India, which has the largest number of business schools of any country, has suffered as its economy has slowed and hundreds of its second-tier business schools were forced to close.
But improved confidence in a recovery under new prime minster Narendra Modi has given a boost to a jobs market that has not been able to absorb India’s massive graduate population.
A number of Indian MBA programs are now featured in the Financial Times’ global MBA rankings.
Companies across sectors have ambitious plans to increase hiring through business school campuses.
At Citi, the financial services group, the total number of hires under its flagship campus hiring programs is expected to surge by 37% to 301 this year, compared with 219 in 2014, according to Citi India.
Professional services group KPMG has increased hiring by 15% to 20%, based on the number of job offers sent out, according to a head of people, performance and culture, with strong recruitment noted in consulting.
Last year, KPMG hired more than 20 graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology and more than 60 people from the Indian Institutes of Management – a collection of high-ranking business schools.
PwC, another leading professional services firm, will increase its intake of new hires from business schools by between 10% to 20% in 2015.
Tech companies are also forecast to hire strongly, with Microsoft increasing job offers this year, particularly for “machine roles” which include jobs in big data and data analytics.
Vodafone, the UK-based telecoms group, will hire more than 130 people from the top-15 business schools in India this year.
Snapdeal, the e-retailer, will hire nearly 150 MBA graduates from leading business schools for roles in marketing, product development, strategy and operations.
E-commerce hiring is set to be particularly strong in India, as home grown companies such as Flipkart, founded by two IIT graduates, and foreign invaders including Amazon look to tap into the fast-growing market.
“Hiring by e-commerce firms and start-ups have (sic) seen a rapid increase over the last couple of years,” said Deepa Mani, a professor with the information systems group at the Indian School of Business, 50% more in 2014 than a year earlier.
ISB said in 2014 that 300 job offers were made by 53 technology companies for its students, with recruitment led by Amazon and Apple.
At the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, e-commerce companies hired about 7% of the class, it said in a career report last year.
At IIM Bangalore, its 2014 career report said Amazon made 11 job offers, while Flipkart, Jabong and Yepme were the biggest hirers among e-commerce companies.
Future Group, a conglomerate with a large retail operation, will for the first time hire first-year MBA students on two-year MBA programs from the Indian Institutes of Management, according to a chief HR officer.
Future Group will hire 100 to 150 people for management roles across different functions.
Godrej, an Indian conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai, is expecting to hire 10% to 12% more people for management roles 2015 compared with last year, with positions in sales and digital marketing, supply chain management, and strategy, according to a head of group HR.
“Companies are seeking MBAs who can integrate cutting edge technologies with traditional business functions such as marketing and finance,” said Deepa at ISB.
Manufacturing companies are also investing in their human capital, with car maker Rolls Royce poised to increase its Indian graduate intake this year, particularly engineers.