Placements at Top Business Schools in India – Class of 2013 : The Real Story

We estimate that 6-8% of the students from across all the top business schools in India which are featured on this website will be left unplaced or will sign out of the placement process. The cut-off time we look at is the convocation ceremony season that begins this week and goes on till the 2nd/3rd week of April. We have arrived at this figure based on actual data from the ground. At least 4 Old IIMs had double-digit number of students still to be placed as on March 10, 2013 (PGP/PGDM). There is a top business school in South India with three-digit number of students still to be placed as on March 5, 2013. These are facts. Our estimate is based on actuals.

Why the hype surrounding this issue?

Just to build perspective, we ran through some numbers of business schools abroad. The good aspect here is that such numbers are available and there is little doubt about their accuracy.

Anyone from a business school in Europe, USA or even places like Singapore and Hong Kong would laugh at the hype. If only 6-8% of the graduates were without a job on graduation in the UK or the USA today they would be quite cheerful.

Ivy League Schools % – Unplaced after 3 Months of graduation in the ‘Good’ year of 2011

Read this story on the LBS website for the Class of 2011

To know more about job scenarios in second rung business schools in the US, read this

Indian business schools were blessed with a big demand-supply gap for high quality skilled labour for almost a decade. During the period from 2000 to 2008 when India grew, demand always outstripped supply and arrogant MBAs from India’s top business schools would ‘reject’ companies and show off their ‘multiple’ offers. With the ‘India Story’ there was also an ‘MBA Story’ that was fast catching middle-class India’s imagination. A combination of demographics and the fascination with this story resulted in a threefold increase (from the year 2000) in the number of applicants for the CAT which reached its peak in 2008.

No IIM had more than 300 students graduating from its campus in 2008.  Even ISB had less than 450 students graduating from its campus. XLRI, FMS, SPJIMR had a batch size of less than 200 students. Only 22% of the seats were reserved in the IIMs. Placements were always 100% or thereabouts. It was unimaginable to think of students unplaced even one month after the convocation ceremony. In 2006, the UPA government introduced reservations for OBCs. A fight ensued in the courts and it was decided to maintain the number of general category seats and increase the batch sizes in a phased manner from 2009 onwards. The UPA government also decided to increase the number of IIMs. In its two terms, the number of IIMs has gone up by more than 100%, from 6 to 13.

Things have never been the same since the Lehman crash of September 2008. With the exception of 2011, most of the years can be classified as tough. However, 2013 is different. There are a LOT of people without jobs and they are people with student debt of over Rs. 1 Million (at least in the top schools). An average EMI can be anything between Rs. 22,000 to Rs. 29,000. This also makes life very tough for the bottom 25% who have jobs. A lot of them will not make more than Rs. 65,000 a month. EMI + Rent will eat a lion’s share of income. If one is married and the spouse is dependent, then the world can seem very cruel.

Is it the fault of the business school that students are still without jobs?


Our view is that business schools are not meant to ensure that everyone has a job. It is their responsibility to ensure that they provide the best education and environment to make their students job worthy. The focus of the business school should be on maintaining the quality of academic interactions in the classroom, ensuring adequate exposure to real world problems, engaging with the corporate world and doing high quality research. All this, apart from ensuring that there is an environment for diverse minds to interact with each other in order to learn as much as possible through these interactions.

Are top business schools doing their job well?


This statement is based on anecdotal evidence and we have no survey or empirical evidence to show for it.  But you are unlikely to find a student who goes to a top business school in India for the ‘quality of faculty’ or for the ‘academic excellence’ of the place. Every school has a handful of really good professors and the rest just make up the numbers. A lot of them are PhDs from universities that have no standing. A couple of really old schools have a better ratio. Some private business schools have a better ratio because they can afford to pay better or offer the job in a bigger city which opens up other opportunities. (There are other considerations like opportunities for the spouse and good schooling for the kids.) There is a massive quality faculty crunch across India.

There is a big question mark on the quality of research but it is a contentious issue which we shall stay away from for now. It may be a topic for another story.

The overall standards are quite low in a lot of places and students don’t really demand much quality either. Most of them are interested in the first salary figure on graduation which they can show off and as long as a business school provides that they aren’t really interested. There are enough cases of rebellion against good professors, who make students work hard so that they can learn better. Business schools were also happy with this arrangement as they didn’t have to push themselves. Students got great jobs even if the quality of learning was dismal. With more and more business school graduates and no commensurate quality job opportunities, this scenario is changing. Business schools imparting poor quality training will fall away.

Also, students need to take the maximum blame for not demanding quality. Hopefully, there is a bunch of students out there who can go question the Dean/Director of their school, “What are we paying Rs. 1 Million for? Give us quality.” But the general attitude towards MBA is very transactional in nature. Work hard to get in. Ensure that one gets a great summer internship. Work hard enough to get a Pre-Placement Offer. Sleepwalk through MBA.

And we are talking about top business schools here.  There will always be exceptions but we don’t think we will be very cruel to generalize here.

The problem of transparency

No one is willing to speak on record about the placement scene because most top business schools have a strange animosity towards honesty and transparency in India. As we type this, efforts will be on to creatively present placement reports. There will be some schools that will lie outright in their reports. A few will window dress and conceal the vital. It is this attitude that emboldens second and third rung business schools to be even more blatant in their misrepresentations. When the best do it, why should we be sages?

