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10 emerging careers to watch out for
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August 04, 2008
While the world cries slowdown and news of companies downsizing makes headlines, crystal ball gazing on emerging careers might not be the order of the day.
But such is the Indian growth story that apart from expansion in the sunrise sectors, entirely new opportunities that never existed will also open up for jobseekers. 
"According to the International Business Report, 2008, by consultancy firm Grant Thornton International, India alone will make up 30 per cent of the worldwide net increase in employment with 142 million new jobs by 2020," says Sampath Shetty, vice president, permanent staffing, TeamLease Services, a staffing solutions company.
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OLM spoke to a host of experts to find out what specific functional area in each of the emerging sectors would be most in demand and why.
Growth stimulus: "The vast middle class, strong income growth, favourable demographic patterns and organised retailing growth estimated at 40 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next few years are some of the factors that will drive the retail boom," says Rajeev Gaur, COO,, an online jobs database.
Requirements: "The need would be around 15,000-20,000 people in each of these retail chains. So, in all, the requirements would touch 80,000-85,000 every year in the next three to four years, of which frontline sales staff will be 80-85 per cent," says Vishal Chhiber, head, HR of Kelly Services India, an HR solutions firm.
The remaining jobs, says Nihar Ranjan Ghosh, senior VP HR, Spencer's Retail, "will be in retail-specific areas like visual merchandising, plannogramming (the science of maximising space efficiency in the store) and supply chain management. Retail management graduates and general MBAs will be wanted.
Real Estate/ Infrastructure
Growth stimulus: Growth in infrastructure and real estate developments with gradual opening up of FDI in certain sub-sectors will be the main reasons for the boom. "The percentage of middle class people in metros and Tier-2 cities who are buying their own property has increased from about 35 per cent in 2003 to 60 per cent today," says Prodito Sen, VP marketing and corporate affairs, Alpha G: Corp Development, a real estate developer.
Requirements: "This will recreate a need for civil engineers, a tribe we forgot during the IT boom," says Shabbir Merchant, chief value creator, Valulead Consulting, a leadership development firm. "The requirement is for 1.5 lakh engineers if the land bank we have is to be translated into construction," says Chhiber. Infrastructure projects would need more such engineers.
"Other functions like residential and commercial real estate brokers, real estate appraisers, property mangers and real estate consultants would also be in demand," says Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a property advisor and transaction firm.
Growth stimulus: Hospital chains are expanding all over India, even in smaller towns.
Requirement: "An acute shortage of doctors is expected over the next few years, especially anaesthetists, radiologists, gynaecologists and surgeons, particularly neurosurgeons. The need would be for 45,000-50,000 doctors for the 50-odd healthcare companies expected to start operations in India," says Chhiber.
"People with a Masters in Hospital Administration (MHA) will be in demand as they are key elements to a hospital's efficiency," says Vishal Bali, CEO, Wockhardt Hospitals Group. A study by consulting firm Technopak says, "Many big hospital projects have either been delayed or stopped because of this manpower shortage."
"With the rule of thumb being  four MHA people per hospital, around 2,000 hospital chains will need 8,000 such people over the next five years," adds Bali.
In pharma, demand will be created in research and development (R&D). The requirement would be for 15,000-20,000 scientists every year.  "Another area which would see a demand is pharma regulation and documentation officers," says V Suresh, senior vice-president and national head (sales),, an online jobs portal.
Financial services
Growth stimulus: There will be a lot of new entrants and existing players diversifying with new product lines.
Requirements: "A lot of portfolio managers -- not necessarily fund managers, but those who manage portfolios beyond a certain amount -- will be required. They will be working with banks and financial institutions. The requirement will be for 25,000-30,000 every year," says Chhiber.
Suresh adds, "The salaries in private banking would be 200-300 per cent more than in retail or corporate banking."
Judhajit Das, HR chief of ICICI [Get Quote] Prudential Life Insurance, foresees maximum jobs growth in retail financial services, with 80 per cent of them being in sales and distribution. The biggest employers will be the insurance and banking sector," he says.
Gaur has some numbers: "Over 50,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the banking, financial services, and insurance sector in the current year. Banks are expected to hire 15,000-20,000 people in the next one year."
Hospitality/facilities management
Growth stimulus: With hotel rooms being added across the country at a rapid rate to keep up with growing tourist inflow, hi-tech townships being developed and malls and multiplexes coming up at every corner, people will be needed to service and maintain them.
Requirements: "Over 2.5 lakh rooms will be needed in the next five years to meet the demand from both the domestic and international guests. Over the next two or three years, we will need over 1 lakh more rooms. An average of 1.5 service personnel per room will mean an overall shortage of at least 1.5 lakh people across a whole range of hotel-related jobs in India, especially food production, food and beverage services, housekeeping and front office operations," says Satish Jayaram, principal, Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad.
According to Chhiber, the manpower growth prediction for facilities management is 20-25 per cent. Ashwin Puri, CEO, Property Zone, a firm that develops and manages shopping centres says, "Technical maintenance people need to understand aspects such as provision of adequate power supply, safety issues, water supply, sanitation, signages, and so on. For soft services, hospitality management experience is preferred." A mall will need five to six such managers.
Consulting services
Growth stimulus: With existing businesses growing more complex and numerous startups on the cards, there will be demand for consultants specializing in human resources (HR) and startups.
"Apart from recruitment specialists, another area of demand in the HR space will be 'employer brand specialists' as organisations move away from a me-too approach and actively seeking differentiation," says Merchant.
Requirements: Considering that with every 50-75 people recruited, one HR job gets created, estimates that 28,000 more HR jobs will be created in 2008.
Gautam Ghosh, senior manager, HR consultancy Tvarita Consulting, foresees an explosion in demand for start-up consultants and business strategists as more and more consumer-oriented portals mushroom across the country.
Growth stimulus: There would be about two new TV channels every month and 20-25 new FM channels every year.
Requirements: "About 4,000-5,000 people will be directly employed by TV channels every year," says Chibber.
"In radio, the demand would be for production people, anchors, technical and distribution sales professionals: jobs for 2,500 people in the next two years," he adds.
Information Technology
Growth stimulus: "Despite stagnation in the industry, a lot of project-based or contractual hiring and increasing domestic IT requirements would lead to organic growth," says Chhiber.
Requirements: Veerendra Mathur, CEO, Focus Infotech, a strategic IT HR and managed solutions firm, says, "Professionals who have a holistic knowledge and can do multitasking like coding, testing, designing and communicating with clients will be in demand."
"India will need 4.9 lakh professionals in the IT exports market, 11.1 lakh in the domestic IT industry and 20.5 lakh in the ITES-BPO sector by 2012," says Chhiber.
Customer services
Growth stimulus: Companies will put more and more stress on customer service to stay ahead of the competition.
Requirements: According to Chhiber, frontline technicians who have skills required to service and manage customers will be in demand. "About 1.5 lakh trained people every year would be needed," he adds.
Growth stimulus: The telecom industry is growing faster in small towns and will also see a lot of organic growth. Jobs will also emerge in telecom when people employed here opt to shift to other emerging sectors.
Requirements: "The employment growth rate in telecom industry is expected to increase by seven per cent to ten per cent every year," says Gaur.  "Jobs in demand would be telecom, mechanical, software and telecom test engineers, project managers, network security specialists and operation managers."  According to data from FICCI, telecom will see 0.5 million new jobs by 2010 and 1.5 million by 2015.
Ghosh stresses the increasing demand for people who have a blend of two functional skills, like a financial services person with business and marketing skills. "In a dynamic job space in a growing economy," he sums up, "people with the right skill sets will always be sought after."

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