Tuesday, March 15, 2011

IIM-Shillong placement gives hope to new IIMs

The Indian Institute of Mangement (IIM), Shillong, has started campus placement for graduates through video conference after facing difficulty in attracting a large number of companies to give choices in placement to students last year. The business school's success is inspiring other new IIMs in small cities, which find it difficult to attract employers as they are inconveniently located or don't have an established brand name, to turn to e-recruitment.

"We know there is a location disadvantage and we are a young IIM. But that should not be a bottleneck for our students' placement," said H.S. Chhabra, Professor In-charge of placement at IIM-Shillong. "This year we have placed at least one-third of our students through e-recruitment." Chhabra said video conferencing allows company officials who don't want to visit the campus to chat with prospective employees, give presentations and make job offers. "Out of 66 of our students, 22 have got through this process this year." He did not name the companies, saying details of the placement season would be furnished only after it gets over.

Bharat Gulia, Senior Manager, Education, at consulting firm Ernst & Young, said necessity leads to such innovations in placement. Company executives don't like going to far-off places for recruitment when there are connectivity problems, he said. "In case of IIM-Shillong, the nearest airport is Guwahati (in Assam). So recruitment through videoconference is a good way out just not for Shillong but all new IIMs," he said. Companies sometimes want to hire just a few students, and it doesn't make sense to go all the way in such a case, Gulia said.

This is the second year of campus placement for IIM-Shillong, which was launched in 2008. Last year, though they managed to place all their students, it was difficult to attract large number of corporate houses. Some other IIMs, which started classes last year and will go for placement in a year's time, said they may follow IIM-Shillong's lead. "This gives optimism. It has given a lot of encouragement to all of us," IIM-Raipur's Director B.S. Sahay said. "In spite of location, transportation and young brand name, we are optimistic to give good placement to our talented students."

Besides Raipur, new IIMs were launched in Rohtak, Ranchi and Trichy last year; two more IIMs are set to open shop at Kashipur in Uttarakhand and Udaipur in Rajasthan by the coming academic session. While these campuses are being opened to ensure that students in smaller cities and town also have access to good business schools, their location does hamper campus placement as companies find it much easier to recruit from IIMs and other established business schools in metros like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Chhabra said IIM-Shillong's tech savvy has helped it establish its name faster than its peers. "In four years, we have established ourselves well. The faculty- teacher ratio is good, we have IT (information technology)-enabled classrooms and Vsat (very small aperture terminal, a two- way satellite ground station) facility."

Source: Mint, March 15, 2011
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