Why can’t schools be forthright and declare these statistics cleanly? You can’t expect anyone to take your courses on morality, ethics and social responsibility when the school itself indulges in misrepresentations. And you can actually pick out names of schools that do NOT misrepresent or conceal. We had a classic case last year of a business school from South India where the placement chair wrote to us honestly about the number of students unplaced even in the first week of April although the placement committee and the school’s PR machine had gone to the press celebrating completion. The placement committee then wrote to us saying the professor is wrong and is ill-informed about the number of people placed. The question is, why lie? Why mislead students who want to join your business school? Aren’t they your customers in some sense? If I’m investing 2 years of my life in an educational institution and also investing over Rs. 1 Million, it is my right to know the true picture. And every student in the placement committee who helps, endorses or indulges in misrepresenting facts is guilty of misleading thousands of students. Not revealing the facts is a crime too.

There is also game theory involved here. Everyone is calculating the price of telling the truth. In a world full of liars, being honest can be counter-productive. So everyone needs to ensure that they don’t ‘appear’ worse.

IIM A’s IPRS is the step in the right direction. It is by no means a comprehensive audit according to us. But it at least sets the standard as far as reporting the salary figures go. It also exposes the false claims made by many other top business schools.

Is the placement committee responsible for poor placements in a particular year?


Placement committees get undue credit when placements are exceptional and they get undue flak when it is a tough year. Alumni and the market realities determine the overall placement scenario of a business school. We are not discounting the role they play. They make great efforts in presenting the best face of the business school and at times goof up enough to show the worst. The larger point is that a business school that is 5 years old cannot match the placements of a school that is 50 years old even if you have the most talented people in the placement committee. The alumni bases, the brand name of the business school, the reputation of its faculty all play a far bigger role. The work of successive placement committees needs to be seen over a 5 – 7 year period.  The impact of their efforts is truly available over a longer period of time.

Also, placement committees cannot ensure jobs for people who do not deserve them. But students who are part of placement committees need to do some soul searching. Are they happy being part of a team that releases a report that misleads people outside? Their actions can indirectly lead to a lot of people making poor career choices and being very unhappy.

To read about issues with placement committees, click here

What is the recruiter’s view?

“We went to 3 top business schools this year. We recruited just 1 person. The overall quality of the talent pool available to us was poor. Students lacked basic communication skills and did not know their 1st year subjects properly. All these 3 schools are in the top 10 schools in the country. It seems the best lot was placed by the time we went. The schools also refused to divulge the candidate’s CAT percentile. I don’t think we are going to these schools again.” These are the words of a recruiter based in Mumbai.

However, there are many who were satisfied. “We were happy with our experience recruiting in all the schools. We enjoy great brand equity among students and the IIMs present the best minds in the country. We are among the first few companies on most campuses each year and generally do not have to worry about poor quality being presented to us”, says another recruiter based in Mumbai.

We spoke to an MNC bank based in Mumbai which said that they had decided to not recruit for final placements at all. The company had changed its strategy to only look at candidates during summers and award PPOs. “The success of the IIMs hinges on the fact that the best join them. We prefer catching them as soon as they join. Our experience during final placements has not been as good. We filled all our requirements by giving PPOs. This year has been particularly bad. We didn’t have numbers. But we may still visit a couple of campuses because of pressure from a few MDs who want to recruit from their alma mater”, says the HR representative.

Different recruiters have different takes. One thing is clear though. Companies know about quality issues due to the increased batch sizes. It takes recruiters some time to warm up to ground realities but it is naive to assume that they do not know what is happening to the talent pool. Alumni play a big role and will help but they are answerable to their organization too. One of the things that irritates alumni is when placement committees lie to them as well. (Placement committees claim that a lot of alumni try to take undue advantage of their position and try to disrupt the placement process to benefit their own companies.)

The larger point is that just because more people graduate and just because the IIMs have loyal alumni bases, there is no guarantee people will get quality jobs. Recruiters are not going to line up when they know people have entered the school with highly substandard credentials. Standards should be relaxed for disadvantaged sections of the society. But there needs to be an acceptable standard. Business schools believe that recruiters are not fully aware of this phenomenon. They make CAT percentiles and at times even the academic grades hidden to ensure everyone gets placed. But you can only go so far.

We haven’t spoken to PSUs but they are done being used by the top schools in India. Read this piece here and then read this piece here. Even the PSUs know they have been taken for a ride year after year. But then, it is tax payer money that will be used so it is okay to ‘help’ the IIMs.

(Must Use : The InsideIIM Career Guide)

 Our view and the way forward

There is no shame in not being able to place everyone. Eventually, the responsibility lies with the individual. No one ‘deserves’ to be helped by the institution to get a top quality job . The institution should work hard to create the best possible environment in order for that to happen.

The narrative needs to shift away from placements to the quality of academic work, research, peer learning, infrastructure, global exposure etc. The obsession with 100% placement should and will end soon. Even within placements, the narrative needs to shift from average salary to exact roles and profiles and diversity of opportunities. Placements will always be important but the mindset to judge everything with placements is leading to more dangerous things.

Business schools need to be transparent and should make a clean presentation on the state of career opportunities. We believe that aspirants and recruiters are likely to gravitate towards schools that adopt a transparent approach. If 5 out of the 10 top schools move towards presenting the true picture, the other 5 will be exposed and they will lose their standing. It will also expose multiple schools in the lower rung that have been literally cheating people and manufacturing lies. Unfortunately, it is not the case today.

Recruiters are already wiser and are moving towards alternative options. They are expanding the breadth of schools they want to recruit from and are also looking at online hiring options like LinkedIn. A lot of them have realized that they do not even need MBAs. It is also an opportunity for schools in the lower rung and professional bodies like ICAI and CFA to exploit issues with the top business schools and enhance their pool of companies. It is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to create alternative models that will help fix the system. It could range from fixing the academic quality to fixing the career-related services delivery. Business schools with smaller batch sizes should vehemently promote this very aspect. They could talk about the better quality of interactions, academic focus and relative ease in facilitating placements for a smaller group.

