Placement blues fade at IIMs as recruiters troop in

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Top business schools have put placement jitters behind with their graduating batches scooped up by recruiters, in a year startups and fintechs have gone missing, and the number of offers per recruiter has fallen.

To plug the deficit, placement teams at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have tapped a wider net of companies, while insisting that joining dates being offered to students should remain unchanged.

According to the placement teams in IIMs at Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Udaipur, Indore and Shillong, companies from FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), consulting and banking sectors have offered compensation and joining bonuses almost on par with last year.

Some of the recruiters include —Microsoft ( 70 lakh for Hyderabad posting); Accenture ( 60 lakh for Japan), Asian Paints, and Emami Group ( 15-18 lakh). Amongst banks -Axis, ICICI, HDFC and IDFC have rolled out offers for 20-24 lakh. Titan and ITC ( 24-33 lakh), Arthur D Little ( 24-45 lakh), and Mamaearth ( 15-18 lakh) are amongst others .Compensation from the same company may vary for different job profiles.

Companies like Air India said they have made a “strategic comeback” to B-schools after a “hiatus of over two decades”. The airlines is hiring through a case study competition, named ‘Spirit Of Aviation Reimagined (S.O.A.R.)

“Historically, the aviation sector has not been the first choice for management graduates fresh from the country’s leading business schools,” said an Air India spokesperson in response to Mint’s queries. “…S.O.A.R. aims to change that narrative by positioning the company, and the industry at large, as a top employer for emerging talent”.

According to placement teams at IIMs, the students had to devise ways for the airlines to optimization spends, improve supply chain gaps, and branding. The selected students were called for interviews and offered positions in the now Tata-owned airline.

However , consulting firms remain the top draw despite their lesser than usual hiring mandates.

“Thus far, we have hired 30 graduates from IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, and Lucknow,” said Brajesh Singh, president of Arthur D Little, India. “These hiring are for business analysts across different grades. Average compensation for these cohorts is 30 lakh, which is on par with other leading consulting firms.”

IIMs have noted that firms still prefer students with work experience, or at least those who have interned with them. They also prefer to recruit via the pre-placement offer (PPO) route.

A placement team in one of the younger IIMs said that out of a batch of 280, 85 PPOs were rolled out. Another IIM with 320 students in its batch had 95% of the group placed and 25% of the offers were PPOs. Barely a clutch of startups have made the cut for the IIMs as many have gone on a hiring freeze.

“We continue to invest in building a diverse pipeline from campuses across the country,” said Rajkamal Vempati, president and head-HR, Axis Bank, adding that the bank would place its hires in both core banking and transformation areas.

An IIM-Shillong placement member said placements are beginning to look better now after starting slowly. “Our average salaries should hover around 18 lakh like last year.”

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