What is an Executive MBA Program?
In US, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and China, ‘Executive MBA’ or ‘EMBA’ is generally a premium high-end modular MBA equivalent program offered to senior executives with 15+ years of experience who don’t wish to leave their well-paying full-time jobs for earning MBA credentials. The course program structure is designed in such a way that senior working executive spend 50-60 days on campus attending classes and complete the rest of the EMBA program while working.

Catering to the need of globalization of business, many of the World’s top EMBA programs are offered jointly by a few leading B-schools, usually across the continents. For instance, the Financial Times ‘Executive MBA Rankings 2021’ ranks HEC Paris International EMBA; Ceibs Global EMBA and Kellogg-HKUST EMBA as top three EMBA programs in the world, while it ranks PGPMAX at ISB Hyderabad as the top Executive MBA program in India. Other EMBA programs in India include EPGP at IIM Bangalore, EMBA at IIM Kozhikode, EMBA at Mahindra University 

Key Features of Global Executive MBA (EMBA) Programs

EMBA is a Modular Program, and Not a Full time MBA Program  

This is an important difference, and must be kept in mind. Clarifying the target audience and program mode, Kellogg-HKUST say, “The Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program is carefully designed for busy executives. It only requires around 40 days out of the office.” Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA program is a partnership program offered jointly by Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong.

The TRIUM Global Executive MBA, is jointly issued by New York University Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science, and HEC Paris School of Management. Regarding the program structure, TRIUM website says, “TRIUM uses an executive-friendly blended learning format (in-person classroom time and independent study between modules) comprising of 6 on-site modules at multiple global locations over an 18 month period. Time out of the office is only 10 weeks.”

In India, ISB makes a clear distinction between its PGP program which is positioned as One year MBA equivalent, and PGPMAX which is positioned as Executive MBA Equivalent program. “The Global EMBA equivalent programme offers campus experience. PGPMAX has a modular format and participants reside on ISB campus during classroom sessions…, ​” says ISB. The total number of working days away from work for the duration of PGPMAX are approximately 62 days. 

Let’s look at highlights of global Executive MBA Programs to illustrate points made above.

 Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBATRIUM Global Executive MBAISB PGPMAX
Minimum Work Experience Required10 Years10 Years10 Years
Average Class Work-experience16 Years16 Years15 Years
Program Duration18 months18 months15 months
Full Time/ Total number of on-campus daysNO/40 days  No/70 daysNO/62 Days
Placement SupportNONONO

Executive MBA (EMBA) in India

Coming to India, there is some unwarranted confusion between ‘Executive MBA’ and ‘One Year MBA’ and PGDM Executive programs. To understand the context, some historical perspective is useful.

In 2001, ISB Hyderabad launched its post-experience one-year full-time residential MBA equivalent program called Post Graduate Program (PGP). In 2006, IIM Ahmedabad launched its ‘Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives’, its one-year, full-time, residential programs popularly known as PGPX. Soon IIM Calcutta too launched its ‘Post Graduate Programme for Executives’ or ‘PGPEX’. In 2009, IIM Bangalore launched ‘Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management’ or ‘EPGP’. Both IIMC’s PGPEX and IIMB’s EPGP were one-year, full-time, residential MBA Equivalent programs. Recently, Mahindra University Hyderabad has launched its Executive MBA.

Given that word ‘Executive’ is part of virtually all 1-year MBA programs by IIMs, media and general public started calling these One Year MBA equivalent programs as Executive MBAs. Clearly, the one-year residential MBA programs by IIMs are NOT part-time/modular Executive MBA programs, as EMBAs are known globally. 

This confusion was further compounded when AICTE, the management education regulator in India, permitted PGDM B-schools to offer ‘Executive PGDM’ – also a full-time residential 15-months MBA equivalent program. So XLRI offered PGDM (General Management) and MDI offered National Management Programme (NMP). Today more than 25 B-schools including SPJIMR Mumbai, IMT Ghaziabad, IMI New Delhi, Great Lakes Chennai, K J Somaiya Mumbai, BIMTECH Greater Noida, SDMIMD Mysore are offering PGDM Executive programs in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities. 

To summarize the difference between EMBA and One Year MBA in India, refer to this table below.  

 Executive MBA Vs 1 Year MBA: Not the same

 One Year MBA for ExecutivesExecutive MBA/EMBA
Examples:ISB’s PGP or IIMA’s PGPXISB’s PGPMAX; Great Lakes PGXPM; Mahindra University EMBA
Full TimeYesNo
Duration12-15 monthsVaries from 15 months to longer
Minimum Work Ex Required5 Years for IIMs, 2 Years for ISB/Great LakesGenerally, 10+ years
AdmissionGMAT/GRE required. Rigorous process.Profile based. GMAT generally not required
Executive MBA Fee compared to 2-yr programHighMuch Higher
Placement AssistanceYesNo

As shown in the table above, the difference between Executive MBA and 1-year MBA is clear. While One-year MBA by IIMs, ISB, XLRI is a fully residential program, Executive MBA like ISB PGPMAX, Mahindra University EMBA is a modular program aimed at senior executives. 

