Till a year ago, few people, even within the broader academic fraternity, would have heard about Masters’ Union School of Business—a start-up kind of business school in Gurgaon.
Today, although it may not be even one-tenth as popular as IIMs, but a decent number of students from IIMs, it’s possible, would have tracked the average salary package the inaugural batch of Masters’ Union has been able to attract, i.e. Rs 29.12 lakh. This, Masters’ Union has claimed, is the highest amongst all Indian B-schools.
Last year, a group of business stalwarts, top academics and senior bureaucrats invested Rs 300 crore to build the Masters’ Union. These included Arun Maira (former chairman, Boston Consulting Group), Mukund Rajan (former MD, Tata Teleservices), Karthik Ramanna (University of Oxford), Narendra Jadhav (Rajya Sabha MP and former Chief Economist, RBI), Tathagata Dasgupta (chief data scientist, Viacom) and Bhaskar Chakravorti (former professor, Harvard Business School, and former partner, McKinsey & Company).
The campus is located in the Cyber City area of Gurgaon, which has over 600 MNC offices. The school’s flagship programme is the 16-month intensive PGP-TBM (Post Graduate Programme in Technology Business Management), from which this inaugural batch has graduated.
Pratham Mittal, project director, Masters’ Union, told FE that three things have led to students attracting such high salaries.
“The first is the classroom experience. At Masters’ Union, the teachers are masters, i.e. CXOs, MDs and business leaders who teach students,” he said. “Companies like Bain and BCG usually only go to top IIMs and ISB to recruit, but they coming at Masters’ Union speaks a lot about the kind of training we have provided to our students.”
The second thing, Mittal said, is the curriculum. “Every student has to participate in the student-run investment fund, and every student has to do to own dropshipping business through the year. These activities simulate the industry and give them great stories to talk about in their interviews.”
The third differentiator is technology. “Ours is the only MBA programme that also teaches you how to code,” Mittal said. “A strategy graduate at Masters’ Union is not just a strategy graduate, but she also understands data science and can code her own app. Recruiters, especially start-ups, value such skills.”
Mittal added that the final differentiator is the masters themselves. “A lot of masters (teachers) are CXOs at MNCs; they tell their employers that the students they have taught are really good, and so at least evaluate them.”
Lastly, he added, Masters’ Union did a lot of outreach on its own. “We’ve extensively gone out in the corporate world and informed them about the quality of our students,” he said. “That led to a lot of HR arms coming to our campus to recruit.”
So, does this mean that a CXO can teach better than a teacher?
Mittal said: “In medical schools, doctors teach students; in law schools, a lot of practising lawyers teach; but in most B-schools, faculty may not have the experience of hands-on leadership in industry. That’s what has set us apart.” At the same time, he added, not every CXO can teach. “We help them craft their courses; we first train CXOs to become teachers and then they teach.”
The inaugural batch of Masters’ Union comprised of 60 students, and in the near term the B-school may not increase the batch size. “As of now, we don’t want to compromise on quality,” Mittal said.
Consulting giants BCG, Bain and EY, tech majors Microsoft and Cisco, and start-ups like Razorpay and Unacademy were some of the largest recruiters of this batch.
Apart from placements and in keeping with recent trends, 7% of the cohort started their own start-ups and raised VC funds. Masters’ Union said that while the top 10% of the batch landed a salary package upwards of Rs 43 lakh, even the bottom 10% landed a package upwards of Rs 19 lakh. The average package for freshers stood at Rs 23 lakh. The highest salary package was Rs 45 lakh per annum.
Average salary package at top B-schools (2021)
B-school Average domestic CTC
Masters’ Union Rs 29.12 lakh
IIM Ahmedabad Rs 26.12 lakh
IIM Bangalore Rs 28.98 lakh
IIM Calcutta Rs 28.49 lakh
ISB Rs 28.29 lakh
FMS Delhi Rs 26.2 lakh
Source: Masters’ Union