In a first, Madras University has given the first-right-to-placement to HCL Technologies for 1.5 lakh students in 120 colleges affiliated to the University. Subrat Chakravarty, HR Head- Business Services, HCL Technologies, tells Shivani Shinde that the collaboration is a step closer to creating a pool of skilled, job-ready talent. Excerpts:
Ans. This tie up is not from HCL’s perspective but the IT industry in general. We were trying to find out ways to partner with academic institutes. The objective is two fold. First, how to increase the funnel of skilled employees not only from institutes in tier-I cities but also from tier II and III. Second, how do we partner and structure a curriculum where skill development is not the responsibility of industry post hiring the students.
Q. How will the programme work? How many students will HCL hire?
Ans. Under the programme called Lakshyam, we have taken on board 300 students. In the first phase of this tie-up we have touched 40 colleges of the 120 colleges. We have also identified an additional 1,000 students. We will conduct employability drives for students across various disciplines at the Madras University campus and at the campuses of its affiliated collages. Selected candidates will be extended Letters of Intent to undertake a three month on-the-job-training in their colleges itself. After this they will have a three-month internship with HCL and get a stipend too. HCL does have the first-right-of-refusal. If I have the opportunity to employ them, I will. Else the students can join any company they wish to.
Q. Given the competition, wouldn’t other IT companies mind this exclusive tie-up?
Ans. This is not about placements. From HCL’s perspective we will get a trained talent pool which we will have access to much before from others. They will be tied to the HCL culture way ahead. But there will be a section of student who would not be part of this and they can participate in the placement programme.
Q. So would hiring be for HCL’s IT services?
Ans. We are now experimenting this for our BPO business. But over a period of time we may stake it to the IT services segment. Once they start working with us they may be able to shift to the services business later