The Chapman Consulting Group co-hosted its first India C&B Leaders session at the offices of General Motors in Bangalore on Tuesday 24th April. Similar gatherings have happened in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan so we were excited to bring the C&B community together in India. The group was a diverse mix of industries and included attendees managing domestic, regional and in some cases global portfolios. Companies who were represented included Accenture, Intel, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, GE, Airbus and many others.
Matt Chapman addressed the group with a brief update on the APAC landscape for C&B and how this is impacting India. He observed that there had been a surge in the positioning of COE roles for APAC and global in India, which was evidenced by the attendees present and their roles. He was also keen to highlight that the demand and market shortage for strong C&B leaders in APAC was still a problem. India was sighted as being a difficult market to secure COE talent however part of this was attributed to a preference in the Indian market for HR generalist roles rather than COE roles.
The group discussed the challenges C&B leaders have in India today. Regional and global misunderstanding figured a number of times especially as India is no longer a ‘low cost’ location when comparing compensation trends in India to the US and Europe. Day to day operational C&B for India was a hot topic as the government and regularity changes in such a fast moving market were giving leaders headaches which are not occurring to their counterparts in Singapore and Hong Kong. Those in Regional roles based in India were quick to focus on China and some of the SEA countries as hot spots for them when trying to maintain cost levels vs. salary escalation (Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia).
The group agreed that benefits, allowances and medical provision were constantly changing for MNC organisations in India and Indian headquartered firms alike. Competition sounded fierce and innovation vital. Technology C&B leaders seemed to lead the thinking on this, however many admitted that innovating and remaining flexible to what was needed to retain and attract top talent was still crucial. A set framework was agreed to be too rigid for the India market.
In summary, C&B leaders focused on India alone are encountering similar complexity and challenges, to their colleagues who are in Regional C&B roles. With this in mind and the experience Indian C&B leaders have it is likely to mean more Regional roles are based in India in the future.
The next India C&B Leaders forum will be held in August, further details will follow soon.
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