A student wishing to pursue management education in India needs to know that an admit is no guarantee for success and definitely no guarantee for happiness. Please know that it is a expensive decision to do a MBA even in India. One should make an informed choice. As cliched as it may sound, please know why you are doing a MBA. Try to research in detail about the pedagogy, faculty, student activities and other networking opportunities that a business school offers you apart from placements. If you are good enough you will get a job even if your business school cannot help you.

But ensure your business school is delivering on the basic premise of its existence – Education. And make sure that you are committed to make the best use of the two years (and we are not talking about grades!)

If you ensure this, getting a job will never be an issue at any point of time in your life.

By the time we finished creating this story, it is was difficult to not realize the insignificance of the situation. While we focus on a small placement hiccup at the top schools, we fail to realize the crisis facing the country where thousands of students with an undergraduate degree are without jobs year after year. How can we help them?

– Created by Ankit Doshi. Edited by Pallavi Kamath.


Know everything about Placements in Top Schools in India here

You may also be interested in :

Views of an IIM Director on Education and Placements

Class of 2012 – The Big Test for the IIMs

5 Reasons why Student Run Placement Committees should give way to CDC at IIM

Fair Warning by an IIM Students to an IIM Aspirant

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Why dont you name the “top business school in South India”. If what you say is true the prospective students deserve to know dont they?

That we try to be politically correct is also a part of the problem.


Are YOU kidding me? It is indeed ISB. I have a friend there who estimates the number close to 120.Again, the so called top b-schools will never tell you about their dirty and dark secrets.


Perhaps your definition of a 'top' b-school is twisted. Where are you from? IIPM?


There is one more school in South India guys. It's a joke called IIM Kozhikode. It seems getting so many women did not help our placements. We have the smallest batch size among all the old IIMs and we have over 40 people to be placed (Placom do not kill me, please! You revealed to TOI and Mint yourself!).


Ah well, I ignored it cos I thought that would figure in the IIMs, and like you said, the number doing the rounds is lesser than three figures.


Its a shame that people like Abby who cannot stand by their own institute. You studied here for two years and boasted in front of your friends and family at FB that you are in God's Campus and now when you cant get a good job for yourself because of your own poor credentials, you are calling the institute a joke.. If you were competent enough, you would not be wasting time on commenting poorly about the institute who has placed the other 300 plus… Grow up.. and get a little bit of maturity because you will need that when you go into the industry !!


Same Story everywhere. Sour Grapes. They can't get a good job on their own and then mailgn the kampus. Many of them don't even deserve to be there in the first place.

Abby Supporter

Even in your retort you lie! 300+ people have not been placed Sir. The Number is not more than 280. Economic Times – Front Page. Go check.


Every B-school lies even IIMs. I got screwed by making a bad decision by joining one IIM. Could have done something better in my life. Now i have debt of 14 lacs and no job and maybe i will have a job of 5 lacs PA. Great


you are simply bluffing, even a 3rd greade BTECH graduate earns 5 LPA if in this turmoil scenario he has 2 yrs of wrok experience. TCS is there. they will all the "yet to be placed" candidates for sure….


Well, then you don't know the situation clearly. TCS pays around 8 lacs for their management program and don't hire in numbers.


Why blame only the placement committees on misleading? Every student who studies in these schools knows about the reality. If they are silent then it is their fault as well. I know so many people on pagalguy and other forums coaxing people to join their school over others and in the process gloss over so many facts. Aren't they responsible for misleading students too? Even they are guilty.


Are you aware as to how Pagal guy chaps are treated when they visit the campus? They are treated as lords.


Great stuff! Rightly said, the challenge is in bringing transparency. And everyone is responsible to an extent. From PGP office, faculty, placom, student bodies, individual participants, etc etc. And these articles really help aspirants get an idea of what they can really expect from MBA.


Well written and all of this sort of begs the question about why exactly do the top institutes resort to misrepresentating data. If all of them come clean then that would maintain status quo (in terms of rankings) for them. And in addition to that, it might weed out the lower tier B Schools which actually end up being the biggest beneficiaries of the have-to-do MBA mindset.


If the top 10-20 stop lying, others will too.


before making judgement calls about the quality of students please make note of a few points
1) Please check the profiles of the students unplaced most of us would give anything to have such profiles
2) Most of the students coming here had great campus placements…if they were good enough to be placed then what happened now in 2 years???
3) Anybody who has attended a placement interview will know that you are hardly tested on your is all about "JOB FIT" ..and " JOB FIT" is all about communication skills..probably the only thing that they/we lack is communication skills and trust me it is not as if they can't speak english but the companies want VJ's and RJ's then they are better off looking for them at such places why waste everybodyz time.
Last point
Anybody who thinks that placement is correlated to how hard you have worked in a Bschool for two years then he/she is in for a shock because it absolutely is not


Dude, I am sorry to say but u are seriously mistaken. The profiles of the last 50 ppl at any B-school are such that no company will be even willing to shell out even an engineer's salary to them. It is indeed about job fit, so when you talk about a B-school grad placement, its is like comparing apples and oranges when you talk about them getting placed in grad school and in a B-school, the skill set required in a technical desk job is totally different and a B-school recruiter just does not care about those skills. No body looks for a VJ or RJ but for a person who can actually represent the company in front of a customer which sadly a lot of people can't.


I know people who have acads like 80+ throughout and still got 6-7 lacs PA at IIM. So don't tell me that people have bad profiles. Even people with average acads have good communication skills. For some roles acads don't even matter.


