The Indian School of Business (ISB) is one of India’s best business schools. Not only does ISB consistently feature as a top 30 global business school on the Financial Times Rankings (it came in at #29 on the 2016 ranking), but it is also the first business school in South Asia to be recognised by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB accreditation has been earned by less than 5% of the world’s business schools. The accreditation reflects ISB’s position as a pivotal player which will shape tomorrow’s global management education landscape.

ISB offers current students (studying in the pre-final or final year of an undergraduate/postgraduate course)  the opportunity to get a 2-year head start in their careers via the Young Leaders Program (YLP). Getting an admit to the  YLP guarantees candidates a much sought after admission into the flagship Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) at the ISB.

Advantages of applying to the ISB YLP

  1. If selected, you have a guaranteed admit to a top global business school two years down the line. You can then completely focus on implementing your career vision without worrying about career stagnation.
  2. In the two years before you begin your flagship PGP at ISB, you will be attending four intensive weekend programmes on the ISB campus at a gap of six months each. These programmes provide you with fundamentals of management education and also give you the tools necessary to develop your individual leadership skills.
  3. Candidates who get admits to the YLP typically get financial aid. 10% of all PGP scholarships are given out to YLP candidates

ISB YLP Application Process

Admission Calendar

Admission to the Young Leaders Programme is a three-stage process. The application/ evaluation timelines along with the documentation to be submitted at each stage are as under:

Date Stage of Application Process Particulars
STAGE 1 25-Mar-18 at 6 pm IST Submission of Application form and Application fee
STAGE 2 31-Aug-18 at 6 pm IST Submission of GMAT / GRE score, Two essays & One Evaluation
STAGE 3 September 15 – October 15, 2018 In-person interviews
RESULTS 31-Oct-18 Results declared

Eligibility Criterion

Candidates must be either in the pre-final or final year of their undergraduate or post graduate education in 2018 to apply for the Young Leaders Program

GMAT/GRE codes

  • GMAT Code: N2D-J5-99
  • GRE Code: 7891

Application Fee

INR 3000 payable by  VISA or Master Credit / Debit card or through the Net Banking option.

What makes you a meritorious candidate for the ISB YLP?

The ISB admissions committee gives importance to the following factors:

  • Analytical Ability
  • Leadership Ability
  • Your personal strengths/attributes

You can showcase these parameters in the following ways:

  • Analytical Ability:  Analytical Ability will be measured by a candidate’s academic performance and GMAT score.
    • For a YLP candidate, academic performance would mean scores during their schooling, their 11th and 12th standards and their undergraduation marks (up to the pre-final/final year – whenever the student is applying). ISB officially states that it considers strong 12th standard scores and graduation grades.
    •    The GMAT score is a standardised indicator of a candidate’s analytical ability. Here I’d go one step ahead and say that while ISB’s range of accepted GMAT scores is in the 600-780 range, it is hugely beneficial to have a GMAT score that is 10-20 points above the average of 710.
  • Leadership Ability: Leadership ability is measured by a candidate’s willingness to take initiatives, have a clear cut vision and go the extra mile towards achieving this vision. Consider showcasing qualities such as  integrity, maturity, commitment to others,  motivation, self-awareness, self-esteem, empathy, willingness to take risks, willingness to deal with ambiguity that have led you to your accomplishments.  ISB itself states Leadership qualities don’t necessarily mean leading teams – they could also mean the initiatives you had taken, your achievements, impact-orientation and career progression. Note that your application essays and your recommendation letter play an important role in endorsing your leadership ability.


  • Your personal strengths/attributes: The point here is to show a clear awareness of your personal strengths, as opposed to pretending to be the best at everything. After evaluating the qualifications and talent of the applicant pool, the admission committee will seek to build a class full of interesting people from varied backgrounds.  You need to focus on how your background has shaped your life or career; discuss how it affects the perspective you will bring to the programme. If you’re discussing an experience that has shaped your perspective, focus on concrete details. If you’re discussing more abstract qualities that you possess, offer examples to show how you cultivated those qualities or how they came into play in your life. Your commitment to your extracurricular activities will take you a long way in showcasing you as a well-rounded candidate.

Being part of the YLP gives every student the chance to develop as well-rounded future leaders who can effortlessly lead businesses to succeed. It is the start to a powerful education that will equip them for life. If you are looking at a programme that gives you a head start early on in your life, the YLP is a good bet for you.

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