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Placement crunch haunts ISB

The Indian School of Business has extended its placement season after many students fail to get offers.

Print Edition: May 3, 2009

Even the top B-schools are not having it easy any more as jobs at all levels become scarce. The recent graduation day ceremony at the Indian School of Business (ISB) for the class of 2009, for instance, was a relatively sombre affair. Almost a third of the 437 students are yet to get suitable offers. Worried, the B-School has now decided to extend its placement programme till June—something which it last did back in 2002 for its inaugural batch. Till now, job options have been fewer and the compensation packages significantly thinner. A task force has been constituted to help students secure suitable placements. Dean Ajit Rangnekar sounds confident as he says: “It is not an overwhelming job and we will be able to place all students.”

Falling Demand

  • Almost a third of the students at ISB don't have good job offers

  • A task force has been set up and the placement programme extended

  • Most firms are offering only 1 or 2 jobs

  • A handful is offering up to 15 jobs

  • Earlier some firms would even offer 45-50 jobs each
However, the trend so far is not so rosy. Rangnekar is not willing to share the numbers but says: “It is not just 20 or 30 students who are yet to be placed but neither is it a huge number.” For the Dean, it is time to innovate. “The 80:20 rule is not going to apply this time (20 per cent of companies recruiting 80 per cent of the students) and all of us have to adjust to the reality,” he says.

Identifying the reason for the crisis doesn’t need much research. The sectors that used to hire the bulk of students are in deep trouble. Says Rangnekar: “Till last year, the IT sector was the biggest recruiter. Now, with uncertainty about H1B visas and the Satyam scam, the sector has become weak. The financial services sector has also been affected by the slowdown.” The silver lining, he says, is that companies have again started showing interest and some have indicated that they would come back in April with offers.

Of course, for the toppers, life continues to be smooth. Vivek Lath, 25, a former field engineer at Schlumberger, is now getting into his “dream job” in the media as a modelling analyst. Similarly, his batchmate sumit popli, a hardware engineer before he came to isb, will now join “the most premium management consulting firm”—a company he always wanted to be part of.

— E. Kumar Sharma


Q&A
“India key to our globalisation efforts”

Sanjay Mirchandani, Chief Information Officer, EMC Corporation, has been responsible for driving the firm’s technological innovations. He spoke to BT’s Anusha Subramanian on EMC’s plans. Excerpts:

How has EMC evolved over the years?
From 1991-2002, EMC was a storage company. From 2005 however, we have evolved into being a full-fledged information infrastructure company.

Globalisation efforts seem to dominate your plans now...
In 2005, we decided to invest in faster growing markets such as India, China and Russia. Today, EMC has $2 billion worth of commitment across these countries. In India alone, we have invested $500 million till now. Our Centres of Excellence (COE) have created sustainable environments in all these countries.

What is the Indian COE’s role?

The India COE was formed to advance EMC’s globalisation goals. It is the largest centre outside of North America and plays a key role in EMC’s global innovation network that promotes exploration, discovery and application of new technologies.


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