Having burnt their fingers with some of the prominent and emerging start-ups and e-commerce players last year, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have turned towards core manufacturing
sector units for final placements this year. Needless to say, against roughly 25 per cent of offers being made and accepted by students at IITs last year, the figure has escalated to 40 per cent this year.
This comes in the backdrop of the number of government and core manufacturing
sector units participating for placements at IIT campuses going up anywhere between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.
"On an average, the number of government and core manufacturing
sector companies coming to the campuses has risen by at least 10 per cent. While we had invited more such firms to visit our campus, the results are encouraging with offers rising by 40 per cent. Moreover, students have also shown interest in these profiles," a placement source at IIT Kharagpur told Business Standard.
Apparently, the effort by IITs to invite more core sector firms was complemented by a growing interest among students to opt for such companies. This year, at IIT final placements, students have lapped up offers made by core sector firms, preferring them to the hefty pay packages offered by start-ups.
According to an Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) official, "Interest among students was relatively higher this year".
This trend emerged in spite of fat pay packages from IT majors emerging on day zero. Oracle and Microsoft made the highest international offers of $136,000 (Rs 93 lakh roughly) and $135,000 (Rs 92 lakh) in the first slot of day zero of final placements at institutes like IIT Guwahati. In comparison, PSUs and core sectors offered pacakages in the range of Rs 30-35 lakh, according to sources.
While Microsoft, Uber and Oracle made one offer each to students at IIT Madras, key government organisations that visited the campus before December 1 and made offers to students, included the Indian Navy (4), Isro (6), and ONGC (5).
The participation of Public Sector Units (PSUs) and government organisations had gradually waned after 2012-13 since a petition was filed in the high court against their recruitment process.
According to placement officials at various IITs, apart from core sectors, hiring by PSUs at IITs has been given a boost with the Madras High Court ruling last year, allowing government-owned firms to pick students from campuses. Add to that, barring computer science, students from other streams are gradually leaning towards PSUs and core sector firms, especially in the oil & gas and heavy machinery sectors.
Commenting on students' interest for diverse profiles, Manu Santhanam, Advisor, Training & Placement, IIT Madras said, "We have seen a good start to the placement season. The interest from recruiters has been very good, and the students are also very enthusiastic about the extensive set of profiles that they can apply for."
Going ahead with their strategy of pushing PSUs and core sector units, some of the IITs ensured that their students are interviewed by both marquee IT and consulting firms and these organisations.
"The target was to give exposure to each student to a government sector, couple of core sectors, along with IT, consulting and startup sectors. This mix was not there earlier at our placement process because people used to go for CTC (pay packages). But we thought it is not the salary that actually decides the future but the choice of profile and mindset," told N P Padhy, Professor-in-Charge, IIT Roorkee to Business Standard.
"We had established contact with several PSUs who have responded well and we have had core sectors show interest too," said placement sources at IIT Madras.