The placement season at Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) kicked off Thursday with fewer offers than previous years. While some IITs had more companies visiting campus on first day, the number of offers rolled out to students was fewer. Of the 300 students who sat for placements in the first slot at IIT Bombay (IIT-B), only 20 had bagged offers by 8 pm.
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The first slot between 8am and 5:30 pm saw participation of 18 companies, including the PSU ONGC. Among other companies were Deutsche Bank, Bain, Amazon, Goldman Sachs and P&G. Another 11 had lined up for the second slot from 6pm to 2am.
Anxious students who appeared for interviews said the number of placements was fewer compared with last year’s. “Last year, by the end of the first slot, around 50-60 had been placed,” said a student who did not wish to be named.
At Kharagpur, around 80-90 students were placed by the end of the day. The numbers were expected to see a minor slump from last year, said student placement coordinator Shovan Panigrahi. Around 25 companies had visited the college.
Kaustubha Mohanty, convenor of All-IIT Placement Committee (AIPC) and the placement in-charge for IIT Guwahati, said the number of companies visiting on Day 1 had increased but there had been no corresponding change in the number of offers. “Number of companies and salaries offered have increased, but the number of offers are more or less the same,” said Mohanty.
At IIT-B, students attributed the slump to the reduced intake in the consultancy sector. “Only three consultancy companies — BCG, Bain and ATK — visited this year. They, too, recruited fewer candidates,” said the student. At IIT KGP, the investment banking sector lowered its intake, said Panigrahi.
Sapan Shah of IIT-B, who bagged a job with P&G, said, “Three students were selected. We are being offered around Rs18 lakh per annum.”
After much speculation, Uber made an appearance at some of the institutes. At KGP, Uber offered a position in its offshore offices.
IIT Madras recorded a good start. Uber, Microsoft and Oracle arrived in the graveyard slot between Wednesday midnight and Thursday 5am, each absorbing one student. At KGP, Oracle made the highest offer.
“Oracle offered $125,000 along with a signing bonus of $10,000 and stock options worth $1,000,” said Panigrahi. Sprinklr, too, offered $140,000, he said.
While IIT KGP didn’t see any PSUs on campus on the first day, 13 had registered for early slots. At Madras, ISRO recruited six students, ONGC made five offers and the Indian Navy made four, even before the process began on Thursday. A total of 54 students had been placed by the end of the day. The Bombay campus saw ONGC on Day 1 with ISRO lined up for Day 2.
PSUs replace start-ups for early slots
A common trend across several IITs this year is many Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) arriving early. The previous two years, start-ups had bagged the coveted early dates.
The PSUs registered to visit various IITs across the country include ONGC, Bhel, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, ISRO, Coal India and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
“Some of the PSUs wanted to visit even before the process started. So, they completed their interviews before the official placement season,” said Babu Viswanathan, placement in-charge of IIT-M.
IIT Roorkee will see at least one PSU/ central government agency visiting the campus everyday for a week, said N P Padhy, professor in-charge of placements at the institute. Padhy said so far, six PSUs had confirmed their visit and an equal number were negotiating. “In the next two weeks, we are expecting a total of 15 PSUs to register for placements,” he said.
The decision to slot PSUs ahead of start-ups seems to have been taken after some of the leading start-ups either revoked offers or deferred joining dates of selected students last year. Following the debacle, in August, the AIPC blacklisted several companies from placements this year.
However, the scenario is different at IIT-G and IIT-M. Viswanathan said that most of the 70 start-ups registered for placements had booked dates in the first phase itself. At IIT-G, nearly 20 start-ups, including Rivigo and Shop101, have been slotted in the first phase.