De­ferred Fi­nal Place­ments at IIMB May Hit Global Of­fers

The Economic Times - - Careers: The Fast Track - Sreer­adha.Basu@ times­

In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ban­ga­lore will hold its fi­nal place­ments nearly a fort­night af­ter IIMs in Ahmed­abad and Kolkata, a move that has not been pos­i­tively re­ceived by the stu­dents

Mum­bai: The In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ban­ga­lore has de­cided to hold its fi­nal place­ments from March 1-4, nearly a fort­night af­ter the IIMs in Ahmed­abad and Kolkata, a de­par­ture from the long-stand­ing tra­di­tion of back-to-back place­ments at the top three IIMs.

The de­ci­sion, taken be­fore the gov­ern­ment’s de­mon­eti­sa­tion drive, may im­pact of­fers from global in­vest­ment banks and con­sult­ing firms that the bright­est stu­dents at the coun­try’s premier man­age­ment in­sti­tute vie for, ac­cord­ing to stu­dents, re­cruiters and for­mer place­ment heads ET spoke with. While IIM Ahmed­abad and IIM Cal­cutta started their fi­nal place­ments in the sec­ond week of Fe­bru­ary, IIM Ban­ga­lore will have its fi­nal place­ments af­ter the stu­dents fin­ish their ex­ams. IIM Ban­ga­lore took this de­ci­sion fol­low­ing a re­view of its post­grad­u­ate pro­gramme.

The three IIMs have in the past started their place­ments within a cou­ple of days of each other, tak­ing turns to go first, based on a mu­tual un­der­stan- ding among them. His­tor­i­cally, this was done to fa­cil­i­tate over­seas re­cruiters, who sent a sin­gle team to in­ter­view stu­dents at all the three cam­puses. The de­ci­sion, a for­mer IIMB place­ment head said on con­di­tion of anonymity, is likely to have a di­rect im­pact on of­fers for over­seas place­ments. Top league in­vest­ment banks such as Gold­man Sachs, JPMor­gan and Citi usu­ally send ex­ec­u­tives from for­eign desks to re­cruit for over­seas po­si­tions. “In th­ese times of cost-cut­ting, I doubt how many of them will make a sec­ond trip for the sake of just one in­sti­tute,” he said. The for­mer place­ment head said that the fac­ulty mem­bers who pushed through the de­ci­sion to post­pone place­ments did not agree to roll back the de­ci­sion de­spite un­easi­ness on the part of the stu­dents.

Stu­dents are a wor­ried lot. Even do­mes­tic re­cruiters, in­clud­ing con­sult­ing firms, of­ten make only a hand­ful of of­fers in fi­nal place­ments since many of them have done the bulk of their re­cruit­ments through the pre-place­ment of­fer route. “They may come to IIM Ban­ga­lore to main­tain their re­la­tions- hip with the in­sti­tute but if their tal­ent re­quire­ments are met else­where, they may have few po­si­tions left to fill,” said a stu­dent, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied. “It’s not that IIMB stu­dents won’t be hired but it is the big-ticket of­fers that all top IIM stu­dents vie for. It’s like a badge of honour.” Ganesh N Prabhu, chair­per­son of ca­reer devel­op­ment ser­vices at IIM Ban­ga­lore, said the in­sti­tute had taken the de­ci­sion in ad­vance and had asked IIM Ahmed­abad and IIM Cal­cutta if they wanted to push back their place­ments as well. How­ever, the other two IIMs re­fused. “Af­ter we de­cide the date, we can’t change it,” said Prabhu.

Prabhu ad­mit­ted that the de­ci­sion is risky and that the stu­dents haven’t been pos­i­tive about it. But there’s an up­side as well, he said. “We may get the over­flow of re­fused of­fers from the other two in­sti­tutes, par­tic­u­larly IIMA, which fol­lows a co­hort sys­tem. Also, more com­pa­nies than ever be­fore are re­cruit­ing in the IIMB lat­er­als, which will go up to the third week of Fe­bru­ary,” he said.

There’s a pos­si­bil­ity, though, that be­cause of slug­gish mar­ket con­di­tions, fewer of­fers at other in­sti­tutes will be re­fused. “The sit­u­a­tion is un­pre­dictable,” Prabhu said. He said that about 30 com­pa­nies from last year had dropped out, many of them e-com­merce firms, though there will be sev­eral first-timers in at­ten­dance this time.

IIMB will have 50 grad­u­ates of IIM Visakha­p­at­nam in­ter­view­ing at its place­ments in ad­di­tion to its own 400-plus stu­dents.

“It’s a gam­ble – but an avoid­able one,” the CEO of a lead­ing com­pany, an alum­nus of IIMB, said on con­di­tion of anonymity. “In a year like this, it would have made more sense to pre­pone dates,” said the CEO, whose firm re­cruits from IIMs.

The real de­cider, though, will be the place­ment re­sults af­ter March 4, the CEO said. “If ev­ery­thing turns out well, it will be proven a smart de­ci­sion in ret­ro­spect,” he said.

Fac­ulty mem­bers who pushed the de­ci­sion don’t agree to roll it back de­spite un­easi­ness on the part of stu­dents

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