About 10% of IIT students had joined such companies last year, according to ET estimates. The proportion may grow substantially this time round, placement teams at some of the IITs said.
Bengaluru-based Flipkart is planning to roll out attractive compensation and benefits for the new campus hires. “We are not limiting ourselves to any fixed number for campus hiring. We are rearing to go and will be aggressive at the tech, B-school and logistics campuses,“ said Dalbir Singh, senior directorhuman resources at Flipkart. “We will attract talent by selling them the opportunity to work with an ecommerce leader that will impact a larger audience.“
Delhi-based Snapdeal plans to visit more campuses this year than it did last time round. “We will rely heavily on the campuses for fresh talent as this will help widen our base of tech team,“ said Saurabh Nigam, vice president -HR.
Rajiv Srivatsa, chief operating officer and co-founder of Urban Ladder, Bengalurubased curated online furniture seller, said the startup plans to visit campuses earlier this year than it did last time round.
Other startups such as Quikr and CultureAlley are also planning to reach campuses ahead of the others, with new strategies in place to get the best catch. Usually , companies head to the campuses around October every year.
“Technology is where the rubber meets the road and ideas become reality. As technology is so integral to us, this year we will try to be ahead of others in tapping the top campus talent,“ said Dhruv Dubey , vice president -HR at Quikr. The Mumbaibased online and mobile classifieds portal is organising hackathons at campuses this year. It is also eyeing participation in guest lectures and leadership series sessions.
IITs in Delhi and Mumbai, in particular, are expecting many more ecommerce firms including startups to visit the campuses this year. A student in charge of placement at IIT Bombay said, “The interest level among students to join startups is growing at IIT Bombay and the type of roles and work atmosphere offered by the startups is getting more compelling for students to join.“
The student, who did not wish to be identified, said the roles offered by startups to fresh engineers span software, operations, business analysis and marketing.
Online grocer PepperTap’s CEO Navneet Singh said he is planning to visit campuses himself to pitch for talent on behalf of the company . “I will go to the top IITs and talk about the company and the culture that boosts fun and flexibility ,“ he said.PepperTap is looking to add about 60 engineers this year.
At the National Institute of Technology , Tiruchirappalli, startups are evincing greater interest than ever in recruiting students while the students too are looking at such offers favourably , said director Srinivasan Sundarrajan. “Through the alumni and Facebook route, the startups are engaging with our students. We see many more students joining the ecommerce space this year. Startups have become the flavour of the season,“ he said.
Snapdeal as well as Jaipur-based CultureAlley , which is also sticking to top-tier institutes for fresh talent, are eyeing the summer in ternship to fill the talent pool.
“We are looking to hire summer in terns and convert as many as pos sible into full time employ ees,“ said Saurabh Nigam of Snapdeal.
The company is also planning to organise competitions and case study sessions to engage with students before going in for final campus placements. “Our focus is to secure the first slots on campuses to hire top talent,“ said Nigam.
Engaging students at an early stage is fast becoming the norm at ecommerce companies. Urban Ladder, like many others, is also set to introduce engagement activities such as live case studies and on-site projects.
In addition, Urban Ladder plans to visit a few international campuses this year to attract talent in the design domain. Pepperfry , on the other hand, plans to hire young designers gradu ating from Indian and overseas insti tutes. “We are looking both within the country and outside to add to our pool of designers,“ said Ashish Shah, chief operating officer and founder of the Mumbai-based furniture and home online marketplace.
Research Outfits Need to Draw Talent
A high demand for graduating engineers from IIT and NIT, particularly by startups and ecommerce companies, should ring alarm bells for R&D institutions and industry outfits. Innovation is the key to high growth. Research institutions and outfits need to attract the best minds. To that end, they must recruit engineering graduates with the same zeal, providing students with competitive options. Research must not become the last resort.