Managerial and consulting roles in call centres attract IIM graduates.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) firms that so far hired from tier three B-schools will now flaunt IIM graduates. Take the case of Delhi-based BPO firm EXL Services which has managed to hire over 10 management graduates from India’s premier Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. The highest ever for any BPO company so far, EXL Services has hired the IIM-A graduates for general managerial and consulting roles.
“This year we have been aggressive in hiring from B-schools as we want to grow our foot-print in these management schools. We have been hiring from B-schools since 2003-04, but that has always been limited to one or two students. This year we have managed to give offer letters to 10 students from IIM-A itself. Last year we hired around seven management graduates from top B-schools,” said Sanjay Gupta, Global HR Head, EXL Services. The company is visiting five to six more B-school campuses this year to meet its target of hiring 15-18 management graduates. The company is of the view that the focus on management talent is due to the shift that the industry is witnessing as well as the work that is coming to the Indian players.
BPO and IT services firms have traditionally hired large number of students from engineering colleges and graduation colleges. But hiring from top B-schools has always been a tad difficult as students prefer to work with sectors like banking, consultancy, and FMCG.
The trend to hire more management graduates is however, not limited to EXL services alone or to the third party BPO sector. Captive BPOs of IT companies are also joining the bandwagon. IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) plans to hire over 1,200 management students for FY11 from B-schools across the nation. Of these the company has already extended offer letters to 557 students. TCS BPO has also made 129 offers so far.
According to Pandia Rajan, Chairman Ma Foi Randstad, this trend is prominent among the third party BPOs which need a strong marketing team. “With higher order processing migrating to India, BPOs these days are operating like any other company. Their growth needs are as important with various departments including marketing and HR growing,” said Rajan.
IT services and KPO firm Syntel agrees with this trend. “We have hired management graduates in the past. With the shift in the industry the talent required in the industry is different. You also have to remember that this sector is people intensive, you need qualified managers. You cannot just blame the students for not being interested in joining this industry. IT services and BPO firms have never interacted with them. With firms now getting aggressive they are finding interest as well,” said Mushtaque Aalam, Global Head, Recruitment, Syntel.
Students from management schools especially from premier institutes draw much higher salary than an engineering student. For instance, at entry level, an average management student would draw between Rs 3.6 lakh and Rs 6 lakh whereas, salary of a management graduate from a premier institute would be over 100 per cent.
Similarly, a fresh engineer graduate gets an entry level salary of Rs 3.3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh. Category B management college students draw start salary of Rs 4.6 to 4.7 lakh from the top IT services firm.
“It’s the job profiles student look at rather than looking at the industry. EXL Service offered consulting and general managerial posts to IIM-A graduates which was interesting,” said a placement committee member from IIM-A.
Other than opting for other sectors, management students, especially from tier-1 B-schools, tend to draw very high salaries. “A management student always manages to draw better salary. That also sometimes acts as hurdle for industry players to hire in large numbers as students like higher salary and perks that are generally provided by i-banks and consultancy firms,” said Gupta. Industry experts also point out that the need to hire more management talent is also because of the work that is coming to India. “Whether it is the IT industry or BPO, they have moved on to handle high-end work for clients. For instance, BPO’s are no longer providing only voice work. Large BPO firms are managing processes like accounting, analytics and other core activities. For IT firms, consultancy is becoming core as they move away from application development and maintenance kind of work,” said an industry observer.