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Top business schools see robust hiring

E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal have become sought-after employers because of the rapid growth in their business, lucrative stock options and large bank balances that are allowing for high salaries. Photo: Mint (Mint)Premium
E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal have become sought-after employers because of the rapid growth in their business, lucrative stock options and large bank balances that are allowing for high salaries. Photo: Mint

(Mint)

Consulting and e-commerce firms have increased placement offers for students of top B-schools, hinting at a turnaround in business sentiment

New Delhi: Job placements at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are ending on a robust note as employers ranging from consulting and finance companies to e-commerce firms stepped up hiring from the elite B-schools, illustrating a turnaround in business sentiment.

Most of the older IIMs including IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Lucknow have placed their entire Class of 2015 in jobs. IIM-Ahmedabad is expected to complete the process in the first week of March, when the third cluster placement takes place.

In the first two clusters, the response was very good, said a professor, IIM-A.

B-schools struggled in the past few years to place their students in jobs as slower economic growth and consumer demand and stalled corporate investment plans forced employers to go slow on hiring.

Business sentiment has turned since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power in May last year with a promise to speed up the government approvals process and lift economic growth. Employers are reinforcing their executive talent with new hires.

Consulting firm Aon Hewitt Llc said last week in a report that seven out of 10 organisations expect the business outlook in 2015 to improve.

IIM-Indore, IIM-Kozhikode, IIM-Rohtak, IIM-Raipur and IIM-Udaipur have completed their placements. Other B-schools like XLRI Jamshedpur; Indian Institute of Forgeign Trade, Delhi; and Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, have completed their placements, too.

“The placements at IIM Kozhikode have been good this year, reflecting the upward surge in the market sentiment. We placed a batch of 347 participating students in a record 10 days," A.F. Mathew, chairman of the placement committee at IIM-Kozhikode, said in an email.

Bhavya Kapoor, placement officer at IIM-Indore, said the upturn in economic sentiment and companies’ plans for expansion contributed to the successful placements season. IIM-Indore has the largest batch size among the elite B-schools with 508 students set to graduate.

At IIM-Bangalore, more than 30% of the outgoing batch were absorbed by consulting companies. At IIM-Calcutta, at least 20% of of the 438-strong Class of 2015 were also hired by consulting firms. IIM-Lucknow and IIM-Kozhikode placed 21% and 24%, respectively, of their graduating students with consulting firms.

Accenture has been the top recruiter at IIM-Ahmedabad. In cluster one placements, it made 21 offers to students of the institution—the highest by any individual company. With 18 offers, Accenture was also the largest recruiter at IIM-Calcutta.

The Indian School of Business (ISB), which has campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali, said it has seen a large increase in demand from both traditional and new recruiters, with the number of offers received to date rising 77% rise over last year.

In an email, the school said Wednesday that top consulting firms such as Accenture plc, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, KPMG, McKinsey & Company and Parthenon Group LLC continue to recruit in large numbers from the school. About 21% of the Class of 2015 will be joining consultancy firms, said M. Padmanaban, director, career advancement services, ISB.

Consulting companies are expanding and they need people to fill both domestic and global roles, explaining the increase in hiring in this domain, said Shankarshan Basu, chairman, placement committee, IIM-Banglore.

Financial companies were among the top recruiters. At IIM-Calcultta, financial institutions made more than 100 offers.

Leading banks such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Citibank and Deutsche Bank AG were also at the vanguard of hiring at IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Bangalore.

Indian financial companies such as Kotak Investment Banking, ICICI Securities Ltd, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Yes Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd also hired at the top B-Schools.

The booming e-commerce sector was one of the leading recruiters of fresh MBAs. E-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal have become sought-after employers because of the rapid growth in their business, lucrative stock options and large bank balances that are allowing for high salaries.

As per industry estimates, the e-commerce space currently employs over 1,10,000 people from delivery boys to senior executives. Online retail is expected to be worth $6 billion this year, a 70% increase over 2014 sales of $3.5 billion, according to Gartner Inc.

“Consulting and e-commerce companies were great lifters from our campus. The e-commerce companies recruited more than 10% of the students at IIM-Indore. They have expansion plans, funds and need quality manpower. So in just few years, they have become a lead recruiter," said IIM-Indore’s Kapoor.

At IIM-Lucknow, 15% of the offers were from e-commerce firms. IIM-Bangalore said the e-commerce space saw heightened interest with Amazon and Snapdeal making 17 offers each, which incidentally were the highest by any individual firms.

At IIM Calcutta, 47 offers, a “significantly large number compared to last time", were made by e-commerce and web-based start-ups such as Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Olacabs, GroupOn, Quikr, UrbanLadder and CarTrade.

“E-commerce firms are on a hiring spree. The leading names have raised good money and need to expand. This is making them go all out to hire top talents at every level," said Amit Khuranna, chief executive of human resource company Corporate Access.

Average salary offers improved, too, this year.

At IIM-Indore, the average salary jumped to 13.9 lakh a year compared with 12.36 lakh previous year. At IIM-Kozhikode, the average annual salary was 15.22 lakh compared with 13.7 lakh per annum last year. At FMS Delhi, the average salary went up to 17.04 lakh from 16.18 lakh last year.

Maulik Pathak in Ahmedabad contributed to this story.

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