Bangalore: Ishant Shekar, a sixth-semester student at the Bangalore Institute of Technology (BIT), isn’t thinking big salary figures as his college heads into placement season in a couple of weeks. Acutely aware of the impact of the US credit crisis and a weak dollar on Indian information technology firms, Shekar isn’t expecting entry-level salaries to go up from those offered by companies last year. His first aim, he says, is “to get placed”.
“I don’t want to take any risk,” Shekar said, adding that he will take tests given by all the companies that are likely to visit his campus.
While Shekar is quite confident of getting a job because of his good grades, recent news events have been worrisome to most students looking for jobs, he added.
New hires: The Infosys Technologies Ltd campus in Bangalore. Companies such as Infosys and Wipro are expected to reveal their campus hiring plans for 2009-10 with their quarterly results in April. (Photo: Madhu Kapparath/ Mint)
At Chikmagalur, India’s’s coffee heartland some 250km north-west of the city, a 21-year-old sixth-semester student from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Technology (AIT) was selected last week by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) for Rs3.15 lakh per annum, the same as the previous year.
“While I am happy with the offer, I expected a slight increase in the package as TCS had increased the entry-level salaries for my previous batch,” said the student, who didn’t want to be named.
IT firms such as TCS, Infosys Technologies Ltd and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. have begun campus interviews for hiring students, offering salaries in line with those offered last year.
While salaries may be relatively flat, to some this also indicates confidence at the companies in the offshore business model, despite growing economic troubles in their biggest market, the US.
Firms such as Infosys and Wipro are expected to reveal their campus hiring plans for 2009-10 with their quarterly results in April.
Average campus salaries, which rose around 10% a year for the past two years, currently range from Rs2.75 lakh to Rs3.15 lakh per annum.
“Placements are happening as usual and there’s not much change compared to earlier years,” said Deepak D., placement officer at AIT, Chikmagalur.
Companies such as TCS and Tech Mahindra Ltd, which have visited the college earlier, have in fact increased the number of students being hired for 2009-10, added Deepak. TCS has selected some 55 students at AIT against 25 last year. Tech Mahindra has selected some 37 students in campus interviews against the previous year’s 17.
Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd expects to marginally increase the intake of freshers for 2009-10 visiting more colleges. “We plan to add about 450 people from campuses as against 390 last year,” said Ali Mehdi, head of recruitment, Sasken, adding the packages are likely to stay flat at Rs3 lakh per annum.
“There’s a pressure to offer better slots,” said Paul Vizhian, placement officer at the University Visveswaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), Bangalore. Despite the bad news in the sector that one comes across, there’s a fight among companies for the top six-seven slots, Vizhian said.
L.K. Bhatia, vice-president, resource management group at Tech Mahindra, said the company was largely insulated from the developments in the US and that it was hiring aggressively in the campuses. Tech Mahindra, which made some 5,000 offers last year, is yet to finalize the numbers for 2009-10, Bhatia said.
M.U. Ashwath, placement officer at BIT, said the interest from new companies in recruiting from campuses was on the rise and he expected more companies to participate this year. BIT, which saw 40 companies visiting the campus, will be starting the placements in next few weeks.
Keane India Ltd, which merged with Caritor last year, has already made some 2,000 offers so far for 2009-10 in the past few weeks, said the company’s general manager HR, Yamuna Anandavalli. Keane had made some 5,500 offers to students last year, who will join the company from June onwards.
Yamuna didn’t disclose the total hiring plan for 2009-10, but said the average offer for campus recruits was maintained at last year’s level of Rs2.75 lakh.
“I don’t think the companies will cut down on their campus recruitment,” said Jagadeesh H.S., placement officer at BMS College of Engineering.
Companies expect to maintain their hiring numbers as their clients in US may outsource more to cut costs due to the recession, Jagadeesh said, adding companies have committed to absorb the students to whom offers have been made last year.
However, Gautam Sinha, CEO of TVA Infotech, which provides services to IT companies for lateral hires (those with experience), said, “The buoyancy in campus recruitments that one witnessed in the past two-three years is seen missing. One needs to watch whether the market will absorb 120,000-130,000 people like in last year.”