IIMs: Meltdown management

Placement season 2009 was a time of dread even for the IIMs’ academic bluebloods. While the process was in full swing,The Indian Express checked the pulse of these premier management institutes throughout the country. Prognosis: there is hope yet

Published: March 9, 2009 12:54 am

Kozhikode: Few dream jobs,but PSUs a lifeline

THERE is no denying the impact of the meltdown at IIM-K,where an outgoing batch of 185 students had to choose from only 190-odd jobs,leaving little room for bargaining. Last year,177 students had the freedom to juggle with 405 offers before pocketing a suitable one. Placement coordinator Prof Keyoor Purani says,“After half our regular recruiters shelved hiring plans,the institute was forced to fetch new recruiters to fill the gap. Even those who turned up are selecting fewer students,while others backed out at the last hour.” The crisis has forced many students to finally accept lacklustre pre-placement offers after their wait for better avenues went in vain. “This is the time for a reality check. I’ll get a dream job only when the crisis is over,” says student Revanth Bhate.

Trends 2009

•The average salary offered has gone down by 30 per cent. If the average salary was Rs 14.83 lakh in 2008,the figure would be Rs 10 lakh this year. Against 23 international offers in the previous year,the outgoing batch could thus far get only 10 international offers.

•Many investment banking and consultancy firms did not recruit from the institute this year. In addition,several FMCG,IT houses and other companies kept away from the B-school.

However,some public sector undertakings (PSUs) have emerged as a lifeline. “With

better talent up for grab at a reduced price,half a dozen PSUs have visited the campus,” said Purani.

•To make matters worse,IIM-K,which would send out its 11th batch this year,finds that its alumni have not reached the top of the corporate world. Thus,they are unable recommend the institute for hiring. “The alumni of other IIMs have several illustrious CEOs and corporate honchos. They are in a position to tell HR personnel to recruit from their respective alma maters. Some recruiters have cited this as a reason why they were forced to drop IIM-K from their plans in favour of other b-schools,” rues Purani. — Shaju Philip

Ahmedabad: Wage cuts,yet finance still recruits

THE anxiety was palpable on the campus during placement time — which started on February 25 and ended nine days later — but as it turned out,the students did not end up as badly off as they feared. Admitting that the current economic crisis affected the job scene,IIM-A director Samir Barua said there was much to be relieved about. “The average salaries dropped by around 25 per cent from last year,but the pre-recruitment measures we took this year helped us a great deal,” he noted. Explaining the nine-day recruitment period,Saral Mukherjee,chairman of the placement committee,said,“The longer duration and greater diversity of firms allowed students more time to make better career choices.” This year,109 firms participated as compared to 90 last year. About 252 students of the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) and 21 students from the Post Graduate Programme in Agri-Business Management (PGP-ABM) took part.

Trends 2009

l Students drew an average domestic salary of Rs 12.17 lakhs while the international salary average stood at $83,000 (exclusive of bonus).

l Despite being the worst hit sector,finance saw the highest rate of acceptance at 39 per cent. This was followed by consulting (24 per cent),marketing (13 per cent),general management (9 per cent),systems (6 per cent); and others,including media and the manufacturing sector,also at 6 per cent. Barua says that over 100 students opted for finance sector jobs because they were aware that the slowdown was “temporary”. IIM-A authorities informed that about 34 per cent of the batch was placed in the ‘slot zero firms’ with some offers of more than Rs 1 crore.

l Overall,the highest number of offers were made by the Union Bank of India (18). Other prominent recruiters were Bain and Company (eight),McKinsey and Co (eight),Boston Consulting Group (seven),Tata Administrative Services (seven) and first-time recruiters like Frost and Sullivan (five) and Jaypee Capital (12).

l This time,there were fewer offers from international banks and even lower international offers from Indian firms (including Tata Administrative Services and Aditya Birla Group). Interestingly,Kavithalaya (a film production house) has recruited two students to help in film production and business development.

l For PGP-ABM students,25 companies participated and the average compensation package stood at Rs 8.50 lakh. Public Sector players like Union Bank,Bank of Baroda,IOCL; start-ups like FINO,ABTL and micro-finance major FWWB were the main recruiters. IIM-A authorities claimed that this has reinforced IIM-A’s PGP-ABM’s position as the best sector-specific programme in the country.

