COVID-19 impact: Low job placements may lead to a spurt in start-ups

COVID-19 impact: Low job placements may lead to a spurt in start-ups

The campus recruitment this year has taken a beating due to the coronavirus, and the impact may even be more during the next year feel industry experts. While there is a possibility that the prevalent conditions could lead to a spurt in the new start-ups with most of them focused on the healthcare segment, it is likely that the angel investors will make investment criteria even more stringent. 

During this time of the year, many of the professional colleges in Goa, including engineering and management institutes, are busy with campus recruitment. But this year, COVID-19 lockdown seems to have shattered the dreams of many young professionals expecting to be recruited through campus placements.

Assagao Shrinivas Joshi, Manager at the Corporate Institute Relationship Cell of Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, said that usually the placement season starts in August every year and ends in April.

“Most of the companies visited our campus or finished their pooled campus drives by the second week of March. Few companies were also lined during March-end and April which couldn’t hire due to lockdown. Placement scenario looks good depending on the number of offers made before lockdown but now would depend on joining dates and honouring of offers provided business requirements are still the same,” he said.

Dr Neena Panandikar, the Principal of Don Bosco College of Engineering Fatorda, said that the prolonged lockdown has indeed affected in certain ways the overall job placement scenario this time.

“Due to lockdown, it is not possible to visit the colleges, but some of the companies have initiated online placement drive,” she said.

Maxwell Rodrigues, Managing Director of Mattzus Learning Technologies Private Limited, expressed that the job placement is moving in slow motion for most industries.

The CEO of Forum for Innovation and Incubation Research and Entrepreneurship (FiiRE), DS Prashant, said that the prevalent condition due to COVID-19 had impacted the lives of every person. It is not an emergency which will wane easily.

“The situation has created an uncertain future which has also opened up a lot of opportunities, particularly for our country. The economy has been hit the most. Job cuts and salary cuts are immediate reactions. The purchasing power will also take a hit. Innovation and application of existing technologies in new ways are going to be the way forward. This will take some time to establish and sustain, till then, job placements will be a big challenge,” he said.

Giving further insights on the placements that Agnel Institute of Technology and Design sees, Joshi added, “More than 35 companies visit the college campus every year for core and IT hiring. He said that the average salary offered outside Goa is Rs 3.5 to Rs 3.8 lakh per annum and around Rs 2.4 lakh per annum in Goa and the highest package offered is Rs 12 lakh per annum.

“Our major hiring in IT domain was carried out by the first week of March, and we were waiting for core branch placements, for example, mechanical during March-end and in April which is stalled due to lockdown.” 

The Don Bosco Principal Dr Panandikar adds, “During the last recruitment season from May 2018 to April 2019, we had 28 companies that recruited 72 students from civil, mechanical, ETC and computer engineering. The salary offered on an average was Rs 3.36 lakh per annum with the highest package being Rs 6.45 lakh per annum.”

Speaking about the recruitment status this year in Don Bosco, the Training and Placement officer, Avila Naik, said, “This year we entered into placements in May 2019, and so far 51 students have been placed in 14 companies. The highest package so far is Rs 12 lakh per annum.”

But due to COVID-19 lockdown, the number of companies visiting the campus in March, April and May have reduced, thus affecting the placement scenario.

Rodrigues of Mattzus Learning Technologies said that from the companies’ point of view, recruitment would be slow, especially for non-essential manufacturing and service sector.

When asked if there is a drastic reduction in placement, what would be the fallout, Joshi said, “Looks like this will have more effect on 2021 batch hiring as a lot of changes are happening and projects getting cancelled from overseas too.”

“But even start-ups will not be the easy way out as investors will be more careful with their investments,” he cautioned. Joshi said that start-ups depend on one’s novel idea and hence sudden spurt will not be seen.

Prashant said that one of the reasons for innovation to prosper in any given society is when the society is challenged for its basic needs.

“We have seen and experienced the spurt of innovative and sustainable solutions to the various challenges put forth by the pandemic whether the ventilators, PPE, masks, shields, sanitisers, medical equipment, diagnostic equipment, among others. Thus we will see a spurt in new ideas cropping up and people taking the route of commercialising the ideas by setting up start-ups. 

“Another reason why we will see many start-ups in the coming time is because the talented manpower will find it more attractive to make use of their talent to build new products than work in unpredictable work scenarios wherein they may be out of their comfort zone,” he stated.

Dr Panandikar said that there would be a spurt in start-ups to some extent.

“To some extent, yes, start-ups are slowly increasing as the students are entering into a mindset to be job providers rather than job seekers. With entrepreneurship development programmes and boot camps, the number of students interested in start-ups is increasing. We create awareness among our students right from the first year of engineering and those who inspire to be future entrepreneurs are mentored and given guidance in that direction,” she said.

Dr Panandikar also opined that the service business would leap forward in the rare situation that includes skill, expertise, goods and products.

“We need to focus more on innovative ideas on environment and health, especially in medical combat readiness category on account of COVID-19. Believe that solutions developed by young minds can be game-changers,” she said.

Joshi, however, expressed that home delivery is becoming more essential to prevent COVID-19 and lot of people have started working in this domain. Additionally, huge potential in providing PPE equipment for healthcare is also seen.

“Start-ups that cater to healthcare and cleanliness will boom as people will be more cautious henceforth. Wireless access control and bio-medical field related start-ups might also surge,” he said.

Rodrigues believes that the investors will be looking for innovative essential services, products and e-market and e-learning for at least the next two years.

Prashant said that there are certainly bright and attractive areas which include health and wellness, biotechnology and life sciences, artificial intelligence and data science, predictive science, robotics and drone technology, agriculture and food, energy and climate change will also be an attractive proposition if not immediately.

According to Jose Manuel Noronha, Goa State Innovation Council Chairman, the lockdown has already affected the economy, and a direct result will be the impact it will have on the overall employment scenario at both the skilled and unskilled level.

When asked if the State will witness a spurt in start-ups, he said, “Yes. There will be a spurt in start-ups, especially in the medical and related fields and more so in the ones connected to ITES.”

“While start-ups based on medical sciences and related areas will probably see a rise given the present pandemic, innovation knows no bounds. We also need deep-pocketed investors who will be willing to invest high-risk capital into these start-ups. If an idea is good and the possibility of commercialisation high, there will be a number venture capitalists or angel investors who would be more than willing to seed fund the enterprise, he said.


  • Clean energy
  • Drone technology
  • Food and agriculture
  • Medical diagnostics
  • PPE


It’s clear that in the post-corona world, entrepreneurship will see a major spike. Re-skilling and learning the basic ropes of business are the needs of the hour. Making use of the quarantine period is all the more critical, and several online programmes can help. APG Learning’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs in the past. The programme needs no physical attendance. Click here to know more.

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