Ozone Education Consultants (OEC), a Pune based educational consultancy focused on the Mumbai and Pune B-schools, has embarked on a novel initiative to boost employability in MBA Schools and engineering institutions in the country. Starting with the Indira Group in Pune and the Chetana group in Mumbai, Ozone has achieved 100% placement of eligible candidates in Indira’s flagship Institute – Indira School of Business Studies.
The nascent company achieved this feat of placing the MBA students of Indira despite a challenging job market crippled by economic slowdown... Says Mr. Shantanu Sen Sharma, an IT veteran of 25 years, and Co-Founder and Chief Mentor, Ozone Education Consultants “We completed one full year of mentoring at the Indira Group of Management Schools, Chetana group in Mumbai as well as Chanakya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai. Our approach of using senior professional industry mentors to work closely with the Institute and its students, has paid off well, not just in terms of sheer employment, but also salary fitments and entry of the students into Alpha brand companies. This year we have seen increased placements in IT and ITES, Consulting and even Manufacturing. Banking and FMCG continue to be strong, though there have been challenges in Telecom and Retail”
Adds Mr. Chetan Wakalkar, Group Director at The Indira Group, “This was a new initiative that we started with Ozone and its team of industry mentors, and we are happy that all our eligible students who were mentored by Ozone Education Consultants, on a continuous learning program of a year, got good jobs with reputed corporates. Recognising the need of the job market to have students who are job ready, we have extended the mentoring to all (approximately) 1000 students of 5 Institutes under the Indira group of Institutes for the year 2012-13. Some of the reputed corporates which selected our students are Deloitte, ITC, TCS, ICICI and many more. The Ozone Team mentored our students through One-on-One and Group Interactions covering Sector awareness, self-discovery, and simulated selection exercises.”
The feedback from students who are now placed has been very encouraging and they feel that program has value added to their curriculum. Says an ex student, “I would like to thank Ozone mentors from the bottom of my heart for their valuable feedback, I have been able to crack 2 companies and I just kept one mantra in mind - I have to bring something new to the GD and this should be relevant to the topic at the same time.”
Deepak Jain, alumni of CIMR and currently working as Executive Assistant to CEO of a leading conglomerate into textiles, FMCG, and real estate says, “The focus on functional knowledge of Finance, refresher on fundamentals, apart from ET reading sessions has been a prime support for me in landing a good job profile, when the job market was undergoing recession”
The company, in order to ensure that the students mentored by it are “Interview Ready” in the short run and “Job Ready” in the longer term, uses the services of a panel of industry experts from various verticals and functional areas, as mentors. These sector specialisations include IT, Retail, Telecom, Banking, Insurance, FMCG, Pharmaceuticals, Media and Advertising, Engineering and Logistics. In addition Ozone takes help of behavioural consultants and academicians on board to help the students in selecting and competing for the right kind of jobs for them. Ozone also has, in its advisory panel 2-3 CXO Level people from the corporate world.
V. Srinivasan, an Ozone mentor, who is an IIT Kanpur alumnus and was formerly heading Patni’s delivery unit in Pune says, “there is gap in what the corporate expects from a job ready professional and the skill sets of the business & engineering graduates. Ozone aims to bridge this gap.”
India has nearly 4000 management schools, churning out 4.50 lakhs management graduates every year. Most of them barring the top B-schools have challenges in placements and salaries and 50 per cent of those placed quit their jobs in the first year. There is a disillusionment prevailing all around. As far as the engineering graduates are concerned, the scene is no better. Of the 7.50 lakhs plus graduates every year, only 25 per cent are employable (source NASSCOM) and 65 per cent of employers are dissatisfied with the skill levels of fresh recruits (source FICCI & World Bank).
The students7*- face issues on awareness of various job roles in the market and sectors, awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses, lack of conviction on their own areas of specialization, confidence etc. The Ozone mentoring process which begins at the end of the first semester for an MBA student comprises of various modules and sessions. These include Aptitude Tests, Emotional Intelligence, Sector Knowledge sessions, Corporate Group Discussions, Discovery Interviews, Personal Interviews and Individual Feedbacks. All of which helps in making the right career choices.
Today OEC provides its services to over 2500 students in eight management/engineering institutes in Mumbai and Pune. It plans to gradually scale this up to other centres and more institutes in the coming years. There is also a plan to get Corporates to pre select candidates who can then be trained as per the Company’s requirements, while they are finishing their management program, thereby cutting down on their learning curve on the job itself.