First of all your comments don't make sense..what do you mean by an engineer's salary is unclear..we have people who are unplaced who used to earn 9-10 lakhs…students who had campus placements in companies like oracle sapient siemens bajaj you really think they are not good enough for a job??? 2nd it seems highly unlikely that you know even about a technical job..what on earth makes you think that all technical jobs are desk jobs…there is a world beyond TCS and Infy


People who are placed on first day there queries are like "should we dress up in business casual for telephonic interview " and you call them deserving. You are really a shit and don't know anything . I really wish luck for company in which you are going to work .


The classic interpretation about life at B-School which the seniors everywhere give to their juniors.
Responding to your personal observation ( or Bias) : if JOB FIT is all about communication skills and you already know about it , they were you not good enough to improve just that one skill in your time at B-School ?


Its sometimes makes sense to hide CGPA from recruiters….after all we know about the grading system at IIMs….It's all upto profs…and sometimes pathetic…student is not to blame all the time.


This whole system of campus placements has run its course, the companies that come to various top B schools offer different salaries for the same profile – also the placement committee and the placed candidate are asked to keep mum on the numbers. This is because for them its a price/quality issue – not a demand supply one. Even in 2001-08 when the author said the demand outstripped supply – I do no think any of the IIM's or top institutes have any policies to allow placed people to sit with unplaced ones for their second job.

And I agree about the lack of transparency on the part of the institutes caused by the reservation system. Perhaps it would be best to institutionalize something like Bloomberg Aptitude Test(BAT) or something of the sort to increase transparency.

The rest needs to come from the corporate world – they need to declare their demand and offer a single renumeration for a profile (i really dont understand how they complain of lower quality when they dont get decent students they dont need to hire them – their so called demand can be filled internally/or through consultants who will be able to get ppl with experience) – their fight to build a corporate brand has led to this murky situation.


Finally MBA education is in self correction mode,the real motive of doing MBA was lost in it's transition from it's initial stage to it's current scenario, MBA education which was intended to inculcate leadership qualities and increase the entrepreneurial drive amongst the students so that they can be the job generators of the country has been merely limited to a way of escaping their current situation or earn six figure salary by working for some i banks or consultancy firms. Thanks to the current situation only the ones who are genuinely interested will do MBA and thus improving the quality students from those who consider MBA college as a placement agency and as their big ticket to a glamorous life to the ones who really want to learn something out of their MBA experience.


IIMs don't want to tell truth about their placements, they show the minimum package as 6 lacs and in truth some unplaced people get 4 lacs or may be even 3 lacs. It is very difficult to get a placement off campus.

If people think that people who are from reserved categories are the only one unplaced then you are wrong my friend because if 90 people are unplaced in a B-School then there are general category candidates also.

In two years of time can't IIM curriculum improve a candidates ability i.e. communication skill etc.
But it is not happening due to substandard quality of professors (most of them are not even from top B-schools). The curriculum is such that it is mostly about being nerd and no practical learning.

No software is being taught for operations etc.

Talking about reservations, I have friends which are from reserved category and have got 30 lacs+ and 15 lacs+ package in IIM which is more than average and even second highest(30 lacs+) at IIM. So guys stop blaming reserved category guys.


I agree with you.Communication skills are very important though they are not everything .Sometimes I dont understand what recruiters exactly want.Luck plays so great a role.U might be an A student but it doesnt matter sometimes.


talking about getting job by your own…if you are a fresher,,you wont find a fair enough job for u in the market as everybody wants RELEVENT work ex…..same is the case with already workex people…most of them joined to change their domain/ even they lack when it comes to RELEVENT work the job they have left paid way more than what they are getting now( after getting a PG deg from a top notch Bschool).
bt yeah pointing fingers never helped before, wont help now! unplaced have to work even harder now..thats it!


Wish every student who aspires to join MBA this year, only on the basis of good placement opportunities, reads this article and then takes an informed decision about their future..


Selection criteria for older IIMs was miserably tweaked from the year 2009 onwards and was again pushed to insanity from there on. No wonder THEY have been getting peanuts.

Pratyusha L.

The contrast could not be more stark. The celebrated portal is trying to increase traffic by talking about a tragedy (death) while here I find a well researched article which analyses aspects from all angles. Way to go InsideIIM! I am a fan.


Same thousand year old story. Become a free rider like a "pandit". Do nothing worthy enough to contribute to society except ranting about your supremacy and then whatever problems plague your ecosystem( IIM campus in this case) just place the blame on "lower caste". I say damn you "upper caste" and damn the whole system. Let the world go to gallows if this supposedly "upper caste" supremacy is to prevail any longer.

doom day

DUDE if u are so concerned and have enough with castism,
then why are u not upset whe ppl with 70% in CAT get into IIMs and GEneral Guys with >90% are not getting in???????????
YOU PPL ONLY WANT EVERY THING GIVEN tO U and no one will say nothing.


perfectly said doom day…they are just messing up the quality factor wherever they…the one who really needs help don't get it…where ppl even drop out years to get a good score, these 'enoughwithcasteism' types waste years to get a cast certificate…this is the height of self inflicting racism…
and by the way i would like to clarify just with a >90% will end u up nowhere…its far higher than that..all credits to the IIMs for that…and that too for nothing…


I think every aspirant has a right to know about what he is getting into because the cost associated with his decision is very high at around 15 lakhs. But the problem is that the correct picture about placements like the profiles needed to get top to decent jobs, CTC valuations and the actual in hand components and other externalities are not available in the public domain & one is not aware of it until and unless he gets into the B-schools and goes through a couple of process himself. The root cause of this problem is that B-schools and its students are so busy in chest-beating about its alma mater, they never ever ethically present the true picture to the outside world. And it is an infectious disease catching one batch after one and one placecomm after another who in my humble opinion report non-sense just to maintain the brand of the college & its ranking with respect to its peers.


