When we go out to meet friends or relatives, my uncle will put his arm around my shoulders and announce proudly "Dinesh is going to do his MBA!". The relatives will be suitably impressed and I will smile shyly. After which my uncle will ruin the whole thing by saying,
"He's got into IIM Ghaziabad!"
This is profoundly embarassing. The more ignorant relatives wil congratulate me for getting into an IIM while the more knowledgable ones will look at me like I'm some sort of fraud.
"Its IMT!" I'll hiss at my uncle.He will dismiss me with a wave of his hand.
"IMT, IIM its all the same..just changed a letter thats all."
While the IIM's are a powerful brand, known to everyone irrespective of whether they have prepared for the MBA exams or not, IMT is known only to those who have taken all the exams and know that it is among the top 10 schools in the country.
My mother fares no better than my uncle.After I got my admission letter from IMT, she called up all her friends and said that I had got into IMS.That was really irritating because IMS is a coaching center for entrance exams and not a B school by itself. Later that evening when we went to a relative's wedding, people shook hands with me for getting into IIFT, IIM Bangalore, TIME(another coaching center) and MDI.
"Ghaziabad is a very modern city" someone told me very gravely. "You wont believe that you are in India, its full of malls and sky scrapers!"
"Err..thats Gurgaon, not Ghaziabad.Ghaziabad is a small industrial town in Uttar Pradesh."
Its really annoying when there is not even a flicker of recognition when I say I'm going to IMT Ghaziabad.You are quickly robbed of your sense of achievment. At the end of it, you start hating the IIM's.
My only comfort comes in hobnobbing among people who have passed out of B schools and friends who have also given the exams and got into other colleges. Only when I'm with them do I feel a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from being associated with a well known brand.