Students get placements for summer but slowing demand spells trouble

As chairman of placements at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Sourav Mukherji hasn't worked so long and hard in recent memory. Offers from the finance sector have taken a hit at IIM-B. Hemant Mishra / Mint Prof. Mukherji's eventual job is to find jobs for the MBA class graduating in 2010. So, instead of 60 prospective employers that were invited in 2007, he invited 200 to the campus in November for summer internship opportunities. His tactic seems to have paid off as the visits, which concluded on Saturday, yielded 100% placements. 'At a time of economic slowdown, companies have more rigorous selection criteria and have raised their bars,' says the professor. 'The anticipated need for every company has visibly gone down. For a batch of 262, 100 companies placed offers, while last year, our batch of 240 needed just 60 companies to be placed.'

Still, even as more companies visited the campus, the average number of offers made by each one declined from four per company to 2.5. Mukherji says many regular recruiters skipped IIM-B this year because of cost-cutting measures and a freeze on recruitments. 'We did expect this, so 50 of the 100 companies that placed offers were first-timers on the campus,' he explains. It isn't just IIM-B. This scenario has played out across all IIMs, India's best management institutes that conducted summer placements this year. At IIM Ahmedabad, where summer placements are still on, officials say they expect a repeat of the Bangalore experience. At other IIMs

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