Masters’ Union (MU), an unconventional Gurugram based B-school, is making a lot of noise. The Masters’ Union Placement Report 2023 reported its Average Salary (CTC) for 2023 batch at Rs 33.10 Lakhs, at par with Top B-schools in India. What’s more, many new age organizations like Zerodha, who generally don’t hire MBAs, have recruited MU students and placed them in Founder’s Office roles. As reported earlier, in addition to PhDs from IIMs, Masters’ Union has attracted more than 100 CXOs from top companies to teach at its campus. Masters’ Union is also eyeing global MBA rankings and international accreditations.
What’s driving the buzz…how much is hype, and how much is substance! Are students really satisfied with Masters’ Union MBA experience? If yes, what do they cherish the most from the unconventional bouquet of offerings at Masters’ Union. MBAUniverse.com decided to connect with Masters’ Union students to figure out. In our interactions, we were surprised to meet students who have studied at IITs, BITS, Delhi University, are CAs and CFAs, and have worked at leading companies. We were in for more surprises when we interacted with these participants…
So here are the six students, who could well have been at IIMs or ISB or London Business School, but chose to pursue PGP in Technology & Business Management, a 16-month technology focused 1-year MBA equivalent program, at Masters’ Union. We present their short profiles, and then their candid views on all things Masters’ Union!
Masters’ Union Cohort 2023 - Cohort Profile
Before we progress, to set the context, the overall 2022 batch profile at Masters’ Union PGP TBM looks like this. So don’t be too surprised by what you read!
- Average GMAT is 718
- Almost half the batch is made up of students from Marquee Colleges like IITs/NITs/BITS/SRCC/LSR
- Similarly, almost half the batch is made up of students from Consulting Backgrounds from Big 4, ZS, Fractal, S&P, Everest, GS etc.
- Average Pre-MBA salary of 2022 batch is high Rs 12.1 lakhs per annum
- Average Work Experience is 3 years
Let’s now meet six students we interacted with for this article.
Mihik Agrawal, IITian and CAT 99%iler with 3+ yrs. work-ex in Marketing Analytics
Meet Mihik Agrawal, an IITian, who has a solid profile that could have gotten him into IIMs or ISB. He graduated from IIT Delhi in 2019 with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, and then worked at Genpact for more than two years in a Marketing Analytics role for a Fortune 500 MNC. Then, Mihik cracked CAT in 2021 with a 99.21%ile. No wonder he got interview calls from IIMs and FMS Delhi. But Mihik chucked all the conventional options to take a leap of faith! In summer of 2022 he joined Masters’ Union. When MBAUniverse.com asked Mihik why he took the plunge, he confidently said, “I had my eyes set on Masters’ Union from the beginning, as I wanted a contemporary and progressive business school experience.” But, is Mihik happy there…we will soon find out.
Amol Shrivastava, a BITS Pilani grad, who worked at HSBC and cracked GMAT with 720 Score
Also meet Amol Shrivastava, who graduated from BITS Pilani in 2018, and has almost 4 years of software development experience at HSBC. After deciding to go for an MBA to accelerate his career, Amol took GMAT in 2021 and scored a 720 -- a good score for ISB (class average is 713), and even the top US B-schools. Amol even had final admissions from UNC Kenan Flagler, Simon School of Business, UT-McCombs SoB and interview calls from Carnegie Mellon Tepper, Cornell Johnson, Michigan Ross - all top b-schools in the US. But he dropped them all for a Indian start-up B-school – Masters’ Union. When asked for key reasons for joining Masters’ Union, he said, “Master’s Union offers Tech focus, Learning from Industry leaders, Product Management placements, shorter length of the program, and many scholarships. I love the focus on technology across the curriculum.” How is Amol’s experience at Masters’ Union…we’ll know soon.
Pranay Raj, ISRO scientist, who is ready to rocket his corporate career!
