Students and India Inc alike are closely following the placements season at various Indian Institutes of Management this year, which is supposed to provide an indicator of improvement in the economy.
Every IIM has 250-300 students for final placements this year. At IIM Calcutta, for instance, the final placement for 280 students started on March 6. Close to 120 companies confirmed their participations this year for final placements.
"Like all years, finance would be the dominant sector during placements," says Praful Agnihotri, chairman-placements of IIM-C.
The mood on the campus is one of optimism on the back of a good response to lateral placements, which is for students with prior work experience. The institute witnessed 50-80 per cent hike in salaries this year for its lateral placements over the previous year.
The institute, however, has not disclosed what the current salaries are, but more than 40 companies turned up for lateral placements this year at IIM-C, informed a source close to the development. While this is a significant improvement compared to last year, the institute is looking forward to a better placement season ahead.
The recruiters who made lateral offers included Cognizant Business Consulting, Deloitte, Hinduja Group, Aditya Birla Group, Accenture Business Consulting, Mahindra & Mahindra, Virtusa, Essar and Bristlecone.
From consulting to general management, there has been a greater variety of roles on offer this year as compared with last year. IIM-C also witnessed an increase in the packages offered to the students for lateral placement this year, with a few offers above Rs 20 lakh per annum being made.
Students and institute officials are expecting a better response for final placements. For PGP placements, the highest pre-placement-offer so far has been around Rs 60 lakh (Rs 6 million). And the tone remains positive.
Nomura Securities, for instance, has picked up 10 students from IIMs this year - two students from IIM-A, four from IIM-B and another four from IIM-C. Out of the 10, eight students are for Nomura Global for investment banking profile, informed sources.
Meanwhile, IIM Bangalore, which started its final placements process on March 4, has seen traditional recruiters like investment banks and consultancies back on the campus. Recruiters have reportedly offered an increase of 10-20 per cent in average salaries, depending on the student's work experience and profile.
Boston Consulting Group set the tone for the placement season at IIM-B this year and offered jobs to close to 10 graduates, even as consulting giants like McKinsey, Bain & Co and AT Kearney and financial heavyweights like Nomura, Bank of America Merrill Lynch India offered salaries 15-20 per cent higher than the previous year.
Sources at IIM-B informed Business Standard that investment banks offered salaries in the range of Rs 60-70 lakh (Rs 6-7 million) per annum. The average domestic salaries offered were in the Rs 13-24 lakh (Rs 1.3-2.4 million)-per-annum range, mainly by consulting firms.
"We are expecting more overseas offers compared with last year," said a student who is up for placements this year. He said some investment banks are also expected to offer international salary packages in the range of Rs 80 lakh-1 crore (Rs 8-10 million).
IIM-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), which is conducting a cohort-based placement process this year, has seen an increase in the number of offers from companies this year. A student from the institute has reportedly been offered a record Rs 1.44 crore (Rs 14 million) plus package from Deutsche Bank, while a student from IIM Lucknow has bagged the highest offer of Rs 75 lakh (Rs 7.5 million) from Olam International.
ICICI Bank emerged as the biggest recruiter during the third cluster of cohort-based final placements at IIM-A by offering over 10 jobs to the students, while regular recruiters such as ICRA, KPMG, Essar Group and Philips offered jobs to the IIM-A students in finance, consulting, sales and marketing fields.
For lateral placements, around 60 per of the batch at most IIMs have prior work experience.
At IIM Kozhikode, over 25 companies have participated in the lateral placement this year and have hired around 80 students. Some of the key recruiters are Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and Cognizant.
"The information technology sector seems more bullish this year. The number of banks that have confirmed participation this year is also greater than the number last year," says Keyoor Purani, chairperson (placements) of IIM-K.
About 15 companies are participating in the lateral placements at IIM Indore. Some of the key recruiters have been Cognizant Business Consulting, Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Syntel, Genpact and Jindal Steel & Power.
At IIM Lucknow, the tilt towards the IT sector is obvious. "Participation has improved sharply among IT companies and those from the financial services sector. We have also consciously targeted the IT space, given that two-thirds of the batch has IT experience," said RL Raina, placements coordinator at the institute. Here, the batch size is close to 320, of which nearly 200 students have prior work experience.