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Friday, February 3, 2012

IIM Placements 2012-the summer of discontent and trickledown

Disclaimer:-Adjectives like top etc are for ease of convenience and express MY feeling about how recruiters perceive the colleges. They do NOT imply that student quality is necessarily better/worse, so please do not feel insulted by the same. Also, my views only and not meant to convey official views at all

  Earlier in Apr11, I'd blogged my concern about whether the top tier colleges(IIM ABC) were losing their connection to Indian firms thanks to the Day0 obsession with multinational finance/consulting firms. Read the entire post here(http://iimaexperiences.blogspot.in/2011/05/will-top-indian-firms-begin-to-think.html). Ever since then, global financial markets have turned topsy turvy, with India specific factors like inflation/corruption/energy issues etc exacerbating the issue, and causing companies to grow/hire with caution, despite the still healthy domestic demand.  This has shown its effects on placements, as the audited reports in Sep'12 would doubtless show, and invited comments in the popular press.
  1. During IIM Ahmedabad's business festival Confluence 2011, Tata Sons chief (Group HR) Satish Pradhan compared IIM placements to cattle fairs, stating that people competed hard to get into IIMs, and then harder to get better packages, neglecting other options like becoming entrepreneurs, business leaders and agents of change. In my view, he was perhaps distressed at the campus perception of TAS/other Tata group companies(Indian firms you see) at premier campuses. 
  2. Older IIMs are reaching out to more sectors and areas as reported here, most of which doubtless would be domestic firms  (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/IIMs-innovate-to-fight-placement-blues/articleshow/11722119.cms).
  3. IIM Indore reportedly sought help from external placement agencies. 
As  I see it, some top paying roles from other campuses are now being offered at IIMs as well, which will have its repercussions on the other campuses as well. For instance, FMCG/consulting firms which may have hired say x people from top IIMs, may now proceed to hire 2x, including those people who may have entered banking but for the global financial crisis. Of course, the PPO holders from other campuses would retain their offers, hence the maximum impact would be on the final placements.  

While the pay is mostly sufficient to service that looming education loan, it may not provide that margin for spending binges on clubs/foreign holidays etc. While that may disappoint some people, they should be pleased of working during a downturn, where they learn rapidly/get more responsibility and are baptized under fire. For the Batch of 2010-12, summer placements were generally reported in the press as having seen bumper 'business as usual'. But because that is not always reflected in the Fin placements, some people could be forgiven for feeling cheated during that last mile lap(since markets situated worsened only towards the end of the 2yr course).  Personally, I feel that this baptism by fire will only help in the long run despite the visible short term effects. So there is still room for optimism.

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