ISB Placements 2015 : Consulting and Tech Dominate

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Achche din have certainly arrived at the ISB campus in 2015. For the Co2015, ISB reported interim placements figures that indicate a whopping jump of 77 percent over corresponding figures last year. This should bring glad tidings to those who are considering the school in the near future. While the number of offers per se is not a guarantee of substantially better placements, it does certainly indicate rising demand for ISB graduates. This will no doubt help the school in the rankings (ranked 33 this year in the FT ranking after being ranked 34 last year. ISB’s best rank in the same ranking has been 12 in 2010), besides of course giving its graduates a wider spectrum of more post-MBA options.

NOTE: This article is about ISB Placements 2015. To instead read the article on ISB Placements 2016, click here

ISB placements 2015 continue to be dominated by consulting and by technology

In our analysis last year at this time, we had pointed out that consulting and technology were top draws at ISB and constituted a bulk of placements for the class. That trend certainly continues this year, but with two key differences.

The first is that the quality of consulting placements at ISB remains consistently strong. By quality, we do not refer just to the average salaries being offered, but also to the kind of firms recruiting. All the big names are there – McKinsey, Deloitte, KPMG, Accenture, Parthenon, and Oliver Wyman.

Booz, BCG, and AT Kearney are some big names missing so far, but they might get added by the time final placements conclude. As the placement report mentions, firms like Deloitte are even recruiting 30-40 students, which is certainly a positive sign.

The second factor of note is that in technology placements, the share of e-commerce firms continues to rise. As e-commerce as a sector grows, it will offer exciting new opportunities, and it is great to see roles in operations, strategy, and marketing being offered by such firms at ISB.

Last year (2014) these firms had made 81 offers at ISB, and this year the figure should definitely exceed a 100. This also gives students interested in technology/IT careers a somewhat different option than roles with traditional IT firms.

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Greater thrust on international offers at ISB placements 2015

For a while now, ISB has been trying to acquire a more international character, both by bringing in more international students at the time of admissions as well as by trying to get more international offers for students at the time of placements.

While the former is an area that has yet to show big results, the latter seems to be providing more reason for cheer. Wisely, ISB seems to be focusing more on helping its students bag offers to work in emerging economies.

Not only do these offer more jobs and higher potential for growth, ISB’s reach in these markets is also likely to be stronger. Singapore, China, the Middle East, and Africa are some such emerging locations where ISB graduates are exploring new opportunities.

African firms have in fact participated in the ISB placement process for the first time. Going forward, this will be really important as ISB tries to establish itself as at least a pan-Asian, if not a global, powerhouse.

Way to go? Some of our thoughts

As ISB stabilizes its batch of ~760 students and its twin-campus model, there is no doubt cause for celebration as placements grow year on year.

However, there are also areas that the ISB should continue to focus on as it grows as not just an Indian but an Asian and a top global school. We have earlier said that ISB continues to have outstanding potential, and it is perhaps a matter of time before the school once again ascends into the global top 20 and higher. Some things the school needs to focus on:

– Placements in areas like Operations and Finance still remain relatively weaker. Both Finance and Technology (non-consulting) placements have declined steadily over the last 4-5 years, while Operations has grown very slowly. Perhaps this is why ISB is levying special focus on the Operations area through a new dedicated program launched recently.

– With time, ISB will need to have higher number of entrepreneurs graduating, and perhaps report separate statistics on that as well. This is not something that ISB is specifically weak at, but gaining strength here will tremendously help the school

– Of course, international placements, a more global class composition, and more focus on emerging areas like Analytics will also be helpful. Not just the variety of locations, but the number of placements in international locations too needs to rise.

ISB is truly unique in its character and composition even more than a decade after its formation and it needs to reflect that more closely in both its class composition and its placements.

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