The economic downturn is expected to take its toll on B-school placements too. The premier Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) do not appear to be perturbed, but other prominent B-schools anticipate a 25-30 per cent drop in placements this academic year.
They are concerned that several regular companies may drop out of the placements and others may recruit fewer numbers than usual.
For instance, Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) discovered that although 60 per cent of the companies have committed to recruiting the regular numbers, 30 per cent said they are not sure if they would recruit in regular numbers and 8 per cent said they would freeze recruitment for the time being.
Placement officials of B-schools who spoke to this paper still hope the situation won't be as bad but admit that the students might have to compromise on their dream profiles this year.
As a precautionary measure, the management institutes have already started expanding their company base by approaching new firms, such as smaller private equity players and wealth management firms. Unlike most years, the Banking and Financial Services (BFSI) sector is not expected to be the best performer on the campuses this year. FMCG, trading and the services sector might take the lead instead.
"The number of offers on B-school campuses by the financial sector could come down with some companies even opting out of placements this year," said Professor Subir Verma, chairperson, placements, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.
Some companies, however, see a silver lining in the current slowdown as they stand a chance to recruit students even at a salary they would have to offer.
According to a placement officer of a reputed Mumbai-based B-school, these companies, including banks, found it difficult to recruit from campus earlier because of relatively low salary levels, despite good job profiles.
"It helps us in the sales and marketing scenario. It's a win-win situation for the company as well as the students because they will find growth and we will get the best of talent from second rung B-schools. Given the ambition and expectations, one cannot afford an IIM or an FMS student," says T N Radhakrishna, HR Head, UTI MF.
The company, however, would be careful in terms of articulating its recruitment needs, said Radhakrishna.