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Indian B-schools look at tough recruiting season

business Updated: Feb 19, 2009 22:16 IST
Ruchi Hajela
Ruchi Hajela
Hindustan Times
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Leading business schools in India might have to deal with a difficult placement season, if the amendments for stricter H-1B norms proposed by the US government are passed.

According to recommendations proposed by Senators Chuck Grassley and Bernie Sanders, firms receiving taxpayer money in the US bailout could face tough restrictions if they decide to hire foreigners under the H-1B visa category for highly-skilled workers.

Banking institutions such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Merrill Lynch & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley, that have been amongst the top recruiters at institutions like Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) in the past, are now on the bailout list.

“The restrictions do mean it would get tougher for Indians in general to get placed in the US,” said Vivek Jain, member, Students’ Placement Cell at IIM Ahmedabad. “However, these firms are all long-time recruitment partners of IIM-A and have several alumni working in senior positions. With a reputation built on intellectual calibre of our students, we do not see too much difference in the pattern of recruitment from our campus by these firms.”

“Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch had already given out offers for summer placements during November last year,” Paul N Savio, external relations secretary at IIM Kolkata told Hindustan Times. “The summer training starts in April and none of the offers have been withdrawn yet.”

The impact of the global slowdown and the US move on visa curbs will be known only during the final placements.

“However, we do not yet know whether these financial firms will be recruiting during the final placements at all considering the economic situation,” Savio said.

Last year, the financial sector placed a total of 95 offers, the second highest after the consulting sector which made the maximum offers at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

But things might be a bit different in a post-Wall Street Crisis world. “As it is, placements are difficult this time, as the job market is bad all-around, not just for us but for everyone. Already there is a lottery system for H-1B visas and stricter norms will have impact,” said a senior ISB official, who did not wish to be identified.

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