Wherever else COVID-19 may have wreaked havoc, it is not the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) and the country’s other top B-Schools.
The final placement season at the IIMs, which is set to begin this week, is likely to see better numbers, as far as average salaries and job offers are concerned.
Sources told Moneycontrol that there has been a 20 percent increase in pre-placement offers (PPOs) at the IIMs. PPOs refer to job offers that are given to students by the companies they had interned in the previous year as part of summer apprenticeships.
“There was a fear that the economic slowdown would spill into the employment market/placements. But that is not the case,” confirmed the head of placements at an IIM.
Business school placements are an indicator of the general employment scenario in the country. Considering the economic stagnation forced by the Coronavirus outbreak, there were fears that job placements at institutes would be impacted.
While IIMs are among the top choices for recruiters, the placement at other blue-chip business schools have also seen an improvement in 2021. At XLRI-Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur – the country’s oldest management school that was founded in 1949 - the average salary rose to Rs 25.08 lakh per annum in 2021 from Rs 24.30 lakh per annum in 2020.
IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A), considered the country’s premier business school, will begin its final placements for the postgraduate programme in management on March 2. The institute said in a statement that due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions and social distancing norms, IIM-A will be conducting the entire placement process virtually this year.
According to the audited placement report of 2020 at IIM-A, a total of 153 firms participated with 182 different roles in the placement process last year. Here, Mckinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Tata Consultancy Services made the maximum number of offers to students.
The maximum salary in the placement stood at Rs 55.8 lakh for domestic and US$ 180,645 for the international offer categories.
Among other foremost institutes in areas like engineering too, the placement season for 2021 has been positive. Moneycontrol had reported how Rs 1 crore per annum salaries are back at the IITs.
Will there be an impact of COVID-19?
IIM placement body sources said that the pandemic has not impacted management institutes, be it the number of companies agreeing to participate in the placement or the volume of jobs on offer.
“The only change visible is that a smaller number of students are opting for entrepreneurship opportunities. This is probably because of the volatile economic situation,” said a placement body member at an IIM.
Typically, for a batch size of 350-370 students, about three percent students used to opt out of placements to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Since 2020, however, this number has dropped below 2 percent and is expected to stay low.
When it comes to the companies, sources said that there has been a 10-15 percent increase in the number of firms visiting the IIMs for final placement. These include additions in consumer technology, digital media, and e-commerce space.
At IIM Bangalore, a total of 481 offers have been made for the 2021 batch. Here, consulting companies made 165 offers. Accenture made 45 offers, followed by Bain & Company with 24 offers.
What are the sectors in demand?
Across the IIMs, sectors like consulting, BFSI and consumer technology are in high demand. Students can give their preferences for the companies they wish to work for, but if one sits for placement at a company and gets a job offer, he or she is discouraged from appearing for interviews of other companies.
This is to ensure that all students get a fair chance at securing employment. IIM-A offers a facility called ‘dream job’. IIMs typically follow a cluster-based system where sectors are grouped together based on similarity in job roles. There are three clusters at IIM-A.
Here, students have the flexibility to sit for placements in different clusters for their dream company even if they already have a job offer.
Sectors like consulting are part of the first cohort/cluster because these are the companies that offer the highest number of jobs.
In 2021, students are also opting for larger established firms rather than start-ups. IIM placement coordinators said that consulting and IT/consumer technology firms are the most in demand among students.
Said the head of placements at an IIM, “In 2020, we saw a lot of e-commerce/start-up companies sacking people citing the pandemic. This has led to students changing their company preferences to traditional companies.”
The final placement process concludes within mid-March across the IIMs. At the other business schools, the placement has already begun and completed it in a handful.
As for speed, the XLRI- Xavier School of Management has completed
its final placement process for the batch of 2019-21 for its two-year postgraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) in Human Resource Management and PGDM in Business Management in just two days!