Another Master’s Union student who has a notable profile is Pranay Raj. A BITS Pilani graduate, Pranay was a scientist at ISRO, where he worked for almost 5 years at Vikram Sarabhai Space as a project lead for rocket material and at Satish Dhawan Space Centre as a rocket manufacturing lead. He scored a 321 in the GRE exam (with a 170/170 in quant), which is good enough to land into top MBA programs in US or ISB where the cut off is about 310. So why did he choose Masters’ Union? Pranay told us, “I love the focus on technology in everything we do. With the world moving towards increased automation and incorporation of tech into every aspect of our lives, I thought it better to equip myself for the change and to be future ready.” Has Master’s Union met the expectations that Pranay had…we will know soon.
Abhishek Kateliya, Computer Engineer and Co-founder of StockUp
From the student Q&A, presented after these profiles, one thing is clear – Masters’ Union is fast becoming the go-to B-school for those with ambitions to build their own start-up. Take Abhishek, a software engineer who worked for JPMorgan Chase for more than three years, before he decided to pursue an MBA. His supervisor Bhagyashree Aithal, Vice President at JPMorgan Chase said, “Have worked with Abhishek since his first day at JP Morgan and it has been nothing less than impressive to see how he evolved as a Fresh Engineer pass out to a mature application developer.” When asked why he choose Masters’ Union, he says, “the network and ecosystem of CXOs, Masters and my peers” pulled him in. At Masters’ Union, Abhishek is building StockUp a “one stop solution for retail pharmacies to procure all the daily supplies without any hassle.”
Dia Goel, Ex JWT & Bosch, Founder of Buzzinga Eco Foods
Art enthusiast, Dia Goel is another entrepreneur-in-making at Masters’ Union. Before MU, as a JWT employee, she worked on several social media campaigns for clients like Apple. She then went on to work for Bosch and thereafter at Rasta Advertising. Then, Dia set her eyes on pursuing an MBA and took management entrance exams where she scored pretty well - 96% in CAT and 324 in GRE. Given her credentials, no wonder she was offered admission from the prestigious London School of Business. So why did she choose MU over LBS. “The curriculum, culture, cohort diversity, and past batch interactions were the reasons why I choose Master’s Union over others,” Dia told MBAUniverse.com.
Prabhu Guliani, CAT 98%iler, DU Graduate and Founder of a digital marketing agency
Prabhu is a digital marketing professional with experience of over 7 years. During this time, he had worked with multiple organizations across various. Then he decided to pursue an MBA and took CAT in 2021 where he scored 98.04 percentile, and also took GMAT the same year and scored 700. One of the reasons why he decided to join Masters’ Union was its admission process. “MU doesn’t look for reasons to reject you, instead it seeks out things that make you special! The interviews aren’t focused on random facts or trivia but instead on seeing how deep your understanding of various societal & business elements is,” says Prabhu.
So here they are -- six Masters’ Union students with interesting profiles who have studied at top institutions, have worked at leading organizations, cracked CAT/GMAT and are now getting ready for their corporate or entrepreneurial journey. So, are they happy with their decision…and what aspects of other life at MU stand out. Let’s hear it from the horse's mouth!
But before we progress, it will be useful to clarify that it is not just the engineers or those with a digital marketing background that are attracted to MU as it offers a tech-focused management program. There are many CAs and CFAs studying at Masters’ Union - like ex-BCG CA Karishma Khandwawala, a B. Com from University of Mumbai or CA Ashish Batheja, who also did his BCom from University of Delhi and CA Ashish Mittal, who worked at Deloitte and KPMG before joining Masters’ Union.
ARE STUDENTS REALLY SATISFIED WITH MASTERS’ UNION MBA EXPERIENCE?
So, is MU meeting student’s expectations? Are students really satisfied with Masters’ Union MBA experience? And, what are the things that they find most useful in their experiences. To find answers, MBAUniverse.com asked some sharp questions to these students. Here are their candid responses, most of which are short and snappy!
Q: What were your top 3 criteria for deciding a B-school?
Mihik Agrawal (MA): 1. Relevance of curriculum in the present industry and how contemporary it is; 2. Placements and ROI; 3. Diversity of batch
Pranay Raj (PR): 1. India vs abroad; 2. Placement Statistics; 3. Return on Investment.
