An IIM Ahmedabad student has reportedly bagged a job offer of $ 150,000 (Rs 50 lakhs). The news has made headlines in all the morning papers. And a million more 'I-want-to-attend-IIM A' dreams have been created in one fell swoop.
My warm congratulations to the student but, in the public interest, a few points that need to be highlighted:
* The student in question has work experience - so in effect it's a 'lateral placement'. The highest offer to a fresher is $110,000
* Only 58 students out of a batch of 250 got placed on 'Day Zero'. Some 84 job offers were made but as one student was being wooed by more than one company, not all could be accepted.
* This means that 80% of the batch is - as I write this - still appearing for interviews with all the regular rupee-paying companies. The average Indian salary - last year - was Rs 7 lakhs.
Expect that to become Rs 8 lakhs this year, thanks to a buoyant job scene. But remember, that if the 'average' is 7 lakhs there are a good number of students below that figure too!
So while the $150,000 salary may make headlines let's be clear about the fact that it is a 'jackpot' - as the papers are describing it. It's the good fortune - and brilliance - of one individual. Not something you will necessarily have a shot at - even if you do make it to IIM Ahmedabad!
As my brother, an IIM A 1998 batch graduate, working for P & G Singapore, remarked,"Even I don't get paid that much - after 5 years on the job!" With an MNC, in a foreign posting - I might add. Most IIM alums would have a similar story.
Yes, they get paid well and hold positions offering challenge and responsibility. But, few are actually 'obscenely rich'.
Bottomline: Take all these figures about MBA placements with a fistful of salt. There are many good reasons to consider doing an MBA but the hope of that $150,000 job should not be one of them.
The richest men in the world - like L N Mittal - have made their millions not on the backs of MBAs but native intelligence, hard work and good luck. If that's your dream - follow their example!