NEW DELHI: IIMs across the country have reported up to a 25% increase in salaries offered to experienced professionals this year. The highest salary in the lateral placements process so far this year is Rs 70 lakh ($150, 000), offered to a student at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K), by commodities trading company Olam International.
Olam has also offered this salary to students at IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT). In some cases, lateral placements, which mark the beginning of the placements process at IIMs every year, have also reported up to 75% increase in the number of offers this year, over 2010.
Although the older IIMs — including the top three of Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta — declined to share figures, the biggest gainers as of now appear to be the new institutes. IIM-K, for instance, has reported an increase of 20-25% in the average salary being offered by companies across sectors such as consulting, FMCG, financial services and IT.
The highest domestic package on offer is Rs 30 lakh, up from Rs 28 lakh last year, while the highest international package is Rs 70 lakh. Several firms such as Fujitsu, Lenovo, Thomas Cook, SunTec, EXL and the Manipal Group have offered senior managerial positions to candidates with as little as three years of experience.
"With the economy looking up, placement offers have been much better this year, " IIM-K Placements Committee Member Nikhil Rawat said. "Students have been able to secure profiles of their choice, and salaries have been significantly higher." ICICI Bank and Deloitte Consulting have hired 16 students each from IIM-K this year, while Cognizant Business Consulting has picked up 13.
Deloitte's Chief People Officer Dhananjay Bansod said the company is offering 10-15% higher salaries at the IIMs this year, which works out to anywhere between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 13 lakh. The firm is looking to increase its manpower to 15, 000 this year, about 3, 000 more than the March 2010 headcount. "We expect a growth rate of 15% in India this financial year, " he added.
"This year 85% of the companies will be hiring fresh, according to our survey. This means there is a renewed competition amongst companies to get the best of talent from across institutes, on the back of a revived economy.
They have to even compete with international companies for candidates. It's natural for them to offer competitive such salaries, " says Shamita Chatterjee, business leader, information products and solutions, Mercer India.
IIM-Indore has seen a 10-25% rise in salaries for experienced candidates this year, with pay packets ranging between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.
Consulting and IT have been major recruiters with firms such as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PwC, Cognizant Business Consulting, Infosys, Wipro Consulting, HCL and TCS picking up candidates. Besides these, companies such as Reliance Power, L&T, RIL and Adani Group have also recruited from IIM, Indore.
Salaries across IIMs had plunged by 25-30% after the global economic crisis hit the world in 2008-09. However, 2009-10 onwards, salaries started recovering by 10-20%.
At IIM-K, for instance, average salary in 2007-08 was Rs 14.83 lakh, which fell to Rs 10.19 lakh in 2008-09 and rose to about Rs 12 lakh in 2009-10.
IIM-Calcutta, which is just a month into the process, has already received 225 offers, including pre-placement ones. This is an increase of 75% from last year. "With more than 50 firms participating in the process this year, international companies such as Barclays, Olam International, McKinsey & Co, BCG, Bain & Co, AT Kearney, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have notched up an unprecedented number of hires.
Some of them had hired very few people, or given the institutes a complete miss during the slowdown, " said IIM-C External Relations Secretary Abhijeet Kamath.
IIM-Bangalore, with a batch size of 348, has already received 96 offers from 31 companies. IIM-B career development services head Sapna Agarwal cautioned that though the number of lateral offers is higher this time than during the corresponding period last year, this could also be because of a larger batch size.