The Indian industry’s appetite for growth will continue unabated in 2019, with most economic sectors scouting for talent in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
The positive trend we saw in 2018, marked by overall confidence, will translate to strong demand for talent across the spectrum, especially in the mid and senior management levels.
Will the 2019 general elections prove to be a headwind that will slow down growth and recruitment? It is unlikely if the current ruling party stays on board as forecast by many analysts.
On the contrary, a fresh mandate could mean reforms to further ease the rules of doing business which will fuel new investment and generate employment.
Professional services in top demand
Sales will continue to be one of the fastest growing areas of recruitment as companies seek to expand market access. We also see rising demand for talent in business partnering functions such as HR, Finance and Legal especially from Indian companies as they professionalize their operations.
The two factors driving the push for professionalization are firstly, the need to comply with international norms. Second, the insistence on professional operations by venture capitalists that are now funding new investments as well as expansion projects due to the reluctance from banks to lend money.
Hiring trend in key sectors
We look at major sectors of the economy from an HR angle:
- Financial services: The non-banking finance (NBFC) sector has been through a difficult period in recent months. We do not see any immediate pick up in this sector. The same is true of the large private sector banks that are nursing sizeable NPAs and facing pressure on their margins.
- Fast-moving consumer goods: We anticipate a lot of action in the FMCG space, beginning with April, when the new financial year begins. We can expect new product lines and continuing infusion of global brands.
- E-commerce: We can expect mid-size companies in this sector continuing to professionalise just the way heavy weights like Flipkart did in their growth years. The biggies are also expanding amid exponential growth of Indian e-commerce that has captured global attention and investment.
- Healthcare: The pharmaceutical sector is witnessing lot of movement with reshuffling of portfolios. This sector is also looking to diversify talent by recruiting from other industries. The multinational companies are facing pricing pressure but they are better off than the Indian companies, many of whom derive a significant portion of their revenues from the US, where government policies are hurting margins.
- Information technology: The software industry is on a hiring spree and presents a huge opportunity for India. The sector is hiring talent mainly in the data and analytics space. The other major areas are engineering, architecture and product development. The e-commerce companies are also hiring talent from the same pool. This area is witnessing a real war for talent because of the huge gap between supply and demand.
- Real estate: Hiring will pick up in the real estate sector which will increasingly look for talent from outside the sector in its drive to professionalise services and gain credibility. The large players will increase their investment. We will see international companies investing in domestic firms.
- Manufacturing: India’s investment in Make in India campaign is yielding results with many international companies exploring and investing in local manufacturing facilities, especially in automobiles and consumer electronics. As approvals and investment takes time, hiring will also be at a slower pace.
Which Indian city or region will see more jobs?
We examine the cities that will see rising demand for jobs:
- Delhi / NCR: The region has unfortunately received a negative profile from the international media focus on pollution and quality of life. Not only are global companies reconsidering setting up offices in NCR, but some of the existing companies are also looking at relocating their head offices. This will impact job creation in the long run.
- Mumbai: The city continues to be a favored location because of availability of talent and the huge financial ecosystem that supports new investments.
- Bengaluru: Continues to rank on the top for technology as it is the capital of software talent which is increasingly unwilling to move out of the city. However, infrastructure issues are making the city difficult for employers as well as employees.
- Hyderabad: We see good growth in the city because of planned infrastructure and better quality of life.
- Gujarat: The state is a major beneficiary of the Make in India policy. We have seen industries moving from Gurugram to Gujarat. Besides mechanical, it has become a centre for automobiles and chemicals.
US-China trade war likely to benefit India
Asia leads the world in hiring. India, China, and South-east Asia are the major players in this fast-growing market for talent. India’s huge domestic market, a government keen on improving ease of doing business and attracting foreign investment, are all factors that will drive investment and job creation. A slowdown in China and its trade war with the US, if continued, will work to India’s advantage.