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Head hunting: Q & A with E Balaji

india Updated: Mar 27, 2008 18:32 IST
Venetia D'Souza

E Balaji is the chief executive officer of Ma Foi Management Consultants.

Which are some of the industry's key growth sectors?
In 2007, retail was one of the highest growth sectors, with a 45 to 50 per cent spurt in hiring, while finance and back-office outsourcing also saw a 35 per cent growth over the year. The 30 per cent increase in cross-border hiring is a new challenge for the industry. Over the past six months alone we have seen an increase in the number of people from the Indian diaspora looking to return.

In 2004, Ma Foi merged with Vedior NV, a 6.85-billion-euro Dutch staffing company with offices in 44 countries. How do such tie-ups benefit Indian recruitment firms?
On account of that merger there has been a 25 to 30 per cent increase in the number of global projects that the company has bagged. For the staff as well, the merger has helped create a wider spectrum of international experience. In fact today, during B-school placement season, we get day one placement slots. This is testament to the company's growth.

Do you think domain specialisation is the best way for a young headhunter to get ahead in the industry?
While companies take on fresh graduates and train them in the profession, there is a lot of lateral hiring that takes place as well, of people who have three to six years experience in a particular field. You need to remember that unless you speak the language of the client you will find it very difficult to convince them of a job proposal. At Ma Foi, over the past year, we have formed teams of experienced professionals to focus on growth sectors like energy; construction and built equipment and maintenance; repair and overhaul facilities. These growth sectors are huge business opportunities for the company, and hence we need the experience of individuals who are well versed in these fields.