Deferred Final Placements at IIMB May Hit Global Offers
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