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Public sector companies eager to hire IIM graduates

March 19, 2009

I have been reading about how IIM graduates are being lured by public sector undertakings (PSU’s) because of a shortage of high paying jobs by private companies, particularly multinationals. It’s not just the lack of jobs that is driving IIM grads to PSU’s but also job security, something they are not finding in private firms today, particularly so in multinationals.

It is easy to be cynical about this trend by saying it’s not a trend but simply a blip on the horizon. I mean this seems temporary doesn’t it, until the global economy picks up? Surely the IIM grads with their impressive credentials will run to greener pastures as soon as they get the opportunity? Can anyone imagine them thriving in PSUs which are widely perceived as lacking meritocracy and are weighed down by bureaucracy? And no IIM graduate will have forgotten the case of Manjunath who was murdered while trying to check adulteration of diesel and petrol in his area.

Sure, plenty of murky deals are hatched in private companies as well but the difference is that in a private company it is mostly the owners and perhaps a handful of top managers who are in the know. In a PSU more people are usually involved or rather, have to play along, even those are junior levels.

I am certainly not saying that a hatred of bureaucracy and an intolerance of mediocrity is the prerogative of IIM’s – not at all. Any person with a modicum of talent will be frustrated in such a system, but then he/she may not have the choices that IIM graduates have. Right now ofcourse IIM grads don’t have a choice.

Here are some facts:

  • PSU banks hired as many as 34 of the 265 students at IIM Calcutta. Other public sector companies which came to campus included IOC, NTPC, Coal India and not surprisingly, the average salary here fell by 23%.
  • The annual salary offered by PSUs is just 7 lakh but IIM graduates are accepting these salaries. Considering those from less well known institutes are scrambling for jobs, IIM grads probably consider themselves lucky that almost all of them are getting jobs. Most IIMs are reporting 100% recruitment.
  • Even those from the elite IIM Ahmedabad have taken up public sector offers and here salaries have dropped by as much as 30%!
  • Average salaries have dipped by 30 per cent at IIM Bangalore too, what with the high paying financial firms opting out and PSU’s in. SEBI, GAIL , NTPC , BPCL and HPCL participated and about 15 students have so far accepted offers from these companies.

While I am not surprised that IIM graduates are eager to join PSUs this year, what surprises me is that PSUs have so much faith in IIM grads. Do these public sector undertakings believe they will be able to retain them? Why, just last year most of these PSUs were untouchables at IIM campuses, not even allowed to come to recruit anyone from the campus due to the lower salaries they offered. This year at IIM Calcutta for example, any company offering a minimum of Rs 6 lakh per annum has been allowed to recruit students, but last year the minimum was Rs 8.25 lakh per annum.

Maybe the PSUs really believe that they need the IIM graduates. The opening up of the economy which started about a decade back has forced many PSUs to spruce up their work environment and there are many who are becoming competitive and customer focused and are in fact in a state of transition. However, PSUs should understand that it is the system (government interference) they need to change otherwise no IIM graduate will stick. There are some some excellent managers in PSUs who have shone once they left and joined the private sector, so it is not a lack of talent at PSUs which is the problem…it’s the system.

(The following references: [1], [2], [3], [4] and [5] were also used for the above post)

(Photograph is by me and copyrighted. The graph is from

Related Reading: Sectors most affected by the slowdown in the Indian economy
Students nervous about their future after the financial meltdown
IT companies not happy with quality if engineering graduates
Are half our engineers not good enough?
More jobs for Indians, but not for everyone!
High salaries only for those from elite educational institutions

70 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2009 11:12 pm

    There are so many management colleges now that if PSUs only aim at IIMs where would all of them go?
    As for the problem, I agree the problem is with the system. The problem is with the engineers too. It takes more than intelligence and hard work to clear IES and to stay at the job.

    • March 20, 2009 8:15 am

      That’s the worry isn’t it. I wonder who the PSUs were hiring earlier and now where these people would go!

  2. March 19, 2009 11:32 pm

    There can be another reason as well, at least for some. Most of us (I did my MBA two years back, though not from an IIM), have relied on student loans to pay for our MBAs, expecting to pay it back with the salary they receive later on. With the economy at its peak, an MBA was pretty expensive last year and many students will find it difficult to pay it back on their own, working in a lower paying PSU for a long time.

