Friday, 17 October 2014

IIT Placement

Startups to hire most freshers at IITs this placement season.

MUMBAI:   Flush with a record billion-dollars-plus raised during the first nine months of this year, dozens of startups are
making a beeline for IIT placement season set to kick off in December this year.
Already, the number of startups who have enrolled for the campus placement season this year has doubled or trebled at many IITs, according to campus sources.

For example, IIT Madras which had only seven startups last year, expects at least 30 to come calling this year. "Over 14 startups have already registered, out of which 11 will hire exclusively from us," Vishranth Suresh, academic affairs secretary, IIT Madras, said. Similarly, at IIT Kanpur, 35 startups have already registered for this placement season, with the final tally expected to cross 45. Only 24 visited the campus last year.

The presence of such a large number of cash-rich startups will cause a fierce talent war with well-known recruiters like Google, Oracle, Samsung, Schlumberger and Goldman Sachs for the best among the 9,000-plus students who will graduate from 16 IITs next year. Many startups are first-timers at the IIT placements. Two-to-four-year-old companies are offering Rs 12-15 lakh pay packages, on a par with salaries offered by core companies and IT firms, a placement coordinator at one of the older IITs said.

Campus and industry sources believe startups could upstage larger companies. "Startups are the ones providing problem-solving opportunities that can have an immediate impact to students early on in their career," Sandeep Murthy, partner at venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures, said.
"Till a couple of years ago, the pecking order for an IIT student was an MNC, then a product development company and finally, an IT firm. Now, because of the job exposure, competitive salary and challenging work environment, startups are on a par with MNCs," Sharad Sharma, angel investor and co-founder of iSpirt, a think tank for software product companies, added.

Students know MNCs consider a startup work experience favourably should they switch jobs later.
Zomato, Myntra, Wooqer, Housing. com, TinyOwl, Gram Power, Monraft, Browser Stack, Maxheap Technologies (Commonfloor), Rays Power Experts, Olacabs, Continuum Energy, Indus Insights, Red Bus and Hike are among the startups that have registered so far. Many of these have IIT alumni as founders or cofounders and recruiting from alma mater is part of their strategy.

"A major chunk of the recent startups are either tech-based or have an analytics-related work profile, and hence, engineering colleges seem to be the first choice," Mohak Mehta, placement manager for the placement cell of IIT Bombay, said.
"The 60 core firms are staple, but 30 startups will be the real gamechangers," said a senior placement team member of IIT Roorkee. From 15 new-age companies last year, this IIT plans to get 35 this year, while 22 have already registered.
"There has been a huge increase in student interest in joining startups," Aditya Jain, a fourth-year student of IIT Kanpur, who is also part of the placement team, said. "These startups provide a really good learning opportunity across domains; and in particular, serve as a great learning ground for those interested in launching their own ventures. It's good exposure and since many startups are scaling up so fast, the growth opportunity is that much more," he added.

Flipkart, one of the largest recruiters from campus last year, has registered itself under category of 'Private IT Company' in some of the IITs rather than as a startup.
"We expect to hire 50-100 people in the next six months, mostly on campus," Saurabh Sharma, cofounder and CEO of Gurgaonbased Big Data firm Indus Insights, a five-year-old firm, said.
In the first nine months of this year, 189 early-stage deals worth Rs 6,764 crore were struck. This is significantly higher than the deal flow for all of 2013, when there were 179 deals worth Rs 3,900 crore. All the money raised will come in handy as ammunition in the war for IIT talent this placement season.  

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