(Update: This article was published in May 2011 based on Karan Maroo's interpretation of placements across campuses. Do note that InsideIIM does not endorse the categorization and it is the personal view of the author which is also subject to change.)
It’s that time of the year when you have to choose between various B-Schools, take decisions and decide on your future. It’s not an easy time, information is sometimes hazy and this post looks to give you a perspective from the placements point of view.
For ease of categorization, I’ve categorized campuses into
Category A+: IIMs A, B, C
Category A-: IIM L, XLRI
Category B: IIMs I, K , FMS, MDI, SP Jain, JBIMS
Now, I’d try and address jobs, profile wise.
Capital Markets: Capital markets are the market for securities, and this includes the much coveted Investment Banking. When I first tried comparing the reports of IIMI and A+ institutes, I could find a lot of names like JPMC, Deutsche, Goldman Sachs common in the two reports. However, its only when you get into the institute do you realize that there is a huge difference between the profiles being offered. Most companies offer front-end profiles at Category A+ institutes, and a few of them at A- institutes. However, the profiles offered at B institutes are what are known as support to front end. Now, front end is a controversial term, but broadly- it refers to interacting with clients and hence, often being responsible for bringing business to the organization as well. Support to front end is a profile which is responsible for doing all the numbers, reports etc related to business and involves little, if any interaction with clients. Moving from this profile to the front end typically takes 3-5 years. The moolah, of course is truly raked in at the front end.
The other profiles offered in capital markets are investment management, private equity, mutual funds etc which are typically known as the buy-side profiles (Because it involves buying assets and securities). These profiles are extremely coveted, and are generally offered only at A category institutions. There are exceptions though, and the offering of buy side profiles in a campus is often a benchmark of how it’s matured in placements.
Banking: Banking includes corporate and retail banking, and these are generally client-facing roles. Companies like HSBC, Standard Chartered, CitiBank etc offer these profiles at A and B institutes. These profiles pay less than front end capital market roles, but are prestigious, nevertheless.
Corporate Finance: The term is self explanatory, and involves handling the finances of a company, including M&As. These profiles are good, but not too many of them are on offer every year. The money is not great, but the learning is huge.
FMCG S&M: Most companies offer sales & marketing as a profile, there are exceptions like P&G though. P&G offers its Marketing profile only in A level institutes. Other FMCG companies generally do not distinguish between A and B level institutes. However, if x number of companies visit B, 1.5x visit A- and 2x visit A+. The good thing about these companies is that they treat campuses on par, when it comes to profiles.
B2B Marketing: For those who’re interested in marketing to business, this is the place to be in. The good thing, again, about these profiles is that they do not distinguish between A and B institutes. Leading companies in this field are Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Essar, JSPL, Suzlon, Bajaj Auto etc. However, these profiles are not very high paying for Management Trainees.
Tier-1 firms: If you want to get into a tier 1 firm, A+ is the place to be. Most firms visit A+ institutes, few of them visit A- and a couple of them visit B. The leading consulting firm, McKinsey, which is claimed in many of the reports of A- and B institutes, only does a batch day there- it means that it selects a few students (sometimes only 1 or none) from the applicants from XLRI,Indore,Kozhikode,FMS,JBIMS,SP Jain etc all put together. To put this in perspective, it might pick up ten students each from A, B and C. Of late, of course, firms like BCG have started visiting L, XL and I but the number they pick from these institutes is still not very high.
Note: A firm like BCG took 17 years to start visiting Lucknow, but just 12 years to visit Indore. This shows that demand in the market for MBAs is only increasing dramatically, and is a pointer towards things to come. Who knows, you might have consulting firms visiting campuses like Ranchi, Raipur and the like in five years time.
Tier-2 firms: There are a few tier two consulting firms like Deloitte, PWC, Accenture, KPMG etc visiting A- and B as well, but if you want to have a shot at all of these firms, A+ is the place to be. Some of these firms are also known to discriminate in the compensation offered at different institutes.
General management: GM profiles offered by TAS and Aditya Birla Group are some of the most coveted rotational programs, and are generally offered only at A+ and A- (TAS is also offered at SPJIMR,FMS). M&M covers some of the B campuses as well (IIM I,K,SPJIMR,FMS)
There are specialized consulting firms visiting A and B campuses, but for these it’s better to look at the campuses individually.
Most IT/ITes/IT Consulting firms visit A and B campuses alike. However, when it comes to giants like Google, Amazon, Cisco- they visit just the A+ campuses. Firms like Microsoft offer different profiles across A and B campuses.
It is the point of view of a few of us that the gulf between A- and B is not as high as A+ and A-. This should be kept in mind while choosing B schools, and the decision of “Should I give CAT again?”. Also, one should carefully think about the kind of job profile he/she wants post an MBA and decide on whether a particular B school is good enough for them or not. I hope this article takes a step forward in addressing that.
- Karan Maroo
(The author is an alumnus of IIM Indore - Class of 2011 and of IIIT-Hyderabad - Class of 2009. He was the winner of 'Aswamedha 2010' - One of IIM Indore's flagship events. He will work with Standard Chartered Bank and was the member of the Placement Committee of IIM Indore)