Do alumni of older IIMs feel a sense of fraternity with the new IIMs?

Over the past few years the number of seats available in the prestigious IIMs has gone up drastically mainly due to the setting up of 6-7 new IIMs. But how do the alumni from the older IIMs feel about these new campuses being set up, especially when it comes to hiring from these new campuses? Here is my personal take on this.

First and foremost, its easier to evaluate that which you know about. When it comes to hiring for your company, you would always want to hire someone who’s credentials you can verify and who’s achievements you can evaluate objectively. Thus, alumni would always prefer to hire from their own campus especially when the stakes are high and the job profile involves considerable responsibility. Most of my seniors were of the same opinion – hiring from one’s own campus helps you pick out the best candidates very easily, the chances of error are low.

This is the reason why new IIMs (or even new IITs) struggle during placements – they simply do not have an alumni network. And this is a phase that all of them have to go through – until the time when there is a critical mass of alumni from their institute, at influential positions in various companies that are regular recruiters at the older IIMs.

Then there is the credibility and assurance factor. Alumni from older IIMs have already established a certain credibility for themselves and their institute, the company management hence recruits from the older IIMs. It is like avoiding a risk factor by not hiring from the new institutes – there is no reputation or credibility attached to them as yet.

When trying to secure business contracts, client projects or key accounts, companies always rely on personal networks – generally of people who are working in senior management roles in various organizations. You would generally find alumni from older IIMs here – simply because the older IIMs have been there since the past few decades. The new IIMs suffer a major blow in this aspect – their alumni have simply not had the time to climb up the corporate ladder and hence they are not of much value when it comes to securing those key business accounts.

These are the few factors why alumni from older IIMs generally do not feel that camaraderie while hiring from new IIMs. A new institute will have to go through a sort of “gestation period”- where for the first 8-10 years it will have to wait patiently, while its alumni prove their mettle in whichever organization they work in. Once these alumni from new IIMs reach positions where they can influence hiring policies of their respective organizations then the placements at new IIMs will move to the next level.

Deepak Nanwani is the co-founder of One52.com, an online adaptive solution for GMAT, MBA and UG exams. An alumnus of IIT Guwahati and IIM Bangalore, he is a master strategist for all competitive exams.

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