The Chapman Consulting Group Surveys the Latest HR Trends in India

Hosted by: Accenture Eli Lilly ING Group Nomura Unilever

The Chapman Consulting Group is currently midway through a busy week in India of networking with our large network of Indian HR Leaders. The theme of the trip has been discussing the latest India and APAC HR Trends for Quarter 3 2011. Eli Lilly and Accenture hosted sessions in Gurgaon on 13 September. We moved on to Bangalore on 14 September for similar sessions at ING Group and Accenture again. And today we’re in Mumbai participating in Organisation Solutions’ India HR Growth Summit at Unilever and also delivering the Quarter 3 HR Update at Accenture’s Mumbai office. Tomorrow we’re co-hosting two ‘Good Science Great Practice’ sessions on Leadership Development with Organisation Solutions at Nomura and Tata AIG. We also have an HR update session at Nomura.

It’s always great engaging with the Indian HR community, who in general we find extremely focused on self improvement and innovation in the field of Human Resources. Summarising some of our latest thoughts on the India HR market from the week so far, here are some observations :

  1. Regional and global roles ARE becoming more common in India. It’s interesting to note the number of HR Leaders now double-hatting country or sub-regional roles from India alongside with a regional or global HR business partner role. We’re also seeing the same trend with HR specialists such as Compensation & Benefits, Recruitment, and OD.
  2. India is seeing no signs of economic uncertainty, especially in the HR field. It continues to be a very buoyant time and most HR teams are expanding.
  3. HR Leaders continue to find it difficult to encourage junior and middle level HR staff to gravitate towards specialist HR positions. Everyone wants to be a generalist. The emergence of more regional specialist roles in India and also the trend of great Indian HR talent being pulled into Hong Kong or Singapore for regional roles, is helping to incentivise HR talent to consider developing more specialist experience. Salaries are rising fast for specialists – particularly in the Talent Acquisition and C&B space.
  4. India is getting the global attention it deserves. Multinationals are rapidly delayering and many are putting India reporting directly into global or international leaders in the US or Europe. This is critical, as more talent (especially HR Leaders) want to be able to make fast and efficient decisions.
  5. The rise of local Indian companies is continuing, and is providing a headache for multinational companies in terms of the war for talent. Local Indian companies are rapidly becoming global players – Wipro, Infosys and Tata, just to name a few. Indian HR Leaders are finding these opportunities very enticing.
  6. It’s still problematic to develop mid level HR Managers. Everyone wants to become a Director and to climb the ladder as quickly as possible. Patience has not been a strong virtue in this market, although FMCG companies seem to be smartest at retaining their talent long term through rapid internal moves (often sideways to broaden experience) and shifting them on international assignments.
  7. International Indian HR talent outside of India is being enticed back into the market even more, with surging domestic demand. Remuneration packages often eclipses the regional hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong these days.
  8. Social media utilisation is a hot topic amongst HR Leaders here in India. With this market being one of the most advanced in the world for technology use, it’s fascinating to see how quickly these tools have been picked up. There are no clear trends yet – like the rest of the world HR is still grappling with what works best. It will be interesting to follow this topic closely.
  9. HR Leaders are thinking more about the interconnectedness of HR with the business, from a career planning standpoint. HR has been seen ‘as HR’, but a number of successful recent high profile examples of CEOs being appointed from the HR profession have HR Leaders thinking more about careers beyond HR.
  10. With the HR talent market internationalising more and more, Indian HR talent is well placed to be picked up on global and regional HR searches. India is also fast becoming a hot location for important global roles. We were excited to meet the Global Head of Diversity of Goldman Sachs on our recent trip – even she now chooses to sit out of Bangalore!

The Chapman Consulting Group returns to Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Mumbai in February 2012 for our Quarter 1 HR and APAC update session. After such an engaging and successful trip so far, we already look forward to our next one.


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Matthew Chapman


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Global Management

Matthew Chapman


Matthew (Matt) Chapman is the Founder of ChapmanCG. Matt oversees ChapmanCG’s future strategy, innovation and image across the globe. He also personally provides HR search and career counsel to HR leaders whose careers have grown alongside ChapmanCG — some of whom are now the biggest HR names in the world.

Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Business Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a Singapore Citizen and divides his time between Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA.

Matt is a wellness, self-improvement and fitness addict. He has completed six desert, 250km ultra-marathons in Chile, China, Egypt, Antarctica, Namibia and Madagascar.

EA Registration Number: R1111550 Licence Number: 08S3543

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