The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IIMs unite to bag jobs

Calcutta, March 19: If market conditions are tight, it’s better to join hands. The three leading IIMs — Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta — switched to “collaborate” mode from the “competitive” mantra they preach in classrooms.

This year saw the institutes sharing information on recruiters — a never-before phenomenon — coming down to the campus to shop for budding managers. The big league of the premier B-schools also drew up their placement schedules in consultation with each other. So, for Bangalore, the final placements started on March 5, in Calcutta, Day Zero was on March 8 and the recruiters started trooping down to Ahmedabad from March 10.

“We wanted to avoid clashing of dates and help recruiters in drawing up a smooth itinerary from Bangalore to Calcutta to Ahmedabad. So, some of us had to push back the placement timing to serve the common objective of placing our students,” said Shekhar Chaudhuri, director, IIMC.

Planning in advance marked this year’s placement and along with the “collaborative” approach across the IIMs, there were efforts, at the institute’s level, to face a recession-hit global marketplace.

So, the IIMC placement cell decided to sacrifice the “pride in placing all the students in two days” and stretched it to nine days to facilitate “longer and objective” interaction among the recruiters and the students. A separate placement schedule for students with prior work experience was drawn up, which resulted in 30 per cent rise in lateral placements from 42 in 2002 to 54 this year.

“Earlier, the placement season meant students and recruiters running around, as they had very little time. We have started giving them more time to assess each other,” explained B. N. Srivastava, dean, external relations cell, IIMC.

The planning did “pay” as the recruiters continued offering the “best” deals to IIMC grads. As per the placement results — made public on Wednesday — 79 companies visited the campus and made 297 offers to 245 graduating students.

Consulting major McKinsey offered the highest domestic compensation package of Rs 14 lakh, while Deutsche Bank’s deal of $96,000 was the highest among the international offers made during this year’s campus interviews.

“Despite the economic slowdown, domestic median salary grew by around 15 per cent,” mentioned Chaudhuri. The median domestic annual salary was Rs 6,25,000 while in case of overseas placements it was $76,000. But, the number of foreign offers — the high point in 2002 placements — came down this year to 11 from 20 last year.

The sluggish growth in the market and the desperation of the companies in increasing their market share was evident from the placement statistics.

The highest number of offers, over 32 per cent, were made in sales and marketing while finance and systems slipped to 21 per cent and 18 per cent from last year’s high of 33 per cent.

Consulting and general management made a comeback after a lull with 24 per cent of the total offers, as compared to just 5 per cent in 2002.

“This year we saw IT and IT- enabled services companies picking up students for other functional areas like marketing and finance,” said Srivastava.

ICICI Bank with 22 offers was the biggest recruiter, followed by HCL Technologies (17), PricewaterhouseCoopers (14), Tata Consultancy Services (12) and fast moving consumer goods major HLL (11).

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