CHENNAI: Amidst all controversy surrounding start-ups, the placement cells of IITs and IIMs are still welcoming them to absorb the talent. The faculty and the industry experts maintain that not entire startup sector is under performing.
However, All-IITs Placement Committee (AIPC) may take some regulatory measures to avoid their best talent get entangled in situations like the current bitter battle, involving some of the premier start-up firms like Flipkart, Roadrunner and Click Labs.
IIT-Madras, whose eight students are affected after Flipkart and Roadrunner have sent e-mail confirmation deferring the joining dates to December, is proposing to separate the startup sector from traditional recruiters.
Babu Vishwanathan, Training and Placement Officer, IIT-M, said IITs could have separate placement drives for traditional core recruiters and the start-up sector in December and April respectively. In fact, a group of start-ups has approached the IIT-M placement office to have a drive this March, but the proposal was rejected since the students have already been recruited by others in January. “I will put forth the idea at the AIPC meeting. Students, who are recruited in December, can try during startup season as well, if they are not satisfied with previous offer in which case students will own the responsibility for the risks involved with start-ups”.
All said and done, students still prefer working with start-up companies because of instant recognition and other benefits. Express has accessed the placement data of IIT-M for the last two years, which shows that the number of students opting for start-ups has more than doubled. In 2015-16, 97 start-up firms have participated, selecting 285 students, out of which 253 students have accepted the offers, which account for 25% of the total placements. In the previous year, 45 start-ups made offers to 125 students of which 118 people have been successfully placed.
Vishwanathan said the entire start-up sector was not underperforming. Only the e-commerce firms seem to be struggling with their strategy and business structuring. Many start-ups engaged in core engineering, analytics, finance, education, IT and R&D are doing exceedingly well. Ironically, the eight students, whose joining dates are deferred, still prefer to join the startups even though they are given the option to appear in forthcoming placement season!
Mood in Bengaluru
There is a mixed response from the top engineering institutions and student community in the neighbouring Bengaluru, which is the IT capital of India. While NASSCOM data points at a 20 per cent decline in recruitment, top engineering colleges in Bengaluru and nearby areas maintain that campus recruitment has been unaffected. Even though there is a minor decline in hiring in the IT sector, it is more than compensated by the hiring done by start-ups, they maintain.
Speaking to Express, Anvesh Giri, Placement Officer of PESIT, Bengaluru, said that campus recruitment was not affected, despite the market trends. “We have had good placements this year, which is slightly better than what we recorded last year,” he said.
Taufeeq K, an engineering student in Mangaluru, said that the number of job fairs for engineering graduates were on a decline. “Though some good colleges continue to attract firms, it is not same for other colleges, where the number of firms approaching for placement dwindle by the day,” he said.
‘No point in running after big names’
The day-one of campus placement is usually reserved for the best of companies. “It is a mistake on the part of IITs and IIMs to give these companies, which are not listed yet, prime slots just based on lucrative salary packages they flashed. Now, it’s time to send out a strong message,” an AIPC member said preferring not to be named.Apart from Flipkart, others who have deferred placements included Roadrunnr and Click Labs - incidentally, all these three firms are floated by IIT-Delhi alumni.