Are engineering students being fooled by IT firms?

By Sudarshan Kumar   |   Friday, 27 November 2009, 02:38 Hrs   |    46 Comments
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Are engineering students being fooled by IT firms?
Bangalore: "Infosys, TCS or Wipro! Somehow I need to have a placement in any of these IT companies," voiced over 400 students, who took admission in a Chennai-based engineering college in 2005.

Among all those voices, was a frail, but a determined voice of Raman Sharma, a boy from Chhattisgarh, who studied day and night to get admission in this college. Dressed in white shirt, black pant and leather sandal on the first day of his fourth-year engineering course, Raman thought that he had crossed the first hurdle of making his dream true of becoming an IT engineer. But at the same time, he was unaware of the words like recession, lay-off, firing, cutting costs, virtual pool and bench strength, which he faced, once he passed out from his college in May 2009. Helping his father in the field, Raman is still waiting for his appointment letter from TCS.

Raman's case is not the only one. In the last one and a half year, most of the 2008-09 graduates have not been given joining letters after they were handed offer letters in the campus. Now, most companies are coming back to these graduates, asking them to join the BPO division instead of the technology division, which is a frustrating situation for the engineering graduates, who worked very hard for four years in college to get through an IT company. Saurabh, who did not prefer to mention his college name, said, "I studied IT for four years, but now when I go to any company for job, they say that there is a vacancy in the BPO sector, but not in the main stream."

Wipro had given offer letters to 8,000 graduates for jobs in the IT services segment, but when these graduates joined the company, they were asked to work in BPO division. Pradeep Bahirwani, Vice-President (Talent Acquisition), Wipro Technologies said, "This was part of its new initiative to let engineering graduates commence work without delay. Their experience at the BPO would be considered relevant and continuous when they move into the IT services after 12 to 18 months."

Similarly, Mahindra Satyam had 3,000 campus hires waiting to join the telecom solutions company till September. The company sent an email to the campus recruits, saying, "We are glad to share our plans with you for adding fresh engineering graduates to our Network Implementation Services operations in the near future. The candidates who accept this offer, the salary package offered will be 1.7 lakh per annum, which is 1.2 lakh less than what the campus recruits were supposed to get as per the company's initial commitment. In case the 'freshers' do not accept this offer, its earlier offer issued through campus selection stands good and very much valid, but will depend only as and when company has the requirement." Also Infosys, which had hired around 18,000 graduates last year, asked more than half of the recruits to work in its BPO section. But it did not reduce the salary.

Even though these companies have not offered joining letters to all the previous campus recruits and placed many of selected candidates in BPO division, they have started making rounds of engineering colleges for the campus recruitment once again. This year too, they plan to hire 'freshers' in large numbers.

According to recent NASSCOM report, Infosys has plans of hiring 20,000 graduates this year, even though 30,000 people at Infosys are 'benched'. Similarly, TCS has plans of hiring 25,000 people this year, even though 100s of students like Raman are waiting to get the joining letter. TCS officials denied of giving any information regarding the last year campus recruits, who are yet to get the joining letter.

As already we have a large number of students waiting to get their joining letter, these companies seem to be doing the same mistake again by planning to hire large chunk of students. Some IT professionals also believe that this step may be a sign of major lay off in middle level positions.

To get the answer of this question, we need to wait till the current session gets over in June 2010.

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Reader's comments(46)
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Posted by:ghfgh - 09 Dec, 2011
4: humm its all true i am also in these waiting list ...and i believe syntel is the hit list ....their HR dont given answer about the 2008 joining ..whho r waiting from last 2 yr..but no response from syntel side at about 1500 candidates r waiting for thier joining .....we all need a proper action against a such a downgrade company ..!
Posted by:keshav - 02 Dec, 2009
keshav,there is another side to this sordid story.Most engg colleges sort of 'bribe or give inducements' to the IT companies HRs to come to their College and make a show of 'placement'.This helps them to command a 'premium in the admission process' among the colleges,which exactly happened in my daughter's college.
chandrasekharan Replied to: keshav - 22 Dec, 2009
6: While this is indeed not good news for the graduates, it tells me that there is a glut of "talent" in the IT sector. And by talent, I don't mean people who are actually good at "IT", be it Software, Hardware or Networks.

