Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Placements dispel worries over new IIMs

An IIM is an IIM, no matter where it is. (Well, almost.) That seems the message from placements at the three Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) at Raipur, Ranchi and Rohtak that will see their first batch of students graduating this year, with companies offering salaries that are just a little lower than those offered at the handful of B-schools that follow the older IIMs in any listing of India’s top management institutes.

Officials at the three business schools said all their students who sought jobs had received offers in a year that has seen business sentiment dip and the economy slow. That doesn’t seem to have affected the three schools, which still operate from temporary campuses. It wasn’t easy, admits M. Kannadhasan, Chairman (Career Development and Placement Office) at IIM-Raipur (which abbreviates as IIM-Rp). “It was a challenge, but we did a good job,” he said.

IIM-Rp said the average annual salary offered to its students was Rs. 1.25 million; IIM-Ranchi (which abbreviates as IIM-Ra) Rs. 1.32 million; and IIM-Rohtak (IIM-R) Rs. 1.22 million. These numbers (provided by the respective schools) compare favourably with Rs. 1.21 million at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), although they are lower than the Rs. 1.38 million at Gurgaon’s Management Development Institute (MDI) and Rs. 1.63 million at New Delhi’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS).

Average salaries offered to the graduating batches at IIM-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), IIM-Bangalore (IIM-B) and IIM-Calcutta (IIM-C) weren’t immediately available, although they are likely to be significantly higher. According to media reports, last year, the average salary at IIM-C was around Rs. 1.75 million. At IIM-A (which follows a stringent reporting standard for salaries), the number, as disclosed by the school, was Rs. 1.63 million.

Next year may be better at IIM-Ra, said a student who will graduate in 2013. “If this is the response for the first batch, then we can expect a better show next year,” said Yash Aggarwal, a student of the second batch at IIM-Ra, who confessed that when his batch joined, they weren’t sure about the school, given its age and location. Such anxiety, the tag of being a “new” IIM, and India’s economic worries were only some of the challenges faced, said P. Rameshan, Director at IIM-R. The school also had to ensure its placement record was befitting of an IIM.

Some firms said they will only consider recruiting from the school in the future, he admitted, but there was no shortage of companies willing to hire students from the first batch. It helped that Rohtak is close to Delhi and its environs, he said. Still, the school took no chances, with the director tapping his contacts from 15 years spent teaching at IIM-Lucknow and IIM-Kozhikode, and also hiring a “specialist recruitment officer”.

IIM-R was the first of the three new IIMs to complete its placements, according to Rameshan. At least 27 companies participated in the process and made 58 offers to a batch of 47 students. Several students received domestic offers exceeding Rs. 2.5 million a year, said the B-school’s website. IIM-Rp said it will release details next week. At IIM-Ra, 30 recruiters made 65 offers to 43 students, and the highest salary on offer for a job in India was Rs. 2.3 million.

The recruiters will “measure the performance of the first batch”, said Bharat Gulia, senior manager of education practice at audit firm Ernst & Young, and base their hiring next year on that. Still, “achieving 100% placement with no permanent campus and an economic slowdown on is noteworthy”, he added.

Until the early 1990s, India had four IIMs (at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Lucknow). In 1996, it added two more, at Kozhikode and Indore. In 2007, it added one at Shillong. IIM-R, IIM-Ra and IIM-Rp started operating in 2010, and in 2011, IIMs at Tiruchirappalli, Udaipur and Kashipur admitted their first batch of students.

Source: Mint, April 3, 2012

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