The smiles are back, so are the companies, and IIM-B sees the best placements ever.

The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, just completed its summer placement season. The much-talked-about and closely tracked process of securing internships for first-year students of the flagship Post-Graduate Programme in Management is underway at two other IIMs, the illustrious ones at Ahmedabad and Calcutta, even as the newer IIMs in Lucknow and Kozhikode have completed their process and reported fairly good results.

Among the older IIMs, IIM-B is the first to finish its summer placements. Sources in the institute said that this year saw the best placements ever with 100 per cent increase in students landing internships on Day One. Seen as an indicator for the more important, even crucial, final year placements, second year students see hope in these numbers.

More importantly, as one student puts it, it means that companies are going to return and have faith in the talent they have seen here. At IIM-A, the placements are on track with a first-time cohort or cluster-based process where recruiters have been divided into groups depending upon profiles.

At IIM-Lucknow, a batch of 414 students, the largest ever batch at any IIM, was fully placed. IIM-L reported a rise in number of offers from 401 in 2009 to 456 in 2010. There has been a significant increase in the number of companies, from 127 in 2009 to 163 in 2010.

Placements at IIM-B

The verdict was much better than expected, said a student, who has opted for a job in a leading consulting multinational firm. “Not only did companies respond well, they also increased the number of offers this year. It was a better and more relaxed season for us, compared to what our seniors went through. This is an indicator of good times to come for our seniors and for management students in general,” he added. In a press statement, the IIM-B called this the “best summer placement season ever.”

According to P.D. Jose, Chairperson, Placement, IIM-Bangalore, the “success” is attributable to the diversity of the current batch. This year, 21 per cent of the batch comprised women, up from previous years. The batch profile is varied this year and has students from various streams.

“Many firms that came to campus were willing to hire in much larger numbers as compared to the previous few years,” Professor Jose added, reaffirming market trends as well as the acceptability of the student cohort at IIMB.

Out of over 180 companies registered to visit the campus, the entire batch was placed in 127 companies. Nearly one-third of the batch was placed on the opening day of the session. Each company on an average increased the number of offers 26 per cent, the institute said.

Significantly, the top consulting firms recruiting on the first day of the placement process made 70 per cent more offers than the previous year. The number of global recruiters at IIM-Bangalore provides strong testimony to its maturing global reputation, the institute states in its note.

This year too, the IIMB campus hosted leading multinationals such as BCG, McKinsey and AT Kearney in the consulting segment and Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, RBS, Nomura and Standard Chartered amongst the investment banks.

Closely tracked

Summer placements have over time acquired huge importance. Closely tracked by B-school aspirants and the media, institutes are also fiercely competitive about it. After all, it is reflective of the respect the institute commands in the industry.

As one professor puts it, summer placements have become so important that the process is held just a few months into the course. Initially, it used to be held as late as January and hardly received any media attention.

“It was just another internship. However, people started realising that these were significant because there was the prospect of a pre-placement offer. Interning with a good company looked great on your resume. Moreover, if you like what you are doing there and are able to impress the company, then there is a good chance that you will be absorbed into the company.” Further, it also gives the institute, and students, a chance to make ties with the industry.

This training or interface gives them a fair idea of how to deal with recruiters and trains them for the final show in the second year.

This is particularly valuable for those who come into the institutes with little or no experience.

Recruiters speak

Speaking on the recruitment process, companies revealed an upbeat hiring outlook. Vasant Naik, Managing Director, Fixed Income Research, Nomura, said: “We have hired an outstanding set of students for internships in our offices across the globe. We view IIM-Bangalore as a strategic recruiting partner and look forward to coming to the campus again in the years to come.”

Hemant Kalbag, Partner, A.T. Kearney, said that the process was managed very efficiently. “Alumni from IIM-B campus have consistently flourished at A.T. Kearney. We are very happy with the quality of students we have recruited, and look forward to them joining us.”

He added that they look forward to seeing greater diversity in the student body and more work experience on the campus in the coming years.