Economic Times Kolkata 07.06.11 P-9
New Management Accreditation Process

ANU BHAMBHANI
Speaking at a seminar organised by All India Management Association (AIMA), the apex body of professional management in India, and National Board of Accreditation (NBA) on New Management Accreditation Process at New Delhi yesterday, Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Government of India, said, "This meet is important in today's context as there is a tension between access to education and quality of the same in the Indian education system. There is a tsunami of people who want access to education, to knowledge. They are getting the same at a plethora of educational institutes across all levels, across the country. But whether these institutes are providing education at par with the global standards is something that needs to be ascertained." Sibal emphasised that while access to education at all levels is being facilitated by the presence of these institutes, another movement needs to be encouraged, that of ensuring quality which will ease and eventually remove tension between access and quality of education imparted. He emphasised that AIMA can work in this direction with its vast experience and being the professional management body in the country
The growing number of educational institutes in the country across all segments might be hailed as a sign of a growing economy, but to ensure that the prospective professional talent coming out of these institutes is up to mark, there needs be a system in place which can do a quality assessment of the same.
To oversee the growth of technical education and to evolve a mechanism for its quality assessment, the NBA has come out with the revised edition of the Manual for Accreditation of Business Schools in India. AIMA brought together experts from the industry to deliberate and discuss on the new   accreditation process being evolved for the  management  programmes. The minister also stressed upon the fact that the industry and academia must work together to ensure quality of the management professionals. "I am happy to see AIMA taking steps in this direction and I hope they continue to make efforts for the same," said he. Talking about the need to have a quality check in place, Gautam Thapar, President, AIMA and Chairman and CEO, The Avantha Group, shared, "Today, there is a question mark on the employability of most of the engineering and management graduates coming out of India's thousands of technical and management institutes. Also, the   disconnect between the education and the employer's needs is leading to severe frustration among India's educated youth. This has ominous social and political implications. This seminar is an effort from AIMA's side to facilitate the improvement of quality and relevance of management education in India."
Calling accreditation a must for quality education in India, BC Majumdar, Chairman, NBA, said that this assessment is important in the light of massive expansion of education in India. Seconding him on that, Dinesh Kumar  Paliwal, Member Secretary, NBA, stressed that the new draft will encourage industry and academia to work together. Vinayshil Gautam, Chairman, Management Accreditation Evaluation Committee, NBA, explained, "The draft report is an attempt to improve and align things to the contemporary situations. I am confident that AIMA can further the cause of quality education with its vast pool of resources." Assuring Sibal of AIMA's commitment to focus on quality management education, D Shivakumar, Vice President, AIMA and Managing Director and Vice President, Nokia India, emphasised, "AIMA will consider its role and share the responsibility in accreditation of business schools with all the horsepower it has. We will also make efforts to strengthen the link between industry and academia."

Economic Times ND 08.07.2011 P-10
India’s Biggest Recruiters

The placement season ended a while ago and the new joinees have even come on board at his bank. But K Ramkumar, group chief human resources officer at ICICI Bank, is still upset with one of the top B schools of the country - IIM Ahmedabad . So miffed has he been with the business school that he decided not to go to IIM Ahmedabad to recruit young managers from the class of 2011. "We have had a relationship with the IIMs for the last 30 years.  
During the current year, out of all the IIMs, we found IIM-A to be too full of themselves. We will not go to any campus that dictates terms to recruiters," Ramkumar declares, refusing to elaborate further. His resolve notwithstanding, ICICI Bank this year has emerged the top recruiter across B-schools , in terms of the number of students hired. The one marquee event that defines B-schools across the country - the final placement season - brings forth many recruiting trends, student preferences, new entrants and a constant buzz around salaries.
ET decided to look at one more aspect of the recruitment spectacle: the companies that hired in large numbers at the top B schools , including seven of the IIMs. The objective was to look at who had managed to snare the best and finest talent from India's top B schools . A couple of caveats though. We are talking about the big recruiters that hired in numbers and not about any pecking order . Also, we approached a large number of institutes and some of them declined to divulge the exact numbers. Some top-notch recruiters may have failed to make it to the list due to this, but those who did, showed us that the numbers do tell a story.

ON A ROLL
Placements 2011 was an extension of the happy sentiment of 2010. If 2010 was the return of top-notch jobs to campuses, 2011 was the time students were on a roll. Caution was thrown to the wind and the heady days of being courted by the Who's Who of India Inc were back. Says IIM Kozhikode  director Debashis  Chatterjee, "The number of offers at campuses was back to  2008 levels." Companies agree.
Priti Rajora, VP and head, global talent acquisition at Wipro Technologies , says: "We have been witnessing very strong economic growth indicators for the past several months. Due to positive changes in the demand side ecosystem and organic and inorganic growth and projections, our outlook for hiring in the current fiscal has been very optimistic." Ramkumar agrees. "It was a more confident year at the campus compared to the last two years," he says. This backdrop, however, ensured that placement this year was almost as much dictated by students as it was by recruiters. We give you a snapshot of who found favour with students, and what makes this set of companies tick.

