Widely considered India’s premier B-school, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) was set up in 1961. How many years do you think it would take a rival to claim to have bested it on the ultimate measure of B-school success—placements?
That’s how old Masters’ Union (MU) is, which claims its placements are on par with those of IIMA. Even before it placed its first cohort, it had managed to pull top-ranked students—so much so that some even turned down offers from India’s leading management institutes to be at MU.
Take Pankaj Prateek Airy, for instance. In August 2021, the then-senior business analyst with Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank got a call from the prestigious Indian School of Business (ISB)—which has two campuses in the country and whose alumni list boasts the who’s who of the corporate world—for admission into its Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP).
But much to the surprise of his peers, he picked MU, which operated out of two rented floors at DLF Cyber Park in the northern Indian city of Gurugram and only had one batch of graduates it could call its alumni.
Airy’s decision wouldn’t appear so odd if one visited MU’s website, which lists students from the country’s top institutions, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology and BITS Pilani.
It’s understandable that there are takers for all kinds of schools, given the huge demand for higher education in the country. “But if MU is getting students to pick itself over top B-schools, it is intriguing to know students’ motivation,” said Prashant Mishra, the dean of NMIMS’s School of Business Management, Mumbai. NMIMS has campuses in eight Indian cities, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh.
For Airy, the deciding factors were the industry exposure promised by MU and a scholarship that funded up to 75% of his tuition fee, he told The Ken.
The B-school was founded in 2020 by Pratham Mittal, whose father, Ashok Mittal, is a member of the Rajya Sabha and the chancellor of Lovely Professional University (LPU). The 18-year-old university is spread across 600 acres outside Jalandhar in the northern Indian state of Punjab. His mother, Rashmi Mittal, is an equal partner in MU’s holding firm, Shanti Informatics.
MU pitted itself against the country’s top management institutions from the get-go. Its biggest ‘selling point’ is its placement record. The 12-page placement report for the 2022 cohort available on its website captures one’s attention for two reasons.
One, it claims the batch’s average domestic cost-to-company (CTC) was ~Rs 33 lakh (~US$40,000), the same as the mean domestic CTC students of IIMA’s flagship programme received that year.
Two, MU got its placements audited—a practice followed by select B-schools. And that too by the same firm that audits IIMA’s placements: Brickworks Analytics Pvt.