IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade)

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up in 1963 by the Government of India as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources; generating, analysing and disseminating data; and conducting research. The Institute visualises its role as:

  • A catalyst for new ideas, concepts and skills for the internationalisation of the Indian economy.
  • The primary provider of training and research-based consultancy in the areas of international business, for the corporate sector, Government and the student community, at large.
  • An institution with proven capability to continuously upgrade its knowledge base with a view to meet the requirements of the Government, trade and industry through both sponsored and non-sponsored research and consultancy assignments.

The Institute's portfolio of long-term programmes is diverse, catering to the requirements of aspiring International Business executives and mid-career professionals alike. These are

  • Two-year MBA (International Business), New Delhi, Kolkata, and Dar-es-Salaam
  • Three-year MBA (International Business) (Part-Time), New Delhi and Kolkata
  • Executive Masters in International Business, New Delhi (18 months)
  • Certificate Programme in Export Management, New Delhi (4 months)

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Q. Is IIFT a centre for foreign trade?
Ans. IIFT was established in the year 1963 with the purpose of conducting courses on foreign trade for the civil servants. Also IIFT has always been prided as an excellent centre for research on WTO and other related issues. Over the years IIFT has evolved from being a centre of foreign trade to a complete business school that now rests on a tripod: the MBA (International Business) programme, Research and MDPs. Gone are the days when a company had to be domestically competitive to survive internationally. Today, a firm has to be internationally competitive to survive domestically. The distinction between the internal and the external sector is fast diminishing. The MBA (IB) programme offered at IIFT is an integrated course which was designed with utmost foresight, keeping in mind the requirements of the constantly evolving global economy.

Q. What is the MBA (IB) Programme?
Ans. The MBA (IB) is a general management course with special emphasis on International Business. This means, besides doing a general MBA (as is done in other B-Schools), IIFT students are exposed to the international perspectives of various subjects by virtue if their doing courses like international marketing, international finance, international strategy and international brand management.

Q. What are the specializations offered in the MBA (IB) Programme at IIFT?
Ans. The first year, consisting of three trimesters, is a core course which encompasses all the basic functional areas of management. In the third trimester students are taught the nuances of international aspects of these functional areas. The second year is when students get to choose their preferred area of specialization viz. marketing, finance, trading or systems and IT.

Q. What is the Port Visit all about?
Ans. All the students of the MBA (IB) programme are compulsorily required to undertake a Port Visit (sea port). The purpose of this visit is to enable students to gain a hands-on experience of the practical aspects of international trade and business. Besides visiting various offices such as the Port office, Customs Offices, EPZs, etc. students also get an opportunity to interact with the people at the front line. Students are free to choose the port of their choice to visit. Port visits are usually undertaken at Mumbai, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Cochin, Singapore or Dubai.

Q. What is the Port Visit all about?
Ans. All the students of the MBA (IB) programme are compulsorily required to undertake a Port Visit (sea port). The purpose of this visit is to enable students to gain a hands-on experience of the practical aspects of international trade and business. Besides visiting various offices such as the Port office, Customs Offices, EPZs, etc. students also get an opportunity to interact with the people at the front line. Students are free to choose the port of their choice to visit. Port visits are usually undertaken at Mumbai, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Cochin, Singapore or Dubai.

Q. Give us some information on the Student Exchange Programme.
Ans. IIFT has affiliations with more than 15 renowned foreign universities in Europe, Canada, Africa & Asia Pacific. Every year students are selected to take part in the exchange programs. This offers a very good opportunity to gain trans-cultural exposure. The basis of selection of students for the Exchange Programme varies and is typically specified by the concerned university.

Q. What are the co-curricular activities at IIFT?
Ans. All the students of the MBA (IB) programme are compulsorily required to undertake a Port Visit (sea port). The purpose of this visit is to enable students to gain a hands-on experience of the practical aspects of international trade and business. Besides visiting various offices such as the Port office, Customs Offices, EPZs, etc. students also get an opportunity to interact with the people at the front line. Students are free to choose the port of their choice to visit. Port visits are usually undertaken at Mumbai, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata, Cochin, Singapore or Dubai.IIFT comprises of 6 clubs viz. Cashonova (the finance club), Brandwagon (the marketing club), Blash (the trading club), Socrates (the consulting club) and Systemix (the business technology and telecom club). Besides these, the Corporate Relations Committee functions on bringing in eminent people from the corporate world for interactions with the students on a regular basis. The functioning of all the above clubs are coordinated by the apex student body of IIFT, the International Management Forum, popularly known as the IMF. Also, true to its tradition of being a quizzing powerhouse, IIFT has, for the intellectually oriented, its own quiz club Quintessential. IIFT also aims at grooming socially-conscious business leaders, which is why the CSR club Koshish has a large number of enthusiastic and active members. Most recently the students, with encouragement from the administration, have also set up an Entrepreneurship Cell and the Africa Business Cell to adequately leverage the students' capabilities and further enhance them in these areas.

Q. What is the entrance procedure for admission to the MBA (IB) Programme?
Ans. The entrance procedure is a 3-stage process: First is the written test covering areas of Quantitative Ability, Logic and Reasoning, English etc. The short-listed people will then have to appear for the Group Discussions, Essay Writing and Personal Interviews.

Q. Is the IB course fully residential?
Ans. Yes. The institute provides fully furnished accommodation on campus for all students. Needless to say, IIFT boasts of world class infrastructure that any B-School can provide.

Q. How are the placements?
Ans. Every year the Institute boasts of 100% placements. In 2009, the institute was the first amongst all the major business schools in the country to complete 100% placements in spite of the recessionary situation. The 2010 final placements saw a 53% rise in the average salary levels with 100% placements as usual.

Q. What is the scope for industry interface?
Ans. Industry interface at IIFT happens through seminars, conferences, corporate interactions and guest lectures. IIFT organizes seminars and conferences all through the year, recent events being the National Marketing Symposium on "Consumer Retention Route to Enhancing ROMI" in August 2010, and IIFT-NASSCOM National IT Symposium on "India 2015: Leveraging IT for Growth" in September 2010 in Delhi. The Corporate Interactions are held on a regular basis, and have included Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, HSBC, Mr. Som Mittal, NASSCOM, Mr. Venu Srinivasan , TVS Motors and Mr. Sanjeev Aggarwal, Daksh, to name a few eminent guests. Guest lectures by eminent corporate personalities are also held for specific courses. All the above events, besides giving the students a lifetime opportunity of interacting with the leaders of business, also instill in them a great sense of inspiration and motivation. In addition, IIFT also organizes its Annual Management Festival "Quo Vadis" each November, which draws tremendous participation from other management schools, both in India and abroad.