Friday, April 07, 2006

ISB placements - an update

So it's Bangalore based ITC Infotech that's forked out $233,000 to an ISB grad. And it's to a chap with 10 years experience.

Further, one of the 2 women who got placed at what the media calls a "1 crore" plus package is Swati Singh. An exceptional individual who was, in fact, the first woman officer to join the merchant navy way back in 1996. She joins real estate consultants Tishman Speyer in London.

Sadly this information was missing on the day that the 'one crore' salary figure was first announced.

I honestly feel it must be made mandatory for b schools to qualify salary figures with the age and experience of the placed candidate so that Chunnus and Munnus seeing MBA ke sapne across India get the right perspective!

Another interesting point from the article in today's ET on ISB placements:

These women super-achievers also share a great sense of work-life balance. In their mid-to-late 20s, they are open to the idea of marriage and seek spouses “who will understand” their career choices.

I sure would like to hear from these women when they find those understanding men... Coz my understanding is that as women scale further heights on the achievement ladder, it gets tougher to connect with a suitable spouse.

Secondly, you ain't seen nothing of work-life balance until you've balanced work with a wailing kid. Women who've completed their MBAs in their early 20s generally finish with the 'kid thing' by their early 30s and then struggle with balancing a middle/ senior management role and bringing up a child or two. Many, of course, give up working for a while. Some bow out altogether.

It would therefore be interesting to track the careers of the ISB women - many of whom are in their late 20s now - and see if they make different choices. Or evolve new means of 'having it all'.

Not for a moment do I suggest that all women must have children. But, if you do want them, biology demands you do so by around the age of 35. And for women who are in the 'super achiever' league, just 4-5 years into their dream jobs, that may be a tough call.

I would love to hear from women - MBAs and otherwise - on this issue.


  1. I am glad people now know their previous career choices and total work experience.

    It should indeed be humbling to notice a good 7-10 year work ex behind someone who bagged that omygawd package.

    Compare that to the execs I know who have 20+ years of experience but earn only half of that 1C package, ISB seems irresitable no matter how daunting it might turn out....

    But why stress so much on gender as if you are seeking vindication? Except for the 'India' shown in NAT GEO & Discovery, women today are getting equal opportunities at education and jobs.

    You don't have to hail their achievements separately as women achievers, coz when you do that, you sound like filthy politicians in my state Chhattisgarh hailing the SC/ST folks who got into IITs.

  2. u r right...women might become super achievers but still they have to end up balancing the home with work...the load is never equally shared...esp when the kids are small.
    its a tuf choice and i dont think any solutions will emerge until some things get redefined...

  3. hey! you didnt bother to mention another article in ET which says these guys have to work for like 18 hours a day + weekends!

    they are like slaves! infact slaves would be better! so the burnout rate is too high! hardly we would get to hear from most of them aftera few years! plus women ... doesnt matter! they will never have a favorable work like balance at that salary!

    something to chew upon eh?

  4. The media need to cover the life of these people after a year or so.
    What is the point of making so much money and not having time to spend it!

    There is more to life than money. It is a cliche but very true.

  5. These women would get understanding spouses if they marry guys belonging to super rich families with 25 servants in the house in which case the women dont have to even cook anyway or take care of kids. But if they marry some middle class guy who has a background similar to theirs, then it is pretty unlikely because the women will most likely not like the idea of their husbands sitting at home and tending the kids even if the husbands are willing to do so and society will also chide such husbands for not being man enough. Plus the guys would also not give up their jobs because if the women treat them badly because they are earning less, then they need their jobs to be able to divorce without fear since men dont easily get alimony on getting divorced easily.

    As far as work life balance is concerned, of course there will be no work life balance - no company is a fool to fork out a huge amount just like that without getting returns for it. Or the pay could have a massive variable component to the range of 50 to 60% in which case the actual take home could be much less.

