Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

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Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
भारतीय विदेश व्यापार संस्थान
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade logo.jpg
Established 1963
Type Public business school
Endowment INR 19.50 million
Budget INR 32.73 million
Director Dr. Surajit Mitra
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location New Delhi and Kolkata, Delhi and West Bengal, India
28°53′42″N 77°18′31″E / 28.89500°N 77.30861°E / 28.89500; 77.30861Coordinates: 28°53′42″N 77°18′31″E / 28.89500°N 77.30861°E / 28.89500; 77.30861
Campus Urban, 6 acres (24,000 m2)
Satellite campus Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nickname IIFT
Affiliations UGC

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) is an autonomous public business school established in 1963 by the Government of India (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) to help professionalize the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources; generating, analyzing and disseminating data; and conducting research. Its flagship program is the Master of Business Administration in International Business (MBA-IB). It is the only institute among the top-10 business schools of India that offers this program. The Institute visualizes its future role as: A catalyst for new ideas, concepts and skills for the internationalization of the Indian economy, the primary provider of training and research-based consultancy in the areas of International Business both for the corporate sector, Government and the student’s community. IIFT started out as a center to provide foreign trade foreign trade advice to governments and has since played an instrumental role in conducting research in trade policy formation.

IIFT was conferred the status of Deemed University in 2002 and since then has been conducting an autonomous entrance examination across various centres in India. IIFT 2014 was held on November 23, 2014 and an estimated 60000 candidates took the entrance exam for Full-Time MBA (IB) course with 270 seats. 1411 candidates were shortlisted for final admission round of Essay Writing, Group discussion and Interview, making it one of the toughest B-school admission processes in India.



IIFT's portfolio of long-term programmes is as follows:

  • Ph.D. Course (full-time and part-time)- at Delhi and Kolkata Campus.
  • Two-Year Residential MBA (International Business) - New Delhi, Kolkata, and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). This is the flagship course, offering specialisation in Marketing, Finance, Operations and Trade.
  • Three-Year Part Time MBA (International Business), New Delhi & Kolkata
  • Executive Master's in International Business, New Delhi, Dubai and Dar-es-Salaam
  • Certificate Course in Export Management, New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati (Assam)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Strategy through NIIT Imperia

IIFT has, over the years, undertaken research studies with organisations like World Trade Organisation, World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. IIFT has also trained more than 40,000 business professionals across 30 countries via its management development programmes.[4]


Institute rankings
Business – international
QS (MBA-Asian)[5] 21
Business – India
Business Today[6] 7
CNBC-TV18[7] 12

As of 2014, IIFT was ranked #6 in India by the Wall Street Journal.[8] It was ranked #21 by the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report in the Asia-Pacific region for 2012.[5] and was ranked #7 by the Business Today 50 best business schools of 2011,# 9 by PaGaLGuY[6] and #12 by the 2012 edition of CNBC-TV18's Top B-Schools in India.[7]

Selection Process[edit]

Selection in IIFT is a four-pronged process:

1. The entrance test is a paper-based test. The pattern of the test is updated every year.

2. A short-list based on the test scores is used to invite students for the Group Discussion round. Topics of national and international importance across social, political, economic and corporate domains are common as individuals are tested on their group discussion skills.

3. A Writing Ability Test is conducted to test the candidate’s writing skills, along with knowledge of the subject and structure of representation.

4. The Personal Interview has a distinct focus on goals, achievements, knowledge and awareness.

A cumulative weighted score depending on the rules of that particular year of examination is taken to identify the final short-list of candidates for offer letters.

Centres at IIFT[edit]

Centre for International Trade in Technology[edit]

With the primary objective of actuality India’s potential in technology trade and addressing some of the institutional complexities, IIFT has set up the Centre for International Trade in Technology with financial and technical support from the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India.

It is an institution in which roles of active players in international technology trade especially those of Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Ministry of Science and Technology are proposed to be synthesised.[9]

Centre for WTO Studies[edit]

The Centre for WTO Studies was set up in the year 1999 to be a permanent repository of WTO negotiations-related knowledge and documentation. It was also envisaged that the Centre would evolve into a research unit with interest in TRADE in general and WTO in particular to finally develop into an independent think tank in the area. The Centre was later situated in the Indian Institute of Foreign TRADE in November 2002.

