Amid job crisis, India’s C-suite hiring set to grow significantly this year, say recruitment experts

  • Recruitment experts believe that there will be 15-20% increase in hiring at the CXO level in 2019 in India.
  • From Indigo’s Aditya Ghosh now leading Oyo’s operations to Ajit Mohan heading Facebook, 2018 already saw a shuffle in the top management of many of India’s leading businesses.
  • The adaptation to technology is one of the reasons behind increased CXO hiring.
While the many sectors of the Indian economy cope with expected job losses, it appears that hiring in the top rung is set to see a sharp jump this year.

Recruitment experts believe that there will be 15-20% increase in hiring at the CXO level in 2019.

In India, hiring at the c-suite or CXO level has seen an upward tick with multiple new hires across companies during the past year, with management reshuffles and executives jumping ship between companies and startups. From former Indigo president Aditya Ghosh joining Indian unicorn Oyo Rooms to Ajit Mohan of Hotstar going on to head Facebook India, there have been multiple rejigs in the Indian business world in recent months.

In 2019, the sectors that will contribute to the rise in CXOs are BFS, Consumer/FMCG, Retail, e-commerce and Fintech, according to executives of head-hunting firms.


“The general elections may change this trend slightly depending on the results, but domestic demand is expected to remain bullish and hence, we will see a similar trend in the latter half of the year as well,” said Agamjeet Dang, Managing Partner, Executive Access.

Another executive search expert K Sudarshan managing partner for India, EMA Partners International had told ET that with banks having cleaned up their books and the credit cycle turning positive, companies plan to augment capacity with considerable fresh capital expenditure.

Tech expertise

One of the reasons behind the growing demand for CXO-level hiring has been the turnaround of Indian companies to embrace technology and adapt to digital at a fast pace. Many of them lack in-house expertise, prompting demand for strong leadership with technology experience.

“This will also result in shifting of job skills, with more low-end jobs moving out, and getting replaced with above skills at mid to senior levels. Even at CXO levels, this skills will continue to remain in demand and drive growth,” said Dang.

And It’s not just companies that are hiring tech-driven top management, but also startups are keen on bringing on board experienced chief technology officers.

India still remains an important outsourcing hub for many global companies, requiring experienced top professionals.

India’s cost competitiveness, part reason that Dang cites for the increasing number of CXOs in India is the country’s cost competitiveness in providing IT Services, which is approximately three to four times cheaper than the US. “With global economies continuing to struggle with growth rates, attractiveness of India as a outsourcing hub should continue to remain bullish,” he said.

Even roles requiring global leadership exposure is also drawing executives from India. In the last year, many Indians took over CXO level positions in companies across the world. Nikkon appointed Sajjan Kumar while Sony put Sunil Nayyar in charge of their local operations both positions which were earlier held by Japanese professionals, reported ET.
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