Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi (IIFT) recently released the placement report for the Class of 2014-2016 (Delhi and Calcutta) of its two-year management course (MBA-International Business). Since this course is pursued largely by recent graduates, a bulk of whom are placed in entry level roles upon graduation, the Rs 18 lakh average salary claimed by the B-School came as a surprise to many. An investigation by OneYearMBA revealed that the average salary figure is bloated by 15 international offers.
IIFT’s Class of 2016 placement report had jaws dropping everywhere. IIFT claimed students were placed at a Rs 18 lakh average salary and that four students got Rs 1 crore plus packages. The numbers seemed off because last year IIFT students had received a Rs 14.54 lakh average domestic compensation.
Questions sent to IIFT’s placement cell by OneYearMBA through e-mail uncovered the fact that the average salary has been calculated by averaging 15 international salary offers and 239 domestic salary offers.
When asked why IIFT had chosen to skirt the standard practice of separating international offers from domestic ones, an IIFT placement representative said, “Calculating average salaries on the basis of international and domestic salaries is a common practice and one that is also followed by IIM Indore, SP Jain..among others.”
SP Jain, Mumbai for one, publishes both domestic and international salaries separately and in fact shares an audited placement report in sync with Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS).
Separating foreign salaries from domestic offers is important in the Indian context due to the vast differences in cost of living.
A dollar abroad does not go as far as Rs 66 (the current exchange rate) go in India, which can skew student expectations on the kind of life they can expect after graduation.
The misleading average salary number was reported nationwide in leading dailies and magazines (see clipping from TOI on left) which would have sent the wrong message to many students.
B-Schools have been focusing on ethics recently and have included courses on ethics and corporate responsibility in their curriculum. It is odd then, when a B-School itself indulges in a practice which is not completely above the board.
This occurrence also throws light on the need for external auditing of placement reports.
IIM Ahmedabad initiated the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS) to make placement reports transparent. Till the end of academic year 2014-15, only nine institutes went for auditing their placement data with an independent third party auditor. For 2012-14 batch, only four business schools willed to audit their placement report
Here are the highlights of the 2016 placement as reported by IIFT:
- IIFT says 100% students were placed this year
- The highest domestic package has increased by 21% to Rs 29 lakh per annum
- The B-School was able to finish the placement of its largest-ever batch of 254 students within a week.
- International offers went up to 15 from 13 in the previous year. Among the top recruiters were Amazon, Cognizant Business Consulting, JP Morgan, State Bank of India, Goldman Sachs, Vodafone, IDFC Bank, Wipro, HCL, Citibank and ICICI Bank.
- One-fourth of the batch received pre-placement offers (PPOs), a 36% rise compared to last year.
- New recruiters included Nivea, Pernod Ricard, 3M, British Telecom, Tata Sky, Synergy Consulting, General Motors, TGI Group and IDFC Bank.
- Banking, financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector was the largest recruiter, hiring 25% of the batch.
Placement advisor Sanjay Verma was quoted by The Times of India as saying that International placements “remained firm with stupendous rise in offers across locations such as Tanzania, Nigeria, Middle East, Thailand and Hong Kong.
The offers came from Olam International, TGI Group, Bhatia Brothers, Bajaj Auto and Godrej among others. “IIFT reinforced its standing as the best trade school in Asia with roles offered by reputed trade recruiters like AluZinc Asia, Louis Dreyfus and Swiss Singapore,” he added.
Technology giants like Google, HP, SAP India, IBM, Hexaware and Adobe made their presence felt at IIFT.
The e-Commerce sector, too, hired aggressively from IIFT. Few of the larger recruiters included Flipkart, Amazon, ShopClues, CarDekho, Bluestone and Play games24x7.
(with inputs from Times of India, cover image courtesy Peoplematters)