The major objective of the Centre has been to provide research and analytical support on a continuous basis to the Department of Commerce on identified issues pertaining to the World Trade Organisation. In addition, it is also tasked to carry out research activities, bring out Publications on WTO related subjects, carry out Outreach & Capacity Building programmes by organising seminars, workshops, subject specific meetings etc., and to be a repository of important WTO documents in its Trade Resource Centres[10]

Centre for MSME Studies[edit]

The growing importance of Small and Medium Enterprises in the economy as a whole and External Trade in particular has prompted IIFT to establish a separate Centre for MSME studies which can act as a catalyst to the internationalsiation of MSME activities. The centre has become operational from May, 2005. The Centre for MSME Studies at IIFT provides continuous support to the MSME sector by carrying out activities which can be broadly classified into conducting Training Programmes, provision of Business Intelligence services through a Databank and acting as a catalyst for Interfacing with other concerned and associated institutions.[11]

IIFT Delhi Campus[edit]

IIFT Delhi Centre is located in the Qutab Institutional Area in close vicinity of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India and is spread over 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land.

The Kolkata Centre was set up in July 2006 when it was perceived that they needed a campus in a port city. The Union Commerce minister Kamal Nath inaugurated the campus in the presence of chief minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.[12] The campus is located in Sector V Salt Lake amidst the IT hub of Kolkata. The campus at Kolkata is an extension of the Delhi campus with rotating faculty and central placement at both the campuses.

The facilities available on campus include lecture halls with audio-visual aids, conference halls for round-table conferences, an auditorium of 500 seating capacity, MDP Centre, three Computer Centres, indoor games, and residential facilities for students.



The IIFT library has 84,000 volumes and subscriptions to 800 journals with online cataloguing.[13] The library has a collection of publications of FAO, IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, UNCTC, World Bank, and other international agencies.

The students also have access to database such as the NIC, CMIE, India Trades, World Bank Indicators and other audio-visual aids on management. IIFT has set up the WTO Resource Centre in the Library to focus exclusively on WTO issues.

The library in Delhi as well in Kolkata campus have online resources. The Institute subscribes EBSCO, Proquest, JSTOR, Emerald, Blackwell Synergy databases which mainly cover journal articles. For statistical data there are World Trade On-line, IMF databases, IndiaStat, ISI Emerging Markets, Woline, WITS, CMIE databases, World Trade Atlas, OECD online and many more to list.

Library has also installed 12 Bloomberg terminals.[14] The specific features of Bloomberg Database is that it provides a range of Global Economic data and live changes for stocks Markets, Company Reports, Sector analysis, and future trends.Bloomberg Database is very useful for Research Analysis.

Computer facilities[edit]

The Computer Centre aims at providing 99 per cent uptime[15] including ensuring server uptime, data recovery and backup, facilitating storage management, hardware, network operations, streamlining operations and simplifying end-user support. All IT infrastructure in the campus is provided power through centralized UPS. Eleven servers (IBM, Compaq and HP), 300 Core 2 Duo/Pentium IV nodes with wired and wireless access to the network are available in the campus. The software applications include Solaris, Novell Netware, Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP, Lotus Domino, SPSS, Oracle, Developer 2000, and Java.

The campus is equipped with all the latest facilities such as:

• IIFT has one 24 x 7 computer lab for the use of students, researchers and faculty for academic activities and lab comprises 25 i5 desktops with TFT monitors[16] connected to high speed internet, loaded with all latest software applications, etc.

• Tandberg and Polycom Video Conference equipment[17] connecting IIFT Delhi and IIFT Kolkata with trainers, recruiters, etc.

• The campus has a fibre optic cable backbone of 1 GB capacity that helps connect all buildings. For intra-campus connectivity, a copper Ethernet network is in place, which has a 100 Mbit/s capacity.

• For its wide area network (WAN), the Institute uses two leased line connections, one between Delhi and Kolkata and the other between its campus in Qutab Institutional Area and Yusuf Sarai Hostel. The line between Delhi and Kolkata is of 4 MB and that between C-9 Hostel and Qutab Institutional area is 2 MB.[18]

• The high quality persistent bandwidth offers high speed and uninterrupted Internet connectivity from anywhere on the campus, through 50Mbit/s dedicated 1:1 Internet Lease Line. The Institute has been a member of IRINN and has its own BGP infrastructure and both the ISPs are peering on to the Institute’s BGP infrastructure.

• IIFT’s data centre, which is 180 square feet,[19] has 3 CISCO Unified Communication Server connected to FC based EMC Unified Storage of almost 15TB. These servers offer a cloud solution using VMware. Apart from above, IIFT has 6 rack mounted mid-size server catering to different activities of the Institute.

