New IIMs find little favour with top consulting firms

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 22:30 hrs

Asit Dogra quit his two-year-old job at a Mumbai broking firm to join the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Raipur. His aim: Joining a top consulting firm after an IIM degree. But, with these consulting firms continuing to evade the new IIMs, Dogra is considering an alternative job option.

“I thought an IIM would give me the right platform to make a jump, but in vain. We have been trying very hard to get the top consulting firms like Mckinsey and Boston Consulting Group on campus for placements but have not been successful so far. So many students who wished to join consulting have decided otherwise now,” says Dogra.

A placement committee member at IIM Raipur confirms the B-school has been trying to invite more consulting firms on campus this year but, being a new IIM, it has become difficult to attract them. “We are in constant touch with the HR department of these companies but the results are not very encouraging,” he said.

  • McKinsey, BCG and Bain & Company are known as the super consulting firms
  • Joining consulting firms is considered a big career move by students
  • Except for one or two, most consulting firms have preferred recruiting from the older IIMs
  • To engage consulting firms regularly, B-schools have initiated various academic partnerships with those

McKinsey and Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company — known as the super consulting firms — are the most wanted on campuses. These, however, recruit only from the Indian School of Business and top-three IIMs — Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. Following on the list of top consulting firms are AT Kearny, Booz and Company, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte.

Last placement season, BCG hired 17 students from IIM-A. At IIM-C, Deloitte, Accenture, Capgemini, CTS, PwC, and BMGI accounted for a significant portion of the placement pie, with 26.80 per cent of the offers.

Barring Ernst & Young and KPMG, consulting firms have not shown much interest in recruiting from the newer IIMs. An email sent to Mckinsey and Company, BCG and E&Y remained unanswered.

IIM Rohtak shares IIM Raipur’s concern. In 2012, among top consulting firms, only E&Y offered a consulting profile in the business advisory domain to an IIM Rohtak student according to the institute’s website.

“Nearly 50 per cent of our batch size has work experience of over two years. We are in constant touch with top consulting firms, trying to convince our students are doing very well and that student profile at our institutes is similar to that of the older IIMs,” said Akash Garg from IIM Rohtak’s placement cell.

IIM Rohtak, with a better batch profile this time to be placed, says students on campus are either looking forward to going back to their specific work profile or join consulting firms, pushing the demand for consulting jobs.

In addition to the crore-plus packages that consulting firms dole out, the aura attached to a consulting job makes it irresistible.

Placement heads say even if a student spends two-three years at a strategy consulting firm, his exit options are strong. Not to mention the networking opportunity the job allows.

“A consulting job is considered an extension of what one learns in the B-school environment — involving similar research and reading,” says an ex-placement head at one of the IIMs.

P Thiruvengadam, senior director (human capital), Deloitte, says: “We visit a mix of campuses and look for reasonably good talent. We recruit on the basis of our regular interactions with B-schools and evaluate them on their curriculum, quality of faculty, research work, engagement activities, ongoing connect programmes, etc.”

Godwin Tennyson, assistant professor and chairperson, placement and external relations, IIM Trichy, says student-quality-wise the new IIMs are nowhere inferior. It is only the legacy the older IIMs have with consulting firms that helps them bag plum job offers.

“Consulting firms’ requirements for niche profiles is limited. Besides, they have a relationship with the older IIMs and thus they recruit from those. We, however, are in constant discussion with consulting firms and will invite them for placements,” adds Tennyson.

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