India under lockdown: Job offers in hand, IIM & IIT grads stare at hazy future

KOLKATA |NEW DELHI: Weeks, and in some cases months, after landing lucrative offers on campus, students of the elite Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management are suddenly looking at an uncertain future ahead. Institutes say while most companies till now have assured them about honouring job commitments and are looking at options like virtual onboarding or even moving foreign jobs to Indian locations temporarily, matters may take a more serious turn should the lockdown get extended.

Placement cells across top IITs and IIMs that ET spoke to said they are apprehensive that fallout could include postponement of joining dates, cut in salaries or in the worst-case scenario, even job offers being revoked. So far though, placement sources say, only Gartner, an US-headquartered research and advisory firm has revoked offers, but institutes are working on back-up plans.

Gartner did not reply to email queries sent by ET.

IIMs at Bangalore, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad and Indore among others said most companies so far have reassured them that offers would be honoured. “Even some companies with data privacy issues have agreed to get laptops couriered across; that will be done once the lockdown is lifted. We have even had a few big consulting firms offer to help students who might find themselves at a loose end,” says U Dinesh Kumar, chair, career development services, IIM Bangalore.

Some companies have said they will try out work from home; some in the BFSI space have moved their positions back to India temporarily. Many are trying to onboard new hires virtually.

“We also understand the plight of companies considering the uncertainty now… there could be some delays too,” said a placement official at IIM Indore.

At some IIMs that ET spoke to, some students are expecting more companies, apart from Gartner, to revoke offers.

“Many companies have communicated that they will honour the offers but have asked for some time,” said Amit Karna,chair of placements committee at IIM Ahmedabad. IIM Kozhikode director Debashis Chatterjee says he does not expect to see a drastic shift in placements that have already happened. “Some offers may be deferred. But the planning for upcoming placements will be very different as jobs will shrink,” he said.

While IIM Kozhikode, among others is in multiple scenario planning mode, IITs too are considering special placement drives in July/August for students who may have their offers revoked. IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao recently shared a post on LinkedIn requesting corporates to be considerate while thinking of withdrawing job offers already made.

IIT Madras is trying to place students whose offers have been revoked by one company in other firms, said an institute placement source. Another old IIT confirmed that it would be reaching out to alumni and companies from lessaffected sectors to place students who may be left without a job.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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