    • March 20, 2009 7:07 am


      Difficult to pay back? Or will it take a little longer than expected? One must be flexible and adjust one’s expectations according to reality – I hope IIM graduates at least learn that basic lesson. 🙂

      • March 20, 2009 8:15 am

        Difficult to pay back. The installments are for a fixed period of time. For 2009 batch, the realistic expectation when they joined and when they left have changed drastically.

        Reg second reply, don’t be too sure. IIM guys may have it easier than the second rung B Schools, since they still may have the better offers with the lesser fees to pay, but if u going to have to pay 10 grant per month on a salary of 4.5 lakhs living in Mumbai, do the math.

    • March 20, 2009 7:09 am

      And I’d think that these graduates will still make enough money to be able to pay their monthly loan installments and get a house, clothes and 3 meals a day.

    • March 20, 2009 1:11 pm


      If you are a freshly minted MBA you will remember that concept of NPV. It is my view that if schools taught philosophy and logic, this concept would be pretty intuitive at least to those who paid attention in school.

      Likewise with post-MBA lives.

      If the value of the MBA education (or any other ‘degree’) is to be judged, it should be judged on a long-term basis and not on the basis of the first job. Only 2 or 3 of my classmates from IIM Ahmedabad remain in their first job from campus. They did well as MBA benchmarks go. But then so did those (like me) who took jobs with ‘Indian’ companies, a distinctly uncool choice especially given that one of my better friends from campus started at a salary 4 times mine.

      As they say: Physician, heal thyself.

      The analogous MBA adage would be: MBA, do your NPV calculations!

      • March 20, 2009 6:27 pm

        I agree with you on that.

        But, I wasn’t trying to value an MBA education. I was trying to determine whether I can pay upto 10 grant / month for the next 5 years with a salary of 4-6 lakhs per annum. Will they be able to afford it, especially when their responsibilities in life are bound to increase? The safer option would be to get a more lucrative job when (and if) it comes.

        It needn’t be government interference that lead IIM grads to leave PSUs. It could be just be a case of solvency.

  3. Milind Kher permalink
    March 20, 2009 12:16 am

    It is all a question of demand and supply. Yes, once the economy bounces back, it IS going to be difficult for the PSUs to hang on to the IIM grads.

    That is where these organizations will have to bring the best of their talent retention skills to the fore.

  4. March 20, 2009 1:01 am

    It is the system. Remember Raju Narayana Swamy.

    IIM-ers will soon bid adieu for better prospects. In this case at least for a short period there will be good brain at work here otherwise it was mostly mediocrity and corrupt bureaucracy.

    Solilo, I wonder if those brains will be allowed to work to their full capacity! – Nita.

    • March 20, 2009 1:14 pm


      You are assuming rather a lot about the ‘brains’ 😉

      The IIMs are not without their share of mediocrity. Not all University toppers or Gold Medallists in India are created equal. Upon entry, we were all thumped on the head by an equaliser and then most revert to form. Most, sadly, take a comfortable route but that could also be a recipe for further mediocrity. :-/

      • March 21, 2009 3:30 pm

        In the same vein, the IAS officers (UPSC aspirants) believe me or not, are mostly average-brained though people think they are great brains and whatnot!

        The more average you are the better chances you have at UPSC and the vice versa! 😮

  5. March 20, 2009 7:55 am

    Initially in a career, I don’t think people should be obsessed with the amount of salaries they get. First, they don’t require so much money then and second, that might spoil their chances of aquiring good skills and experience. Nita: If someone gives you 16 Lakhs per annum and wants you to work on some mundane stuff and someone else gives you much lower and wants you to take up a challenging work which you would also love to do, which one would you choose?

    Destination Infinity

    • March 20, 2009 8:15 am

      DI I know what I would choose. I have and did in fact choose lower pay for a more interesting career! But then why judge someone else because his/her skills may lie somewhere else and also priorities may be different.