I've rubbished the degree mills here before (, comment #170), as well as all these institutions who offer "100% hiring guarantees" and I'm sure I'll do it again: IT hopefuls need to stop buying in to this BS.

In addition it helps to be employed in the right TYPE of job: IT is a pretty broad field, and there is more to it than sitting in front of a machine for 10 hours a day programming in .NET or whatever, and some of the worst IT jobs can actually pay pretty well (though I suspect this is more true in the west than in India, I suspect).

It is very sad that these companies are getting contracts valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and then paying employees US$400 a month (if they're lucky). By contrast even my BPO workers will be receiving more than this AND benefits - if it costs Rs300 a month for their train ticket to work, why shouldn't I subsidize this?

Treat the employees well and they'll do a better job. Of course, it also pays to hire only the cream of the crop. I'd rather have 10 workers who are good at what they do than 100 workers who will do a mediocre job.
Posted by:Mathew Carley, Hayai Broadband - 30 Nov, 2009
7: The author has missed a step that not only the IT firms and also the non-it. I am a graduate Automobile engineer finished my engg with a very good agg.. got plaed in a india's well know company TATA my joining was on 18 aug. but still waiting for the call from them. Tow months back they called me up to know whether i am alive or not......
Posted by:Unknown - 29 Nov, 2009
at least you received the call.. I got placed in Keane 2 years back. till now i haven't received any point of contact or information regarding my date of joining. And they didn't even care whether I am alive or dead. They will be happy if i m dead i guess.
Anbarasu Replied to: Unknown - 01 Dec, 2009
i got placed through campus selection at amity in keane way back in feb 2008..and there has not been a single word from either the company or the college about the date of joining...i feel cheated as i could have easily cleared the selection process for other companies on campus but amity dint allow students to sit for other firms if they got placed in one...the situation still looks grim...keane should give a firm 'yes' or 'no' and not leave the fresh graduates in a lurch....does keane carry out business in india in this manner...keane should understand that the trust of their clients rests on promises and commitments they sure its image would take hit from how it handles the current good and do good..god is watching...
zooperman Replied to: Anbarasu - 04 Dec, 2009
10: Well the case described here is well known. The author has missed a step that the firms this year are adopting - taking in the students as contractors with much reduced package.
I have an example where a semiconductor firm, having an office in Greater Noida, offered toppers of MCA at a reputed college in Allahabad a package of 5.58 lakhs p.a. for in house work. And later offered to take in as contractors/temporary employee for 6 months at much reduced package of 3.15 lakhs p.a.
Posted by:Sankalp Dube - 29 Nov, 2009
Its really new thing that you brought up. What exactly is happening in the industry is out of my understanding? Now, I have started thinking that its better to join govt. services than rather running behinds these beasts.
tommy Replied to: Sankalp Dube - 29 Nov, 2009
12: Yes I think that engg students are being fooled by the IT firms.First of all this is quite frustrating that even after hiring,the students donot get the offer letters.Look at the companies ,they are all set for hiring even when thousands of employees in their organisation are on the bench.What is the motive of the companies to do so?just that they have number of projects for the years to come thats why they do hiring while keeping hundreds and thousands of employees already on bench.The limit is that an engg graduate being offered a job in BPOs this for what the students study for 4 years.The companies are fooling engg graduates .Job in the BPO sector does not needs an engg graduate.That is easily done by even 12th passed students.College should not allow these companies to have them for campus recruitment.And even if they come students shouldn't sit in those companies
Posted by:Sumi - 29 Nov, 2009
13: What engg teaches u in India is known to all and most importantly what we make of that teaching is known to all engineers. so when supply of engineers is abundant and demand is low, students are bound to be offered lower valued jobs.These companies also dont get engineers for their BPO jobs so they come again for hiring. However the college should take up this matter with these companies.
Posted by:jay - 28 Nov, 2009
so waht, if they don't get people for BPO, they will make eng. students to work for BPO. This is totally disgusting.
tulsi Replied to: jay - 28 Nov, 2009
15: yes it is true fact of IT companies...these companies should accepted the fact
Posted by:samreen khan - 28 Nov, 2009
They are ready to accept, because they know that whatever steps they take, students will come to them.
veerappa somana Replied to: samreen khan - 28 Nov, 2009
Who says you that they are ready, they are not.
maniratnam Replied to: veerappa somana - 28 Nov, 2009
18: And Nagesh do you really think that companies employ fresh graduates for what they have learned in respective colleges/universities?.Not at all. An individual is hired because he/she has gone through a filtering process making it highly probable that he/she has the desired level of attitude and aptitude to quickly grasp the business processes/concepts and be productive in a short time. And this is the case not only for engineering hiring but also for top B-school hiring. Being a top B-school grad myself, I can say the same with utmost confidence.
Else why do you think an IIT graduate commands higher salary than a normal engineering graduate? The course content is the same and no body stops you from using the same books that are used in IIT\'s.
At the end of the day it\'s all about you as an individual and no course/degree can help without the right aptitude and attitude.
Posted by:Avid_reader - 27 Nov, 2009
19: Its not wrong about IT companies to delay recruitment, but isn't it a crime not to give joining letters to the previous years selected ones and still come for placements this year?
If strength is what they want, then at least call the ones who are sitting at home, waiting for the letter.
Posted by:Indian - 27 Nov, 2009
20: I read not only the well written article but other Readers comment. Most of them are right in their own. I too have felt and even have voiced out when the aspiring individuals come to me for Mentoring. I tell them too that it is more an eye wash from some company's when they give offers at the Campus(though hate to brand all the companies in this respect). Today's scenario is that unless the individuals gain employable skills like the ones offered by our kind of organization 'ideaonthink . com', how can any employers take freshers and expect them to be billable from the day one. Irrespective of any Professional Degrees people take, they still will have to get trained on real time hands-on skills to be picked by any organization.

