I’m Ex­tremely Bullish on In­dia: Korn Ferry CEO

The Economic Times - - Companies -

In­dia is a tremen­dous source of tal­ent for US-based peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tional ad­vi­sory firm Korn Ferry Hay Group, says CEO Stephen Kaye. In an in­ter­view with Anu­meha Chaturvedi, he talks about the $452-mil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of Hay Group and the In­dian oper­a­tions. Edited ex­cerpts:

How is the com­pany far­ing since it ac­quired the Hay Group? It’s go­ing re­ally well. The re­sponse from clients has been tremen­dous. It has cre­ated a com­pany with deeper ca­pa­bil­i­ties and around 7,000 pro­fes­sion­als. For Korn Ferry, most rev­enues were com­ing from North Amer­ica and the US. And for Hay Group, 80% rev­enues were from out­side the US. Korn Ferry works with more MNCs, while Hay Group glob­ally works with more lo­cal com­pa­nies. It be­came a more bal­anced or­gan­i­sa­tion with global strength.

COM­PANY PHOTO Which are the big­ger mar­kets for Hay Group? Hay Group was big­gest in Europe, with 40% rev­enues com­ing from the re­gion and another 20% from the US and Canada. But as we were mak­ing sure that we fo­cused on economies out­side Western Europe and North Amer­ica, 40% of our busi­ness started com­ing from fast­grow­ing mar­kets like South Amer­ica, East­ern Europe and the Mid­dle East in mid-2015. In­dia is a lit­tle be­hind mar­kets like the UK and China, but it has the high­est op­por­tu­nity for growth among BRIC economies.

How has the In­dian mar­ket evolved for the com­pany? I’m ex­tremely bullish on In­dia. It is more than just a mar­ket and a tremen­dous source of tal­ent for us. We’ve been look­ing to hire more peo­ple here. In­dian con­sul­tants have played a lead­ing role in some of the most high-pro­file en­gage­ments with lead­ing clients. It’s not about labour ar­bi­trage. It’s about hav­ing tal­ented peo­ple who can help clients suc­ceed. Par­tic­u­larly in In­dia, I’ll be ex­cited to do more cam­pus re­cruit­ing to look at how can we run an in­tern­ship pro­gramme that al­lows us to give peo­ple an ex­pe­ri­ence of what this ca­reer could mean.

ON LO­CAL HIR­ING We’ve been look­ing to hire more peo­ple here. In­dian con­sul­tants have played a lead­ing role in some most high-pro­file en­gage­ments

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