They say, there is no end to learn. The idea that you study only to get job and your student life ends there is passÃ©. There is still scope to learn new concepts and polish your skills even if you are among the top management members of a company. As you climb up the corporate ladder and meet competition, the only way to sustain it is through sharpening your armour of knowledge. Executive MBA fits the bill for such working professionals with at least 3 years of managerial work experience.
Executive MBA, as the name suggests, is meant for the Executives or the working professionals who have already gained a significant amount of experience. The duration, module, curriculum and pedagogy etc. for Executive MBA programmes are designed in a way to suit the executives.
Speaking about the need for pursuing Executive Management programmes, Prof. Sunil Maheshwari, PGPX Chairperson, IIM Ahmedabad says, “Business environment has been changing rapidly globally. This general management programme enables practicing executives respond effectively to those changes. The customized segments of the programme ensure that the students are more than adequately equipped and empowered with knowledge and skill sets to attain leadership positions and add value to their organizations through complex situations.”
Executive MBA allows experienced professionals to hone their managerial skills, leadership qualities, exposes to ideas from professionals from similar or diverse fields and expand their career opportunities. The duration and mode of offering the Executive MBA programme varies from full time, part time, weekend or online, ranging from 1 to 3 years.
While the traditional MBA or the regular MBA is of 2 years duration and meant for graduates having no or a couple of years work experience, the primary eligibility criteria for Executive MBA is to have work experience of minimum 5 years. The minimum age of the candidates should be 27 years and there is no upper limit.
The Executive MBA or EMBA can be categorized into following categories based on the duration and mode of offer.
Mode of Course
Weekend MBA (conducted on Saturday and Sunday)
While most of the top B-schools offer Executive MBA programmes, Indian School of Business offers programmes only for working executives hence exclusive in its own merit. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, established in 2004, offered only 1 year Executive MBA programme for working executives, but since 2012, it started offering 2 year PGDM programmes as well.
What does Executive MBA programme teach and how it is taught?
The following areas are taught in the Executive MBA programmes:
Production & Quantitative Methods
Entrepreneurship and New Ventures
Employee Empowerment and Participative Management
Performance Management and Appraisal
Product and Brand Management
Corporate Tax Management
Source: Executive MBA Council
The broad areas and the exact curriculum might vary. As far as the pedagogy is concerned, it is more of interactive in nature. The case method of learning is majorly used in the classroom. The experience of the students is leveraged in the class room through the case study and discussions.
Different B-schools follow different pedagogy for Executive MBA. While some institutes have a multiple campus exposure where the students spend their terms in different campuses of the institute, some have satellite campuses for offering the programmes meant for working Executives. Let us have a look at some of the institutes and their pedagogy.
IIM Ahmedabad – In IIM A, Case Study method is used. “Case discussions are supplemented with lectures, seminars, games, role plays, industrial visits, and group exercises. The case method is utilized to develop skills needed for problem solving, decision-making, and implementation. Application of theoretical knowledge to real-life problems is tested through this pedagogy,” mentions the B-School.
XLRI – XLRI Jamshedpur offers Part Time PGDM (Business Management) programme and full time PGDM General Management programme for working executives. The Executive PGP is offered in the Dubai campus. These programmes teach core courses as well as electives followed by exam. Apart from that, through various projects and activities, the soft skills, such as team building skills, strategy building, resource/energy management etc. are tested. Under the Rural/Village exposure programme, the General Management Programme students are to identify the problems of the people of a particular village and then suggest solutions. Students will then have to design business modules. According to XLRI, the rural exposure Program will help the future managers to understand the needs of the local people and provide solutions to their problems.
SPJIMR- The USP of the Post Graduate Executive Management Programme (PGEMP) is that the batch is conducted 5 times a year and the students have the flexibility to join it as per their convenience. The programme is offered both on and off campus. The students need to come to campus and be resident for 60 days total during the term. These days include full day classes.During each on campus period, students are provided with relevant reference and study material.
The assignments have to be submitted through online platform. Regarding the pedagogy, SPJIMR mentions, “In addition to periodic exams, it requires participants to apply the knowledge imparted in the classroom to the employer's context through several ‘Application Assignments’. The course also mandates that a major "Project" linked to the employer's business be done by the participant under a designated faculty guide. The Programme thus produces not only conceptual understanding but a demonstrated evidence of action learning.”
Great Lakes Institute of Management – The 1 year Post Graduate programme consists of Karmayoga or Leadership Experiential Program (LEP)as an integral part of the programme. In this project, students have to connect to the ground realities and learn leadership skills experientially. The B-School has adopted 21 villages surrounding the campus. The objective of the Karmayoga or LEP is to enhance the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the villagers, so that they experience better standard of living. “Karma Yoga is a real life practical lab to learn and experience the power of transformational leadership. In this attempt by Great Lakers to transform people belonging to nearby villages, the key focus has been in the fields of education, health, agriculture, and small business,” mentions Great Lakes Institute of Management.