Nagesh, Ideaon THINK
Posted by:Nagesh Srinivasgopal - 27 Nov, 2009

Looking at the quality of English that you have employed to put forward your views, I really wonder what value add are you providing to the students whom you claim to mentor. And moreover, I hope you realize that this is a forum for communicating individual views and not for raising sales pitches for your employer/engagements.
Avid_reader Replied to: Nagesh Srinivasgopal - 27 Nov, 2009
22: it is the goverment who is paying the capitalist for these less informed clinical pigs(freshers)...otherwise they(MNC) do not need this pigs ....Inorder to contain the Indain economy....Let us control the may say to explode the population ..they do not need to worry about anything and can utilise this weakness for their business
Posted by:Phijo Joseph - 27 Nov, 2009
23: I have been in “Placements" business for over 15 years. My comments are as follows:
a) The IT Companies cannot be blamed. They are answerable to their shareholders and HAVE to maximise their profits / minimise their losses.
b) The IT grads must use their intelligence and should not wait beyond one moth. If they MUST wait, they can use the time to acquire additional skills. (Purely by way of an example, Fraud detection and Forensic IT will ALWAYS have a bright future.
c) The IT grads have a lot of pre-conceived notions. Yes - there was a time when virtually anyone who could spell 'Java' could walk into the US with a H1B visa in hand. Times have changed. It’s sad to see some of the hopefuls rejecting jobs that pay 10K to 15K p.m. and demand minimum 20K p.m.
d) Small companies are scared to employ these hopefuls - knowing they may quit the moment offer letter changes from a big company changes into an appointment letter. Would these unemployed / unpaid benchers be willing to sign a bond with the small company wanting to employ him/her?
Last but not the least, there has to be a change in the mindset of Indian Grads. There are a number of MBAs that I know who financed their studies through a loan. They would rather be willing to sit at home and let their parents pay back the loan installments than take up selling insurance or working as a salesperson in a Mall or join the Armed Forces.
Apologies for the length of the comment.
Posted by:Commodore Anil Dabir, I. N. (Retd.) - 26 Nov, 2009
why IT companies cannot be blamed? The companies should think in a futuristic manner and should be ready for any kind of situation like recession or slowdown whatever u call.Simply laying off and fooling engineers will only bring a bad image about the company.

