Friday, October 29, 2010

Pre-placement offers double across IIMs

The good times have returned at the country’s premier management institutes as the economy gets in shape. Pre-placement offers (PPOs) for students of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have increased by 25% to 100% over the same period last year, when the economy was in the grip of a slowdown. Companies make PPOs to students who intern with them in summer. With corporate earnings improving and recruitments picking up, the feel-good factor has spilled over to campuses.

IIM-Calcutta (IIM-C) students have received over 65 PPOs and 30 pre-placement interviews, four months before final placements. Last year, the PPO tally was 41. "A lot of firms are yet to announce PPOs, and we expect the numbers to go up. So far, the scenario looks very good," said IIM-C's External Relations Secretary Samyukktha Thirumeni. She expects the numbers to cross the pre-slowdown days, when the PPO tally was 90-plus. Over 17% of the batch of 385 students has already received preplacement offers. The story is the same at other IIM campuses. Up to 20% of the batch at IIM-Bangalore (IIM-B) has received PPOs, says IIM-B's Head of Placement Sapna Agarwal. "It shows the companies' readiness to make commitments," she adds.

Offers, which include lucrative international positions, are coming in from financial and consulting companies as well as FMCG, marketing, general management and IT firms. Consulting firms and i-banks have predominantly offered of PPOs at IIMA. "Several marketing and general management firms such as Hindustan Unilever, Tata Administrative Services and Aditya Birla Group have also offered PPOs," says Mansi Chitalia, Member, Student Placement Committee.

While a large number of profiles remain the same, a few top management roles too have been offered to students. Dilip Krishnan of IIM-C, for instance, has been offered a position of marketing head of five countries (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand) after his internship with the Florida-based Outback Steakhouse that operates restaurant chains in 22 countries.

Winny Patro, also from IIM-C, has been offered a PPO for the position of vice-president of Market Insight Consultants, a market research based consultancy in India. "Students have also received offers from firms in diverse industries such as niche consulting and media. Many companies are looking to meet a large part of their recruitment needs through the PPO route," says Chitalia.

At IIM-C, consulting companies have the highest conversion ratio, with close to 90% of the interns receiving PPOs so far. "Finance and marketing firms have also offered many more PPOs compared to last year, with this change being most remarkable in the finance firms," says Thirumeni.

IIM-Lucknow (IIM-L) students have already received over 43 PPOs, compared with 30 last year. "We expect many more in the coming months," says Chairman - Placements R.L. Raina. The companies leading the pack include McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, Hindustan Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Aditya Birla Group, Diageo and Goldman Sachs.

IIM-Kozhikode (IIM-K) students have received over eight PPOs and 26 PPIs compared with 13 PPOs and 9 PPIs last year, says Students' Placement Committee Member Chirantan Shah. Financial institutions and FMCG companies have offered most of the PPOs, he adds.

Source: The Economic Times, October 29, 2010
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