MUMBAI: Three giants of the internet -Facebook, Microsoft and Google – landed at the Indian Institutes of Technology this year to pick the brightest brains to power their headquarters.
Facebook, which picked one student last year, was seen at all IIT campuses, from Bombay to Guwahati to Madras. It paid the highest salary – $140,000 (about Rs 72 lakh) per annum – apart from a relocation bonus and a one-time signing amount. It appeared as if the placement process at the IITs was insulated from the world’s crippled economy.
Microsoft, for the first time, had come to hire IITians for its Redmond headquarters. Google picked engineers for both their India (with salary packages nearing Rs 20 lakh) and global offices. Also, big consulting firms that had gone quiet during the slowdown returned to the IITs to pick a large contingent of students.
Campuses were abuzz with students rushing from one department to another for interviews that were held back-toback. At IIT-B, close to 150 rooms were converted to placement chambers for corporations such as Goldman Sachs, Booz and Company, Boston Consulting Group, Schlumberger, ANZ Bank, Credit Suisse and Sony Corporation. “The top brand slot is a lot more crowded this year,” said IIT-B placement head Ravi Sinha.
“There is an increase of 10-20% in the overall salary as compared to 2010.” At IIT-Madras, packages exceeded the highest salary offered last year. Sony Corporation (Japan) offered five students between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 33 lakh a year. The highest salary offered in 2010 was Rs 28 lakh, by offshore drilling contractor Transocean International.
HUL’s packages were up to Rs 17 lakh a year. But a bonanza is awaited from mobile gaming startup Pocket Gems, which is looking for the right candidate to get Rs 67.5 lakh a year. For students across campuses, the gruelling tests and interviews started at 8 am and stretched past midnight. In all, 29 firms visited the Powai campus to interview 450 students on Thursday, the first day.
Twelve companies visited IIT-Guwahati (said the institute’s placement head Saurabh Basu), 13 visited IIT-Madras to pick about 65 students, 20 visited IIT-Delhi and 18 visited IIT-Kharagpur. “Much like last year, this time, too, some of the biggest names are here. Facebook, BCG and Slumberger are some, to name a few,” said Kharagpur’s training and placement chairman Sunil Kumar Srivastava.