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India – Demand rising for some specialised roles

03 September 2013

Even though large swathes of the job market remain subdued, against the backdrop of a rapidly deteriorating economic environment, a few roles are witnessing increasing demand, according to headhunters reporting to the Economic Times India.

Management consultants, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) with strong global fund raising skill sets, sales professionals in the IT sector, corporate restructuring experts, strategic sourcing heads, and senior managers with experience in Europe are among the roles that are now in demand, an Economic Times survey of seven recruitment and headhunting firms, including Korn/Ferry International, EMA Partners, Odgers Berndtson and Randstad India, has found.

Navnit Singh, chairman and regional MD India for Korn/Ferry International, stated: "The big four (KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and E&Y) have vacancies in advisory business and need management consultants at partner level.”

Korn/Ferry International has also noticed IT majors stepping up hiring of sales professionals. "The funnel is opening and US economy has picked up in last few months. Tech firms need specialists who can clinch business from clients’ side," said Singh.

Alasdair Spink, managing partner for Odgers Berndtson in India, commented: "Our Indian clients want to make sure they are well hedged in case domestic markets do not improve. We also have mandates for functional and operations heads for Europe, which is expected to improve soon".

Ajay Singh Shekhawat, client partner at EMA Partners, stated: "Unlike the earlier slowdown, companies are increasingly trying to decentralise decision making and want talent that’s more autonomous and can take quick decisions on investments.”

The search firm is seeing strong demand for CFOs with strategic global fundraising experience. Raising capital, according to Mr Shekhawat, is becoming extremely difficult in India. "The role of a CFO is more strategic and important than ever before," he says.

"There is a limited pool for this kind of work because the Foreign Account Tax Compliance act (FATCA) will go live on Jan 2014 and the IRS reporting will go live in 2017," he says. The implementation of FATCA is to detect and deter offshore tax evasion by US corporations.

Sreenivasa R Yadavilli, managing director of Futurestep has seen a rise in demand for profiles; such as strategic sourcing. Salaries for asset reconstruction managers have doubled as demand has increased. "In times of a slowdown, the job of an asset reconstruction manager becomes important as they work with nonperforming loans/assets to recreate value," he added.

Demand is also strong for corporate restructuring experts and mortgage repossession negotiators, according to Randstad India. Statisticians and big data analysts also feature among India Inc.’s most wanted professionals, according to ABC Consultants.

"Growth related to government project spending in electricity, railways, roads and highways, port, airports is also expected," says Amit Jain, business head, TimesJobs.com. Maximum hiring is expected in areas like design engineering, highways, civil engineering and contract management, according to studies conducted by the job portal.

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