Dia Goel (DG): 1. Course curriculum; 2. Past Placement Records; 3. Faculty and Teachers
Prabhu Dayal Guliani (PDG): 1. Curriculum & Program Structure, 2. Placement Record, 3. Past Batch profiles
Abhishek Kateliya (AK): 1. Having the liberty to try something new; 2. Having a thriving start-up ecosystem; 3. A high-risk high-reward setup
Q: So, what were the key factors that made you pick Masters’ Union?
1. Placement Statistics: On par with all the major B schools in the country.
MA: Deep rooted focus on tech aspects of business, practitioner-led teaching, located in Cyber City!
DG: The curriculum, culture and cohort diversity/past batch interactions (reviews/opinions)
PDG: Majorly the Curriculum, Program structure and the entire practical exposure to business knowledge. Given I was already 27 at the time of admission, I wanted an experience that was more than just theoretical elements.
Q: What makes the learning experience at Master’s Union stand out?
MA: The industry experts and CXOs who bring a sense of practicality to otherwise very theoretical subjects.
PR: The CXOs. The inhouse faculty is also great though. Their constant support and availability is unmatched as compared to other colleges.
DG: Surely the CXOs make it a very interactive and immersive experience. They have courses like beer economics which teach you very traditional subjects through a very different lens. Similarly, the Venture Initiation Program which gives start-ups a complete step by step process to launch in the market from scratch. These are a few things that make MU a disruptive institution.
PDG: Definitely a mix of the Industry experts & the in-house faculty. The in-house faculty is very accommodating. A huge shout out to Prof Shivanee Pethe, Subhasis Mishra, Vipin S & Bhupesh R, the professors that make MU such a special place for learning.
Q: Who is your favourite Faculty, and why!
MA: Mr Pavan Lalwani (Data Visualization), purely for his clear-cut teaching methodology and efficient usage of class time. Due to him, many students even from non-tech background are able to master the basics of PowerBI and Power Query.
PR: Aakash Gupta, an Associate Partner at McKinsey. He took a course on peak performance. He taught us how he manages everything around him especially when there is so much to do in a job like consulting where the stress of work and personal life take a toll on your health and your mind. The course was a culmination of all good practices that he personally follows. The whole cohort got a unique chance of learning through his mistakes and experiences. He laid out some simple yet effective structures around how to manage everything in life.
DG: Mr Bhupesh Manoharan. Coming from a marketing background, he completely changed the way we thought about sales and marketing. He took very insightful sessions and taught us in a very hands-on methodology. His classes were also very interactive.
PDG: Shivanee Pethe- She is an operations faculty and beyond that a dear friend too. I had no prior experience in Operations and she made me fall in love with that subject.
The list goes on and on...
Q: Does having a campus in a business district help? Or is it a distraction….
MA: For me it did not affect my “learning” in any way, positively or negatively, however it did provide numerous opportunities to network.
PR: I think it was easy to get so many CXOs to our campus also because of the location. So it’s definitely a plus.
DG: Being located in a business district can provide students with easy access to companies and professionals in their chosen fields.
PDG: I think it definitely helps. I feel like I’m in an office-style environment all the time and that kind of helps keep my productivity in check.
AK: I think it is super helpful, the access to campus is super easy and going back to job doesn’t feel alien!
Q: What is your favourite course/project/hackathon/session...
MA: Dropshipping in Term I as it was my first ever experience of setting up my own business and it gave me a taste of the various aspects of a business, which I could later relate to what I learnt in classes.
PR: I personally enjoyed ‘supervised learning’ where we used huge amounts of data to predict patterns in human behaviour in the context of retail, banking, dating and online bookings and applied it to make key business decisions and suggestions for companies.
DG: One of my favourite projects was the dropshipping project. Here, students were supposed to build a completely new business from scratch on a drop shipping model. Our company was called All About Alcohol. This included all alcohol related accessories except alcohol. It taught us the struggles and rewards of starting a business.
PDG: Building Marketing Strategies from Prof Bhupesh- With 7+ years of Marketing experience, I didn’t expect to walk into a classroom and think that I would feel as dumb as I did. His course made me look at Marketing from a fresh perspective and that is a testimony to the kind of magic he brings to the classroom.
AK: The Venture Initiation Program – Everything I know about startups and my entire knowledge of the pharma industry is because of this module!
