India as a career move: Spring 2010 update
[This is an update to a more detailed report on career options for those considering moving to India that I first published as “India as a career move: winter 2010 edition.”]
Five months into the year 2010, I continue to get calls about career prospects for expats and repats in India/Mumbai. Things have changed enough that an update to my previous post is overdue, but only in one respect: specifics about certain industries.
- Venture Capital / Private Equity / Growth Equity: Deal activity has picked up significantly and several new funds are either being raised (Tata Capital, Axis PE post spin-out, Reliance Equity Advisors, Aditya Birla PE, Everstone, Milestone) or have had first closings or India allocations recently (Renuka Ramnath’s Multiples, Yes Bank Cleantech, HSBC Infra, NEA, etc.). A noticeable feature of the recent closings has been the emergence of domestic LPs; there is a lot more of that to come. What this means to job seekers is that both new and existing funds are hiring, but the existing supply side surplus is still being absorbed. However, cocktail party conversations indicate that the market for junior professionals is surely thawing (pre-MBA analysts and fresh-MBA Associates). These are competitive but are in play!
- Operating partner roles at VC/PE funds: The larger funds have continued to struggle to deploy capital despite recent large deals by KKR (Cafe Coffee Day), Bain Capital (Himadri and Lilliput), etc. Some of the larger funds have scaled back their staff of operating partners, so I doubt there is much room for new hiring in this segment.
- Investment Banking: Along with the revival of the Sensex, deal making is up. IPOs and other capital market offers have left several Indian mid-caps and large-caps with cash which is now providing a second bite at the apple for their bankers. They are now out in force with buy-side mandates looking for acquisitions. Concurrently, PE deal activity has also picked up. And March saw the arrival of annual bonuses (or lack thereof). All this has resulted in a lot of movement within the investment banks and also opened up new positions for junior professionals. So things are looking up on this front.
- Consulting: Still no clarity from my vantage point on prospects in consulting but all indications are that the bigger firms are operating close to optimal utilization. This years MBA crop should see some opportunities here as well.