      • March 22, 2009 12:16 am

        If someone is offered sky high salaries, they would rather tend to ignore about his or her skills/ interests totally. When my batch passed out, the IT segment was just booming and everyone got placed in a IT job. No one and I repeat, No one as long as I know was interested in programming or information technology. They were just impressed by the amount of money and the security and lifestyle of a high paying job. If an IIM graduate chooses a high paying job, while his heart might want him to, say, experience the field job done by executives first, before jumping to become a managerial candidate – they can’t! Their education and salaries are becoming a hurdle to an experience which might be very valuable as the policies they set would affect the field staff directly!

        Destination Infinity

  6. March 20, 2009 9:00 am

    Nita, the IIM graduates may be joining the PSU’s at the moment because of slow down but it is not such a good idea as far as the PSU’s are concerned. Firstly because of the reason you mentioned- they won’t be able to retain them once the economy improves and secondly because the IIM graduates would be frustrated due to the working conditions and the salary offered by the company. A frustrated and unhappy employee cannot deliver good results.

    • March 20, 2009 1:30 pm


      I think PSUs’ non-monetary perks more than make up for the smaller monetary compensation on offer. People can get very comfortable quickly.

      Not that it does not happen in the private sector. I know of so many fellow alumni whose ‘promise’ remains unfulfilled because they got used to the lovely perks from their employers. Now they float along while some others who went into the Admin or Foreign services managed to drive change and growth where they were. Much of what we make of life depends on us, doesn’t it? 🙂

  7. vasudev permalink
    March 20, 2009 9:34 am

    psu oil companies have cmd/directors who are iit/iim graduates themselves! mostly both.

    iim graduates and mbas from reputed institutions join psus because of the attractive starting pay/housing facilities/ free medical/ car loan/ 5 day week and overall because psus are such excellent training grounds with all types of inbuilt enrollment training.

    these graduates get initiated into white collar postings, work 9 to 5 (strictly), get back to inbuilt gyms/recreational facilities and mess facilities, enjoy twin sharing company large flats at places like mumbai and mostly fly to official destinations (even though not eligible to fly these guys are capable of spreading an aura).

    the one year (max) that they stick to the psus is spent in preparing for assignments abroad (us) for either further studies or jobs. at the end of one year the psus would have made excellent managers out of them who are then flicked away by mncs at 5-10 times the salary.

    once again it is an opportunity for top class psu officials to fly around, recruit, train and then lose. 🙂 but in the meantime some of their own wards would also have made it into these psus as these guys are known to carry recruitment into campuses where their near and dear study.

    nita…you must live and let live 😉

    Vasudev, yeah live and let live is my mantra! 🙂 This post is simply a commentary, no judgments as you see in my reply to DI.- Nita.

  8. March 20, 2009 1:12 pm

    I believe it is also the challenge that PSUs offer which invite the interest of an IIM Grad, all the more because these grads have a fire inside them to do much more than what simpletons do.

    While the basic salary in a PSU is less, but if you take CTC, it turns out to be pretty competitive to a private company always.

    Yes, PSUs can do good, but the system has to change, and also there has to cost cutting, which I believe would have never happened for obvious reasons.They should shed some flab, they have far too many people workiing under them than they need. I had done by project at BHEL, I was shocked to see the number of people working, every damn thing that a machine can do is done by human <–
    One reason why our economy constantly failed in the past was the lack of adaption of technology!

    Chikki, that was one thought that came to me too, why do these PSUs want to hire at all when they have so many people! – Nita.

  9. March 20, 2009 1:32 pm


    Much as young people detest politics or declare themselves apathetic to it, they need to understand that much real advancement in life does not only work on merit or technical skill, but exceptional people and agenda management.

    These jobs in PSUs would teach them more about the subtleties of politics than any private sector company could. As I harp on about often, it is very important to understand politics in order to manage it or manage around it. After all the most important decision-making and strategy theories have their roots in political science. Now if only more MBAs looked beyond their text books!

    • March 20, 2009 2:10 pm

      Shefaly, you have hit the nail on the head. Being a nerd doesn’t work. One needs to network and have people skills and I remember you had a very good post on that once. Unfortunately many highly intelligent people fail in this very activity and I think it is because these abilities need to be developed. Simply being social is not enough. I have not been very good at this I am afraid and I wish someone had told me this before I set out in my career. I was one of those who used to put my head down and work, oblivious to many things around me!

