The rising skepticism towards start-ups on engineering and management campuses has spread to private institutes, which have decided to scrutinise them during placements based on financial indicators, job roles, career growth, learning opportunity, alumni feedback and past relationships.
Startups have been in the news for reneging on job offers at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), which have reacted strongly. The all-IIT Placement Council, the panel responsible for campus hiring across the IITs, blacklisted 31 start-ups last month.
Still, the real worry for these start-ups may be the private institutes, which, taking a cue from the IITs and IIMs, have tightened the recruitment norms for campus placements this season.
There is much more placement action for start-ups at the private institutes. Only a handful of aspirants make it to the IITs and the IIMs, and the private institutes hold a far larger number of engineering and management graduates. All the 23 IITs together have 10,572 seats and the 19 IIMs 3,700.
There are 4,695 private engineering institutes with a combined capacity of 2,630,705, and, 3,231 private management institutes that can take in 414,055. The solace for the recruiters is that most of the private institutes do not plan to blacklist any startup this year.
“If a recruiter has had issues on our campus or other campuses, the recruiting company will not be favoured by students,” says Rajiv Misra, the head of placements at XLRI Jamshedpur. “We are not blacklisting any startup or any other company.”
Siddharth Deshmukh, who is the point person for companies at MICA, Ahmedabad, says the institute will look harder at a startup’s funding, stability, management team, and its growth in at least the previous two years. Some of it can be derived from the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and press reports.
At S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, a few students were victim of deferred placements last year. “We will reach out to our alumni in startups and invite companies for internships and interactions with students,” says professor Abbasali Gabula, who heads external relations and administration at the institute.