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Ahmedabad: What a difference a year makes.

Last placement season, financial services and consulting firms were among the most coveted summer and full-time gigs for students at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

But after the first day of summer placements for the 2006-08 post-graduate batch, better known in campus parlance as “Day Zero", students are fearful that the subprime crisis has hit Indian shores.

“Any movement in global financial market is expected to impact the recruitment process," said one student on condition of anonymity.

For its part, IIM-A stayed mum on the exact number of recruiters and offers on Day Zero, which was Tuesday, and is usually the day that draws financial institutions, banks and consultants—the major and preferred recruiters.

In fact, the biggest recruiters last year on Day Zero were Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Barclays and Citigroup. However, people on campus say enthusiasm from these players is somewhat muted this year. None would be quoted by name, however.

“All the information would be available on the sixth day after all the placements are over," said IIM-A placment committee chairman P.K. Sinha. About 280 postgraduate business and agri-business students are sitting for summer placements over the next six days. Last year, IIM-A’s first day of summer placements saw 25 companies visit the campus, including 11 investment banks and seven consulting firms. More than 80 students were placed in investment banks, while 26 students opted for consulting firms at the end of Day Zero.

Lehman Brothers took 17 students for summer jobs last year, Merrill Lynch took 14, JP Morgan and Barclays took 11 each, and Citigroup took nine students. Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital recruited for associate positions—on a par with Ivy League business school graduates. Summer internships are a crucial part of students’ business school trajectory, helping them gain experience and contacts. A number of companies have used these internships as a key source for full-time hires.

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