22nd November, 2021 | BW BusinessWorld
Despite the debilitating impact of the pandemic on businesses and the economy, India continued to witness a phenomenal rise in M&A activity over the last year.
In order to manage the accelerated funding of deal flows, PE/VC companies have ramped up the hiring of new talent across diverse business domains. Hiring has also been accelerated across the board for onboarding candidates at entry-level and senior positions like analysts, associates and vice-presidents.
“Our hiring efforts have increased manifold in the past 1.5 years and we plan to expand the team size even more. This has constituted 22 per cent of our hiring in the past year, while 20 per cent of our hiring has been from startups.” Further, he added, “We believe in hiring interns from reputed colleges of the country, for they bring in energy and a renewed mindset and fresh approach of working,” said Co-founder of Inflection Point Ventures Ankur Mittal, while expressing thoughts on hiring strategy to tap India’s rich working population.
Going beyond conventional hiring strategies of tapping talent from premier consulting firms and marquee investment firms in the country, PE/VC investment firms in the country have broadened their horizon. With demand for qualified talent growing exponentially, investment companies are looking at sourcing fresh talent from growth-stage start-ups and internet companies. These typically include candidates who have strategy and product management expertise and have worked in tech start-ups.
Early-stage and growth-stage companies typically have a high momentum work culture with a continuously changing environment that requires their employees to frequently adapt and prioritise and plan the execution of the tasks on hand.
“Having a sound understanding of the operations in early-stage and growth-stage companies helps in evaluating the investment opportunities better as well as in supporting the portfolio companies,” said Founder and MD of BLinC Invest Amit Ratanpal, while speaking on the important skill set to have while working in the PE-VC industry.
With an increase in workload and the deal space in the country witnessing a boost in activity, preference is also being given to hiring candidates who are commerce graduates and pass-outs from tier-2 engineering colleges in the country.
“There is continuous pressure on the teams to get the best deals. Besides this, given the bullishness in Asset class, fund managers are raising new funds,” said Managing Partner of Unicorn India Ventures, Bhaskar Majumdar.
The M&A ecosystem in the country has remained largely resilient to the disruptive impact of the pandemic backed by supportive government interventions and a stable banking system. Record levels of M&A deal activity, both in terms of deal value and volumes prompted PE and VC firms to expand their talent teams.
Investment firms were allocating preference to hiring professionals with experience in consulting and having a firm grasp of the startup environment. As market activity upscales in the post-pandemic stage and India witnesses the rise of unicorns at unprecedented valuations, PE and VC firms in the country are expected to step up hiring of qualified personnel to support their investment activity and manage portfolio exits, said the Founder and Managing Director (MD) of Singhi Advisors, Mahesh Singhi
“In the past year, there were approximately 220 hires in global and domestic PE/VC funds in India. The firms were clearly focused on strengthening their teams by hiring a lot of talent across leadership and execution support,” said Partner Brescon and Allied Partners LLP, N.S.Rao.
Entry and mid-level positions require personnel with excellent analytical and evaluation skills. At a comparatively senior position, there is a demand for experts with domain knowledge and proven leadership credentials having the ability and expertise to manage and nurture investments, stated Rao.
Changing functional dynamics of PE/VC firms have mandated the requirement of not just IITians or big consulting professionals but also young talent across the boards with qualifications in science, commerce, economics, finance and management, concurred Rao.
“Investment firms are adding talent across the board to increase the deal flow and avoid any kind of imbalance in the organisation. More than the usual hiring, companies are exploring talents from start-ups and other technology companies. India as a whole including wholesale markets, retail markets and the BFSI sector is in a super boom period on the technological front, opined the Managing Partner, SNG and Partners, Rajesh Narain Gupta.
Emerging digital technologies like AI are set to become an operational reality and those who do not adopt this change will perish. The large play around venture capital and private equity demonstrates the opportunities India has and this is bound to help the growth of the service industry creating a plethora of diverse job opportunities in the PE/VC sector, concluded Rajesh Narain Gupta.