Identifying Rough Diamonds, the JAGSoM Way: How this B-school grew Applications Last Year, and is Confident of Repeat in 2023 News Desk |
January 9, 2023
JAGSoM’s admission process that aims to “Find Rough Diamonds” seems to be delivering results as the B-School offers a Globally acclaimed Curriculum with Global Faculty on its rolls. After adopting significant changes in its admission policy last year, JAGSoM saw an unprecedented increase in aspirant interest with applications jumping by almost 70% and for Admissions 2023 also, JAGSoM expects the momentum to continue with higher applications
Identifying Rough Diamonds, the JAGSoM Way

After adopting significant changes in its admission policy for Admissions 2022, Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSoM) saw an unprecedented increase in aspirant interest with applications jumping by almost 70%. JAGSoM’s admission process that aims to “Find Rough Diamonds” seems to be delivering results. For Admissions 2023 too, JAGSoM expects the momentum to continue with higher applications. This article reviews JAGSoM admission strategy and expectations from 2023.

But, before we get into the JAGSoM admission strategy, here is a quick overview of JAGSoM, which has seen a transformation in the last decade.

JAGSoM is positioned as Global Business School with the Board of Directors from three continents: Asia, Europe and America. It offers a Globally acclaimed Curriculum with Global Faculty on its rolls. The curriculum adopted by JAGSoM is aligned with the industry needs and it prepares the students for the new age industry roles.

JAGSoM Bangalore Admission 2023 Open: Apply Now

JAGSoM’s Journey – Key milestones
Here are some key milestones in the journey of JAGSoM, particularly in last decade…

  • In 2010, BITS Alumni & Tech-entrepreneur Sanjay Padode took over as the Chairman of IFIM Business School, set up in 1995 by his Father late Shri VB Padode, founder of Dalal Street Journal (DSJ) Group.
  • In 2018, IFIM Business School became the sixth B-school in India after ISB, TAPMI, IIM Calcutta, IMT Ghaziabad, and XLRI, to be AACSB Accredited.
  • In the same year, Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, former Director of IMT Ghaziabad, Dean of MICA, and Deputy Director at SPJIMR Mumbai joined IFIM Business School.
  • On October 21, 2020, IFIM Business School Bangalore got rechristened as JAGSoM after globally respected management guru Padma Bhushan Dr. Jagdish Sheth.
  • In 2020, QS Masters in Marketing Ranking 2021 ranked JAGSoM amongst the Top 100 such programs in the world.
  • In February 2022, JAGSoM became one of the first B-schools in India to get Multi-Campus (Bangalore & Mumbai-Karjat) & Multi-Program (BBA, MBA, PGDM, PGDM Executive) Accreditation from AACSB International.

JAGSoM offers following full time PGDM Programs:
Last year, to cater to growing student interest, JAGSoM had increased total seats to 300 last year. Total number of seats for admissions 2023 are 300. JAGSoM offers following programs:

  • PGDM Program - 120
  • PGDM (Marketing Major) – 60  For those who wish to pursue a career in Marketing (with option of career tracks in MarTech or Sales & Service).
  • PGDM (Finance Major) – 60 - For those who wish to pursue a career in Finance (with option of career tracks in FinTech, Capital Markets or Banking).
  • PGDM (Analytics & Digital Business Major) – 60 For those who wish to pursue a career in Business Analytics.

Why focus on “identifying rough diamonds”
Focus on rough diamonds is a well thought out strategy at JAGSoM, as this quote from Prof. Jagdish Sheth, Chairman, JAGSoM, also Charles H. Kellstadt Chaired Professor Marketing, Emory University reveals “If you take a rough diamond and polish it, a good diamond cutter creates ten to fifteen times its value. However, if you take a human being, mentor and nurture him or her, the value and is infinite. There is no resource as powerful as human resource.”

To identify the candidate who are excellent raw material for their cutting edge PGDM program, JAGSoM assesses the candidates' innate potential and value-fit. Explaining the rationale for this focus, Dr Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, JAGSoM, says “JAGSoM's distinctive admissions process places a strong emphasis on determining the "Value Fit" of applicants. JAGSoM’s unique intervention in selecting the candidates whom we name as the rough diamonds, focuses more on the learnability, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and ability to work in a team in preference of just focusing on the marks obtained by the aspirants.”

How does JAGSoM identify “Rough Diamonds”
It is fair to say that admission process at most B-schools is focussed on entrance exam test scores and past academic studies. This process expects candidates to have taken entrance exam coaching. Those with innate abilities like creativity, innovation and people skills, are left behind.

JAGSoM’s admission strategy focuses more on the learnability and teamwork. JAGSoM applies following approach to identify their rough diamonds:

  1. JAGSoM Management Ability Test (JAGMAT): This test measures a candidate's innate aptitude and not ability to crack entrance exams based on coaching.
  2. Group exercise (GE): A 30-minute group activity for gauging candidates' propensity for finding solutions in a team - groups of six to eight.
  3. Personal Interview 1 (with the shoulder batch): To determine whether the current students perceive the candidate fitting into the JAGSoM values.
  4. Personal Interview 2: A personal interview by industry experts and faculty

After experimenting with this approach for last two years, and seen positive outcomes, JAGSoM has not undertaken any significant modifications to above approach.