If they cant predict the future they should not come for hiring.Simply hiring people in large numbers every year is to tell the public that they are giants.
hari Replied to: Commodore Anil Dabir, I. N. (Retd.) - 07 Dec, 2009
25: The issue is not new and will be repeated after a certain period of time. One of the solution to this can be an initiative from the colleges to force the IT giants to let the previous batch join first and then the upcoming one. Rather the engineering colleges are not showing any interest towards their victim students. They have no profit in fighting for old students. Students themselves have to join hands towards this neglegence. Talk to your own colleges and ask them to fight for you. The idea has to be implemented together by all the colleges.
Posted by:Manesh K Singh - 26 Nov, 2009
The scenario is little different when you talk about engineering colleges. For them placement is a business, and they are aiming for the summit. They want to put 100% placement record on their brochures, so they dont mind companies coming and recruiting. My college (en route palakkad from cbe) for example, has an amazing business strategy. It raises the gpa bar to 7 and those above it get placed. In its brochure it mentions 100% but fails to mention the state of students with a gpa less than 7. No point asking the colleges to be saints. They are the devil in guise. . . .
Gautam Replied to: Manesh K Singh - 27 Nov, 2009
27: You can not blame IT companies. In the time of recession what else can they do. They can absorb only as many engineers as they are having orders. Even if they are offering jobs in BPO, they are offering something. If a person can not get IT mainstream, he should either go for higher education or join any other respectable job instead of wasting time sitting idle.
Posted by:Prashant - 26 Nov, 2009
I completly agree with you Prashant. If you see the current market, people having years of exp, have had salary cuts. In this scenario, when the companies cannot or do not have any dev, how can we expect the company to recruit 4 or 5 thousand freshers and pay them. Instread, they atleast have given an employment in the BPO sector. Anyways it is also not a bad job to do. It is never a blue collared job. These freshers would definatly get a handsome salary. That I think is sufficient.
Krishnan Replied to: Prashant - 29 Nov, 2009
no mr ptrasant you arent correct.See its very simple as you said they are recruiting as much they had orders,so why then they are hiring thousands & cant give them joining letters on time.They dont have the right to spoil careers only by using their brand name.I will request each & every good candidates to fight back & stop serach in this big houses.Start from a medium renowned companies & later show it their using the experience that you know more.Let competiotrs grow & teach them a lesson.
Even i had been a honors,1st class 6th topper from university on electronics ,i joined R&D learned technology then show corporates my skills
Soumik Ghosh Replied to: Prashant - 27 Nov, 2009
Soumik, the offer has been made by companies. It does not mean that the company is commited to employ the individual. Company can, at anytime, revoke the offer. At the same time, if the person offered, feels that his career is being spoiled by joining a BPO, he can very well reject the offer and continue his search. It is these students who want to get into big brands. These guys can very well go to smaller product development companies and get a job, but they dont. They'd rather spend time in fields helping out kith and kin (as said in the article), but would never get into a smaller company, which lacks brand name. What do you call this scenario?
Krishnan Replied to: Soumik Ghosh - 29 Nov, 2009
31: No doubt most of the students suffered due to this economic slowdown. But it does not mean that they will not get any job. It's like a cycle where after each night there is a morning to spread light of happiness. As per my point of view instead of thinking about what was happend in past we just try to seek more opportunities in this fresh morning of IT as they are going to hire more and more. Best of luck to all for having a good job.
Posted by:Narendra Verma - 26 Nov, 2009
32: This is some thing new I heared, Big companies installing open source applications which is barely useful and saying they have systems, they destroying whole meaning of software and faith of end user in India before software penitrate in India, like in healthcare. I heard of crime application for police stations a big project with huge investment, Its actually not that big, I worked for small company in USA which does same for many USA counties. Many big govt projects goes without products on hand or preplanning, companies who have realy great product don\\\'t get that. They generate huge finance from hot stock market, but no viable products for future growth. Govt should looks/ask for real products.
Posted by:Namaste - 26 Nov, 2009
33: yeah ...i agree with some of the comments. i m a final year engineering student, who is expecting that IT companies will recruit us in campus itself. If the situation outside the campus is so bad , then better is to say it clearly to the students,abt whats happening currently in IT sector, so that we can think other sectors also, instead hiring us and making us to wait for so long, is not right.
Posted by:Raj - 26 Nov, 2009
34: The whole process of recruiting engineering students for jobs by IT Institutions is time consuming. If IT Companies cannot do it faster who else can? After joining the Company for lack of projects they keep some idle (Bench they call).Can't the Companies have proper planning? The General Tendency among youngsters is if they do not have job they go on searching one but if they were selected and were asked to for longer times they will be restless. As the saying goes, AN EARLY NO IS BETTER THAN A BELATED YES.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore (AP)
Posted by:Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 26 Nov, 2009
Yes your correct, the market condition is like that no company can do nothing....... But companies gave the offer letter and withdrawn the offer..... the students waiting for that where they can go, atleast they would have given the joining date by paying less salary that was not at all a problem,,,,, Dont think only to the company side think on the students side also..