  10. vasudev permalink
    March 20, 2009 1:39 pm

    psu flab is vote driven as much as indian bangladesi flab is vote driven. you don’t really require it but the owner wants it to be parked somewhere and be fed well. they call it ‘commitment’.

  11. Milind Kher permalink
    March 20, 2009 3:15 pm


    There is a finite number of things that any one person can do. That is why IQ works only up to a certain point.

    Thereafter, your network intelligence and social intelligence does a lot for you. And it is acquintances that create a larger network for you than your friends. Because very good friends would know a lot of people in common with you. That doesn’t help because you have access to them anyway.

    • March 20, 2009 5:56 pm

      Yeah, success is such that there is that X factor. Now whether IIM students have more or less of that X factor or are on par with the rest of the management institutes is a matter of debate! 🙂

      • March 20, 2009 9:22 pm


        The value of the nodes, not just the number, in the network is also important. Seeing the professional trajectories that the majority ends up with, I would argue that IIT and IIM graduates have far better quality of networks than many others may have. :-/

  12. March 20, 2009 4:27 pm

    I wait to watch what will happen to all these people who do join the various PSUs.

    Maybe some might have it in them to move ahead in the PSU and stick to it, even when the economy jumps back.

  13. March 20, 2009 7:28 pm

    Well its like a wheel, it rotates and has to feel the dirt once in a while.

  14. March 20, 2009 8:11 pm

    I am curious. Does anyone know what percentage of IIM graduates start their own firms ? How easy is it for them to get credit ?

    • March 20, 2009 9:20 pm


      The kind of firms IIM graduates are likely to start are likely to start with finding investors i.e. equity. Few if any start firm with ‘credit’.

      Rashmi Bansal (1991-93, IIMA) has recently written a book (admittedly I cannot advocate its quality) on entrepreneurs IIMA has produced. I do not know if there is macro-data on this but many start their own business. In my batch there are probably a dozen entrepreneurs (approx 4%).

      Also the aim of asking this question will affect the answer. Many do start and continue with lifestyle enterprises but those who create something large and sustainable will be fewer.

      • March 21, 2009 7:55 pm

        Thanks Shefaly.

        I dont know too much about business education in India. But one thing I do know about our culture, is that there is a strong aversion to taking risks. I was wondering if studying at an IIM had any effect on that attitude.

        • March 21, 2009 10:05 pm

          I don’t know about other IIMs but IIMA is surrounded by entrepreneurs. Gujarat has always been a great enterprising state. Our LEM lab was run by Sunil Handa also an alumnus. Many others came to speak. We had an active student club that worked with entrepreneurs and exposed us to their lives and their work. I worked with a couple of them for academic and extra-academic purposes. (I have been running my own consulting business for nearly 9 years).

          The MBA course can give people an additional toolkit to run a business in a more well-rounded fashion. The attitude is important but one can discover it later in life too (as I did, for instance but my entire corporate career was spent being an intrapreneur so it is possible my ‘attitude’ was latent!). Others such as Rashmi Bansal herself were probably focused on being entrepreneurs anyway as were many of my classmates.

          I do not believe advanced education of any kind makes us different people any more than we can become by learning new ways to look at things. Risk propensities change to some small degree throughout life.

          As for intrapreneurs

          • March 21, 2009 10:08 pm

            Sorry please ignore that last fragment.

            Also another thing: the IIMs do not confer MBA (a degree in business administration) but a post graduate diploma in management. Administration and management are two quite different things. We are trained to be change agents but not all want to use that training; however most do. Which may explain even the greater corporate success that alumni of IIMs in India experience.

  15. Milind Kher permalink
    March 20, 2009 10:08 pm

    Starting your own business is a big responsibility. For the first few years, there is no holiday, the volume of clientele is low and sales are unpredictable.

    All this is difficult for people who land cushy jobs with luxurious company accommodation, chauffeur driven cars, corporate club membership, and other such addictive perks that keep you “hooked” to the job.