Last year, there was a significant shift in the admission process at JAGSoM with the focus shifting to identify the ‘Value Fit’ of aspirants. Talking about the shift, Prof. Rakesh Mediratta, Deputy Director, JAGSoM had said, “We have moved from a push-based approach to a pull-based approach for admissions and have clearly relied on the strength of our PGDM program.” This meant that JAGSoM did away with tele calling and admission leads approach and relied on organic student interest. JAGSoM also follows a rolling admission calendar, similar to their global peers,  where interview slots are fixed every week-end in January, February and March or till filling up of seats.

JAGSoM Bangalore Admission 2023 Open: Apply Now

JAGSoM admission has a few unconventional processes. For instance, JAGSoM’s own entrance exam – JAGMAT. Why did it decide to organize its own test? And how is it different from CAT/MAT?

According to the institute, JAGMAT has questions that are constructed in such a way that it can capture the aspirant’s aptitude and ability. JAGMAT has no negative marking and gauges how much an aspirant knows rather than capability to crack an entrance as function of coaching.  Therefore, the scores obtained in JAGMAT acts as a catalyst for not only qualifying the admission procedure at JAGSoM but also a deciding factor to obtain scholarships.

JAGMAT comprises of 3 sections, which are English Language Proficiency, Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning. Each section will be of 25 marks summing to 75 marks. There will not be any negative marking. Total duration of the test is 90 minutes.

JAGSoM holds two personal Interviews and Group Exercise for student selection
JAGSoM’ s admission process has two unique features - each applicant must appear for two rounds of personal interviews and a “Group Exercise”. So, what are they and why are they designed as such? Let’s find out.

  • Personal Interview 1 by Shoulder Batch
    In this round the existing students (shoulder batch) interview the candidates and decide whether to admit the concerned candidate as a member of their junior batch or not. “At JAGSoM we believe that our students are the important stakeholders, and they have the most important responsibility to carry forward the legacy of the brand. They are best to know the “Value Fit” at JAGSoM from a student’s perspective and hence they have a very important say in the decision of selecting their juniors” explains Dr Chattopadhyay.
  • Personal Interview 2 by Panel
    Along with interview by current students, JAGSoM applicants are also interviewed by a Panel of experts. The interview panel has 3 panellists – a Faculty Member, an Industry Expert, and an Alumni. Faculty, Corporate representatives, and Alumni members are very important stake holders of the Institution. Their involvement will ensure a 360 degrees approach of assessing a particular candidate, according to JAGSoM.  
  • Group Exercise
    Another unique feature of admission selection process at JAGSoM is a “Group Exercise”. The 30-minute group exercise is conducted in groups of six to eight candidates each for assessing the solution orientation of the candidates. Candidates need to discuss and arrive at a consensus before giving a solution or performing the assigned task. The objective of group exercises is to assess each aspirant’s behaviour while performing the group activity, which has specific time and resource constraints. The group exercises evaluate the teamwork, communication and collaboration skills of the aspirants.

Expectations from Admissions 2023: Can JAGSoM grow applications this year too?
Last year, JAGSoM saw an unprecedented increase in student interest with applications jumping by 68%. This is remarkable as most B-schools barely managed to retain their application numbers. But can JAGSoM grow its applications yet again? JAGSoM leadership is bullish…

Says Prof. Mediratta, “We were very happy to see positive response to Admissions last year. We anticipate further growth in admissions 2023.”

Prof. Mediratta further adds, “Based on the initial aspirant response, we anticipate a further increase in the number of applications for admissions in 2023 by around 35%. The trend till now supports our assumptions.”

Scholarships worth Rs 2.64 Cr to motivate “Rough Diamonds”
Finally, while JAGSoM admission process can identify rough diamonds, how does it motivate them to join management education, as many of them may not be able to afford high fees of private management education. “At JAGSoM, we believe that talented aspirants, the rough diamonds of the society, shouldn’t be deprived of quality higher education, owning to economic means” agrees Dr Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, JAGSoM.

Taking a bold step, JAGSoM has announced scholarships worth Rs 2.64 Crores for both deserving students in need and students from low socio-economic sections. This is to ensure that no applicant is denied admission because of financial difficulties. Further, merit-based scholarships that cover tuition, boarding and lodging are available to deserving students from the economically disadvantaged aspirants. In addition, students are eligible for student-assistantship to the tune of INR 15,000 per month by undertaking institutional activities, to support their out-of-pocket expenses. 

JAGSoM Batch Profile for PGDM 2022-24 Class
The incoming batch of PGDM 2022-24 was an interesting mix with good diversity in terms of their educational backgrounds, with more than 68% of the batch being non-engineers. 30% of the incoming batch have a commerce background and more than 20% of the batch has a bachelors’ degree in business administration. The batch has a representation from 24 States across the country, with over 30% of the batch from the eastern states and 29% of the batch from the southern states. Around 40% of the batch constitutes of women. It will be interesting to see how this profile changes in 2023…

Incoming Batch of 2023 can expect an exposure to a variety of learning experiences at JAGSoM such as Career Tracks, Learning by Solving, International Immersion, Outbound Leadership Lab (OLL) and being a fund manager handling a fund of over INR 2 million.

Next article in this series will focus on “Polishing Rough Diamonds: The JAGSoM way.”

JAGSoM Bangalore Admission 2023 Open: Apply Now

Stay tuned to for more updates on Jagdish Sheth School of Management (JAGSoM)

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