Rahul Luthra,a graduating student summed it up: “We were all apprehensive. But as things turned out,everyone who wanted a job got one.” — Gaurav Sharma

Lucknow: Alumni,start-ups come to the rescue

AS anxious about the current downturn in the job market as any other business school,IIM-L has altered some of its practices to soften the blow. Apart from seeking help from its alumni-turned-big shots,the institute also gave start-ups the opportunity to participate in the placement exercise. “IIM-L is facing what the rest of the country is facing. Almost all the big companies have come but their individual offers have reduced,” said Prof Shushil Kumar,chairman of the placement cell at IIM-L.

Trends 2009

•Students with a finance background are worst hit as the number of merchant bankers coming for placement has come down drastically. While,big names have appeared on campus,sources say they are also recruiting fewer students. Earlier,the institute used to announce 100 per cent placement within first few days of the process.

•IIM-L alumni have played an important role this time. One such old student is Nishant Saxena,CEO of Elements Akademia,a chain of institutes that provides skills training to youth. “The slowdown has been a blessing in disguise for startup ventures like ours. Now students are forced to try unconventional fields… but even I was surprised,when I got as many as 41 applications from students.”

•Sources inform that the institute has reduced its placement participation fee — a considerable amount — and has also not put any bar on minimum salary. However,officers at the institute refused to comment,saying it was a policy issue.— Maulshree Seth

Bangalore: Losing the bank balance

IN 2008,IIM-B placed all of its 256 students within three days of opening up the placement process and the institute claimed to have achieved the fastest-ever recruitment rate. After summer internships last year,IIM-B had also claimed 70 pre-placement offers for its 2009 batch. This was all before the global economic meltdown. On March 6 this year,as the 2009 final placements process was set to spill into a second week,at least a dozen in a batch of 250 were yet to be placed.

Trends 2009

•The pre-placement offer count of 70 had during final placements converted only to 55. The collapse of global investment banking firms was the cause,IIM-B chairperson for placements Prof Sourav Mukherji noted. IIM-B director Prof Pankaj Chandra confirmed,“Financial and banking companies were relatively fewer year.”

•Also,the buzz on campus is that the economic slowdown that started in the middle of last year saw a lot of junior MBAs laid off from the investment banking and finance sector finding jobs in top consulting firms by the end of 2008 — thus eating into the 2009 pie.

•While in the past companies hired the best as fast as they could,this time around there have been reports of firms shopping slowly for ‘best fits’. Students themselves are

seeking stable enterprises rather than particularly high-paying ones. — Johnson T A

Kolkata: Suspense,disappointment,surprises

EVEN though IIM-Calcutta tried to get an advantage over other IIMs by advancing its final placement days,the situation here caused sleepless nights during phase one of the process,when only 207 offers came in for a batch of 265 students between February 21-24,confirmed IIM-C placement head Prafull Agnihotri. Last year,the placements were completed in just four days.

Trends 2009

•While a few students defied the slump and got 1-crore jobs,the overall pay packages offered to students took a turn for the worse. This,after the pay packets at IIM-C had been increasing at the rate of 18-20 per cent until last year. “Although the average salary this year cannot be matched to last year’s

average of Rs 16.4 lakh for domestic placements,I don’t think we will have a big problem in repaying loans,” said one student.

•In last year’s placement session,over 240 offers were made to a batch of 290 students before the final process started; of these,90 were pre-placement offers (PPOs). This year,only 56 PPOs were made. Also,while 45 firms had made 153 offers in lateral placements last year,this time only 25 companies came forward.

•Many students have been forced to make compromises. Some who nurtured dreams of working in finance or investment banks abroad had to reconcile themselves to working in domestic consulting firms. Companies like ITC,Nokia and marketing giants like Hindustan Unilever,Procter & Gamble have become the top recruiters this year. — Shiv Sahay Singh

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results