Wednesday, February 22, 2012

B-school students to fend for themselves

As companies stay away from campuses and pay packages plunge by over 30 per cent, the lesser known business schools in the country are asking students to look out for jobs on their own. B-schools began their placements last October-November, but five months down the line, they have been able to place only 30 to 50 per cent of their batch sizes.

"Students are trying on their own. In several cases, they are not satisfied with the pay packages that companies are offering on campus. If students support us, they will be placed by April,” said Rishi Raj Singh, senior manager, corporate relations, at Asia Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi.

The institute has a batch size of 220 students against a class capacity of 300. It has so far placed around 57 per cent of the students. “Last year, several banks came to us for placements, but this year only three have come so far. ICICI bank was the largest recruiter with 42 students absorbed, but this year, it has not come on campus," added Singh. The institute says packages have gone down from Rs. 500,000 per annum to Rs. 350,000 per annum. This when the institute’s fee is Rs. 750,000 for the two-year post-graduate programme in management.

At the Noida-based Jaipuria Institute of Management, 40 per cent of the batch has been placed till February 20, though it's an improvement over 24 per cent on the same date last year (full year placement was 90 per cent). The institute has a batch size of 106 students against a class capacity of 180 students. However, salary offers have gone up by 20 per cent this year compared to last year, according to an official of the institute..

Companies are largely offering sales profile to students from these B-schools. Companies in retail and e-commerce have also recruited students for retail and sales job. "Even if students find jobs on their own, we do not debar them from sitting for campus placements. For a B-school like ours, companies will pay a Rs. 240,000 per annum package. Students in any case, will switch jobs after six months, and hence companies do not want to offer a higher package,” said Atul Sharma, placement coordinator at Galgotias Business School, Greater Noida.

Pune-based Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) has been finding it tough to attract some major sectors like IT, pharma and FMCG. According to an institute official, KIAMS has with much difficulty placed 50 per cent of its students so far, out of a batch of 122. “We are having a tough time placing our students in some of the sectors. Our efforts may continue till May end. So far, only 20-odd firms have come to our campus. Even the number of recruitments per firm has gone down this year,” the official stated on condition of anonymity.

Another such institute is Ahmedabad-based St Kabir Institute of Professional Studies (SKIPS), which all the major banks have given a miss this year. “Students are trying on their own; still the institute is hand-holding them. The overall placement scenario has mellowed down a bit for us. We are still hopeful as three more months are there for the placement season to get over,” said Ravi Gaur, dean, academics, at SKIPS.

“Most of these B-schools roll over their placement process till April. And after April, students graduate. So, there are many who will be asked to fend for themselves. Not to mention, these institutes will advertise a 100 per cent placement on hoardings across cities,” said the director of a top B-school in Greater Noida.

While the situation is far better at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), they did acknowledge that recruitment per firm has gone down. Placement chairpersons at IIMs, on the condition of anonymity, said they had expected the situation to be bad. They did not wish to get quoted as placements are still on. The IIMs began their placements last week.

Source: Business Standard, February 22, 2012

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