The majority of B-schools across India, including the new IIMs, boast 100% placement claims to attract students. However, the scenario is different at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), which hasn’t been reporting 100% placement since 2014 for its one-year Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX).
IIMA has set a rare example by being transparent about its placement data instead of misleading admissions seekers with unrealistic expectations. Refreshingly, the institute admitted it had been focusing on making students job fit instead of guaranteeing employment.
In the 2023 placement season, too, two students did not find the ‘right fit’ even after being trained at one of India’s top-most B-schools. They remained ‘unplaced’ as the institute noted in its recently released audited placement report, the Indian Placement Reporting Standard (IPRS).
The report mentioned the unplaced students, apart from 10 others who opted out of the campus placements in 2023.
The case is not unique to the PGPX According to the IPRS, two students in 2022, three in 2021, five in 2020, three in 2019, four in 2018, twelve in 2017, six in 2016, 11 in 2015, and seven in 2014 remained unplaced. Again, the number of unplaced students excludes those who opted out of the campus placements.
Those who worked closely with IIMA’s placement team said even the class-toppers remain ‘unplaced’.
“It’s because of the expectations gap on both sides be it students or the corporate employers. Students consider role, salary and location as the three important criteria. They don’t consider the job if there’s a mismatch among the three. Similarly, if students fall short of recruiters’ expectations, they remain unplaced,” an official, who didn’t want to be named, revealed to a media house.
Educators have said IIMA doesn’t insist on a 100% placement record but focuses on making students employable.
“Students are sensitised about the same. What is important is they get the right kind of employer, salary, and profile. IIMA keeps data-sharing transparent and mentions unplaced students and those who opted out,” one educator said.
Professor Ankur Sinha, Chairperson, Placements, IIMA, was quoted as saying, “IIMA PGPX is a programme designed for high-calibre, aspirational, working professionals who join the programme to pursue their personal goals for career growth and change. The main purpose at the placements office is to help in finding the ‘right fit’ for students as well as recruiters, which aligns with their respective aspirations.”
He added, “This core objective has helped in ensuring excellent placements year after year and recruiters continuing to hire our students for their talent requirements. The data mentioned in the IPRS report is the status of the placement figures at the time of the report’s finalisation.”