ExpertSpeak: Growth in the hinterland
This industry is facing a dearth of talent in the bigger cities of India. So there are jobs chasing people, rather than the other way round. Finance companies and their partners are going to places such as Jamshedpur, Coimbatore, Nagpur or Nashik to recruit. Relationships are even being built with panchayats to find talent. At Ma Foi, we have started an academy that offers a bridge programme. There are similar initiatives by others in the industry too.
Let us look at the job pyramid in the BFSI space. There is a huge demand at the base of the pyramid for ‘feet on the street’ jobs. Among this lot are those who would sell mutual funds and insurance. As you move up the pyramid to the middle level, you need sales managers, distribution managers and fund managers. There is also a huge segment open for technical positions. Actuarial services, underwriting, risk management, risk analysis statistical modelling come under this segment — and these jobs need specialised education. The top of the pyramid is occupied by people with designations like chief investment officer, head of actuary, etc.
Let’s go back to the base of the pyramid, where there are several jobs for selling portfolio management services. In this segment, it is important for the candidate to be suave and be knowledgeable of financial solutions, with an ability to assess the client’s risk appetite. These people would be selling to high networth individuals — and unless they are knowledgeable and presentable, they would not be able to make a mark.
Insurance is another slice of the BFSI pie that employs prospecting executives in large numbers. They help the company identify customers and then hand them over to trained sales professionals to close the deal.
Tough competition and sustained campaigns have saturated the large city markets. So if you are looking for the BFSI job pyramid, keep an eye on the up-country locations where next wave of growth would be played out.
(The author is chief operating officer at Ma Foi Consultants)