focus on the opportunities in hand in my opinion

I think UG matters only up-to certain extent. i.e. in summers shortlisting and initially when you are introducing yourself among the students, but if you have worth in your points while you are participating in class, people don't underestimate you despite of your background /ug college.



And finals, I don't know how much it matters in shortlisting because I have not gone through the process yet

But what I have heard -"your on-campus work/ Activity matters the most in finals". But still I am too early to comment on this.. Until I don't face the whole process.


Mr. O : Don't agree with it, Apt version of this would be: You would be taken for granted if you free ride in group work if you can't handle the work allotted to you on your own! .  Though people do judge you on the basis of where you got placed in the end, it's your work which matters.

But yes - I would say that it's the companies(summer placements) which look a lot at where you are coming from (your last brand UG or company)!. This is where the profile and the work you have done kicks in.

It's a known fact that an average profile might have the chances to get a consult shortlist in Calcutta but forget the chances here. 

Just simply answer - "Would you as an HR of a company, shortlist a person who has done a lot before coming to IIM or someone who hasn't done much?" 

Same is the case everywhere. 

The problem with us is that each one of us comes here with a dream of getting placed in MBB/P&G/HUL

I can talk about myself. I would have chosen to come over here rather than B/C. Or any other For me, it has been a roller coaster ride and my bubble burst. What's the point of spending 20 lakhs if you remain the same person as you were before!


I only have to say this that if you are coming to IIM A and have an average profile, you would have to work hard to make yourself able to compete with others.. IIM A is not going to rest until it takes the best out of you!


Also, if you're looking to chill and have fun for 20 lakhs, IIM A is going to disappoint you big time!



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