The much hyped campus recruitment by promising start-ups and potential e-commerce players who dominated placements at B-schools over last 2-3 years is reflecting a downturn now. B-school experts say that the recent controversy over deferred placements in IIMs which attracted huge media attention towards the end of the placement season in B-schools is just the tip of the iceberg. With more B-schools reporting deferred job offers and a few reporting of withdrawals, the placement worry is engulfing most of the MBA colleges this season.
Careers360 spoke to officials from top B-schools to understand how this scenario is actually reflecting in their placements.
Though IIM-A placement committee openly criticized Flipkart’s decision to defer placements to its campus recruits, it was not the lone B-School where Flipkart had deferred job offers. As reported earlier, the E-commerce giant also deferred its placement offers at IIM-Bangalore, IIM Udaipur, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon and many other B-schools citing their ongoing ‘restructuring processes’.
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Flipkart was not the only company to have deferred the joining dates of the recruited students. Some other start-ups like CarDekho, Hopscotch also deferred their offers to graduates from IIMs and other B-schools. The cases of deferred placements have also been reported by other top B-schools. In addition to Flipkart deferring placements for 18 graduates of IIM-Ahmedabad and 11 of IIM-Bangalore, XLRI (Xavier Labour Relations Institute) also reported that the e-commerce company did not take their 8 students on board as offered during the campus recruitment process.
Another case came fromBirla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) where a start-up in retail space deferred their placement terms made to the students. Prof. K. K. Krishnan, Chairperson, Centre for Corporate Relations, BIMTECH said, “As far as BIMTECH is concerned, two students were affected this year.”
According to media reports, IIT Madras also confirmed that food delivery start up- Roadrunnr had asked some students to whom it had made offers during campus placements, to report for work only in December.
E-commerce recruitment trend in B-schools
In the last 3-4 years, both B-schools and start-ups had been creating a win-win placement scenario, where start-ups get a pool of young talents for their fast expansion. On the other hand, in the process, B-schools would also boast their placement profile towards their brand building.
Increasingly, start-ups and E-commerce players had been capturing ‘most sought after’ status in campus placements at IIMs and other top B-schools. Dr. Surendra Batra, Dean, IMT Ghaziabad on the emerging trend of E-commerce sector in placements says, “Some of the major emerging e-commerce companies have been providing an important chunk of the placement opportunities for students.”
The trend continued for the placement year 2014-16 also.According to IIM Calcutta final placement report 2016, over 20% of the offers were made by E-Commerce and Web-based startups like Flipkart. As per the IIM Ahmedabad report, the Internet & E-Commerce space had recruiters like Amazon, Flipkart, which formed a large chunk in terms of the total number of recruiters. In the final placements of IIFT Delhi for the MBA-IB batch of 2014-16, the list of e-commerce recruiters included Flipkart, Amazon, ShopClues, CarDekho, Bluestone, and Play Games24x7 among others.
The trouble in the e-commerce start-up industry is also reflected from the fact that even big e-commerce players like Snapdeal and food ordering platform Zomato reduced their human resource drastically under the sake of restructure operations.
Many B-schools, however, are not worried with the ongoing placement controversies as they don’t see this affecting B-schools placement broadly. Dr. R. Gopal, Director, DY Patil Institute of Management, Pune says, “We have encountered such cases in the past. On an average, there are always one or two such companies every year. This trend we have seen in the last three or four years.” Still, the unusual postponement in job offers, which recruiters attribute to organizational restructuring and other internal reasons, seems to be a sign of distress, not only for the institutes but also for the companies.
The experts, however, feel that the recent controversy might affect the status quo between the companies and officials in the coming placement season.
Is this the burst of start-up placement bubble in B-school campuses?
One of the reasons for the increase in number of e-commerce start-ups is the dynamism that they infuse amongst passing out graduates. But again with the recent wobbles in this sector, it seems that they have popped their dreamy bubbles and are up for a reality check. The reasons behind this burst of the so called start-up bubble are believed to be their devaluation, market-resistance, and false predictions of business requirements in terms of human resources. Along with it the business fuel of any start-up, its funding seems to have become hard to come by; leading to reduced cost and trimmed work force.
Though there is still hunger for talents amongst the start-ups and fast growing e-commerce players, including those who have somewhat established themselves in last 3-5 years, growing concern on cash burn and investors’ anxiety over spends is making them cautious on hiring. After huge investments in start-ups in 2015, investors’ are now looking for ROI, which is forcing many start-ups to shift their gear on expansion and hiring strategy.
B-school Placement Reports 2016
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