    People should pursue what they are passionate about, success will automatically come.

    • March 21, 2009 8:57 am

      Milind, there are some people who do not have the capability of starting their own business. Being an entrepreneur requires a certain mindset, and no qualification can inculcate it. So there are many with these cushy corporate jobs who are there because they would not be able to fit in the entrepreneur slot.

      • Milind Kher permalink
        March 21, 2009 9:14 am


        I agree that some people may not fit the entrepreneurial slot.

        However, even if they opt for a salaried job, my contention is that they do so with the intention of doing something that is their passion rather than getting carried away by the trappings.

        People get trapped into stressful and uninspiring jobs because they are misled by the initial glamor. This happens with a lot of people in the hospitality industry. Especially with star hotels and airlines.

  16. vasudev permalink
    March 20, 2009 10:26 pm

    dunno why psus hire iim grads ’cause recently there was an allegation that iims are unfit to work in psus.

    iims have been accused of being unfriendly, nose-in-the-air types who may have a lot of iq but a lot less of eq (and eq is most important in a psu).

    iims who wish to stick with psus have to reduce their competency levels and fall into political circles (as shefaly pointed out). if not they would be overlooked and made to feel desperate. iims who join psus also stand a strong chance of having to report to much lesser qualified individuals (plain science/commerce/arts/ graduates).

    • March 21, 2009 1:10 am


      I did not suggest they ‘have to fall into political circles’. I said they will learn about the subtleties of organisational politics, and how to manage it or manage around it.

      I am afraid the rest of your comment is ad hominem. So I shall stick to clarifying what I actually said. Thanks.

  17. March 21, 2009 12:25 am

    I myself being an IIM student can say that:

    1. there is a high prob that this recession will last multiple years… so if an IIM grad sticks for 2-3 years, it is not a bad proposition

    2. hiring talented fresh blood does good for the rest of the org… the boss who would be mentoring this grad will now have to work harder and smarter to get the respect.. this new enthusiasm can change the entire corp landscape.

    3. HRD ministry has been pushing PSU to hire from IIM.. because if ellite schools grad don’t get job, it could spread the negative sentiment in the entire industry.

    • March 22, 2009 12:30 am

      The boss who would be mentoring the grad, would most likely want to change the grad to follow the company atmosphere/ culture which they are so comfortable with. So, in an PSU, I hope the IIM grads would make it tough for such bosses instead of becoming one more spoke in the wheel!

      • vasudev permalink
        March 22, 2009 9:20 am

        DI…you are absolutely correct! Unfortunately the IIm guys can make a difference to the culture of an organisation only if they get recruited at least into the middle/upper middle management level (which is hardly the case). Recruited at the very bottom these grads have to either endure it or get out suffocated. PSUs have very high ego levels and it is often seen that the relatively illiterate tries to teach the highly literate. I have seen IIM grads consigned to such rudimentary jobs as ‘dipping tanks’ (the bosses would say that the job is part of the operations job but it is very clear where the grad slipped). The differentiation cannot be made. At one point of time (many years ago when I myself was a victim of the PSU system) some oil psus recruiting IIMs/CAs would start them one grade above the rest (plain grads or engg grads). But the progress thereafter depended on many other things such as overall acceptability (how others rate them)/what the boss feels about the subordinate (read: how much does the boss feel threatened by the smart sub or how much does the sub collaborate to make the boss look smart)…in PSUs these things are important. As one boss told me (and I quit): look here bro. it is not the company but your boss who determines how good you are. So you may be smart and dedicated to the company but if you aren’t taking care of your CR writer then you are a nothing. This is where you either join the gang or get out of the system.

  18. March 21, 2009 3:28 pm

    High salaries and low salaries. What about the poor? Gone are the days when even a poor man’s son could not just dream but also get into IIT, IIM or MBBS.

    Now it’s only dream. I know about a girl who had topped MBBS. She would study under candle light from borrowed books but her family couldn’t finance her education.

    Now it’s too difficult to cross to the other side, for the poor. Khair.

    @ Milind Kher sahab. Nice to see you hear also.

    • vasudev permalink
      March 21, 2009 10:52 pm

      you mean ‘upper caste’ poor don’t you?

