Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: Hit by the global economic slowdown, the final placements of the graduates of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, saw an average 25 per cent reduction in salary offered, with the process itself stretched from the normal five days to nine days this year.

With the process over and all its 281 students in the Post-Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) and the Post-Graduate Programme in Agri Business Management (PGP-ABM) finally placed in jobs, the IIMA director, Samir Barua, virtually breathed a sigh of relief. “That we are able to place all our students despite the unprecedented meltdown is no mean an achievement,” Dr. Barua said. The number of companies coming on the campus to recruit the IIMA graduates increased this year and there was not much of a significant shift in the sectors, particularly the finance and consulting that always take the bulk of the students for high-level jobs.

The process that started on February 25 concluded on Thursday, a marathon effort almost unseen in the IIMA campus in many years. Dr. Barua, however, claimed that it was because the institution this year invited more companies to participate in the campus recruitment in view of the meltdown and also insisted on top executives of the recruiting companies to personally attend the process, which took more time than usual. “And, yes, slowdown has also impacted,” he admitted.

Of the 259 students in the PGP and 20 in the PGP-ABM, seven opted out of the placement process to start their own entrepreneurship, as against 10 last year.

As many as 109 companies participated in the process, of which 95 companies recruited from the campus. Even while declining to give out the highest and the lowest salary offered, Dr. Barua said the average salary offered for the domestic jobs was Rs. 12.17 lakh, a 25 per cent decline from the last year, and the average international offer was $83,000, also about 25 per cent less than the last year.

The overall domestic offer also declined to about 15 per cent as against more than 20 per cent last year.

A significant change this year were the offers made by the domestic public sector organisations that came in large numbers. Union Bank of India recruited 18 students, the Bank of Baroda six, Indian Oil Company Limited five and many others like STCI, SEBI, IFCI, BPCL, ICRA and others came to the campus. As many as 25 companies were first-time recruiters though most of IIMA’s old associates were also present.

The other prominent recruiters included Bain and Company and McKinsey and Company, both with eight acceptances each, Boston Consulting group and TAS seven each, and first time recruiter Frost and Sullivan five. The process also saw participation from Unicon Securities, which made 12 offers, and the global network giant Alcatel-Lucent, which made five offers.

However, despite the earlier apprehensions of the finance sector giving way to other sectors in view of the economic meltdown, the IIMA placements did not see any such remarkable shift.