My Solutions to the above problems:

1) Standardized audit of placement report even if it takes time. For example the aspirants of 2013 can have the audited report of the class of 2012 for reference as long as it portrays the correct picture, they deserve atleast that information to make a correct decision.

2) Placements handled by professional external agencies: Top B-schools are increasing diversity but are not doing anything to place diverse people. Students at many B-schools are not competent enough to place all the profiles of students. They call a certain set of companies without even understanding whether that set of companies would be sufficient to recruit all profiles in the batch. B-schools need professionals who would profile the batch and call appropriate companies to place the entire batch. Greater complexity in placements with greater and more diverse batches & a lot of other accusations against placecomm tells us that the time has come to relieve the students from the core placement activities and let them focus on their studies instead.


I am last year B-School pass out and would like to make a point against your question "Why B-Schools can't be transparent?". The fault doesn't lie with the schools, but with us! Like you said, no b-school is bound to get you placed; that's not their primary objective. The problem is the aspirants don't look at it that way! Every one looking for a B-School wants to define their ROI by salary and 100% placements. And the view of majority of aspirants of b-school is that of a 'placement center'. As long as this opinion in the 'market' doesn't change, the B-Schools will always be wary of their placement numbers!


Dude, If you want learning go to IGNOU and teach yourself. Join TOAST masters and improve your communication skills. If people are investing a lot of money, leaving their jobs and working hard to improve themselves, they deserve return on investments. How would you feel with a low paying job and excellent education.


The whole concept of admitting freshers for a management course starts this chaos and penchant about placement numbers. I for myself can speak that after graduation i was not even clear what i wanted to do just looked at the salary figures(no profile comparisons or anything) at placement session and i feel that majority of people are like that, thanks to our financial backgrounds and our educational system.So, i think for a fresh graduate, entry at B-School is an extension of his/her graduation to another building and different subjects. The vision still remains same; focused on first salary Cheque without any consideration to profiles and his/her own likes.


Completely agree with you here. An MBA is not a getting-out-of-college course and its really sad to see so many freshers going for it without the slightest bit of idea as to why they need to do it and how will it help in their professional and personal aspirations.


Freshers go for it because there is a demand for such graduates in the industry. The top consulting firms and Banks that recruit from IIMs prefer freshers to work-ex junta. FMCGs seldom hire folks with more than two years of work experience for marketing. As long as this trend continues, freshers will continue to apply for MBA courses and they won't be wrong either.


Its fun to read such sensationalist posts(the author himself being an IIM alum and investment banking background). . The problem with MBA is its an escape route, for people who had no idea about their lives and were travelling with the tide( i am one of them). If IIMs werent the hallowed portals where every mortal wanted to study, if it wasnt about astronomical salaries and hoopla surrounding it, sites like InsideIIMs would not exist(who themselves are the first ones to publish placement reports to increase traffic). Its competition throughout. Every brand whether its an IIM or a laundry bar wants to paint a rosy picture about itself. Its on the 'consumer' to choose what he wants. Its his decision. Dont blame Plcom or the college or the placement reports..Dont talk about IPRS if you dont know what it takes to implement it. And majority of the batch leaves with their dreams fulfilled(salaries or roles). for the ones who are left either dont deserve it or dint work hard enough. And thats true irrespective of an IIM or not.. We are the cribbing class. I did my part in this post..



Ceteris Paribus, placements are the differentiating criterion of a B-school in India…You never hear B-schools boasting of their faculty or research as much as they do about their placements, all to create the brand pull…Which is wrong in the first place…Secondly students do not get the correct picture about their career paths or salaries prior to joining a B-school and most of them rely on the rumors or notions floating in various circles. And after paying a loan of 15 lpa which would account to an emi of around 30k which is almost equal to what they earned prior to their MBA, they are bound to look at their school like a placement center….Where students are at fault? They do not reveal the true picture even when they are out of the B-school…they choose to boast instead about rosy designations and highly overvalued CTC's


Dear Author,

We point fingers at the system but forget all fairness to the deserving candidates when visit campus for the summers and shortlist/select only female candidates..Easy to write, difficult to adopt 🙂


These are a few observations of mine after seeing the placements at an IIM and at an IIT:
1. Companies look for something called JOB FIT. That does not limit to communication skills only. They see a host of other parameters like your pre MBA background, ur personality, ur short and long term goals, if you are humble or arrogant , how u handle pressure to name a few. And if you didnt get selected in a company, it MAY BE that the company did not find u the right job fit.
2. I honestly have not understood the fetish of IIMs in achieving 100% placements. IITs( with crore figure salary given by facebook as overhyped in media) never declare 100% placements. They are very transparent and they put up the final figure even if it is 90-92%. They even put up who got in which co and any outsider can go and see it on the notice board. I think the media had created this hype and sadly, not only the students but even the B-school administration has succumbed to it.
3. Some of the blame for students not getting placed must lie with the students also. I have seen students going underprepared to the interviews. They dont even research on the company on google. I have seen companies getting pissed off and go away without taking a single student. Students shout at GDs and dont maintain decorum. Do u think these will impress the recruiters?
4. The last 50 students who have been left arent bad or anything. search among them and u will find IITians, NITians, project managers, team leaders, people with impressive resume- people who used to earn more in pre-MBA than what they can hope to get in an IIM.
5. It all comes down to your own merit. A brand name can take u a distance but only tht far. I have seen many companies-big names-who didnt come to campus during our placements yet my own batchmates have got good postings their by dint of their own ability and merit. If a company finds that you are good, it will take you.
6. IIMs are educational institutes. They have to abide by the goal set by the government of India, that is to perform research, give a good education to the students who join there and provide managers who can work for the industrial development of the nation. they are not obligated to provide placements.No where are they saying that join me we will give u placements. If you dont join an IIM nothing is gonna happen. This hype of placements has been created by the students and media, and unfortunately in all this hype people forget that they are supposed to get an education, not mould themselves into a recruiter pleasing hunk. I have seen people take meaningless courses in stead of meaningful ones just because those courses will give good grades or they ave a lenient professor who doesnt give homework and all that bullshit. So instead of blaming IIMs or placement committee, please look inside yourself and ask urself: who are you and what is it that you want?


your philosophy doesnt help those with over 10 lac+ loans and sub 5 lac job packages!!!!!!