  19. March 21, 2009 3:36 pm

    Hmmm…you have got me thinking. Thinking about one of the most used and abused words – System. When you say that the problem with PSUs is their system, you are right, but not completely. You are generalizing too much. Not all PSUs are crap and money guzzling machines. There are a few which I dare say are lean and efficient. A few of the Navratnas seem to fit the bill. But I will agree with you when this PSU system thing is compared to the Private organizations. There is far less red tapism and other goodies. But just think of it, how come it happens that most of the cutting edge research work is done by the PSUs and not the privates? Don’t these private organizations have talent? Don’t they pay well? It is one thing to point fingers on the ‘system’ and compare it with the ‘surroundings’ (read Private organizations). And it is a totally different thing to answer the questions like why great research is done by government organizations.
    As far as the IIM grads are concerned, they are definitely trying to stay afloat when the financial tsunami is sweeping the world. They have found their safe haven and are just planning to spend some time. After that, sky is the limit…

    • March 21, 2009 7:30 pm

      Dev, I was wondering why no one as yet had come to the defense of government organisations! I have some readers (who have probably quietly read this post) who strongly believe in the merit of government organisations. Well, about what you said, there is nothing to really disagree. Sure, there are some very good PSUs, no doubt about that. About the research, maybe funding is one reason why the research happens in govt. sponsored companies.

    • March 22, 2009 12:36 am

      The funds allocated for research for the Defense segment, for example, has produced the most in-efficient results! They have been trying to build a nuclear submarine for 25 years without success and we keep importing even normal submarines from France! There is absolutely no accountability as far as research in PSU is concerned. Even if there is, it is not managed efficiently.

      Destination Infinity

      • vasudev permalink
        March 22, 2009 9:07 am

        I would beg to differ a bit here. If you would recall very recently we sent a satellite to moon. The research and the components were very much home grown ever since those others thought they could hold us to ransom over a barrel of nuke bullets. We said sorry and went ahead and did it. Why we did it would only be revealed as time goes by. It wasn’t to enter into any exclusive clubs, let me assure you.

        Indian PSUs are hit by changing bosses (even departmental bosses) and changing government objectives. If one emphasises on R&D another might come along to say…we need to contribute the R&D budget to celebrate Mayawati’s birthday (well…not exactly, but something as potty, as unobjective and ridiculous as above). I hope you get the point why things don’t work out as expected.

        • March 25, 2009 8:05 pm

          I got the point on the instability of vision. I feel that the private companies are even faster at that kinda instability!! But I really don’t know about the work that happens in R&D departments, so I need more clarity on that one to opine.

          Indian commercial satellite building/ launching facilities for the Tier-2 Countries is a good exception, that I see. And as a part of my job, I did regularly visit facilities like IGCARR and NPCIL and was quite satisfied to see the kind of work that was going on and the capabilities of the people out there. So, there are exceptions but I have also worked with PSU’s like Railways, who are the best example (As far as I know) for the heights of inefficiency. I do hope the exceptions would increase over time.

          Destination Infinity

  20. March 21, 2009 10:38 pm

    Time will reveal all. The market has to improve and will… Lets see!!

    Great post!! Keep blogging!!

  21. March 22, 2009 2:39 am

    I wonder what will happen when after a year things will get better and most of them will try to switch jobs.

  22. March 22, 2009 2:26 pm

    maybe they would increase the salary when the other jobs return?

  23. Milind Kher permalink
    March 22, 2009 3:04 pm

    We always keep cribbing against a faceless entity known as the “system”.

    Each PSU is also a HUGE subsystem of a larger system. If IIM grads work in a concerted manner, then there is a lot of value addition they can do.

    They will not be just fighting against a “system”, but will become part of the change that they want to see.

  24. openlight permalink
    March 22, 2009 5:05 pm

    PSUs have accolades and success stories as private ones have but, decision making and processes make them slow and pathetic to work.

    Regarding research by private companies, it is dependent on business and likelihood of future gains vis-a-vis investment (time,money,etc.) so, pharma,biotech companies are profound research based and others are not. Further resource availability is also another hindering point to note.