Top Executive Programs in India 2022

Currently there are only few B-schools offering good Executive MBA programmes in India.

ISB PGPMAX and Great Lakes PGXPM are considered as the top Executive MBA Colleges in India. ISB PGPMAX, the Executive MBA by ISB, is considered as the top EMBA programme in India. ISB PGPMAX is 15 Months Modular Programme with world class curriculum which offers International Immersion. Post Graduate eXecutive Program in Management (PGPXM) at Great Lakes is one of the high ranked Executive MBA in India. The duration of EMBA programme is 20 months. The PGPXM helps experienced executives to develop general management competencies and prepares them for fast track growth to leadership roles. Recently launched, Mahindra University EMBA is 2 Year duration programme which allows you to work full time. The program has the rigor of a full-time MBA and the flexibility to allow working full-time.

If you are wondering why IIM Ahmedabad PGPX or IIM Bangalore EPGP or XLRI Jamshedpur PGDM (GM) are not included in this list, the reason is that they are NOT equivalent of EMBA programs. They fit the description of One Year MBA Programs perfectly.

Top Global Executive MBA Programs

Financial Times publishes its much respected annual EMBA Rankings. The latest edition of the FT global executive MBA ranking 2021 of the best 100 programmes worldwide has been published. One of the interesting trends from this ranking is that Asia offers quite a good number of EMBA programs with Singapore, Hong Kong and China as leaders of EMBA program in Asia. Many leading US and European B-schools offer joint programs with top Asian B-schools. ISB Hyderabad is the only Indian B-school that features on this list.

Rank in 2021Rank in 2020School NameProgramme nameLocationSalary today (US$)
13HEC ParisInternational EMBAFrance/Qatar4,38,303
22CeibsGlobal EMBAChina/Switzerland/Ghana4,87,372
21Kellogg/HKUST Business SchoolEMBAHong Kong5,08,964
410EMBA-Global Asia: Columbia/HKU/LBSEMBA-Global AsiaUS/Hong Kong/UK3,47,828
54Trium: HEC Paris/LSE/NYU: SternGlobal EMBAFrance/UK/US/China4,27,223
67ESCP Business SchoolEMBAFR/GB/DE/ES/IT/LB2,90,707
78Iese Business SchoolGlobal EMBASpain/US3,86,849
820EMBA-Global: Columbia/LBSEMBA-Global Americas & EuropeUS/UK3,14,788
911Arizona State University: WP CareyArizona State University WP Carey/SNAI EMBAChina4,85,946
106Shanghai Jiao Tong University: AntaiSJTU Antai EMBAChina4,86,808
115Tsinghua University/InseadTsinghua-Insead EMBAChina/France/Singapore/UAE3,71,258
1218University of Oxford: SaïdUniversity of Oxford EMBAUK2,67,855
1321Fudan University School of ManagementFudan EMBAChina4,83,200
1412IE Business SchoolGlobal EMBASpain3,34,131
159InseadGlobal EMBA (GEMBA)France/Singapore/UAE3,14,435
16Yale School of ManagementYale MBA for ExecutivesUS2,78,050
17MIT: SloanMIT EMBAUS3,56,048
1813London Business SchoolEMBAUK/UAE2,98,753
1915CUHK Business SchoolEMBAHong Kong3,07,256
2019Korea University Business SchoolEMBASouth Korea4,15,672
6853Indian School of BusinessPGPMAXIndia3,19,470

Executive MBA in India
ISB and Great Lakes are the top Executive MBA colleges in India offering Executive MBA in India. Although there are many top executive MBA colleges across the globe, but the executive MBA in India is not offered by many institutes. A key point to note in regard to the top Executive MBA colleges in India is that there is no executive MBA from IIMs. Therefore, despite being the institutes of high national importance, executive MBA from IIMs has not been launched. On the contrary, a full time one year programme like IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP is confused as the Executive MBA from IIMs which in fact is not a true Executive MBA programme.

Among the top ranked Executive MBA in India are the programmes offered by the following institutes:

PGPMAX – Executive MBA by ISB

The pioneer of Executive MBA programme in India is ISB which is also the one of the top executive MBA colleges in India. PGPMAX – the executive MBA by ISB is considered as the top EMBA programme in India. The EMBA at ISB is 15 Months Modular Programme with world class curriculum which offers International Immersion.

