Strong start to placements at IIMs, BFSI sector leads the way

Higher demand from banking, financial services and insurance sector, and consulting firms helping counter slower recruitment by e-commerce companies

Photo: HT
Photo: HT

New Delhi: Placements at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have got off to a strong start with banking and financial companies recruiting more across campuses although the average pay package on offer is expected to be limited.

The trend is visible both at the established and new IIMs where administrators are hopeful of a better placement season, compared with last year.

Higher demand from the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector and consulting companies is helping counter slower recruitment by e-commerce companies.

While most IIMs are in the middle of the placement season with lateral recruitments of experienced students, two of the B-schools—IIM-Kozhikode and IIM-Rohtak—have already placed all their students. And those at Lucknow and Indore have already placed over 50% of their outgoing batches.

IIM-Bangalore and IIM-Calcutta said BFSI companies continue to hire in big numbers, followed by consulting firms.

Similarly, IIMs at Indore and Lucknow have been observing steady demand from these sectors as well as packaged consumer goods companies. IIM-Ahmedabad placements begin in the coming week.

Leading Indian banks like ICICI Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, IDFC Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd and Yes Bank Ltd have already recruited from some of the campuses and are due to visit the remainder in the next one week. International names like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc. and Citibank NA, too, have been recruiting from the elite B-schools, according to placement coordinators at various IIMs.

“Despite the largest batch size (more than 600), we are seeing good traction this year as against previous placement season. BFSI and consulting firms are the key drivers of recruitment at our campus,” said Subham Goel, a placement coordinator at IIM-Indore.

Goel said more than 450 students had already been placed over last few days.

“Other than BFSI and consulting firms, manufacturing companies too have made some good offers,” said Sapna Aggarwal, placement officer at IIM-Bangalore.

At IIM-Bangalore, lateral placements or recruitment of students who have at least 22 months of work experience is still underway and willl continue for next four days.

Such recruits comprise more than 60% of the nearly 400- strong batch. The placement of students with 0-22 months of work experience will start in the coming week.

A placement coordinator at IIM-Calcutta said there was an “even distribution of companies” on its campus this year and the school was hoping to complete placements in coming week.

“Investment bankers are making good recruitment, especially those having good work experience. Some international banks that did not visit the campus last year are hiring this time,” the coordinator said, declining to be named.

“The placement mood in our campus is upbeat,” said Rajiv Kumar, the placement-in-charge at IIM-C.

Like financial firms, consulting companies like Accenture Plc., EY, PricewaterhouseCoopers India Pvt. Ltd (PwC), KPMG India and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd are making double digit offers, meaning they are hiring more than 10 people each, at several of the IIMs.

At IIM-Kozhikode, consulting firms made a total of 99 offers of the total 370 offers made by 119 companies.

But e-commerce companies are hiring fewer students. IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Indore and IIM-Lucknow, like some their non-IIM peers, reasoned it was a sign of a consolidation in the sector, in which investment has slowed.

“Some new e-comemrce companies have come this time but e-commerce biggies are relatively subdued. The total job offers will be much lower than last year when they hired nearly 10% of the batch size,” Goel of IIM-Indore said.

The trend was witnessed in January by some leading private B-Schools like the International Management Institute (IMI) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (both in Delhi); Management Development Institute, Gurgaon; and Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida.

And what about average salary hike? “It’s a mixed bag” said an IIM-Lucknow coordinator. “Don’t expect the average salary to double or so. While some are giving good hikes, a few other companies have cut down (their budget),” said Aggarwal of IIM-Bangalore.

IIM-Indore said the average salary this year would be in the vicinity of what it was the previous year. Last year, the average salary at IIM-Indore was Rs.13.9 lakh per annum.

Goel of IIM-Indore said a larger batch size was perhaps one reason why the average salary will be limited.

An administrator at an older IIM said subdued hiring by e-commerce firms too will continue to hold back a jump in the average pay package. IIMs at Kozhikode and Rohtak have seen over a 12% hike in average salary.

Suchita Dutta, executive director of the Indian Staffing Federation, a lobby group, said the overall job scenario was better and sectors like banking and insurance will continue to hire more people—both experienced ones and freshers.

She said the situation will improve further after the budgets session as companies will get a clearer picture of the central government’s economic initiatives.