Thank you for your posting.
Let me start off by saying that you come from a very competitive demographic and there are many more qualified candidates than there are spots allocated every year. This means that you have to stand out on every aspect of your candidacy.
Let me start off with the positive aspects to your candidacy which is your unique background in merchant shipping - which, as you point out will add some diversity to the class. The second is your professional training as business schools view this very favorably and view you as having well developed leadership skills. Lastly, you show that through your academics that you can handle the academic aspect of business school -- which during the first year can be challenging both from an academic/intellectual perspective as well as from a workload perspective.
The weaknesses to your candidacy include your age (this is a bit old for some of the schools on your list), your GMAT score (on the lower side of most competitive Indian candidates) and grades (most competitive Indian candidates have excellent grades across the board). However, again, the most challenging aspect of your candidacy is your demographics.
Based on the information you provide, here are your chances at each of the schools on your list and my recommendation on whether you should apply or not.
1) Harvard ( DREAM) -- I do not see you as competitive/you age is a major factor here/ would not recommend applying
2) Stanford -- I do not see you are competitive/your background does not comply with what Stanford values/ would not recommend applying
3) Wharton -- the most open minded of the Big 3 programs / think with a strong application that your candidacy would be considered competitive/recommend applying.
4) MIT / Sloan -- I do not see you as competitive here / the school is small and has a high percentage of Indian candidates/ recommend not applying
5) Kellog - You would add diversity to the school/age is not a factor/ recommend applying
6) Columbia -- I do not see a connection between you and the school/do not recommend applying
7) Chicago Booth -- the school values international candidates and unique experiences / recommend applying
8) Tuck -- the small class size makes admissions tricky / do not recommend applying
9) NYU Stern - like Columbia, do not see a connection here / recommend not applying
10) Yale -- a tricky one but see a connection here and that they would value your application / recommend applying
11) Haas - very low admissions rate and preference towards tech candidates/ recommend not applying
12) INSEAD -- very international and diverse student population / recommend applying
13) Mccombs -- seeks out diverse candidates / competitive on all fronts / recommend applying
14) Rice/ Jones -- same as Mccombs -- recommend applying
15) Duke -- seeks diverse and international candidates -- recommend applying.
Good luck in your application process.
Senior Admissions Consultant Manhattan Review
Manhattan Review GMAT Prep & MBA Admissions Consulting
Web: http://www.manhattanreview.com | Phone: +1.212.316.2000
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