    PSUs have govt funding to back up and for years, PSU itself has been made with govt. capital with little or no competition so they dominate the market. BSNL & MTNL offer cheap plans and at least some good service now due to competition posted by private companies.

    Defence has got credits (missile development) but DRDO and associates being PSUs have their share of politics wherein, there had been a case (in Nuclear submarine development) an able scientist (IIT pass out) was hounded as traitor and later freed, after years of torture and then he vowed to send his well qualified children to US than India.

    Regarding lunar expedition, I am surprised that does it really count as “achievement” ?? ‘ when other countries sent such stuff in 1960s, we after 45+ years, with huge natural and human resource, rejoice for such an ‘outstanding achievement’ akin to Kargil ‘victory’ which we got by getting our territory back (which was also guarded and is not part of POK), after sacrificing 100s of personnel.

    Kargil according to me is the shameful government failure after mumbai carnage (their is a whole list of it rather) or Kandhar handover.

    Further, I also remember instance were govt process delayed research, it’s about an research scholar whose funds sanction took more than an year and by that time inputs for the research got more expensive, it was for Dept of Biotech, JNU.

    The ‘system’ we are talking about is the present, we all are facing is due to populist and dastardly actions taken by India’s past policymakers (special credits to congress and Nehru) who instead of working on primary and secondary education, went for reservations (so that india’s future should sulk with least efficient), religious appeasement (especially muslims, results are present when they talk of 80 constituencies of muslims in India) which was furthered by Indira gandhi by nationalization drive and compensation offering to bukhari,(hate speecher of jama masjid) after sanjay gandhi cleared the muslim mess around jama masjid, haj subsidy (not given in any part of world, not even in pak!!)

    Hence forth, system will stay and will flourish and is in its matured form (regional, religious parties)
    so its good for IIM (as they are the barometer of economic health and prosperity especially their packages) they have enough bread to eat, rest India may go hungry till more bread is available.

  25. March 22, 2009 5:32 pm

    at the end of the day, its all about choice.
    For the PSUs, and for MBA graduates from both IIMs and the second rung schools.

    If the PSUs can bag good talent right now due to a dip in the mkt, then good, maybe some fresh raw talent will help take these public sector units in a new direction.

    As for the students getting a tough deal- well, tough titty said the kitty, but one has to make do with what one gets.

  26. Milind Kher permalink
    March 22, 2009 5:40 pm


    It is a Darwinian world we live in, so the IIM grads will always rule the roost.

    If somebody envies that let them match their skills and intelligence. They will also get their place in the sun.

    2 tears of back to back lectures/case studies/presentations involve the kind of harsd work that needs its due in terms of rewards later, does it not?

  27. Vivek S. Khadpekar permalink
    March 22, 2009 5:58 pm

    @Milind Kher:

    //2 tears of…//

    Am I right in thinking that that is not a typo? 🙂

    • March 22, 2009 8:53 pm

      In all this discussion, the expression ‘pass out’ to indicate graduates remains my favourite for unintentional humour. First tears, then pass out…

      • Milind Kher permalink
        March 22, 2009 9:08 pm

        Passing out is an expression associated with fainting, but yes, many people do use it.

        Also, when a demise occurs, the deceased is supposed to have “expired” (like a batch of medicine) and not passed away.

        Laughter is the best medicine, so it is good to have a laugh, even at the expense of some “tears” 🙂

      • Vivek S. Khadpekar permalink
        March 23, 2009 8:07 am


        In British usage, a cadet completing military training is said to ‘pass out’ (a passing-out parade marks the occasion). Minus the parentheses, this is mentioned in my COD, 8th edn.

        The Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th edn. pays no attention to this — not even as a British idiosyncrasy to be indulged. However, it does give ‘to die’ as one of the meanings of the expression. Having yourself been though the IIM wringer, I guess you are better qualified than I to comment on the available options.

