Placement dates advanced: it’s Day Zero at IIM-C today

Placement dates advanced: it’s Day Zero at IIM-C today

New Delhi: Nervous Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), who expect to face a tough recruiting season this year, have brought forward final placement dates from early March to February, with IIM Calcutta (IIM-C) being the first to launch Day Zero on Saturday.

Students sit for on-campus job interviews and tests during the final placements.

For the first time, IIM-C will conduct final placements in two phases—from 21-24 February and from 2 March, after the final examinations.

A recruiter told Mint on condition of anonymity that the IIMs, the country’s most elite business schools, have pushed forward their placement process as they are nervous about how successful the job placements will be.

“There is nervousness that the further they wait, worse the situation will get," said the recruiter, who will be visiting the campuses.

IIM-C’s student responsible for external relations, Rohan Mahajan, declined to comment on the dates being pushed forward. “We are not expecting the placements to be as good as last year," he, however, said. Mahajan is a 2010 batch student whose seniors will sit for placements.

Last year, IIM placements were launched on 4 March, with IIM Bangalore taking the lead. While the older and more sought-after IIMs—Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta—held a five-day placement process, the fight for talent actually lasted just two-three days. In the past, eager recruiters have even used strong-arm tactics such as holding on to students and not allowing them to sit for subsequent interviews.

This year, recruiters have said they will hire in conservative numbers because of the economic slowdown. IIMs will also miss Wall Street recruiters such as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. on Day Zero.

Some business schools have even gone to the extent of hiring consultants to help placements.

IIM-C’s Mahajan said the placements were broken up into phases to accommodate the examinations.

IIM Bangalore will begin placements on 27 February, a 2009 batch student said. IIM Ahmedabad declined to disclose its final placement dates. A student placement co-ordinator said final placements will be launched in “last week of February", but dates had not yet been decided.

Separately, IIM-C said on Friday it will raise the tuition fee of its two-year master of business administration programme to Rs9 lakh. The revised fee is the same as in IIM Bangalore, but lower than in IIM Ahmedabad, where the programme costs Rs11.5 lakh.

“We have a large number of need-based scholarships…we will make sure that needy students aren’t inconvenienced by the fee hike," said Sekhar Choudhury, director of IIM-C. Last year, some 80 students were offered tuition waivers by the institute.

“We will consider applications of all students who fulfil the criteria…the number isn’t important, but the extent of fee waiver will vary from student to student based on their needs," Chowdhury said.

Aniek Paul in Kolkata contributed to this story.

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