WHAT STUDENTS WANT

"MBA institutes have failed the country and the students, in terms of helping them make informed choices," says Ramkumar. That worries him but still, ICICI Bank has had a single strategy for campus recruitment for the last 30 years. Started by KV Kamath - who is now the non-executive chairman of the bank - the strategy has been sharpened over the years. "We have never missed a year at the campus. In 2009, too, we were there," says Ramkumar.

That year was one of the worst in recent memory, in terms of placements. The meltdown that intensified with the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in September 2008, had stymied the initiation of young managers into corporate India. For ICICI Bank though, 2009 was still the year to pick up close to 1,900 candidates. This year, the bank has recruited 2,500 from B-schools across the spectrum; 95 are from the IIMs alone (except for IIM-A ). The HR head at Infosys, Nandita Gurjar, may just decide to disagree with Ramkumar on this one. Infosys is in the second spot on our recruiters list, and has hired more than 1,000 young managers from Bschools across tiers.
So confident is Gurjar of this generation of students , that she takes a long-term view when preparing for the future workplace. "Our campus experience shows that the present generation of students expects their jobs and careers to provide the necessary exposure and opportunity, not just pay," she says. What do students want from Infosys? Exposure and opportunities are more important to them than climbing the organisational ladder. They expect a highly technology-enabled workplace that promotes a collaborative , transparent and participative organisation culture; promotes innovation and rewards individual contribution, according to Gurjar.

RIDING GROWTH
FOR another top recruiter on our list, technology company Cognizant , talent acquisition is top-of the-mind . And   with good reason. The company recorded a 40.1% growth in the calendar year 2010. In the last three years, it has grown from more than 58,000 (as of March 31, 2008) to over 111,000 (March 31, 2011), in the number of employees. "We believe that our access to top talent has been a critical reason for our industry-leading growth. This campus season, the number of Day 1 slots for Cognizant was the highest in our history. This will play a significant role in driving our growth engine," says Shankar Srinivasan , the company's chief people officer.  
In terms of B school hires, the company focused on hiring people with at least four years of experience in the IT industry , or in industries it specialises in - financial services , healthcare, manufacturing, retail , telecommunications , media and entertainment. When you are in the middle of an intense war for talent, how do you keep ahead of the curve? One way could be to build a long-term relationship with academia. 'Going beyond recruitments' has been the philosophy of Cognizant. We believe in establishing long-term relationships with academia, and do not believe in a one-time , placements-driven interaction," says Srinivasan.

The long-term relationship includes measures such as formulating the curriculum and syllabi for several universities, initiating faculty development programmes on the latest trends in technology and business, getting alumni to act as campus ambassadors and spending some time on campus, sponsoring key activities. Cognizant also banks on its 'no service agreements or employee bonds' policy to attract campus talent . "Cognizant is an equal-opportunity employer and we also believe in the will to work. We want associates to stay, not because they 'have' to, but because they 'want' to," the chief people officer explains. Cognizant says it has 60 acceptances from the IIMs alone, this campus season. "Not just that, we were also a top recruiter in other top-tier B-schools , including ISB Hyderabad, where we had 20 offer acceptances," says Srinivasan.

The company also hired from top global schools, including SP Jain in Dubai and Singapore, the Rotterdam School of Management and Melbourne Business School. Another company that has its recruitment strategy riding on growth is Procter & Gamble (P&G ) India, one of our top recruiters. It was a year of firsts for the company. Double-digit growth over the last decade has made development of a leadership pipeline critical. The company posted an almost 100% increase in the number of final recruitments, and a 50% increase in the number of summer internships offered this year. "P&G's sustained and strong double-digit growth over the last decade has further strengthened our position as a leader in talent development. WE continue to lay emphasis on attracting , growing and retaining talent ," says Sonali Roychowdhury, head - human resources at P&G .

In 2010-11 , P&G went to 10 new B schools in addition to over 15 schools it visits regularly. Some of the institutes it regularly recruits from include six of the IIMs, XLRI Jamshedpur, NITIE, MICA, MDI Gurgaon, JBIMS Mumbai, IIT Delhi and the Delhi School of Economics . Of its total recruitments in 2010-11 , 13% were engineering and 87% management graduates. On its part Yes Bank, that has a flagship, lateral campus hiring strategy called the Yes Professional Entrepreneurship Program , has taken on board the highest number of Y-Peppers (as its calls it hires) in 2011. About 170 Y-Peppers joined the bank from the top B-schools and select foreign universities, and were placed across 22 business verticals. Deodutta Kurane, senior president for human capital management, says: "We saw students make their final decisions based on feedback received from alumnus already working at hiring companies, he says.