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Talent war: Focus extends to new cities

An aerial view of Coimbatore

An aerial view of Coimbatore

Reverse exodus is as defining of these times as masking and social-distancing. With living rooms playing makeshift offices, it made sense for employees to return to their roots, operating from their hometowns. Between Coronavirus surges, when there would be a semblance of normality, companies in various sectors sought to test and establish work models more aligned with the changing times and employee expectations. Now, after nearly two years of the pandemic in India, hybrid work models and permanent remote work are options being offered by many organisations.

With permanent work-from-home fitting in with various positions, companies are looking for talent in tier-2 cities, and the offer letters are gold-rimmed with the irresistible perk of letting the new recruits operate from those cities.

That is not all. As found by a new study by Zinnov, a management consulting and strategy firm, a growing number of corporates are setting up centres in these tier-2 cities, where they had not had a striking presence earlier.

The trend underlines that these organisations do not want to lose the battle for talent that is also being waged in these geographies.

“The e-Commerce volume growth in tier-2 cities outpacing tier-1 cities in 2020, emergence of start-up hubs across tier-2 cities, access to better healthcare, less pollution, and overall well-being, and an ever-increasing GCoE/Service Provider (SP) footprint in these cities have further cemented the rising prominence and unmistakable potential that tier-2 cities hold,” states a release on the study’s findings.

The Zinnov study held the magnifying glass to around 300 emerging Indian cities. Following the assessment, 15 companies stood out for a variety of parameters: “City Attractiveness, Ease of Operations, Ease of Doing Business, Connectivity, Talent Availability, Migratable Talent, Cost Index, Climate, and Safety, to name a few.”

According to the study, the top 15 cities are: Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Indore, Kochi, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Vadodara, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Mysuru, Madurai, and Goa.

One of the findings of the study: A workforce consisting of over two million relevant professionals from the IT, ER&D, and BPM sectors is currently concentrated in the top 15 tier-2 cities.

“Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Chandigarh hold the pole position across parameters, with significant installed talent and the number of GCoEs currently operational. Ahmedabad houses the highest niche talent pool of around 10K, and the highest migratable talent, which has been possible due to accelerated digitalization and remote working opportunities,” the study reveals.

The study further notes that “the southern cities of Coimbatore, Kochi, Madurai, and Thiruvananthapuram have improved their ‘City Attractiveness’ over the last year, significantly moving up in the rankings.”

Another observation: “Coimbatore has the highest number of engineering colleges, which translates to a consistent supply of fresh STEM talent, and migratable talent due to emerging IT and ER&D hubs being set up there. Chandigarh, on the other hand, has a strong education system with ample schools, colleges, and research institutes.”

The study has found that in Karnataka, “cities such as Mangaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi, Hubli-Dharwad, and other areas have a great thrust on education and infrastructure, with the potential to attract future investments and employment opportunities”


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 12:08:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers/talent-war-focus-extends-to-new-cities/article38265619.ece