        • March 23, 2009 1:32 pm


          The verb usage is familiar to me. The two princes here both recently ‘passed out’ from various defence academies here. I have however never heard it used it as a noun which is what I said. We continue to refer to graduates as ‘pass-outs’ which always gives me visions of people fainting en masse 😉

          Having been through the wringer (and having ‘passed out’ with the blessing of Dr Manmohan Singh, who was our special guest that year), I can assure you all the ‘passing out’ happens in the first trimester. If one survives that, then there is no time to schedule anything remotely so indulgent, including death. :-/

  28. Milind Kher permalink
    March 22, 2009 6:29 pm


    On a QWERTY keyboard, T and Y are next to each other. It is a typo.

    However, you interpretation is interesting. Never thought of it that way 🙂

  29. Sudhir Jatar permalink
    March 22, 2009 8:54 pm

    Well, if one has to come out in defence of government organisations, I am one. I might stir the hornets nest. Nevertheless.
    Having served over 10 years in the top management of upstream oil PSEs, I can confidently say that there are hardly, if at all, any IIT/IIM types at the top management level. Professionalism in the public sector is much higher than in the private sector (have served for about five years in top management in the private sector). Corruption in the private sector is as much, if not more, than in the public sector. The difference is that the slush funds in the private sector go only to the top management/owners while in the public sector, it is shared amongst the netas, babus and the PSE employees.
    The proof of professionalism of the PSEs is in the fact that many of the private sector companies grab PSE employees on retirement or resignation. Reliance is a prime example.
    My assessment is that the public sector top management lacks strength of character. Only if the top management stands firm and does not allow political and bureaucratic interference, all PSEs would make profits. I have observed the same lack of character in the private sector. After all, we are all Indians!! The difference is that the private sector owners are obsessed with making profits, unlike the neta/babus, who want to profit themselves.
    In my service, I have had IIT/IIM graduates as colleagues. I did not find them any better than other good non-IIM/IIT graduates. I had a fresh IIT Kanpur graduate who did not know how to draw a foundation on the ground!

    • vasudev permalink
      March 22, 2009 10:48 pm

      so sudhir jatar, ex-c&md, oil india ltd has very clearly stated the facts which are true for almost all the psus.

      in my opinion psus determine the character and the role of an incumbent and not vise versa. here iit/iim can not do much of a change and if anyone here thinks joining a psu is with noble intentions of being change managers, let me warn them: you might (just might) be able to get your way in mncs and other private institutions. not in psus.

  30. March 22, 2009 10:03 pm

    Nice topic Nita!!
    Well , to me, I always thought I would work for PSU, but as always, I surprised myself and working for a MNC now! to be honest with you, right now, what all I think is , Am I enjoying the kind of work!
    but you are correct, job security is what is missing with private sector…
    guess, once i get married and want to settle, i wud prefer working for a PSU rather than MNC! Dont know, I guess I have not seen much to really comment on this!

  31. Hemant permalink
    April 6, 2009 12:37 am


    Interesting blog to say the least !! There have been many comments but barring few, I dont think many have been from IIM students.

    I have graduated from an IIM this year, and would like to add something to this discussion

    I agree, many people in our campus have accepted PSU jobs because they want to tide over these uncertain times. They have rejected offers from private firms in order to join PSUs. What i get from my friends in the campus, its the profile which has been major driving force for most of the candidates. In PSUs they would retain a good brand name, with pay revision coming in place they would earn more than private counterparts and probably have a balanced life. Undoubtedly many are looking to shift jobs and find better opporuntities even before joining these firms, but having spent 2 yrs with them, I am assured that if PSUs provide challenging environment to these people, most of them would continue their association. Profile, challenges and responsibility are equally important for most of the candidates and career decisions are primarily based on these factors unless the money offered is astronomically high !! (which ithink would not be the case for another 2-3 yrs atleast)

    Again most of the ppl do not have any experience or have experiences in highly professional setup, hence I believe support from the existing system is extremely necessary to completely exploit the talent of new joinees.

  32. June 29, 2010 11:44 am

    If the private sector companies only wants to hire IIM graduates then what about others who work really hard in their academic but did not get the right opportunity and just because of the college reputation did not make the career with good company. That is unfair with all i think companies has to understand that and its about the students skills not college reputation.

  33. akriti permalink
    May 10, 2015 2:39 am

    This post is from 2009..can anyone tell me tge recent situation and the packages offered by psu for iim students in 2014-2015

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