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India is going to be a game changer

Vivek Ahuja

What are the most important hiring trends for 2022 and beyond?

India is one of the biggest marketplaces in the world. Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, every industry has undergone monumental changes. To survive, businesses had to quickly adapt and change to this new reality. Huge growth is being realized in the Indian E retail, Healthcare, Digital, Financial & Banking and IT sector. The expectation is that within 3 years (2022-2025) India will be on a third place of the biggest economies of the world, right after China and the USA. Reason for IESF to zoom in on the recruitment market in India, with our local IESF partner Vivek Ahuja, Managing Director at Confiar Global. How is the current market situation in India after covid-19? Which industries are booming and why do more and more international companies search in India for the best talent?

Hiring activity in India is expected to see 31% growth across seven key sectors – automotive, BFSI, global in-house centers, heavy engineering and manufacturing, internet businesses, information technology, and pharmaceuticals – this year, according to the third annual Decoding Jobs Industry Sectoral Reports 2022. Now with Covid-19 cases ebbing, the overall hiring momentum is only expected to build up further. Hiring activity across global in-house centres in India is expected to post 31% growth in 2022 as compared to 27% growth in 2021.

Global marketplace
Vivek Ahuja: “A big part of the recruitment business in India consists of the placements of expats from and to India. India is really a great marketplace for the world. Several developments led to this situation. First, in India we experienced a mass resignation phenomenon after covid. The population of India is around 1.3 billion Indian. During the pandemic people really changed their way of work and their expectations of their work/life balance. A lot on Indian high educated people resigned their current jobs, which expected of them to travel through the extremely crowded public transfer in the main cities of India, like New Dehli. People discovered, they could also easily work from their home villages for multiple international companies, since online work is here to stay. This way they retain a perfect work/life balance, less travel, less housing and living costs and an increased income (because of the international currencies of the dollar and the euro). This makes India a very interesting marketplace for all foreign companies who want to set up shop in India, which are now mainly FMCG, Automotive, Manufacturing and IT companies.”

International top talent
Do you see a boost in International assignments in these Industries as well? Or a boost in the search for International talent? Vivek: “Yes, it definitely goes both ways. We see a lot of international talent coming to work in India. Japan is an important business partner to India. With their culture of copying the same company culture in every country they work in; we see a lot of Japanese Manufacturing facilities opening in India. Hiring in executive search for niche positions is usually done in smaller numbers. The number of expats being hired in niche positions is going up each year with the figure for 2015 so far showing an average of 30,000 to 35,000 of them working here. This number is set to increase by around 10-15​ percent each year as Indian economy starts reviving. Some of the recent expat CXO level in India are Ilker Ayci as Chief executive officer Air India (2022), Marc Llistosella as Chief executive officer Tata Motors and Brian Bade as Chief executive officer Reliance Digital. India has also produced a number of people who hold positions of power across the world, such as: Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), Parag Agrawal (Twitter), Leena Nair (Chanel), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe) and Arvind Krishna (IBM).”

Cost effective candidates with a first-class education
Indians are emerging as favourites of overseas companies looking for temporary/permanent but experienced workforce for specific requirements available at low cost, especially in the IT sector. Indians are being hired in sectors like manufacturing, retail, automotive, healthcare and banking. In the retail segment, temporary hiring by overseas companies has gone up by almost 45 percent. A lot of high educated Indian professionals emigrate to other countries and proceed their professional career overseas. There is a real hunt for more developed skills in emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Vivek explains: “In India we have a big focus on education of our children, and we really put emphasis on the English language, which helps them internationally. Our schools and universities are the best of the best. This is way in India there is a huge pool of highly qualified candidates from Engineering to Medicine. Those candidates really want to work outside of India, because of better circumstances and the poor state of our currency compared to other international currencies like the dollar or the euro. It’s very cost effective and interesting for another country to hire Indian talent. Working from home had also made a huge impact.”

Summary of the booming industries and job demand
If I look at the trends overall, these are the most important: It’s very likely that 2022 will see an expedited hiring process as employers move faster to secure talent in a tight labor market. Digital employment is creating a boom in the IT industry and blockchain is one of the fastest-growing skill sets with jobs in this domain. India is the largest recruitment market in the world, and with 1.30 billion people and growing, is the biggest threat to market competitiveness for all service economies. Virtual hiring is here to stay. AI and machine learning job demand is estimated to grow. Most of the organisations are adopting chat-bots which are forecast to empower approximately 45% of organizations’ customer support services by 2022. Roles in Learning and Development, Travel, Consumer Analysis, and Lead Nurturing would witness a spike in demand. The Indian FinTech market expanding rapidly, and is estimated to become the third largest market in the world by 2025. Indian IT has continued to hire through the course of the pandemic, and will exhibit similar trends in 2022.  Especially in Big Data Analytics roles. We also expect an increase in demand of skilled manpower and sales professionals.





About the author

Vivek Ahuja


With over 20 years’ experience in International Publishing, Media and Executive Search, Vivek Ahuja is Managing Director at Confiar Global (Confiar Consultants India Private Limited). The company he represents is the exclusive Indian Partner for IESF (International Executive Search Federation)—the world’s largest executive search group.

Vivek has been enjoying an illustrious career, spanning two decades. His previous roles included the position of Managing Director for India at the Random House Group, the world’s largest general English language publisher. Prior to that, Vivek served as a Publishing Director at UBS Publishers’ Distributors. Out of this experience, Vivek has built a rich portfolio of business successes in various fields.

Over, Vivek has shifted his professional focus, becoming Head of Business for the high-end Executive Search Company in India. Vivek is a key shareholder of Confiar Global, as well as its Managing Director. Confiar Global is a sister company of the Kochhar Group—one of India’s largest law firms. As a member of various International Trade bodies, Vivek contributes articles to leading newspapers and journals.

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