The US downgrade and a dim global economic scenario have brought back memories of the 2008 placement season at business school campuses. Though the situation is not as grave as during the post-Lehman Brothers crisis, leading B-schools are not taking any chances and are inviting more companies than usual.
Global financial and consulting giants have been among the biggest recruiters from the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), especially Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. These have been among the day zero firms on IIM campuses and have been the leading paymasters, offering crore-plus salaries.
B-schools say companies have already sent feelers that though they would participate in the summer and final placements, they may take fewer students. Given such a response, the placement committees in these schools see a big challenge in placing the higher number of students because of an increased batch size.
“Global recruiters, including investment banking firms, may not recruit in as big numbers as they did earlier, though no company has so far cancelled or expressed inability to participate in the placement process,” says a placement committee official from IIM Calcutta.
While IIM Bangalore says financial sector placements could see some impact, IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) says it will invite more firms.
“It is too early to comment on the impact on summer placements. While the number of firms being invited for summer placements is not an issue, the number of students they would pick up may be different this year,” says Atreyi Bose, a placement committee member at IIM-A.
The IIMs will begin their summer placements this November. Final placements happen at the end of the academic year.
In 2008, B-schools decided to host many more new companies, including public sector units. Many institutes have since been inviting smaller private equity players and wealth management firms as well.
So, at the Mumbai-based Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), efforts are on to spread wings across as many sectors as possible. “The financial market looks dim. We are inviting more firms from other sectors and trying for a sector-wise balance among recruiters,” says Pooja Shah, placement committee member at JBIMS, where summer placements begin in mid- or late-September this year.
“There is still some time before one can gauge the impact of the international economic scenario. However, we keep increasing the number of firms invited every year,” says Prakash Pathak, placement chairperson at the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad.
An exception seems to be the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi University. It expects a positive placement season ahead. Till last week, students had received 25 pre-placement offers (PPOs) and pre-placement interview offers (PPIs) have been confirmed. “We are expecting more PPOs and PPIs in the coming months,” says Amit Bardhan, co-placement advisor, FMS. The total batch strength at FMS is 225.