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Boomtime for BPOs, institutes

BPOs have set up kiosks outside colleges offering sops that students just can?t refuse, writes Sidhartha Roy.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 10:52 IST

From bantawallahs to your friendly neighbourhood grocer, everyone is an admissions expert during this time of the year. There is professional help too. Coaching institutes, professional training institutes, BPOs and academic consultants, all of them have set up kiosks outside colleges offering sops that you just can’t refuse.

An airhostess-training institute has put up a kiosk just outside Gargi College. You just can’t miss them thanks to the their immaculate attire. They would throw at you all kinds of offers like a promising career, foreign trips and an attractive package. There are very little chances of getting away. Chances are that you might miss on some crucial time at the forms counter at Gargi thanks to the institute’s aggressive marketing technique.

Of course there a few decent non-intrusive institutes outside the college who preferred to wait for interested students to turn up at their kiosks set up outside the college. Trouble apart most of these institutes are turning out to be quite helpful for students who want to have something extra than just a plain bachelors degree. There is plenty to choose from and these courses are quite handy in the long run. There are many BPOs who are offering special incentives to students while studying with flexible timings so that they can earn while they learn. For them, this is best opportunity to sign up students right at the time admission.

The system has turned out to be a huge success that explains the rising number of kiosks with every academic session. In South Campus, there are many students who are signing up for such courses. Kiosks outside Venkateshwara and Deshbandhu are a huge hit.

From brochures, huge billboards and direct selling methods, these institutes are trying everything to gain maximum mileage from the admission rush. At North Campus, it’s a rush job. The list also includes software companies and BPOs. One BPO put up two kiosks inside the Kirori Mal College lawns with permission from the authorities of course.

Agents from many professional institutes were seen handing students pamphlets elaborating on the different choices available. In fact, at one point of time there were more sales representatives than students at Gargi College. “We have the best faculty to coach you for the CAT, they are the alumni of the best business schools of the country,” and executive told a student. She then asked him to fill in his details in the institute form even as he struggled to collect his pre-admission form.

Some representatives were offering students foreign options. Then there were others who were distributing leaflets advertising paying guest accommodations.

“I have to go visit another college after this and am already getting late, it is very disturbing when so many people bombard you with pamphlets and advice at such time,” said Sonal Arora, a student. But not many agreed with her. “Students want to pursue such courses along with college studies these days, if you get information about professional training institutes without visiting their offices, what is the harm?” said Rakesh Verma, a parent.