ibnlive » Business

Oct 18, 2008 at 02:23am IST

Meltdown heat:B-schools can't bank on fat pay

Bangalore: While Jet Airways employees are celebrating, business schools in India appear to have hit an air-pocket.

With campus favourites like Lehman and Merrill Lynch falling prey to the financial crisis, pre-placement offers are looking rather bleak.

ALSO SEE Lehman bankrupt, B-schools get the blues

Meet Ankit Agarwal of IIM-Bangalore who has all reasons to be happy. He and his batchmate Kiran Ramaswamy are first year students. Ankit quit his job at Lehman Brothers in June this year to pick up an MBA degree, luckily, just before the economic meltdown.

“After two years, the industry will again have an up-trend so it'll be a good time to re-enter the market,” he says.

ALSO SEE Pics: World reacts as Lehman goes bust

But his seniors are a worried lot. Last year, IIM-Bangalore topped the list of B-schools with maximum placements in investment banks.

Forty per cent of their students got into financial services. Investment banks like Lehman and Merrill Lynch were also the best pay-masters.

This year, however, the mood is grim. “If lehman brothers can go down, what about others? We never know what's going to happen tomorrow. Given that most jobs abroad are cut, I guess pay packets will be much lesser,” says a student.

With pre-placement offers from Lehman being withdrawn, IIM officials too are cautious. They're calling a lot more companies for placements this year - from sectors as varied as hospitality, real estate, advertising and even NGOs.

“As of now, we're not going to make choices, any recruitment company willing to consider our students as potential employees, we'll pitch for them,” says Chairperson, IIM-B placement cell, Prof Sourav Mukherji.

Tech recruitments too are slowing down and students at the 130-plus engineering colleges in Karnataka are worried. Students at premier institutes like BMS have seen job offers withdrawn.

“IT companies - they are taking exact number they want. Also, if their target is 8,000 per year, they're staggering over six months. So they're not keeping a bench strength,” says Placement Officer, BMS College of Engineering, H S Jagadeesh.

While top-end engineering and B-schools remain confident about student placements, it'll be students of lower-rung colleges who'll be most affected.