April 11, 2005


MBT is organizing placements for some colleges, and I went for the preliminary aptitude test today. It was a day almost wasted, as of course I didn’t qualify. But it was a learning experience; the next test will probably (hopefully) be a success.

For the uninitiated, let me tell you how placements for engineering students are held around here. There are a ridiculously large number of people studying engineering in Mumbai, so companies can make the selection process as tough as they want.

First off, there is the cut–off percentage, to be eligible for placements. It varies from company to company, most demand that your aggregate over the 5 semesters you’ve given so far be over 60%. Which is tough. Anyone below the cut–off is not considered for placements at all. Anyone with current KT’s is also not considered.

Then there are the preliminary aptitude tests and such. The companies set the toughest possible papers. They generally give you multiple–choice questions to test your analytical, verbal, logical, et cetera skills. Most only clear the top 20-25% students appearing for the test to the next stage.

Then comes the good stuff, where you are actually tested on what you know. Technical tests, technical interviews, HR interviews, behavioural evaluation and what not. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll get an offer at the end—anything from Rs. 225,000 to Rs. 325,000 per annum (before the deductions) is the norm these days for ‘normal’ colleges. But then, if you’re from the IIT or something, you can probably get a lot more.

All this and what is the result—you’ll almost surely end up in some BPO organization, or some software services company. There are really few product development companies in India. You’d probably get a job that is not creative at all, where being creative and innovative is probably gonna get you fired. It’s ironic isn’t it, the American tech guys are screaming about being Bangalored, while over here people are dying over getting the job no American wants anyway.

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