If you’re a professional working in the field of sustainability, you’re hot property in India right now. 

“In the last one year, I’ve been getting [hiring] calls from corporates every alternate week,” says a consultant working in one of the Big Four Big Four Big Four A term used to refer to the world's four biggest consulting firms, including Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG, and Ernst & Young. consultancies’ clean energy teams. 

The consultant, who requested anonymity, has given 8-9 interviews over this period. They received an offer from India’s largest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, which has stepped on the gas gas The Ken https://the-ken.com/story/for-reliance-clean-energy-is-the-new-oil/ Read more  in the clean energy race. They were also approached by other bigwigs like the Tata Group and the Mahindra Group, which all offered higher salaries than the consultancies—a phenomenon unheard of a couple of years ago.

It’s not just the conglomerates. Even new-age companies like Zomato Zomato The Ken Will Zomato bring “less sense, more sex” to the Sensex? Read more  and Licious Licious The Ken Why Licious wants to become the everything store for meat Read more  are beefing up their sustainability teams. A simple search on LinkedIn throws up over 4,000 active vacancies, right from Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)/Head of Sustainability to consultants, analysts, and client managers in the domain.

Hiring firms are getting bizarre, last-minute requests. “A week ago, a client came to us looking for a chief sustainability officer as they’re planning to go for an initial public offering in a year’s time,” says Bhavishya Sharma, managing director at Gurugram-based Athena Executive Search & Consulting. The client wanted someone with an IIM IIM IIM An abbreviation for the Indian Institute of Management. degree, a background in environment, and the ability to handle communications and manage investor relations for the company, he adds, laughing. 

While India is still behind the United States and Europe, the number of new hires in sustainability across levels (from a CSO to a sustainability analyst) have risen by over 200% in the last two years, says Johannes Pieper, practice lead for sustainability at global recruitment firm Mercuri Urval.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

AUTHOR

Shruti Sonal

Shruti is a Delhi-based reporter who looks at India's clean energy ecosystem through the lens of the intersection between businesses, policy and environment. She has previously worked with Reuters and Outlook Business.

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