India is a monstrous factory when it comes to engineering and B-school education. Tech and business graduates every year in the country count up to between 6,00,000 and 7,00,000. (That is equivalent to the population of Amsterdam or Washington DC!) Feeding off that pool of graduates every year is a clamouring group of private companies, banks, government-run firms or, even, educational institutions, hospitals and nongovernmental institutions.
Who exactly are these recruiters? Who are the top hirers at institutions, some of which-the famed Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), for instance-are widely acknowledged to be among the best in the world? To understand, BT decided to scan the country's premium B-schools and engineering colleges. For initial data gathering, we roped in management portal MBAUniverse.com and market research agency Synovate for B-schools and engineering colleges, respectively.
We reached out to just under 25 institutes in all. For data, we and our knowledge partners sought the names of hirers, the salaries on offer, the most soughtafter companies and industries, and sectors of choice, as also preferred locations and admired business icons. The results of our study, we are sure, would have been different if we expanded the sample size of engineering colleges and B-schools. But, consciously, our approach was one of value, not volume-spot hirers at India's most valuable institutes.
Our list of 13 B-schools had IIM-Ahmedabad, IIMBangalore, IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Kozhikode, IIM-Lucknow, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (Delhi), Nirma Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), Delhi University's Faculty of Management Studies, Management Development Institute (Gurgaon), TA Pai Management Institute (Manipal); Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, Sydenham Institute of Management Studies Research and Entrepreneurship Education (Mumbai), and Department of Management Studies, IIT-Delhi.
The 10 engineering institutes we contacted were IITMadras, IIT-Guwahati, IIT-Roorkee, Indian School of Mines, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Warangal, PEC University of Technology (Chandigarh), Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra), Indian Institute of Technology-Benares Hindu University, Indian Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad, and PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore.
And the results? Let's contrast with early 2009, first. One year short of graduating for a master's programme in business administration or bachelor's in engineering, the Class of 2010 saw the hiring universe suddenly turn dark. Not only did the number of recruiters coming to campus dwindle, salary offers made to their seniors halved. What to do? Hunker down to beef up your skills so that you stand out when recruiters came calling the next spring.
Come 2010, they need not have worried, actually. The graduating class of 2010 in India's business schools and engineering colleges got a thumping welcome from India Inc. Banks and financial services firms (YES Bank, ICICI Bank, American Express, SBI Caps, Citigroup), management consultants (McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, Deloitte), information technology and back office companies (Congnizant, Infosys, IBM, Wipro, Genpact, Oracle), as also mega corporations (Tatas, P&G) and state-run companies (NTPC, Bharat Heavy Electricals) are back with a bang, recruiting from campuses almost like never before.
Salaries are up (sure, they lag the 2006-07 boom time levels) but the focus of the grads is on learning on the job, career prospects and, no surprise after a recession year, job stability is sought after, perhaps, more than compensation. And, yes, engineering hirings are on the upswing again, reflecting the fortunes of Indian information technology firms.