Monday, December 29, 2008

B-school placements in the aftermath of the Terrorists attacks & the Financial Tragedy (Part II)

Not much has changed since part-I of this series was published. GoI is on the verge of announcing a second stimulus package, RBI is expected to further reduce key rates and oil has plummeted to record lows. All these factors together with the impending Obama stimulus package effect have created some but insignificant hope for the B-school students in India. Companies are revisiting their freezed hiring decisions and considering to go to selected campuses in order to acquire good talent at low prices. But this is clearly not sufficient.
Many top B-schools have their final placement week scheduled in mid January, only after which the clear effect of the current stimulus package on the total hiring plans of the industry will be visible.
Current Economy slowdown (I don’t call it a recession for India) has left everyone grumbling to gain the maximum possible at the cost of others. Companies regular at tier-II campuses have developed new found love for tier 1 B-schools whereas tier-1 regulars can be spotted at IIMs hunting for the very best in India. It’s an employer’s market and companies aren’t complaining. B-schools have been left at the mercy of the hiring companies with regards to slots and other modalities. B-schools on the other hand in order to achieve the majestic 100% placement figure coercing the regular companies to hire from their campus, at times even threatening to ban slots to these companies in future if they refuse to hire now.
In this circus, the students are suffering the most. Almost all B-schools students have huge education loans to repay and above all meet the never ending expectations of their dear ones. Top performers will definitely get through as there is always a demand for good talent but Its the back benchers who will find the going difficult.
B-schools have already begun to find ways to get rid of the back benchers from the placement process. High minimum CGPA requirements to be eligible for placements, unnecessary debarring of students from the placement process, wasteful job profiles at disgustingly low salaries etc are some of the tricks being resorted by B-schools to achieve the majestic placement figure. A prominent B-school in NCR has increased the minimum CGPA required for placements to such high levels that it effectively makes half the batch ineligible for placements. Not that the colleges are not trying to place these back benchers but just in case the placement efforts don’t bear fruit, these highly ranked B-schools have a reputation to protect.
Eventually, still three months are left for the current batch to pass out and hopefully by then most of the students will be placed. The current scenario reaffirms the age old Darwin theory “Only the fittest will survive, rest will perish”.

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