  6. Even if a women has an understading mate/family the attitude of the corporate world changes, once a woman has a baby.

    A close friend of mine, an MBA from a premium B School was in the process of chaging jobs and joining a large respected American corporation. Just a couple of days before joining she discovered that she was pregnant. She just mentioned this to the company and their whole attitude changed. They actually discouraged her from joining. Their point was " The job will be very hectic and in your condition you should not take on so much stress". This same company would have been sued for millions in the US if they had tried such a stunt there. But we all know that it doesn't work the same way in India.

    So I dont think women still get equal opportunities etc--- We men still have it much easier.

  7. Not entirely related to the women issue but definitely related to the B-school salaries and buzz words.
    B-school grads & salaries – few points to ponder

    1. Comparing the highest salaries with what Trump offered to Bill Rancic (The Apprentice of Season 1) $250,000 – They fall within the range of 80-90%. Now that’s truly impressive. Coz those who have watched Season 1 know how amazing the self-made million dollar cigar business owner turned Apprentice really is. And I am not wary of the talents of these b-school grads but surely they can’t be in the same league as Bill, Kerry or Kendra. So actually their pay packets look inflated to me.
    2. Secondly there’s a caveat – does anybody track what these people earn 2-3 yrs down the line? It’s almost certain that these hyped big shots wont stick with a company for long and then when they hop the jobs what do they get? I have a hunch that it’s a roller coaster ride – first up then down.
    3. Last but not the least – How many take up the challenge of starting something of their own? Entrepreneurship is a whole new ball game which unfortunately our so called world beaters are not playing. After accumulating the best business acumen, they just wanna rush to sell themselves to corporations. As an entrepreneur if they are earning 10% of the highest pay packet offered, to me they are the winners in life. The media relentlessly showcases what I would call as “the price paid to make individuals a slave.” (Yah it’s a bit extreme and harsh but I love the term White Collared Slaves.) For a change please give us some coverage on b-school grads turned entrepreneurs. I would love to hear about those b-school grads who have had the courage and determination to use their skills for generating wealth for the nation rather than doing a LBO structuring for some corporation. Looking at the current scenario, this may be a long wait.

  8. If the investment is high , running cost is low or vice versa

  9. The standing joke among the older batches from the IIMs, at alumni reunions, is that we should all quit our jobs and go back to business school to do our MBAs again – we’ll get much higher salaries from campus than we are currently getting. The only problem – we may not get into the IIMs again what with the increased competition and the proposed 49% reservations.

    I would like to point out that what we are witnessing is competitive bragging by the leading business schools in India to prove that they are better than the than the rest or at least as good. Gross salary figures are being touted without being transparent about the details – how much is the variable pay, how much is the annual performance bonus, how much is the ESOP component, what is the cost of living in the city where the job is located, what is the tax rate there, is the student joining at the entry level or does he have prior work experience, which is the company making the offer and so on. And the media is participating in this game happily without asking the right questions, because apparently high salaries make great copy.

    I have heard that there are substantial variable (read which may or may not be earned) and ESOP (with a high notional value) components in at least some of the very high offers at the leading business schools.

    Some smoke and mirrors here.

  10. Point well made. Perhaps, these young MBA ladies do not realize, at the time of graduation, how life's gonna change a few years down the line :)

  11. Hi Rashmi,
    I fail to understand the sarcasm, if any, you wanted to convey in this article!! [:)]
    Anyhow, I found this link in jammag magazine. This was very offensive in speaking of CEG Guindy. It is the "oldest technical" college in India, and I am proud to say that I am an alumni of that college. Do you know that CEG was started in 1796 as College of Civil engineering and at that time, it was the only technical college outside Europe? Plz, remove those remarks for they don't deserve to be there!!
    It is sad that the college has lost its sheen because of the political atmosphere but still, the alumni and students make it to the top everywhere. CEG is the main campus of Anna University, Chennai.

    Anna University has constantly figured among the top 10 - 15 technical colleges in India (though, it is another fact that I don't believe in those rankings. Am just trying to prove it is not just another college)

    If any of your journo junta makes such remarks out of sheer enthu, plz read through it and make sure what they say is true.

