Hiring is back, at least in the consulting sector. Ambitious growth plans, higher risk compliance and stiff performance improvement targets are increasingly prompting companies to seek services of consultancy firms. In response to the growing demand, consultancies are hiring aggressively.
Take the case of EY. It has about 3,100 people in the consulting function and is planning to hire a record 1,000 people this year alone. In fact, over the next three years, EY's consulting division will expand to more than 7,100 people.
Similarly, firms such as KPMG, Bain & Co India, PwC and Monitor Deloitte are gung-ho about hiring this year. KPMG, which has 1,700 people in the consulting business, will be hiring aggressively in the current financial year.
"Be it FMCG, infrastructure, retail or insurance, there's a general excitement is most sectors. We will expand our workforce to some 7,500 people over the next three to four years," says Ambarish Dasgupta, Head of Management Consulting, KPMG India.
Concurs Nikhil Prasad Ojha, head of Bain & Company's strategy practice in India, and partner overseeing human resources: "We expect to hire even greater numbers than before and we are also expecting a larger number of people transferring into India from Bain offices elsewhere in the world. That's because our business here continues to be strong, and many of our clients are ratcheting up investment and expansion plans."
The bulk of the recruitment is taking place on campus but there have been some lateral hiring as well.
"Traditionally, we have been hiring engineers and management graduates. The emphasis is to diversify the workforce and hire people from other backgrounds," says Ambar Chowdhury, managing director of Monitor Deloitte India adding that they are looking at hiring economists and mathematicians going forward.
Ivy leagues institutes such as IITs and IIMs are the first port of call for many consultancies for several years now.
In India, consulting firms are broadly divided into three brackets. Consultancy firm such as McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group mostly do strategy consulting. Mid-rung firms such as Deloitte, KPMG, EY, Grant Thornton and PwC are involved in low-ticket projects. The remaining of the lot are smaller-size boutique firms who specialization in specific sectors and expertise areas.
The introduction of the Companies Act and stricter corporate governance rules (laid down by SEBI) are also keeping consultants busy.
"The compliance risk around everything is going to grow much bigger. One way for companies is to use their existing workforce to conceptualise and design the procedure. The other route is to outsource the work to consultants like us," says Sunil Chandiramani, partner and national leader (advisory services) at EY.
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