In the last two years, there has been considerable hype about start-ups and their potential to change the entrepreneurial landscape in the country. This has been accompanied by a frenzy among B-school graduates to run after start-ups, lured by bright prospects and the fat pay cheques they dished out. Accordingly, start-ups have been prominent first-day recruiters at all top B-schools, picking up the creme from campuses. But this year, things have changed rather drastically. With a sudden downtrend in this sunrise sector, start-ups have ceased to be the most favoured destination for B-school graduates. The reason is two-fold. First, the failure rate of start-ups has increased alarmingly, with a number of them biting the dust and news of lay-offs at others becoming the talk of town. Two, many start-ups have failed to keep their placement commitments and have either rescinded their offers or delayed joining dates. Recently the IITs together banned 31 companies from their placements for the same reasons. A majority of these were start-ups.
Though start-up activity is still vibrant, there is both a slowdown in the pace at which they have picked up MBAs from campuses and a reluctance on part of students to join such ventures. The silver lining is that old-world brick-and-mortar companies in conventional businesses are recruiting from B-schools at a brisk pace, though not at the speed with which start-ups hired till last year. What is encouraging is a growing interest among students to look for these conventional companies, which assure stability in jobs as well as good growth prospects.