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Economic downturn affects campus recruitment

By Shruti Srivastava in New Delhi/ Lucknow
November 25, 2008 12:23 IST
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The placement scenario in Uttar Pradesh is quite a manifestation of the global slowdown. Declining number of corporates visiting the campus, coupled with lesser pay packages being offered, is making students wary about their future prospects of making it big in the career of their choice across the state.

The only exception to this assortment is the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, which got number of offers from corporates, given its brand value in the management circuit. The graduating batch of almost all other management institutes in the state are still waiting for companies to visit their campus.

Apart from IIM-L, where more than 110 organisations participated in the summer placements, there has been a general slowdown in the placement process of other institutes.

Companies like McKinsey, Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, The Boston Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Hewitt Consulting are among the top recruiters at IIM-L.

But IIM-L's success story of IIM-L is yet to be followed by other institutes in the state. The in-campus visit of companies in other institutes is sluggish across Uttar Pradesh. The downturn is being reflected in most of these middle level management institutes.

Uttar Pradesh has over 100 colleges and institutes offering management degrees and diplomas, beside the coveted IIM-L. Lucknow alone has over a dozen management institutes running in different parts of the city.

The Jaipuria Institute of Management, for instance, has attracted five companies so far for its graduating batch of about 169 students this year. Of these 169 students, only 13 have been selected so far.

"The placement scenario is bad. This is not the case with only our institute; all educational institutions are going through the same rough patch," BM Arora, manager (placement), JIM, told Business Standard.

The companies that visited JIM campus include Radio Mirchi, Landmark, HCL Info Systems, Axis Bank and SBI Life. According to Prof RK Mandan, dean, ICFAI Business School (IBS), Lucknow, the corporates are shying off from visiting the campus and recruiting students.

"Most companies are shying away from the recruitment process this year. Most of them are cutting onto their recruitment plans or are postponing the same," Mandan informed.

Talking about the placement scenario for IBS, he said the process is slow as compared to earlier years.

"Normally the recruitment process for our institute finishes by December, but seeing the downturn that the economy is facing, presently, the placement season is expected to stretch to January next year."

According to education experts, a boom was expected in the reality and retail sectors but given the ongoing slump, these sectors had little to contribute to uplift the offer market for graduating students.

Talking about the students, Mandan added that the overall environment was quite muddled. Explaining further he said that, about two years back, when these students took admission in the college, the markets were good and the mood of the industry was optimistic. But now the scene has changed, and the industries as well as the recruiters are apprehensive. Hence, students are worried about their placements and future prospects.

Experts believe that the slowdown scenario is expected to continue up to next year. "Opportunities in 2010 will be good," they added.

As for the IIM-L, this year's placement witnessed more than 32 per cent students making financial sector as their preferred vertical. The major investment banking and PE firms in this sector included Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Baring Private Equity Partners, O3 Capital, 2i Capital, Seedfund, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.

Consulting giants like McKinsey and Company, The Boston Consulting Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hewitt Consulting, Frost and Sullivan among other top consulting firms' recruited students from the institute. It also got top general management profiles from Tata Administrative Services and the Aditya Birla Group.

IIM-L also had its students pursuing internships in locations like Singapore, London, Switzerland, the US and West Asia. International locations were offered by McKinsey & Co, Aditya Birla Group, TAS, HUL, P&G, Cognizant, Diageo and the Alshaya Group.
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Shruti Srivastava in New Delhi/ Lucknow
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