More Indians to head global cos: top headhunter

  • M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 24, 2014 23:41 IST

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, PepsiCo CEO Indira Nooyi, MasterCard president and CEO Ajay Banga and their ilk will have more Indians to give them company at top positions.

Global companies are set to dip into India’s talent pool to fill the mid and top level executive posts globally, according to Karen Fifer, global managing partner, consumer market practice, Heidrick & Struggles, worldwide executive search firm, specialising in CEOs and senior-level assignments.

“Recruiting agencies are scouting for candidates globally to fill in local positions and Indians stack up amongst the top,” Fifer told HT. Fifer is an expert in conducting cross-border searches for local, regional and multinational corporations. As per her assessment, the talent pool in India will go beyond business process outsourcing (BPO) and software developers to global business leaders.

According to Fifer, there is shortage of local leaders in most of the Asian countries. But India offers a huge talent resource. “The Indian talent has no inhibitions in travelling outside the country and working in an alien environment, this will prove to be of great advantage for them.” Fifer cautions that executives need to have global experiences for the leadership roles.

For someone who has worked only in their own country are less likely to be considered by executive search agents or clients in future.

“Recently one of my clients in South East Asia was looking for a candidate, who knew the region, had worked in China, in US and Europe, that is what our clients are demanding…we did find one.”

Commenting on the challenges faced, Fifer admits that there is a limitation, despite her teams combing every detail, some do manage to hide their past.

“We evaluate the candidates on their background, which we can get access to and extend it to our client only if it is squeakiest clean.”

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