The club class was missing. Instead of Day Zero's star regulars, Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, IIM-A set date with the second-best, consulting firms such as Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Co, Bain and Co, AT Kearney and Booz Hamilton. India's top B-School, Indian Institute Of Management-Ahmedabad, which started its placement season last week, saw i-banks leaving the turf to top consultancy firms, indicating a clear change in the pecking order in troubled times.
The numbers, too, were not encouraging. Against last year's 25, the first day, reserved for the elite lot of recruiters, saw less than 10 companies coming in to scoop the country's top business grads. the day also marked an end to the five-year bull run at the IIM-A, where record salaries were offered year after year; last year a graduate from the institute was offered INR 1.44 crore by an i-bank.
This year, although i-banks did not make it to the first day of the placement, they did keep their crore-plus offers, but only to a select few pre-placement offers for those who interned with them. So far, three students are learnt to have been offered INR 1 crore and above salaries by global i-banks. Although, official information will be provided only towards the end of the placement season, this year, no one on the campus is flaunting multiple offers. For, there may be none. Also going mute are the talks of crore-plus (INR) salary figures, once a folklore of the institute. Sample this, nearly 17 students were recruited by the erstwhile Lehman Brothers for internship opportunities during last summer. With the bank sinking in the current recession, all 17 students have been left with no pre-placement offers, ready to battle it out in a highly-competitive pool.