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IIT’s witnessing an increasing number of trading firms placement

IIT’s witnessing an increasing number of trading firms placement

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are witnessing an increasing number of trading firms, led by high-frequency players that use complex computer programs to trade, visiting their campuses to hire top talent.

Amsterdam-based Da Vinci Derivatives and Maverick Derivatives to Quantbox Research, Quadeye and Graviton Research are among the many making a beeline at these engineering colleges. Placement cells at the IIT of Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras and Kanpur are reporting a three- to five-fold increase in the number of such visiting firms this year, even as final placements begin Wednesday.

With a surge in trading activity across the globe, especially over the last year, and high-frequency trading firms making big profits during markets volatility, these algorithmic trading platforms are chasing tech talent pools as they scale up.

Some of these companies are expected to offer Rs 1 crore and beyond during final placements, say student representatives of placement cells.

Last year was one for the record books when high-frequency trading firms made a lot of money through market-making, given how volatile the market was, said Prashant Singh, managing director, Quantbox Research.

“Now that money is getting reinvested and put into building a talent pipeline for the future as we look at getting into more areas. A big opportunity also exists in the Indian market and there are only a few firms in the space,” he added.

That is why competition is intense to get the top few students on campuses. Firms are frequently revising their packages to keep up with rivals because they don’t want to lose out on the best candidates.

“We have revised our package and are now paying a base salary of Rs 40 lakh and sign-on bonus of Rs 10 lakh. The bonus range for the first year is Rs 20-40 lakh; for the second year Rs 30-60 lakh,” said Singh.

“Da Vinci Derivatives is visiting some of the best IITs for roles like trader, quant analyst, software engineer,” said its head of legal, compliance and human affairs, Blerina Anastasi. As reported by ET on Tuesday, the package offered is euros 153,000 (Rs 1.3 crore) without stock options.

“Da Vinci Derivatives is growing and we are looking at hiring top talent from the best Indian IITs,” said Anastasi. It is also visiting other leading universities in India to recruit freshers, she said.

“High-frequency trading is mathematically and algorithmically driven, and our students are well-trained in these domains,” said IIT-Madras adviser (training & placement) CS Shankar Ram. Last year four trading firms had visited the campus while about a dozen are expected this year.

At IIT-Kharagpur, at least eight trading firms are likely to visit compared with two last year. IIT-Guwahati is expecting four-five such firms against one last year.

IIT-Delhi has also seen an increasing number of trading firms visiting its campus. “These companies are now seriously hunting for key talent to build a strong back end,” said Anishya Obhrai Madan, head of career services.

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