Good article Ankit and a good debate indeed.. InsideIIM's focus, approach and content has helped it distinguish itself from rest of the pack..

Akaash Malhotra

Boss I think this is a good analysis, an attempt has been made to present all perspectives. but the correlation on quality of students and placements is a little defective. In one of the paragraph it is mentioned that when the economy is good, everybody gets placed. But these are tough times as far as economy is concerned and that is the reason why PPL in tier-1 b-schools find it difficult to get placed. And since the recruiters have huger pressures on their top line and bottom line they are not allowed to recruit candidates with fat pay cheques, and this is why they are cribbing about the quality and other things. The fact is when the economy will be growing and when there will be demand for candidates, these same recruiters will line up with the b-schools to recruit. The aspiring candidates have to see the situation of the economy two years down the line, when they are going to pass out, if that doesn't look good, dont' join a b-school, wait for the time to get better and if it's more than 5 years go for executive mba!

A. Chaudhuri

I really liked the article because the person seems to be an IIM insider/ student & most of the things written by him are true.

These types of criticisms are really good because without the help of soap and water, such action would help in removing all the dirts.


When people are discussing about final placements, you show up with a document showing that IIFT has achieved 100% summer placements. Didn't summer placements start sometime in October ?


Oh yes! IIFT did call for PSUs like PFC, Powergrid & IOCL which pay in the bracket of 11-13.

And inquire about the roles offered by the powergrid & pfc to know why they are to die for!


They pay the same to Engg. grads as well and offer the same profiles. And many PSU junta come for MBA after working fr 2-3 years, so obviously u cant compare the two.

Still, it's nothing against IMT as the situation is same everywhere in this current economic scenario. Many IIMs are also calling PSUs now.


Ah Insider info, the summer placements that started in september continued till january….all to get a batch of 200 placed?? 5 months? That too in delhi?? speaks volume


Here we go. What is written is all correct but does this site follows what it preaches?
In one of the story published here 'Fair warning to IIM aspirants from an IIM student' most of the points are placement related not education related. Bad profile-Dont join IIM, Bad English-Dont join IIM, IT Work ex-Dont join IIM oh come on!!!. When you yourself are preaching to join IIM only to get GOOD placements then why giving your views about taking EDUCATIONS as the ONLY criteria. Talk about double standards. Also while publish 'THE REAL PICTURE' give some names of the institutes who you are referring to rather than giving location hints. The problems in this article are absolutely correct but the dual standard maintained by media(Print/Online) is also one of them.


Just wondering, how many students does TCS Global Consulting Practice recruit from the IIMs? What salary do they offer? Thanks.


Is it the fault of the business school to ensure jobs for its student ?

Two reasons –

One because of the high amount of investment in terms of fees. When you invest 15 lpa towards pretty much low quality education ( includes profs, for some colleges infra and also the material and teaching), you atleast expect a decent job. So you might not expect your kachori to be very tasty but will atleast expect it to satisfy your hunger to some extent.

Second reason is more serious. In India try contacting companies for off campus as a fresher for a job and you will know why. None of the companies that you actually apply directly after finishing your MBA call you for even an interview. This is irrespective of you having a great profile and acads. So if colleges don't place you, you are as good as unemployed. Now when I talk about jobs I am talking about decent jobs – probably a 10 lpa one atleast. This is even more bad for freshers who can't even go back to their previous company or jobs.

Finally making people employable is a very vague concept. You are employable can mean you have reasonably good communication skills and can apply your concepts learned over MBA. But anything beyond that is pretty much subjective. Just imagine a person who gets rejection from 4-5 companies but eventually cracks a job. Was he not considered employable by the 4-5 companies where he was rejected ? No, because employability depends on both internal(controlled by you) as well as external(controlled by someone else) factors.
Also didn't all these great IIM's boasted of great placements when the batch sizes were small and the market was good ?
So rather than being hypocritic, for once IIM's should accept their folly.


What I meant was "Is it the responsibility of the business school to ensure jobs for its students ?"


First thing, no IIM is forcing you to join their institute. If you dont join them they dont give a damn. The decision to give CAT and join an IIM and take a loan is taken by the you, and you only. IIMs are there to give an education. Its only because 2 lakh people aspire every year to join an IIM that they have to undertake CAT. So please dont have this attitude that you are doing a favour to an IIM by joining it. When you are getting an admission into an IIM, its a business deal wherein they will give you training on management and you are paying 10 lakhs for that, never mind your ulterior aim is to get a grand job. Has any IIM's official stance ever been that we provide placements and students should join because of that? In fact IIMs have categorically said that they are not placement agencies. So please dont assume an air that because you paid 10 lakhs the IIMs are morally duty bound to give u a great job. They are not.


Highly upper caste chauvinistic article placement or not , admission or not , this upper caste attitude should be eradicated from our society.
What is a point recruiter asking for CAT percentile when he is given 10th 12th Grad and MBA percentage if so many percentages cannot judge a person then why would you need cat percentile , it's just to check why a person is upper caste or some filthy untouchable.


India is the only country where merit is 2nd to "Category" of a person…And this is the attitude of one of them who is reaping that benefit…Inferiority complex, they think the only meaningful task of human being is to subjugate them…They don't mind when using the same category certificates during admissions, generation after generation…This article is for something more important beyond your understanding, get a life!!


