Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adapt and Change

Last weekend, we @ ERA Hyderabad Chapter, had the pleasure of having an exciting interactive session with Mr Srinivasa Rao Aluri, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley India Services Pvt Ltd.

For some of us, it was a great feeling-getting a perception of the 'manavaadu'- 'our own' -a prodigal Hyderabadi! Aluri was among the highest paid executives in town-even in the late nineties, as the CEO of Natco Pharma-before he embarked on a journey that has since seen him go places-London School, a stint in US in the in dot com era, in the VC world with ICICI ventures-and for now, as he now returns to Hyderabad and operate from here!!

I guess it is difficult to have any conversation these days without referring to Satyam-but we went on to have a free wheeling debate on corporate governance, role of directors, auditors, the regulators, the possible influence of PE and VC players, and the due diligence one can bring in!!

Dwelling on the economy, Aluri cautioned us that some of the business models of the recruiting industry would have to change! Especially those whose revenue model depended on the hiring of handful of senior professionals- would need to be innovative. The likely models that would thrive- would be
a) handling recruitment in a different paradigm than before
b)those that build on collaboration-and maybe
c) those who can roll on by aggregating!!

Psst..he opined that private equity could be considered, if a bunch of professional, competent and ethical recruiters came together!! And yes, he did share some of the sectors that would do better off ..in the near future!

Personally, I did feel vindicated-as I have always felt that a slowdown like the present one, would bring in a lot of corrections, as recruiters would have to look beyond the 'low lying fruit" -(the job portals and active job seekers ) and beyond transactional services. One can distinctly notice the potential disintermediation creeping into our industry too- as professionals can connect with similar minded communities-across the globe-with linkedin or facebook -and other technology enabling online networking tools -why even blogs :-)!!

It is interesting to get an insight into the mind of Mr Kevin Kelly, CEO of executive search giant Heidrick & Struggles International, who feels 3 to 5yrs now, he sees a perceptible revenue shift from pure Executive Search to "Leadership Advisory Services"!! Companies would need advice on the complete talent agenda ( not just acquisition, but also development and retention of senior managers), assessment metrics and succession planning!! Which would mean breaking into the bastion of management consultants like Mc Kinseys and Accentures!!?

Back to the basics, right?? "It's not the strongest or most intelligent that survive," paraphrasing Charles Darwin, the future belongs to " those that are willing and able to adapt and change."

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