Business Today

Braving the Downturn

Placements at top MBA institutes seem relatively unaffected, but second-rung ones have been hit.
E. Kumar Sharma        Print Edition: May 26, 2013

The placement season in most leading business schools is winding down and by all accounts it has been a relative success despite the economic slowdown . Most students have been recruited even though average salaries have remained at last year's levels.

The Indian School of Business (ISB) has placed a substantial majority of its 762 students across its Hyderabad and Mohali campuses - only five per cent are still to be recruited. In absolute terms, given its large batch this year, it has placed more students in 2013 compared with the previous year.

At the second-rung institutes, Including the new IIMs, campus placements have been impacted by the slowdown.

The school's efforts to engage with recruiters in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad seems to have paid off - 421 companies made 798 offers, while 348 companies had made 631 offers last year. The average salary so far is around Rs 19 lakh - comparable to the levels in 2012, according to an ISB spokesperson. Another trend visible at the ISB was the changing profile of recruiters.

"Management, consulting, pharmaceuticals and health-care companies showed a significant rise in recruitments, whereas investment banking and private equity firms did limited hiring," says V.K. Menon, Head of Admissions and Placements, ISB.

At the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, over 130 companies participated in the final placement process for its batch of 372 students, against some 120 last year. The school will not disclose compensation data until the placement report is audited. "Despite adverse market conditions, We saw a successful recruitment cycle this year," says Kirti Sharda, Chairperson, Placements.

IIM Bangalore's batch of 381 students saw some 150 companies making over 415 offers, compared with 363 students getting 423 offers from 129 companies in 2012. "While we do not comment on salaries, what we can say is that salaries offered on campus are in keeping with the market trends. Very rarely would salaries go lower than the previous year's offer," said an institute spokesperson.

At the second-rung institutes, including the new IIMs, however, campus placements appear to have been impacted by the slowdown. For instance, IIM Shillong succeeded in getting more companies to the campus this year, but saw a sharp drop in the number of offers. A total of 52 companies made 39 offers for a class of 104. The institute has still managed to place 99 students so far. In 2012, 44 companies had made 105 offers for a class of 93 students. The average salary this year has remained at around Rs 12 lakh. "My hunch is that the quality (of placements) might have suffered a bit at the top level institutes, while at the second and third level (schools) both the quality and the numbers would have got affected," says Ajay Pandey, Director Incharge, IIM Ahmedabad.

Placements at the top flight institutes then seem relatively unaffected by the macroeconomic headwinds.

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