• IIFT has its own mail server running on Novell Groupwise.

Other facilities include 24-hour Internet access, access to national and international databases, in-house publishing facilities, LCD / Plasma Screen Projection Systems, etc.

To ensure that the internet resources are used strictly for educational purpose, IIFT has installed an extremely powerful and modern internet monitoring and blocking infrastructure. Further to increase network as well as human productivity, a well defined time allowance is allocated for social networking and entertainment websites.

IIFT Kolkata Campus[edit]

IIFT announced the operationalization of IIFT campus at Kolkata (near Ruby Hospital on EM-Bypass) from June 2015.[20] The sprawling campus of 7 acres provides state of the art facility to the faculty and management students of IIFT. Students are provided with SINGLE ROOM lodging facility, smart class rooms and fully wired campus. The new campus provides state-of the art facilities for International Business education, training and research. In order to make the campus more relevant, it is proposed to offer courses more specific to the region which can help the industry to get the right manpower for addressing the current demands. Moreover, the IIFT campus at Kolkata houses a WTO cell to cater to the policy requirement for international business. This helps to enhance the capacities of bureaucrats and industries alike on policy and advocacy issues involving international business like WTO, FTA, and PTAs etc. This cell also caters to the specific policy research areas of both the state and central governments.

International Collaborations & Student Exchange Programmes[edit]

IIFT Exchange Programme[21] is an outcome of the institute’s academic collaboration with institutions across the world. Theses collaborations are mainly for student, faculty exchange programmes, joint collaborations on research and various other capacity building exercises. IIFT has developed relations with many international organizations[22] by signing MoUs and participating in their activities or taking collaborative initiatives. The Institute is a member of the following International organizations:

  • Academy of International Business (AIB)
  • Association of Management Development Institutes in South Asia (AMDISA)
  • International Association of Trade Training Organization (IATTO)
  • The Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • The European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD)

The Institute has Academic collaboration with the following International Universities/Institutions:

Port Visit and Social Awareness Program[edit]

IIFT also offers its students the opportunity to visit various national and international ports.Students can choose their port of choice and are accompanied by faculty members during the visit.[23]

The institute also has a month long social awareness program, in which several NGOs are invited to the campus to pitch their projects to the students. The students are then allowed to choose any NGO of choice and have to work closely with the NGO for next one month. The SAP is a part of course curriculum and IIFT is one of the few institutions who have undertaken similar social programs.[24]

Campus Life[edit]

The institute has a student body called International Management Forum (IMF). IMF is the official[25] representative student body at IIFT which acts as a coordinator for, and provides administrative support to, various student activities and events at IIFT besides taking policy decisions regarding student affairs in consultation with the Director/Chairperson/Programme Director. Among the key roles of IMF is co-ordination and supervision of the activities of various domain-specific clubs and cells. 6 clubs[26] and 7 cells[27] work to ensure collaborative and comprehensive learning round the year. The clubs impart domain and industry-specific knowledge via Knowledge Transfer Sessions throughout the year. Also the practical learning experience is enhanced through the regularly scheduled competitions-case studies, Group discussions, quizzes, etc. Live projects from various corporates in all domains are also brought by clubs, which ensures significant industry exposure. The activities of the clubs and cells are supervised by the General Secretary, a member of the IMF. The institute has the following clubs on campus:


Capital is the Finance and Investments Club[28] at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). The objectives of the club include providing a platform for all the Finance enthusiasts to be a part of the club initiatives and promoting finance as a career option in the student community. Apart from conducting various intra-college competitions in the field of investment banking and equity research, Capital also hosts The National Finance Summit under the aegis of Tradewinds annually. InFINeeti, the quarterly Finance Magazine of IIFT is circulated to the elite national schools of India & abroad and provides a platform to discuss and present opinion on the recent happenings in the field of finance


Brandwagon is the marketing club[29] at IIFT. It aims to impart holistic and field-based knowledge through the various activities that it conducts year round. These include the Annual National Marketing Summit, Headstart guest lecture series, live projects, workshops, intra and inter college competitions, a monthly marketing magazine ‘Markmantra’, and a dedicated Market Research Cell.


Socrates, the consulting and strategy club[30] of IIFT is a platform where students who are passionate about making a career in consulting come together and learn the different facets of the world of consulting. The club aims to complement classroom learning and present a wider view of the consulting domain to its members in order to broaden their horizons through the Headstart guest lecture series, various intra and inter-college competitions and ‘Strategos’, the magazine.