Q: Master’s Union is non-residential campus. Are you happy with the accommodation provided…Do you get peer-learning opportunities?
MA: The hostel we have been provided is more than adequate for a comfortable stay and facilities such as a common recreational area, laundry and messing are a boon to students. We have a meeting hall with a projector and whiteboards where multiple peer-learning sessions on Corporate Finance, Consumer Behaviour, Data Science have been conducted successfully.
PR: I think the facilities in the hostels are INSANE. Peer learning opportunities are one of the reasons I’d recommend an MBA from MU because the cohort is diverse.
DG: We have an amazing hostel allocated to us where we have multiple peer to peer learning opportunities. We have equal chances to relax and celebrate milestones together that all of us achieve together. We’ve had multiple times where we went to outclass programs like scavenger hunts, field visits etc. as well.
PDG: Easily the best hostel in the country. My friends from other campuses have their jaws drop to the floor when they visit the hostel for the first time.
AK: Best hostel facility. Feels like a 5-star hotel, I know, I have seen Mumbai University hostel. Super happy with off campus facilities as well.
Q: Tell us about the networking opportunities here... Please share someone that you have added to your network recently.
MA: We get to attend and even moderate sessions on campus with prominent CXOs, and also have a chance to ask them questions over lunch. MU also encourages students to create content with CXOs/visiting faculty/other creators and invite them on campus. I personally interviewed Mr Dhaval Thanki, COO of LogiNext and found the experience really enriching.
PR: You get to network with literally every CXO that sets a foot here on campus, which happens at a frequency of 3-4 a week. You can have lunch with them on campus and learn from their experiences. I personally had the pleasure of hosting the head of procurement for Airbusand learned about supply chain in the aerospace industry. Also, one of my mentors is the product director at Gartner and I take his guidance for any important decisions in my MBA.
DG: We had CXO sessions, AMA sessions and fireside chats with a lot of top management experts. One such example is that of Nestle’s chairman who personally came and shared multiple stories with us about his journey and how he came to the position he was today. We’ve had so many other opportunities to interact with them and have chances to work with them under the CXO shadow program as well.
PDG: The way the program is structured, you’ll have the opportunity to network at every step. It’s difficult to name a few because I’d be doing an injustice to all those whose names I might miss. Networking is ingrained into the fabric of the MU experience.
AK: Every day on Campus is a networking opportunity. You never know which founder or CXO is roaming around campus and the best part is you can walk up to them and ask for lunch/dinner/coffee. I love how open and supportive the ecosystem is for entrepreneurs.
Q: In hindsight, was joining MU the right decision…
MA: Yes, as I got to network with a lot of smart people, made some lifelong friends and secured a good role in an exciting industry at the end of it all.
DG: Yes, absolutely.
PDG: It was!
AK: Absolutely, loving it here!
Q: Finally, how will you rate your satisfaction level at Masters’ Union on a scale of 1 to 10…
MA: 7/10 – Amazing concept which has the potential to change business studies in India for good, relevant curriculum for the modern techno-centric business ecosystem, good faculty and placements matching top IIMs.
AS: I would rate my experience currently at a 9 out of 10.
PR: I’d give it an 8. I’m sure it’ll get a lot better by the pace at which the college is progressing.
PDG: 8 – I don’t believe in the concept of giving a perfect 10 because there’s always room for improvement. MU is like a startup in itself that evolves with time and rather quickly on that note, I think it may take another 3-4 years but we might have MU become the most desired B-School in the country and I’m glad I was a part of one of the initial batches.
AK: 9 – Because I got everything that I wished for in a Masters, 1 less because the alumni connect isn’t currently as strong. However, with time and like any old b-school, we will surely get there!
With high scores, and loud affirmative calls, it’s clear that Master’s Union is striking a chord with students who see this MBA program as a route to fast-track careers, or a path to creating their own start-ups. Students are loving the Masters’ Union MBA experience and large number of CXOs who are able to bring practical experiences to classes. Having a B-school within a corporate park is a gambit that seems to have worked too. If these students go on to find their dream jobs, or create their startups, Master’s Union may be a new model worth studying.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for insightful articles on MBA education.