Lokesh Khandelwal with his mother at their Sakchi residence in Jamshedpur on Sunday. (Animesh Sengupta)
How many zeros will five million yen have? Ask a 21-year-old student of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Adityapur, who beat the slowdown by creating placement history on Saturday.
A final-year BTech computer science student, Lokesh Khandelwal has bagged a yearly salary package of Rs 33 lakh (5 million yen) from Works Applications, a Japanese software company headquartered in Tokyo.
It’s the highest so far in the history of the Seraikela-Kharsawan tech cradle, breaking the record of Rs 16 lakh in 2011, offered to computer science student Abhishek Prajapati by Microsoft.
Ask Lokesh how it feels to be a campus celebrity, the unassuming Aquarian who identifies himself as ADIDAC — “All day I dream about coding” — says modestly: “I’m happy for my family, school and NIT.”
Lokesh, a Sakchi boy, studied at Kerala Samajam Model School (KSMS), got 95 per cent in ICSE and 92.5 per cent in ISC in 2010. The same year, he received the KSMS principal’s award for all-round achievement and cracked AIEEE to land in NIT.
The blue-chip Jamshedpurean will now work either in Tokyo or Singapore once he finishes his course.
“My school and college teachers have been hugely supportive. Now, I need to study hard in the last few months,” Lokesh, who loves coding, badminton and chess, said.
Parents Pawan and Anita Khandelwal — dad is a businessman and mom a homemaker — are thrilled. “He’s always been a bright boy, but this achievement is amazing,” said the doting father. For brother Harsh (16), now in Class XI, KSMS, Lokesh was always the “coolest dude”.
NIT, regulated by Union ministry of human resources development, achieved another milestone when software major Amazon picked up three students in the ongoing placements on Saturday. The trio, also from the computer science stream, got an annual package of Rs 14.96 lakh each. Amazon also picked up three students as interns.
Job placements for the Class of 2014 — the batch includes 680 (BTech 600, MCA 80) — at NIT started with a bang at July-end.
First entrant Mu Sigma creamed off 15 students from different departments with an annual package of Rs 4.5 lakh each. Mahindra Comviva recruited another 15, offering an annual package of Rs 5 lakh. EXL Services picked up 10 students at Rs 5.25 lakh each per annum. Optumsoft offered an impressive annual package of Rs 10 lakh, cherry-picking one computer science student. Tata Steel snapped up five students from different branches of engineering, offering an annual salary of Rs 8 lakh each.
“So far, 16 companies have taken part in the placement drive, recruiting around 75 students,” NIT spokesperson Rajiv Bhushan said. “Another 75-80 companies are likely to visit the campus.”
NIT director Rambabu Kodali expressed pride over the milestones of this year’s placement. “We’re proud of our students, faculty members and placement cell. The job offers are an endorsement of the industry’s confidence in NIT.”