Partially researched!
Author considers recruiters are flawless and Institutes are the culprits. Ever attended a consult dinner or a "threatening" call from top management consulting recruiter? Or asked by the top bank to sit in the interview well beyond the stipulated time just to spoil the chances of other bank hiring you?

Agreed part of the problem is with the IIM placement process but those are the symptoms of the root cause which lies with the recruiters! IIM placements are not just hiring avenue for recruiters, it is a strategic branding exercise … by hook or crook they have to hire the "best" and maintain their brand equity on campus.

No matter how hard the institute try, it has to give in to the wishes of the top recruiters – who wouldn't reveal salary structures, who would circumvent the placement process in every which way possible and who would ensure they hire people from placecom to keep the play going in future placements.

IIMs or MBA institutes are just victims to the wishes of recruiters and yes the effect cascades to the MBA aspirants in the process


Main problem lies with recuiters they don't release their salaries and some times even profiles thats why they are going down.


If it not the responsibility of Colleges than they should write in their brouchers NO PLCAMENTS PROVIDED IN THIS COLLEGE then I will see who gives 15lacs to get admission in their colleges


An excellently return article. Great JOB.

I've made a small observation and I hope it ll be helpful for you in writing your next article or probably research about. i.e., THE QUALITY OF ENTRANCE EXAMS…..

1) After 2008, ever since CAT has become an ONLINE test, trust me it tests nothing but luck. I expected that IIMs would see negative results for that and with in 4 years its showing its effect. Till 2008, CAT papers itself has some sound logic behind each and every question and the way it tests your analytical and your decision making skills was fantastic. But if you see now, it is exactly nothing but luck, it all depends on your slot and normalization.(eg:- I still dont understand how can a consistent 99%iler in mocks and other exams get 30-40%ile in CAT) I wonder why IIMs cant realize such apparent truth. I personally have seen many 99%ilers who are struggling with simple analytical questions not just in the beginning but through out 2 years of MBA.

2) I see the current selection criteria followed by IIMs is nothing but APPLYING FILTERS IN EXCEL, absolutely nothing more. I think it is evident that they are lazy enough and not bothered much to select a FIT candidate. In my opinion MBA and Placements are not about RIGHTeousness its all about FITment.

Overall, if you ask me IIMs have dug their own grave in the name of advancement and Normalization.

Ranjeet Serious

The actual underlying truth is that the future of India is dark. With 10 lakh engineers passing out every year and IT companies slowing down hiring, where will those 10 lakh engineers go ??? No alternative in manufacturing etc. Not much happening on the manufacturing front and I think India is atleast 100 years behind Japan and China in manufacturing. Thus the whole bubble of domestic consumption is going to burst in a few years when there is unemployment everywhere.


Every sector, segment and industry sees a correction. And education sector won't be any different here. The bunch of "worthless" engineers that are mass produced needs to stop. In my opinion, this will only lead to improvement in education quality in the long run.


Respected Sir/Madam, I earnestly request you to update this great website to stay abreast with ur competitions. It is missing simple features like—- u see RECENT COMMENTS by the side of the page which is great but when u click on it, it does'nt take u directly to that comment. It just takes you to that article & then u have to surf painstakingly through each & every comment, reply, sub-comment to go to the one that u are actually looking for. It's very very annoying. Also there is no feature to edit/delete ur comments….. Plz try to incorporate atleast these basics….


Thanks for your feedback. We are aware of these issues. We will solve these issues soon. It is just that certain other things have taken priority and we have a small team. But we really appreciate the interest and effort you have taken in communicating this to us.


The article ended on a great advice that students should focus on Education. But I could not help contradicting it with the statement made by the MNC bank in Mumbai – “The success of the IIMs hinges on the fact that the best join them. We prefer catching them as soon as they join. Our experience during final placements has not been as good." It seems as if IIMs somehow manage to deteriorate the quality of the 'best' people who join them. By this logic, even their bright PPO candidates should not be worth hiring by the end of their 2 years at IIMs! I think such misguided thinking is at the root of the business schools's obsession with placements. From my personal experience, these 2 years are a game-changer. The students who make the best use of them rise to the top and even the best who 'kill' these 2 years sink to the bottom.


The MNC bank is not wrong in its observations. When you have the concept of PPOs existing, it is important to make good use of it. By the time you participate in the final placements, students with PPOs are already out of the system. For top institutes such as say IIM-A or IIM-B, the number of PPOs is as high as 100. So you effectively lose out on such candidates. So it is not that IIMs deteriorate the quality of its students in two years; just that employers want to have an access to the absolute best of the batch, who usually are out of the placement process via PPOs.


This article is long winded and pointless. When the economy is down, the first bunch to be affected is hiring, that too of high end MBAs. This is the defensive approach of companies to deal with trouble. Its only the blue chips from consumer products or banks that will continue recruiting steadily.
Its bad luck that increase in batch size meets economic downturn.
I would like to see some diversity in the placement companies. The current firms are a predictable bunch of the best paymasters. There's no innovation and 'new stuff' happening in this predictable bunch.
The Placement committees need to rethink placement and match skills and interest (of students) with a different set of end companies, that can provide more satisfying career options.


High aspiration of students in terms of job profile and remuneration after MBA is not unjustified.MBA education has become a cash cow for B school in India. They are charging very high as tution fee and and increasing their fee every year, in comensurate with average package of outgoing students.This education system has taken a shape of a typical business dea where B schools are facilitator and the students are consuments. Hence it is moral responsibility of these B schools to place their students.As far as taking informed decision is concerned, when these schools are not forthright in revealing correct picture with an apprehension that revealing true picture will adversely affect their prospect and ranking how the prospective student will take informed decision?


