technology

Startups with deep pockets are making a beeline for IITs


Startups are making a beeline for Indian Institutes of Technology campuses this placement season.

Hungry for technology talent to expand, these players–some of them unicorns, or firms with a valuation of $1 billion or more–are all chasing fresh engineers in droves. They include stalwarts like Walmart-owned Flipkart and edtech firm Byju’s, to freshly minted unicorns like CarDekho, Razorpay and NoBroker, as well as others like Indus Insights, who are all looking to increase campus hires from IITs by up to 2-5 times this year.

Job profiles in demand include software development engineers, associate product manager/developers, data analysts, AI/ML engineers, front-end and back-end engineers, among others.

“This year, our hiring numbers for roles in technology overall are 2X compared to last year, which includes the pool of engineering recruits from IITs,” Krishna Raghavan, chief people officer at Flipkart, told ET. Like last year, Flipkart is “engaging all the IITs, including newer IIT campuses at Bhubaneswar, Indore and Hyderabad,” he said.

Most of these startups are visiting more IITs this year and recruiting a larger number of engineers from campuses that they had visited last year. Grofers, Amazon, Zeta, Udaan, Cohesity, Unacademy and UpGrad are the other prominent startups and unicorns coming to IITs to recruit tech talent this year.

The sustained demand for engineers is also because several startups and new recruiters are coming to the campuses for the first time, said Abhishek Kumar, head of the Centre for Career Development at IIT Guwahati. These fund-rich unicorns and startups are raring to grow and expand their reach.

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Byju’s is hiring from IITs, including Roorkee, Madras, Varanasi (BHU), Kanpur, among others. “As we are expanding our product portfolio and footprint across regions, in newer geographies, we are looking at targeted hires from IITs to administer our various initiatives,” Chief People Officer Pravin Prakash said.

Razorpay intends to double its intake across IITs this year. The fintech unicorn plans to hire 40 engineers across 11 campuses this year including from five new IITs–Kanpur, Indore, Varanasi, Hyderabad and Dhanbad. “Razorpay is growing rapidly and the increase in hiring is in line with our growth targets,” said Chitbhanu Nagri, senior vice president of people operations. “This year, competition has intensified, and we have doubled down on efforts to recruit good students.”

It’s a similar story at NoBroker, which is hiring 52 engineers from IITs such as Guwahati, Roorkee, BHU (Varanasi), a huge jump from last year when it hired only eight engineers. “Our first hires from IITs recruited 5-7 years ago are currently working with us in senior positions handling individual teams…the hires that we have from IITs have proved to be an asset for the company,” said Akhil Gupta, chief technology officer at NoBroker.

CarDekho also intends to hire 21 engineers in the final placement season this year and a similar number as summer interns. Last year, it hired nine engineers from across IIT campuses.

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