HEC Paris and IIM Ahmedabad Launch Double Degree

One year in Paris + One year in India = two prestigious business degrees

Spend a year in Paris and a year in India, and at the end of it you can have two degrees from two highly reputed business schools.

That is what HEC School of Management in Paris and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) are bringing to students: a double degree Masters-level program.

HEC Paris and IIMA have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement to provide students with an international career. Through this agreement, the two business schools will assist one another through student exchange, faculty exchange, joint research projects and executive education.

For students, the icing on the cake is the double degree management program. Students will spend a year at each partner school, at the end of which they will earn two degrees – the HEC Paris Grand Ecole Master in Management and the IIM-A PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management).

The agreement was signed at the IIM campus in Ahmedabad by Professor Bernard Ramanantsoa, Dean of HEC Paris, and Professor Samir Barua, Director of IIM-A.

According to the two schools, the aim of this double degree program is to equip the candidates with international business skills and solid training in management.

Students who take up the course will also benefit from a good network of contacts from both the institutions.

With the management course at HEC Paris currently ranked the third-best Master in Management by the Financial Times, and IIM-A standing eighth, this partnership agreement is expected to benefit anyone looking to gain an international perspective through their studies.

The only student on the program so far, HEC’s Paul Ricard, is currently in Ahmedabad for the second year of his course. Having previously interned at Google in Paris and Air France in New York, going to India seemed an exciting next step.

“First, most of the business opportunities will now be in India. Also, given its reputation and curriculum, IIM-A will be a stepping-stone to career opportunities in India and the rest of Asia: right after I graduate, or later, when I launch my own business.

“Finally, spending one year in India was an incredible personal challenge. The fact that it sounded difficult made me want to do it even more!”

Ricard thinks it has been worth the effort so far. Despite missing burgers and Ahmedabad having only three seasons per year, he has found Indian people to be friendly and welcoming. The city, he says, has an “exotic side”, the first being its chaotic traffic.

According to Ricard, the best thing about the program is the possibility of an international career. “By graduating from both HEC and IIM-A, I feel like a fledgling world citizen, and that this is only the first step in a long-lasting process.”

Ricard is not entirely alone. While he’s the first double degree candidate, there are plenty of regular exchange students at IIM-A. Sébastien François is one of four HEC students currently on exchange there.

Francois wanted to prepare himself for a multicultural environment: believes that management styles and communication are different in every country. Having been an exchange student at Keio University in Japan, he decided to pursue an exchange in India.

“I am interested in internet businesses and would like to work in e-commerce. India is said to be the future of the software industry. That is why I decided to come here.”

Though he doesn’t find the Indian teaching style too different, he does think that the content focuses more on developing countries, while in France, the focus was on the US and Europe. He also thinks that IIM-A has more group presentations and fewer individual exams.

“I hope to improve my adaptability and communication skills with people from different countries. I also discovered how my perception of India is very different from the reality”.

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