The Supply Chain, Operations and Energy (SCOPE) club[31] at IIFT aims to highlight and focus on the ever-increasing scope and results of sustainability in today’s Supply Chain, Operations, Energy and related aspects in an organization. SCOPE organizes the National Operations Conclave which has had associations with CII, ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, FICCI and other organizations of repute. It also organizes an inter-college competition annually and publishes ‘KaleidoSCOPE’, a magazine focused on the key developments, news and views on Operations and Energy.


Systemix,The Systems Consulting, E-Commerce and SMAC Club[32] in IIFT, aims to provide a platform for young managers in the domain of IT to further their industry connect and gain exposure to the ever-growing field of data analytics and e-commerce. It is particularly involved in imparting the knowledge about gamut of the most sustainable technologies to come up in recent times in IT – SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud). It conducts the National IT conclave, an annual event intended to provide an opportunity for B-school students to interact closely with industry leaders and deliberate on topics of relevance. Systemix also publishes Techtonix, the magazine on IT.


An acronym for 'Buy Low And Sell High', the International Trade Club[33] at IIFT is one of the oldest student driven clubs in the college. The club aims to bring together people who wish to make a career in Trade and provides a platform to them to interact and learn dimensions of international trade beyond the regular classroom learning, helping in broadening their horizons. BLASH is also the focal point of external engagement with organizations from the domains of Commodity Trading, International Logistics, Structured Trade Finance and related spheres. Apart from various workshops, competitions and live projects, BLASH organizes the International Trade Conclave, held in Singapore/Dubai to discuss global issues at a level where they impact the most. Trade Winds - the magazine on Trade and International Business is also published by BLASH.


Apart from clubs, 7 cells[34] are also present to facilitate co-curricular and extra-curricular learning. Students having interests as diverse as stock trading, quizzing, social work, entrepreneurship, etc. get ample opportunities to harness and showcase their skills through these cells. These cells aim to complement the activities of the clubs in furthering domain and sector exposure, while maintaining a practical and humanistic touch to B-school learning. The cells present on campus are:

  • Pharma, Healthcare & Insurance (PHI)
  • Equity Research Cell (ERC)
  • Insights, the Marketing Research Cell (MRC)
  • Africa Business Cell (ABC)
  • Quintessential – the quizzing cell
  • E-Cell – the Entrepreneurship Cell
  • Koshish – the social awareness cell


The institute has a Corporate Relations and Placement Committee[35] which is a fourteen-member body of elected representatives. It consists of eight people from the Delhi campus and six from the Kolkata campus. The purpose of Placement Committee is to ensure good final and summer placements for the students of the full-time MBA (IB) programme. To this end, it makes representations to Human Resource departments of various organisations, and arranges placement week / interviews and selection procedures for IIFT students. Some key highlights of the placement season of 2014-15 are:

  • Fastest attainment of 100% placements across all B-school campuses
  • Highest summer internship stipend across all B-schools
  • 13 international offers made on campus for final placements across domains


Annual events catering to a holistic development of a B-school graduate are a part and parcel of life at IIFT. The following events are conducted in full vigor by the students:


Trade Winds is IIFT's Annual Business Summit.[36] Typically held over a course of 4 days, Trade Winds provides a platform for IIFT's students to interact with eminent professionals from the industry as well as various esteemed international organizations. The event comprises 4 summits: The National Finance Symposium, the National Marketing Summit, the National Leadership Summit, and the National Operations Symposium. In 2014, Trade Winds witnessed participation from organizations such as OECD, Finance Ministry, Accenture, KPMG, Xerox India, Louis Dreyfus, Aviva, Biocon India, Ranbaxy, and many others. In 2015, Trade winds is all set to host its first edition of the National HR Summit.[37]

Quo Vadis[edit]

Quo Vadis, the annual management and cultural festival[38] of IIFT conducts 10 managerial events and over 30 cultural events at a national level. It sees widespread participation across domains of management study from over 60 B-schools throughout the country and is the biggest student event on the IIFT campus.

TedX IIFT[edit]

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. IIFT organizes its own TEDx each year and among all IIFT events, it has the widest reach. TEDx IIFT has seen a rich portfolio of speakers gracing the stage, like Aditi Mittal (stand-up comic of AIB fame), Janardhana Swamy (technocrat, political leader), Rahul Roushan (founder of, Franz Gastler (football coach and founder of Yuva), Deepika Bharadwaj (journalist, anchor and film-maker) and Shrutikantha Kandali (writer for Going to School) in 2014.[39] It aims to provide a platform for young ambitious B-school students to interact with influencers with motivating life stories across walks of life.