PGXPM – Executive MBA by Great Lakes

Post Graduate Executive Program in Management (PGPXM) at Great Lakes is one of the high ranked Executive MBA programmes in India. The duration of EMBA programme is 20 months which is longer than 1 year executive MBA, so the executive MBA should not be confused by the full time 1 year MBA Program PGPM, offered by Great Lakes. The PGPXM helps experienced executives to develop general management competencies and prepares them for fast track growth to leadership roles. 

Great Lakes PGXPM: Program Highlights

Great Lakes PGXPM: Eligibility Criteria

All applicants applying to Great Lakes Institute of Management’s PGXPM should satisfy following eligibility criteria:

Great Lakes PGXPM Admission Process

Great Lakes PGXPM Programme Fee

Total Programme fee for Post Graduate eXecutive Program in Management (PGPXM) at Great Lakes is Rs.9,95,000/- + 18% GST.  The above PGXPM programme fee does not include fee for International Immersion which is an optional element subject to enrollment of minimum required participants. The amount for International visit shall be at actuals to be estimated by the class prior to visit.

Mahindra University Hyderabad Executive MBA

The Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program at School of Management, Mahindra University is specially designed for working executives with rich experience. The format allows the participants to continue to work while pursuing an intensive, rigorous and enriching program. The format has been tailored to ensure participants from all geographies can come to the campus for classes.

Mahindra University Executive MBA: Programme Highlights

Mahindra University EMBA: Eligibility Criteria

Mahindra University EMBA Admission Process

Mahindra University EMBA Fees
Mahindra University EMBA Programme fees is Rs.24 lakhs

Executive MBA in Delhi NCR
Executive MBA programme in Delhi is offered by some of top MBA colleges in Delhi NCR including FMS, IIFT, IIT-Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, IMT Ghaziabad among others. Currently there are not many colleges offering Executive MBA in Delhi NCR but qualitatively, the MBA executive program in Delhi is much sought after in order to enhance leadership roles..

IIT Delhi Executive MBA – 3 years MBA in Technology Management

Executive MBA programme at IIT Delhi focusses on ‘Technology Management’. This programme is designed to impart management education to working executives. The Classes are scheduled during evening hours (6.15 pm onwards) on 4 or 5 working days (Monday to Friday).


Following academic qualifications will be the eligibility criteria for admission.

Executive MBA Fee at IIT Delhi

Rs.10.80 Lacs for the entire Executive MBA Programme payable in equal installments (6 Semesters)

Admission process begins in February every year. Session commences in July/August.

FMS MBA Executive & MBA Executive (Health Care Administration)

FMS Delhi is one of the leading B-schools in India offering a low fee Executive MBA option. The modular design of the two year evening MBA Executive and MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) programmes has been divided into four semesters over a period of two-years.  


Total number of seats in MBA Executive and MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) programmes are 200 and 50 respectively.

FMS MBA Executive Fees

FMS is a part of University of Delhi, a Central University. The programme fees is Rs.1,92,000/-.

Eligibility Conditions for Executive MBA at FMS

Candidates applying must have pursued at least a three-year Bachelor‘s Degree programme after twelve years of formal schooling. Additionally, she/ he should have at least five years of experience as an executive or an administrator in a commercial/government establishment.   

IIM Kozhikode MBA for Working Executives (EPGP)

Empowered with IIM Act 2017, IIM Kozhikode is now offering MBA for Working Executives instead of earlier Diploma program. Known as Executive Post Graduate Program (EPGP), IIM Kozhikode delivers the Executive MBA programs through an Interactive Learning platform where participants can attend the classes from the designated classroom centers available at their locations.

The MBA (Master of Business Administration) programe for working executives (EPGP) in Management, is a two years master’s degree program in management offered on interactive Learning (IL) platform.   

The MBA Executive (EPGP) program at IIM Kozhikode is accredited by the AMBA (Association of MBAs) since 2011 and the objective of the programme is to impart management education to working executives seeking skills and strategies to take their organizations to the next level.

Highlights of IIM Kozhikode EPGP Program

Executive MBA Fee in India

Across the globe, Executive MBA is positioned as a premium MBA program for senior executives. The executive MBA fee structure at ISB Hyderabad is Rs.39.63 lakhs; The fee at Great Lakes Institute of Management is much lower at Rs. 9.95 lakhs. Strictly speaking, there are no executive MBA colleges with low fee. If it’s a good EMBA, it will be expensive. FMS Executive MBA fee of Rs 1.92 lakhs is perhaps the only exception.

Let’s compare Executive MBA Fee with 1 year MBA Fee. 1 year MBA fee charged for IIMA- PGPX is Rs. 30 lakhs, for IIMB-EPGP is Rs. 29 lakhs. This is much lower than ISB Executive MBA (PGP MAX) Fee which is Rs 39.63 lakhs.  

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