New IIMs offering Executive MBA programme
The six new IIMs, namely IIM Ranchi, Rohtak, Raipur, Trichy, Udaipur and Kashipur have started offering Executive management programmes. Let us have a look at each of these programmes and their approaches.
IIM Ranchi – IIM Ranchi offers 2 Executive programmes, Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGEXP) and Post Graduate Programme in Energy Management (PGPEM).The PGEXP is a 2 year weekend programme which offers specializations on Finance, HRM, Marketing and Operations.
PGPEM is also part time programme with 6 residencies of 7 days each at IIM, Ranchi and a residency of 20 days at College of Technology, University of Houston, Texas, USA after the 2nd Term. The Program would comprise of three major parts – General Management courses, Energy Management courses and in depth project equivalent of two courses credit.
IIM Rohtak – IIM Rohtak offers Executive Post Graduate Programme (ePGP) which is a 2 year both on campus and off campus programme. The classes are held offline as well as online over a weekday and weekends. The first year will teach the major or the core courses and the specialized courses will be taught in the second year. According to IIM Rohtak, a participant has to choose either 2 Major specializations from among Financial Management, Marketing and Strategic Management or one Major specialization from those three areas and 2 Minor specializations from among Human Resource Management, IT Systems, and Operations. The students will have to undergo all the prescribed courses from the selected areas of specialization, with a limited option for choosing electives of one’s preference. The pedagogy comprises of case studies, exercises, lectures, classroom discussion, simulation, project/field work, online quizzes and tutorial sessions.
IIM Raipur – IIM Raipur offers Post Graduate Programme in Management for Working Executive (PGPWE), which is a one-and-a-half-year programme offered during weekends. IIM Raipur mentions, “The focus is to enable and develop managers that understand global embedness and requirements of their organisations as well as also understand the intricacies of business at functional and strategic levels. The program also has given a special emphasis on emerging economies which have enormous potential and business opportunities.” The pedagogy includes a mix of case studies, lecture sessions by faculty, live interactions with industry experts, business games, simulation exercises and field visits.
IIM Trichy – IIM Trichy offers 2 Executive MBA programmes, namely, Post Graduate Programme in Business Management (PGPBM) and Post Graduate Programme in Human Resource Management (PGPHRM). The duration of the programmes is 27 months. Students are permitted to take up to a maximum of five electives in Terms 6 to 9 which can enable them to complete the programme in 24 months if they wish to. These programmes are offered at the satellite campus in Chennai which not only provides books and study materials but also gives access to electronic database. Apart from the regular course curriculum, during the last two terms, the students have to work on an assignment in an organization for a minimum period of 12 weeks under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
IIM Udaipur – Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX) offered by IIM Udaipur is a 15 month regular full time programme. The students spend the fall module in Purdue University, USA for their international immersion segment. The coursework also requires the completion of an internship lasting for a total of eight weeks. The students are awarded with both the PGPX Diploma from IIM Udaipur and a MS degree from Purdue.
IIM Kashipur– IIM Kashipur’s Executive management programme is named Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGPM). It is a 2 year programme weekend programme. The pedagogy at IIM Kashipur presents a mix of case studies, lecture sessions by faculty, live interactions with industry experts, business games and simulation exercises.
Special campus for Executive
Several B-schools have a second campus or satellite campus to offer management programmes for working professionals or executives. The following table brings to you the IIMs which have satellite campuses and the programmes which are offered from those campuses.
Satellite Campus location
Why Executive MBA
While the main objective behind pursuing Executive MBA is to enhance the management knowledge and climb up the corporate ladder. However, that’s not the only reason. Each aspirant may have different reasons or a combination of reasons behind pursuing Executive MBA. Here we try to explore the various reasons why you should pursue the Executive MBA.
Enhance managerial skills – This is the primary reason why working professionals go for Executive MBA. In order to attain growth in the career path, working executives often seek higher management education. For executives who are already working in a managerial position often need a certain edge on the leadership skill, going for Executive MBA would be the right decision.
Shift in career path – Working professionals, who have completed 5 or more years in their organization in a non-managerial role often aim to shift to higher management or leadership roles. Those who do not have a management education background find it the most feasible option to acquire a qualification related to business and management education.
Gateway to Entrepreneurship – For entrepreneurship enthusiasts, who do not have a management degree, obtaining the Executive MBA is an effective way to gear up for the new phase. As entrepreneurs not just execute an idea but also lead a team of co-workers and employees who are driving the wheel of their dream. Executive MBA will not only give you that leadership lesson but will also expose you to case studies and real life situations of tackling different situations in the business.
