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`Experienced students' help IIM-B better placement record

By Harichandan A. A.

BANGALORE, MARCH 20. The economic downturn that occurred three years ago seems to have brought in good returns on investment to at least a few.

Driven by the slump, several young professionals had decided it was time to go back to school. For those who took the IIMs' Common Admission Test in 2002 and made it to the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, it turned out to be a happy decision.

When final placements at the IIM-B ended on Friday, the average pay offered by Indian firms recruiting students was Rs. 7 lakhs a year, a healthy 15 per cent increase over last year's average.

In the Class of 2004, there were 140 students with 22 months or more of full-time work experience, considered for offers of positions higher than entry level.

Last year, there were 40 such students, and there will be a similar number among those who will graduate next year, said Ganesh Prabhu, chairman of the placement committee at IIMB.

The lowest pay offered was Rs. 4.75 lakhs, up 36 per cent over last year's lowest offer. The highest pay offered was Rs. 12 lakhs, down 25 per cent on last year's offer.

The lowest pay offered by a foreign firm was $30,000, the same as last year, and the highest was $78,500, down 40 per cent over last year's figure. Both figures may be misleading, depending on individual students, while the average pay offer is a better indicator of overall performance.

This year, 101 firms made 354 offers to 209 final year students.

The placements included pre-placement offers, from firms to students who had worked with them during last summer, lateral placement offers, during January and February, to students who had 22 months or more of full-time work experience, and the final placements, which were held from March 14 to 19.

The prominent recruiters this year included Cognizant Technology Solutions (16 offers), Infosys (12), the National Kidney Foundation Singapore (12), ICICI Bank (11), PriceWaterhouse Coopers (10), Citibank (nine), J P Morgan Services (nine), Kanbay (eight), American Express (eight) and G E Capital (eight).

Among the recruiters were firms from sectors such as Banking, Insurance and Financial Services (24 organisations - 92 offers), Consulting (eight firms and 28 offers), FMCG (13 firms and 23 offers), IT (27 firms and 125 offers), Oil and Gas (six firms and 12 offers), Medical and Pharmaceuticals (six firms and 26 offers), Automotive, Engineering and Industrial Products (nine firms and 22 offers) and Diversified Business Groups (six firms and 22 offers). Three other firms made four offers.

While "all students were easily placed," numbers on which company finally hired how many, were "confidential," Mr. Prabhu said.

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