Choosing ASB Over IIMs

August 20, 2011
School of Business, Coimbatore

With a Common Admission Test or CAT score of 99.99 percentile, Vishnu Mohan, an IIT Madras graduate, got admission into two IIMs. But the institute he finally chose was the Amrita School of Business or ASB, in Coimbatore, nestled among the scenic Western Ghats.

What drew him to ASB? “I chose this institution because spirituality and ethics are an important part of the learning here,” he says.

Business Today’s profile of the Amrita School of Business began thus with Vishnu’s example. In the narrative below, Vishnu describes in detail his journey to ASB.


I was born in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala on 28/02/89. My father, Sri. V. Shyam Mohan is an Assistant Secretary to the Government of Kerala. My mother, Smt. K. Sandhya, works at Indian Bank. My brother Vijay is nine years younger.

Vishnu-MohanWhile in school, I won many competitions in essay writing and story writing. It was my love for reading which helped me write. When I entered college, I quickly found my way to the hostel football and hockey teams. In the final year, as captain of my hostel football team, I led the team to its first silver medal in more than 15 years.

I studied at Saraswathi Vidyalaya. When I joined, the school was very new, and there were few students. The staff and teachers were very caring and I developed a close bond with them. Even though I wasn’t very brilliant in academics till the 9th standard, somehow I developed a love for learning when I faced my first board exams. With the support of my family and teachers, I secured 96.2 % in the CBSE board exams, which was the highest in my school.

After that, I faced a decision on whether to return to the school or to join a more well known institution like Loyola or St. Thomas. In the end, I opted to return to my school as it provided an ideal environment for my growth and development. I had received much support from my teachers there. Going into +1, I opted for Mathematics, as it was my favourite subject, along with Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and English. I desired to get into the IITs as those were the premier institutions for engineering in India.

I secured 93.6% marks in the board exams after +2 and also secured a rank of 1353 in the IIT-JEE. I enrolled for B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras. Life at IIT was a new experience for me. I was in a hostel for the first time, away from home and also away from the nice climate of Trivandrum. I struggled during the first year through home sickness and the humid climate. Even as I somewhat recovered, I found that I had no great interest in my chosen field. I drifted and my academic performance fell. I secured only 65% marks at the end.

In IIT, I took management as my minor elective. I developed an interest in it and I wrote the CAT exam conducted by the IIMs, securing 99.96 percentile.

School of Business

I wanted to join a business school that would set me apart from others. I knew of the Amrita School of Business, as my cousin had studied there. I would be impressed by the peace and serenity of the campus, whenever I visited my cousin. The atmosphere in the campus was very pleasant and relaxing, ideal for studies.

I was also attracted by the philosophy of the school, that gave more importance to ethics and self growth, helping students become well rounded individuals rather than just routine MBA graduates.

I felt that this would be the ideal place for me to start building towards a career in management.

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