  12. Hi R,

    This is unrelated to your post.But IS related to that lttle ad bar above it.

    I happened to notice an ad for Amity Business school when yr page was served up a few minutes ago.

    After all you did at JAM to expose them,AdSense goes and advertises for it behind your back!
    The irony! :)

  13. The indian media is going to the dogs! they have infact tabloidised the entire scene, where salary figures of MBA grads becomes more important than what they did prior to that or after that. Things are trivialised and sensationalised out of proportion.
    sad situation indeed! here's an article in Dawn by Omar R Quraishi that very much states the truth.


  14. Anonymous6:25 AM

    Coz my understanding is that as women scale further heights on the achievement ladder, it gets tougher to connect with a suitable spouse.
    You think it happens in 2006 still ??? Comeon... not from you too....

  15. Act its a question which haunts me always we study to gain knowledge or to gain money...i think now its the latter one.Even with these premier institutes in the end mainly the students do go for big packets there maybe few who take up a job of which they r passionate off..To b frank for these kind of people u dont ve to even get into IIM's or ISB's without this they wud make it big bcoz they love wht they doo...and that wats the long run

  16. Well
    Very true..Infact I have seen couple of very talented females quitting their job beacuse of family related issues..
    And when they come back after 2-3 years, they have already missed out a whole lot of opportunity, their ex-peer now their boss..and on top of that, at times they are looked down as *failures* for taking a break in their career..(is she making an excuse?)


  17. well, the "balance" is quite a delicate thing i guess. and can vary from person to person, what works for you might not work for another.

    my mom is an accomplished doctor, and it was all possible because of the constant support and understanding by my father. (well, it helped to have an understanding son like me as well :P)

    great writing! like the style.

  18. Hi Rashmi,
    Interesting to find you write about this today. After a weekend of conversations, Google research and the identification of my point, I managed to jot it all down in my blog.

    There is something amiss for sure and I hope someone explains it to me soon.

    Keep writing!

  19. As always hard hitting BLOG....

    but point is that "forget 10 years of experience, add another 10 year of grey hair....can earn 1 crore salary? that's the BIG question mark for other ppl.

  20. Well ITC Infotech is a pretty lousy company that offers lousy jobs - it usually does not get a chance to get anyone at IIPM or even IIMs. The high salary is basically to get and retain guys who for a lousy job that nobody wants.

  21. as a woman, mother, professional, wife and a late in life mba student ( almost done, btw !!! ) i can say from experience that no matter what the arm chair pontificators say, the burden is tilted in favour of the woman.

    men are frankly not programmed to deal with things the way a woman can.
    so she just does her things her own way the best she can, as the other option will be far worse.

    in fact, a lot of the additional burden is a function of men and their expectations.

    i dont think this is about redefining roles. if at all, its about re-wiring our opposite gender which i dont think is humanly possible.



  22. i cud say this is a cliched sour grapes case ...but then that would be cliched too...:)
    Anyway...i'm one of the few who joined ISB for an MBA soon after college and am pretty happy with the end result...job, exposure, al... As for "understanding spouse"... i think it could be a problem for some...but i know of people who are OK with the woman earning my own family, there have been couples staying apart for a couple of years if the jobs didnt permit them coz neither of them thought it was fair to make the other move/quit. Also, it is one's own choice...personally, i would move when i get married...coz my dreams dont have an age limit...and i dont base my life on my salary...

  23. I don't think that B-Schools owe it to anyone to make known the antecedents of their students. It is the responsibility of the Press to do such things before trying to sensationalise matters.

    Actually, I would quite hate it if my B-school provided information to anyone- let alone the Press on my salary (God only knows what the in-hand would be), alongwith other aspects of my past lives.

    And if the Chunnu Munnus get carried away by such things, they deserve what they get.

  24. I didnt know that the chap had 10yrs of experience. The media should give out such info too. It should paint a complete picture, not a hazy one that focuses on only the silver linings.
    -A Blisfully Ignorant Person

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