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It pays to do an MBA in a slowdown

The top 6 make news pretty much every year. It’s the ones below them that have become a talking point.

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2020, 02.33 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: The key to success in a sluggish job market – an MBA degree, even if it’s not from the top six IIMs.

Business schools other than the top six IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Indore) have seen a jump in average salaries and number of recruiters for the class of 2020. The top six do well pretty much every year. It’s campuses just below them that have sprung a surprise.

A tough business year seems to have put a premium on India’s MBA talent, shows placement data from institutes like the Faculty of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Goa Institute of Management (GIM), IMI Delhi and even the younger IIMs at Kashipur and Raipur.

Good placements in a bad year reflect businesses’ commitment towards investing in talent as a long-term strategy, say placement heads, recruiters and HR experts. B-schools reached out to more companies this year, anticipating a slowdown — a strategy that yielded results.

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IIFT in Delhi received 310 offers this year compared with 279 in 2019 and 288 in 2018. The average salary at this institute increased marginally to Rs 20.48 lakh per annum with the highest offer at Rs 75 lakh. At FMS, the average salary was up 11%.

Experts Aren’t Surprised
Also, for the first time 75% of the offers received by the FMS students were above Rs 20 lakh a year, the institute said.

Prominent recruiters that visited Goa Institute of Management included companies such as Arcesium, Johnson & Johnson, Reliance Industries, Diageo, HDFC, Cognizant and JP Morgan. “The average and highest salaries are better, and even more companies have participated,” said Ajit Parulekar, director of the institute.

At IMI Delhi, top recruiters in terms of both salaries and offers include companies such as RPG Enterprises, Shell, Deloitte, Gartner, Nielsen, HCL Tech, Capgemini, HSBC, Citibank, American Express, RB and Whirlpool. IIM Kashipur received its first international offer this year. At IIM Raipur, almost 90% of the 206-strong batch has been placed.

Experts aren’t surprised at slowdown-busting job offers for MBAs. “These are investments. During a slowdown, one reduces spends and not investments,” said Sarthak Raychaudhuri, vice president-HR, Asia at Whirlpool Corp.

Cognizant India chairman Ramkumar Ramamoorthy explains: “To compete effectively in a world shaped by artificial intelligence, algorithms, bots…(companies need) a broader repertoire of skills that MBAs are well-suited for.”

Some say tougher times put a further premium on the talent. “Top talent will always be in demand. It’s like a luxury market which is unaffected by economic swings. Organisations…have to win at the marketplace and therefore young and highquality talent will be in demand,” said Pankaj Bansal, CEO, PeopleStrong.

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