High aspiration of students in terms of job profile and remuneration after MBA is not unjustified.MBA education has become a cash cow for B school in India. They are charging very high as tution fee and and increasing their fee every year, in comensurate with average package of outgoing students.This education system has taken a shape of a typical business dea where B schools are facilitator and the students are consumers. Hence it is moral responsibility of these B schools to place their students.As far as taking informed decision is concerned, when these schools are not forthright in revealing correct picture with an apprehension that revealing true picture will adversely affect their prospect and ranking how the prospective student will take informed decision?


One year courses are in a terrible mess. They learn theory for the first 4 months and by the time they are just 5/6 months into the course their placement season starts. No wonder the employer finds many of them unfit to deliver anything on the ground to justify the salary they seek. How come a code writer or a BPO employee becomes a marketing manager in 4 months of theory and 2 months of some randomly done courses in Marketing or finance??? Tell me this trick and I will also jump to this bandwagon!

Mein nahi bataunga

Appreciate ankit doshi for highlighting inside knowledge about B school campuses. However i urge you to go beyond such a micro level of reporting. Many of the times your personal angst and frustration is reflected in articles. Your views about placom look too personal sometimes.
Kudos to your portal for bringing out the hidden truth. Also you can come up with an article on media reports covering placements. Many a times different media report different stats for same college.


LOL on the last part – "Our view".. reminded me of most of my theses summaries … Kid! seriously! stop writing! you have a bright chance with TOI btw!


It may be unfortunate that increase in batch size and downturn in placements had impacted a few of us. The responsibility lies not just with the students alone. Everything has its part including Placement committee, Institution and Education system. Anyways, It would be wiser for the candidates to make their own way, not expecting actions from Institutes or Placement committee.


Thanks for bringing talking straight to the public. I am an IT professional who has worked on various intrapreneurship opportunities in my company and created teams from scratch. I see the kind of work MBAs from top institutes do and people need to be made aware about the reality. Some of my friends who were doing very well in job went for MBA from some really good schools and are either jobless or have jobs that they find shitty!! It is time to think and act logical, friends ..Qualification is different from, yes run after education and knowledge, convert that to wisdom and reap the benfits including all the moolah but its new era where qualification does not pay until you have educated yourself well enough.


Poeple dont know that international placements at isB is not internaitonal at all. Only 8-10 students every year are placed internationally. ISB defines an international placement as one where an international manager comes for placement, and not when a student is actually offered international placement.


More than 100 people are yet to be placed at ISB as of today. Shameful. And still its a successful placement session for them. lol!


today was convocation at GLIM. Over 70 students out of 360 are not placed. These guys have borrowed huge money to pay the 15 lacs fees, and the interest charges are already mounting.
Students will need to be blamed for this., b'cause they dint do the home work, before they signed up.

Another lot of 360 students are in. AICTE approval is for just half this number. . The school doesn't have adequate teaching faculty. A course is taught in 3 days or 4 days. Great learning.

The so called MBA sites like pagal guys are not to be trusted any longer as they are in arrangement with the schools.


What about business schools which show a long list of faculty as visiting faculty or foreign professors, who in reality have not even visited the campus, say during the last 3 years?? Should there not be a way to check this misuse of a faculty name, who possibly visited the campus some 4 years back, and is unlikely to come back and teach any longer in that business school???
Will you kindly on behalf of the students community and the interest of the visiting professors and faculty, take up with AICTE to ensure that faculty who have not taught or visited the campus in the last 2 years are no longer shown as visiting faculty.

Also, it is not the faculty who matters to the school, but their affiliation and education. , because this is what attracts the potential applicants.

This practice is rampant in second grade private business schools, including in some of the big names you referred to.

Sayan Dutta

ISB is a sham! Even their own alums admit that. ISB doesn't publish it, but its a common knowledge that every year about 15% students go unplaced at ISB. And about 60% of people who are placed, take back office jobs. So much for 25 lakhs, not sure how do dean of ISB live. I am sure they have sold their soul to money.


For those talking about ISB, there are the top 30% who will get great profiles and go into top jobs that are not even on the table at other colleges. Look at the top consulting and tech companies and ask the HR where they find their top talent from. Finance is a different story simply because fin companies prefer freshers.

And yes there are people who go unplaced and people move jobs because they get placed in companies they don't like. That happens not just in ISB but in every other college.

The hard truth is that in no college does everyone get the salaries that you see in the media. Just an MBA from a top college doesn't mean everything will be rosy in your career. Neither it means a high salary immediately afterwards. Guys, there is a normal curve to everything in life and there is one in B school also. Not everyone is above the mean. And if there are outliers on the plus side (the dollar crore salary), there are outliers on the other side of the curve also (Those who go unplaced).


ISB_Alum: Who told you finance firms prefer freshers? I am in finance field for last 4 years, and finance firms prefer talented people who have already worked in finance. If finance firms prefered freshers, what abt placements at Harvard, Wharton, NYU Stern? Even at IIMs, generally people with 2 year experience get placed in finance jobs. How many ISB students are from IIT top 100? Not even a single one every year. How many IIM students were among top 100 every year? More than 30-40. You see, it's about talent.


If this is the current scenario, then it is truly an achievement from ISB's part that the number of offers have soared by 21 % this year. I understand that this is due to a huge batch size but in this market if 798 offers were made on campus then it is a huge feat. On the other hand, we are seeing IIM's are struggling to place 450 odd people. ISB has also declared that the average package is 18 lacs which again is something o be proud of in this global scenario. But what remains to be seen is this the true picture or it is again a report designed to deceive us. Can somebody throw some light and help us to know the truth.