UWL (Ultimate Warriors League) is the annual sporting event built on the lines of IPL. There are four teams[40] - Aryan Juggernauts, Southern Stallions, Eastern Gladiators and Mumbai Hawks that are up for bidding. After rounds of competitive bidding, the top four bidders get the teams. Each team then appoints a couple of brand managers and then the war of player bidding begins. This IPL style bidding, with an auctioneer at the helm of it, goes on for close to 7–8 hours with 150-180 players going under the hammer. Each team then gets a purse of 2000 points to buy players and build a squad of 30 for each of the sports which includes cricket, futsal, table tennis, badminton, sports quiz, chess, NFS, Counter-Strike etc. It is widely participated in and upholds the fun quotient at IIFT. Cultural engagement is given utmost importance at IIFT through organizing several mandatory events such as Van Mahotsav –the tree plantation drive, ‘Ekta Diwas’ celebrations, trade summits and independence day celebrations of India and other friendly countries. In all, campus life at IIFT is a truly enriching experience.


The current director of the institute is Dr. Surajit Mitra. Dr. Mitra is an Indian Administrative Service Officer of 1977 Batch from Assam-Meghalaya cadre with vast experience of working in the central ministries of commerce, industries, petroleum, tourism, rural development, communication, defence, home and finance. He also had served the state government of Assam in various capacities including as additional chief secretary. He was on the board of directors of Navratna CPSUs including Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Indian Oil, GAIL and Bharat Heavy Electricals. He was also on the Board of Directors of Maruti Udyog Ltd. Dr Mitra has a postgraduate Degree in Political Economy from Jawaharlal Nehru University followed by a doctorate in economics from the University of Cambridge, UK. He was also a Fellow of Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford and honorary professor in the Centre for Policy Research. He taught in the University of Delhi, North Eastern Hill University and JNU.[41][42][43]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • S.K. Roongta, Former Chairman, Steel Authority of India ltd.
  • Manu Sawhney, Executive Director, Manchester United
  • Rashesh Shah, Founder Edelweiss Capital
  • Arvind Jadhav, Ex CMD Air India
  • Sanjeev Asthana, Founder and Managing Partner at I-Farm Venture Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
  • Govind Ambady, CEO, Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  • Ashok B,Director, Supply Chain & Manufacturing,Eli Lilly and Company (India) Pvt. Ltd
  • Atul Gogna, VP Strategic Marketing Asia at BlueScope Steel
  • Deepak Sehajpaul,General Manager International Business at Fresenius Kabi Oncology Limited
  • D. P. Singh, Managing Director, Sara Intl.
  • Dinesh Jain, Strategy, marketing, sales, India entry and expansion consultant, Mentor - Turnaround and Startup
  • Himanshu Sareen, CEO at Icreon Tech Inc
  • Jaspreet Bindra, Senior Vice President - Digital Innovation and Ecommerce at Mahindra & Mahindra
  • Madhan Krishnaswamy, Director, Flextronics
  • Milind Pant, Managing Director, Yum Restaurants
  • P K Prakash, Director, Cisco Systems Inc
  • Raj Sansi, Director, Sales, Patni
  • Ramesh Natarajan, Founder / COO at Litmus World
  • Ramesh Natarajan, VP - Rest of South Asia, DHL
  • Ramesh Vijayaraghavan, Exec. Director, RBS Singapore
  • Ramesh Vijayaraghavan, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Sanjay Singh, Managing Director, Yamaha Motors
  • Siraj S. Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill India

Papers and Publications[edit]

The research carried out by the Institute is widely disseminated in the form of Study reports, monographs and occasional papers. The major beneficiaries of these research findings are academicians, policy makers, trade & industry, multilateral organizations, researchers and NGOs. In addition, the Institute publishes a quarterly journal Foreign Trade Review[44] published by Sage Publications. The journal focuses on key relevant areas such as international trade, finance, econometrics, IT, WTO, Trade blocs and marketing. Focus WTO,[45] another quarterly journal published by the Institute focuses exclusively on WTO related issues. Each issue of the journal is thematic. An electronic magazine E-Zine is also published by the Centre for International Trade in Technology of IIFT.

See also[edit]


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  3. ^ IIFT 2014-15 was held on November 23, 2014
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  5. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "The 50 best business schools". Business Today. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Top B-Schools in India". CNBC-TV18. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
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