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I-Bank to provide dal-chawal instead of pizza at pre-placement talks, to set expectations right

03, Apr 2015 By Pagla Ghoda

Mumbai: In an interesting turn of events a leading investment-bank Mercenaries Capital Advisors (Mercaps) has shocked the placement committees of leading engineering colleges across the country by declaring that this year the refreshments served during their pre-placement talks would be dal chawal and not pizzas.

Mercaps’s Asia-pacific talent acquisition head Mishika Budhiraja provided the following details over a Skype conferencing session with media, “Contrary to some of the news reports this is not at all a cost cutting exercise. Infact this move is strongly tied to our regional business needs. Let me explain the reasons behind this announcement in detail. When we hire talent from emerging economies such as India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan we tend to clarify to them upfront that the scope of their Investment-banking related work would be focused on emerging economy geographies only, because Asia-pacific is where the meat is. The developed markets are all stable and have low growth rates.”

Increases expectations?
Increases expectations?

“However what we have noticed of-late is that new recruits hired from campuses in these countries often expect plush postings in western locations such as London and New York. That is something we are not at all offering. We want to deeply ingrain, into our applicants, our hiring philosophy i.e. we are looking for talent which is not actually global but infact glocal. And a mixed stew of lentils & rice (dal-chawal) is a dish which is eaten all over the world but is a common dish in Indian menu, so it is truly Global+Local i.e. glocal. Hence by discontinuing pizzas and instead offering lentils & rice at Indian campuses during our pre-placement talks, we want to send out this clear business message,” Budhiraja added in an assertive tone.

When asked if Pizzas are completely discontinued from the pre-placement talk refreshments menu, Budhiraja smiled and said, “We understand that some of these campuses may have exchange students as well who will be attending our pre-placement talks hence we intend to keep limited amount of fresh bakery items in the menu for their consumption. To be honest all the food related discussion however is still a running wheel which we hadn’t had a chance to completely oil yet.”

This announcement has reportedly sent a wave of disappointment at engineering campuses throughout the country, where generations over generations of students have eagerly waited for deep-pocket investment banks to come for pre-placement talks and distribute free pizzas. On the contrary, some of the student placement committee members are actually welcoming this announcement by Mercaps.

Raghav Bhaisaora a 4th year chemical engineering student and head of his college’s placement committee, talked to our reporters and relayed his thoughts, “Every-time an I-bank comes to the campus and distributes pizzas, it turns into a very tough situation for us placement committee guys. A lot of students who don’t even know how an I-bank or even a normal bank works, come to attend the pre-placement talks in want for free pizzas. Some of them even ask irrelevant questions to the team giving presentation, such as “what is the quickest path to become a CEO of an I-bank?” or “what are the exit options from an I-bank?”. These questions lead to huge embarrassment for us.”

“And that is just the tip of the iceberg. As the pre-placement talks enter final stages and pizza boxes are about to be opened people start queuing up into huge “refugee-like” queues outside the discussion halls where pushing and shoving each-other is quite common. Last year there was a huge commotion outside one of our presentation halls where some students actually fought for the last box of pizza. A few shirts were torn, a few teeth dislodged and the pizza distribution counter was completely destroyed. It was extremely difficult for us to contain such an embarrassing situation. Hence I pray that all I-banks take this move by Mercaps as a precedent and ban pizzas in all pre-placement talks,” he added.

While this announcement has changed the campus placement eco-system as we knew it, economists are also estimating huge losses to dairy industry if other I-banks take this as a precedent and change their refreshment menus. A major chunk of dairy-industry revenues comes from processed cheese products which are common ingredients in pizzas and hence the dairy-industry’s topline is expected to be severely decimated owing to reduced consumption.