Deutsche Bank is the top paymaster at this year’s campus recruitment at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, keeping a record it set in 2010. The investment banking unit will pay the equivalent of Rs 1.3-1.5 crore ($285,000-330,000) as annual salary to a student it is hiring for its London office, campus sources said. The sum includes an annual bonus as well a variable that will depend on the individual’s performance and market conditions. Last year, Deutsche Bank was reputed to have topped the pay charts with a package of Rs 1.44 crore, but this was hotly contested by IIM-A, which described the media reports as incorrect and exaggerated. Other foreign banks and financial firms such as Morgan Stanley, UBS and Nomura are said to be paying Rs 1-1.3 crore, with pay packages at overseas locations easily topping Rs 1 crore. “Most of the investment banks offer identical packages to IIMs.
But at times, Ahmedabad graduates command a higher package because they have better industry experience,” said an IIM-A alumnus who is now a financial services adviser. B-schools do not disclose the salaries their students are offered during campus placement, but IIM-A, a 50-year institute regarded as one of the finest in the world, will break the tradition this year. It plans to reveal the highest, lowest and average salary figures at the end of the placement process. IIM-A says it wants a standard method for pay calculation across B-schools and end attempts by institutes to show inflated salary packages. Salaries offered by investment banks typically consist of two portions — a base salary and bonus. An ex-IIM-A student said the bonus could be equal to the base salary. So, if the base salary is Rs 70 lakh, the total package could be around Rs 1.4 crore in a good year. Placements at IIM-A have entered the third week and so far close to 60 companies have hired nearly half of the 314-strong batch. Among those who have made job offers are The Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, JPMorgan, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, EXL Services and Reliance Industries. Other than these, pre-placement offers have been made to those who interned with the companies. Placements at IIM, Calcutta, will start on March 3 and at IIM, Bangalore, from March 5. Students who offered to have themselves hired on campus described this year as one of the best, with companies offering salaries up to 20% higher than last year. As part of efforts towards more transparency, IIM-A will announce segregated fixed and variable portions of salary and also appoint auditors to demystify pay packages. This will also help students understand their salaries better and restrict competing B-schools from quoting exaggerated figures. IIM-A, which started its placement process on February 12, has started a ‘cohort-based’ system where companies from similar sectors are grouped together to provide a level playing field to recruiters. Further, cohorts from diverse sectors offering similar roles and opportunities come under one cluster. The first cluster consisted of four cohorts — international investment banks, global strategy consulting firms, global niche consulting providers and private equity/venture capital firms. The Boston Consulting Group has made 11 offers and McKinsey 10, including pre-placement offers. US-based IT company EXL and consumer products firm P&G have hired 10 graduates each. In 2009, after the global financial meltdown, investment banks stayed away from B-school campuses while nationalised banks hired aggressively. The average domestic salary at IIM-A declined to Rs 12.17 lakh from Rs 17.85 lakh a year ago. The average pay package for an overseas posting fell to Rs 41.5 lakh from Rs 60 lakh. Last year, the average domestic salary for an IIM-A student was Rs 14.94 lakh, falling below Rs 15.32 lakh at IIM-C. In 2007, 47% of the jobs went to the finance sector, but only 27% last year. This year, the sector is expected to perform better. “Aggressive hiring by investment banks is a reflection of the world economy. India is among the fastest-growing markets and investment banks want to establish their strong presence in the country. Also, the kind of talent we get from premier B-schools in India is the best in the world and encourages aggressive hiring,” said a senior Citibank official.