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Eighteen IIM-A graduates reject foreign shores for India

Is India shining? You bet it is. As many as 18 students of the country’s topmost B-school, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, have rejected international job offers and taken up appointments in India at salaries that are one-fifth of those offered by international firms.

The reason? “The action is here. This is the right time to be in India. The opportunities lie here,” the enthusiastic lot told DNA on Monday.

The campus placements at IIM-A concluded on Sunday, a day ahead of schedule as all students had been placed by the second day itself.

Seventy per cent of the total 241 students were placed in India and 30 per cent took up overseas appointments. Six students dropped out of the final placement process to start their own ventures in India. “We are convinced that we will do as well if not better than our peers abroad. India surely has what it takes to be in the global league,” said the duo Vineed Ladia and Aravind Venkatraman, who want to open an education services company in Ahmedabad in partnership.

UK-based Barclays Bank, which offered the highest salary of $185,000, picked up three students from IIM-A — Siddharth Mehla, Mayank Navlakha and Mayank Ahuja. While Mayank and Siddharth will be based in Singapore, Manan may be in London or New York.

IIM-A director Bakul Dholakia seemed to be stuck between a rock and a hard place when the media cornered him over his announcement that Manan’s pay packet had not been finalised yet and may be higher than $185,000 — insinuating that IIM, Bangalore may not have beaten IIM-A to the top slot. Dholakia manoeuvred his way through with the standard ‘no comments’.

Siddharth, Mayank and Manan, all from middle class families, are thrilled with their job offers. But Prabhjeet Singh, who rejected a $110,000 offer from London-based Lehman Brothers for a Rs14 lakh consultancy job with McKinsey in Delhi, is equally excited about kickstarting his career.

“The economy is crackling, opportunities are right here. I know Indian market and I can add more value here than sitting in a bank in London. My elder brother Jasjeet of the 2003 batch in IIM-A too rejected an overseas offer to stay back in India and he has never regretted the choice,” Prabhjeet said confidently.

Electrical engineer Shraddha Vaid also said she’d never contemplated an overseas offer. “I always wanted to contribute to India’s development. I will be working with an infrastructure consultancy firm called Feedback Ventures,” she said.

Dholakia explained the trend. “The economy is looking up and so are we and the job offers. We have had 27 new companies on campus this year and the process finished a day in advance. Nearly ten companies had to be sent back empty-handed,” he said.


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