Akash Roy Saigal dreams with eyes wide open. That helps him target his professional goals realistically. A decade ago, when the 33-year old entered the job market as a sales professional, he aimed to reach at a leadership level. Consistent performance and dedicated work brought the Delhi-based dreamer to the position of a sales manager at a premium hotel, Crowne Plaza Today, by age 30. But aigal's plans ran into rough weather with the dismal unfolding of the global economic downturn. Saigal, however, pursued his goal relentlessly, armed with the requisite credentials and skill sets. In February, Saigal got a call from a hospitality major based in Gurgaon NCR. Before long, he was hired as director, sales and marketing by Radisson Suites, a five-star hotel. In the unprecedented scenario of the current economic meltdown, where lay-offs are being tallied in millions, businesses are cutting costs drastically and employees are ungrudgingly taking salary cuts, Saigal's career move and the accompanying promotion and salary hike seems like an exceptional case. Not quite, feels Sunil Goel, Director, GlobalHunt India, a Delhi-based recruiting firm. "Businesses are still hiring, but now they are only looking for skilled and competent people," says Goel. Ashok Reddy, managing director, TeamLease Services echoes the sentiment. "Companies have become more realistic in hiring in comparison to the earlier exuberant plans," he says. "Hiring, where it is happening, is across functions of sales, engineering, support functions and blue collar services," he adds. A Careers360-GfK Mode survey result indicated that some of the professions are indispensable, irrespective of the mood of the job market.These include sales and marketing, engineering, logistics, training, doctors, Accountants and researchers amongst others. The survey findings concluded that professionals who are in these functional areas are presently the most sought after and will continue to hold sway in the coming years."In the next five years, these professionals will be in demand," says Kalyanmoy Chatterjee, CEO, GfK Mode.
Sectors that are recruiting and will.....In an emerging economy, each sector holds vast potential for growth. The survey established that sectors like pharmaceuticals, IT/ITeS, FMCG, education and infrastructure, among others, are scaling up on the growth curve and are recruiting (See Table: Emerging Sectors). Industry experts agree. The information technology sector, which suffered a setback in 2008, is expected to look up this year. According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian IT-BPO industry will see sustainable growth over the next two years. "IT sector will see steady growth of 20% in the near future," says Goel. A recent forecast of Pharmexcil, the apex body of pharma exporters, says that the pharmaceutical industry is also expected to grow at 20%. In the interim budget, the government proposed to increase expenditure in various infrastructure schemes. It provided for a 72% increase in spending, from Rs 6,866 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 11,842 crore in 2009-10, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. It also proposed to increase the outlay for Bharat Nirman programme by Rs 40,900 crore for 2009-10. Approvals are in for 37 new projects worth Rs 70,000 crore. While the infrastructure sector continues to make news, the pharmaceutical and health care sectors are in the spotlight too. A lot of private investment is pouring in, but the firms don't have enough high quality talent, maintains Anil Sachdeva, founder-director, School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), Gurgaon. According to the Planning Commission report of 2008, India has a shortage of six lakh doctors, 10 lakh nurses and two lakh dental surgeons, apart from a large number of paramedical staff. Health management services also need a professional overhaul, with a customer-service oriented qualified workforce, which has been non-existent so far. As the sectors grow, the demand for professionals to drive the growth will also be on the rise. "Engineers across all functions like civil, mechanical, automation, chemical as well as industrial will be back in demand," says Kanika Vaswani, associate director, Elixir Web Solutions, a Delhi-based recruitment firm. Infrastructure and the oil and gas industries will hire engineers across all verticals, she maintains. "But the demand for engineers will dip in sectors which are not performing well, like real estate," she adds.
The Emerging Sectors
Mumbai-based Akshay Sharma joined Casby Logistics this February, after a five-month stint with a retail chain. "The company ran into financial trouble and so I had to look for options, floating his resume around, he got a call from Casby Logistics. "While recession has affected the job market, at the same time, if you know your job well, opportunities are available," says the national manager, Transport and Integrated Logistics divison.
Top Ten Professions