Networking – The Executive MBA classrooms are diverse in terms of experience and background of the students. It will be an opportunity for the prospective students to interact and build networking connections with the professionals from different sectors, functions and career levels. Also, owing to the guest lectures from corporate honchos help in developing business contacts which will aid in the students’ personal and professional growth.
Corporate Sponsorship – Organizations often finance their valuable employees to pursue Executive MBA from a noted institute on the condition that they would join the organization and take up a higher management or leadership role. Such students do not participate in the placement process and go back to join their previous organization itself to contribute in their newly acquired learning. However, the fee for the sponsored candidates is higher than that of the non-sponsored candidates.
To continue work while you learn – Working professionals, who are in a responsible position often find it difficult to leave the organization or take sabbatical. For them, earning an MBA through Part Time or Online MBA is the best option. Instead of completing the entire curriculum in 1 year, the students get the flexibility to complete the curriculum over 2 to 3 years through online classrooms or weekend classes.
To pursue long lost MBA dream – While around 2 lakh candidates take CAT or the Common Admission Test, not everyone is fortunate enough to grab the coveted seat in one of the top B-schools. As the admission factor includes past academic records, high CAT percentile, performance in WAT-PI and GD, a large chunk of the MBA aspirants let go of the dream owing to disqualifying in one of the criteria. Instead of compromising their dream by accepting admission from a mid-tier B-School, they often either continue with their erstwhile jobs or take up new jobs to gain valuable work experience only to prepare themselves for pursuing the Executive MBA.
As per a survey conducted by IIM Ahmedabad for the Executive MBA aspirants, the top reasons for pursuing Executive MBA is to bridge the gap between the current skill level and desired skill level to play a larger role in management and to attain shift in career path.
How to pursue Executive MBA
The primary eligibility criterion for the aspirants is to have at least 3-5 years of work experience. The top B-schools in India accept the scores of GMAT. The candidates are shortlisted on the basis of their GMAT score, Statement of Purpose or Essay or Letters of Recommendation and performance in Personal Interview rounds.Some B-schools also accept CAT scores along with GMAT scores or conduct their own entrance exam for the admission in the Executive MBA programme. Some institutes have the minimum age limit factor as well.
While the aspirants of Executive MBA already possesses the much needed work experience, all they have to focus on next is a good GMAT score. The advantage of GMAT is that the exam can be taken multiple times a year as per the candidates’ convenience and the scores are valid for 5 years. However, most of the B-schools accept scores of 2 to 3 years.
After you apply to the B-schools on the basis of your GMAT scores, the shortlisted candidates will have to prepare on their soft skills, such as Essay Writing and Personal Interview. Some B-schools also ask for a detailed Statement of Purpose. In order to succeed in these rounds, clarity in thought is the most important factor. They must be successful in communicating their ideas with the interview panel on how the Executive MBA would add value to his or her career.
While preparing for GMAT is a rigorous task, it is also important that the aspirants prepare for the final round of selection process with equal vigour in order to succeed in their dream.
Top Executive MBA programmes
The following table will bring you the top B-schools in India offering Executive MBA programmes along with the salient features.
Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX)
Rs. 24 lakh
Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP)
Statement of Purpose (SOP)
Two Reference letter
Written Ability Test and Interview
Post Graduate Programmes for Executives (PGPEX)
Statement of Purpose
Letters of Recommendation from 2 senior managers
Rs. 22 lakh
International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX)
2 Letters of Recommendation
IIM Lucknow Noida Campus
Working Manager Programme (WMP)
Rs. 18 lakh
IIM Indore Mumbai campus
Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPMX)
Rs. 11 lakh
CAT (2 years validity)
GMAT (2 years validity)
Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP)
Hyderabad campus – 550
Mohali – 270
Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior Executives (PGPMAX)
Part Time (Evening Programme)
Writing Ability Test
Rs. 2 lakh + miscellaneous fee
MBA Executive-Healthcare Administration (HCA)
Part Time (Evening)
Rs. 10 lakh
PGDM General Management (GM)
Rs. 16 lakh
Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Marketing (EPGDM)
Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Capital and Financial Markets (EPGDCFM)
MBA Part Time
National Management Programme (NMP)/PGP-Energy Management
Post Graduate Executive Management Programme (PGEMP)
IQ and Psychometric Test
Personal Academic Discussion
Rs. 12 lakh
Great Lakes Institute of Management
MBA (Part Time)
#NA – Not Available
Executive MBA Time line
The time line for the Executive MBA varies from institute to institute. Some institutes even conduct multiple batches or application cycles to suit the schedule of the executives. The table below will bring to you the approximate timeline followed at the top B-schools offering Executive MBA.
September (Round 1)
November (Round 2)
May (Round 1)
September (Round 2)
August (Round 1)
October (Cycle 1)
January (Cycle 2)
November (Cycle 1)
Although there is no fixed schedule for application window or class commencement, as observed from the table above, most of the Executive MBA programmes commence from April.
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news on Executive MBA.
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