Pradeep Kanoor Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 26 Nov, 2009
I think our government should pass concerned laws stating that if a private/corporate company gives an offer letter to any one it should contain the joining date and companies should be bound by the date,designation and the package they are offering. There should not be any room for these companies to just offer jobs to people so that they can ask them to join them when they really need them for new projects. This unenthical practices of these companies should be controlled.
Anil Replied to: Dr.A.Jagadeesh - 26 Nov, 2009
I agree
Mat Replied to: Anil - 26 Nov, 2009
38: I think its foolish to look only for a particular Job if you are into IT.

IT depends on market, time changes , so as market demand and requirements too.

So there is no meaning in blaming the IT companies. They are giving jobs for a lot of people, that matters, they find source and provides job, where the source changes with time.

Better to be flexible, than to blame.

Posted by:Reji - 26 Nov, 2009
As Reji Said " Better be hopeful and flexible "
Kishore Replied to: Reji - 01 Dec, 2009
I appreciate ur attitude,keep it up,

These are GOLDEN WORLDS of attitude
"Better to be flexible, than to blame"

jatin gakhar Replied to: Reji - 26 Nov, 2009
41: Yes, no doubt...the Indian engineers are being fooled by the IT companies .
Posted by:Ravi - 26 Nov, 2009
Its true. I am 2008 passout, got placed in a reputable Software Firm and got offer letter in 2008 but still waiting for the joining letter. The condition becomes worse as there are no/few openings for freshers.I approached several startup companies of job, they will happy conduct interview but ask for donation. Its really a shameful situation for IT industry.
V. Sharma Replied to: Ravi - 26 Nov, 2009
Yes, They can be fooled by any companies who who promises job.
Soumya Replied to: Ravi - 26 Nov, 2009
Man...I hate Infosys. The people working in it....are nothing but qualified baniyas. There is no respect for anything and most of their meetings are dog fights. Typical mis management and greed. And yes, I work in infosys.
Narayan Murtykrishnan Replied to: Soumya - 27 Nov, 2009
Hi Narayan,

I too have worked in Infosys for 3.5 years and am curently pursuing higher studies in the U.S.I want to say 2 things to you.
1.If you don't like what is going on in the company,do one of 2 things - quit or work towards improving the system.Kindly don't badmouth the company in public forums - it reflects poorly on your character more than anything else.
2.As a company,I agree Infosys is not perfect but compared to many others,it is way better and when I had issues,I went to top management and discussed my issues.

Everyone else,

I agree that companies should be bound by the joining date they give to the graduates but at the same time,fresh graduates should understand that it is and always will be a market for experienced professionals and so this is the time to learn new skills(whether you get a job or not) and start small if need be rather than worry about money.Companies operate on profit and when the market is good,they do take care of the employees with parties and dinners.Most of them do value the importance of keeping the employees happy (there will be some bad apples everywhere tho)
Spandana Replied to: Narayan Murtykrishnan - 28 Nov, 2009
Well my friend,
Let me ask you a question.
You must be aware that MNCs hire fresh people and ask them to do work like documentation, support etc kind of work. You have to be a lucky one to get well worth work there.Not only this we will find simple graduate person doing same work and they all are compared on a similar scale.
Does it make sence? We ain't blaming them but aren't they taking worng advantage of techy guys? One more concern they are very much like our government, if u are earning pay the taxes however without a job person can't expect any help from govt. Same is the case with Companies. Well to be very frank its one way.........
Pranshu Replied to: Spandana - 30 Nov, 2009