India key to our growth strategy, says Deloitte’s global CEO Punit Renjen

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A fifth of Deloitte’s total workforce is now based out of India, with the number of employees of the world’s largest professional services firm crossing 90,000 in the country, said its global chief executive Punit Renjen.

“India is central to Deloitte’s growth strategy,” Renjen told ET in an exclusive interview. “We are in 12 cities currently and looking to expand to tier II-III cities. When I met with Prime Minister Modi last year, I made a commitment to hire 75,000 more additional individuals in India in three years. We are well on our way to meet that target.”

Under Rohtak-born Renjen, Deloitte has rapidly scaled up local market serving practice, as well as its global back offices, and continued to invest in both businesses.

“India will be a tremendous opportunity from an audit and consulting standpoint as it is on its way to become the third-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of more than $5 trillion. Hence, we are building up the capability to serve in India,” said Renjen.

Attractive Bet

The Deloitte global CEO said, “Also, we are serving our multinational clients from India.”

He said the firm’s global back offices in the country handle high value-added engagements, complex digital-based transformation projects, large cloud migration and enterprise resource planning implementation assignments, including hosting its centres of excellence in India.

India continues to be an attractive bet for firms such as Deloitte, said Renjen, even as the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, Covid-19 cases rise in China and rampant inflation across countries threatens to derail the global economy.

“We just finished a survey of over 2,000 CXOs around India’s attractiveness as an investment destination. The response to India was overwhelmingly positive. Over the long term, the demographics, talent and a large market make India a very compelling proposition,” said Deloitte’s global CEO.

He said the Indian government handled the economy deftly during the pandemic, even though the country was badly hit during the second wave.

“With the current momentum, I expect India to grow at 8%-plus over the next several years,” said Renjen. Despite a devastating Delta wave in 2021, India’s GDP grew an estimated 8.9% in 2021-22, and the Reserve Bank of India has forecast 7.8% growth for the current fiscal.

Renjen, a winner in the ‘Global Indian’ category at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence, said India could play a leading role in the transition of the world from a carbon-based economy to a more sustainable one. “The only answer, in my view, is nature-based solutions,” he said.

Personal & Co Contributions

Deloitte will soon roll out ‘Climate Sakhi,’ a pilot to help curb stubble burning in Haryana, said Renjen. When the pandemic was at its peak, he was instrumental in launching ‘Sanjeevani Pariyojana,’ a supervised homecare initiative in Karnal, Haryana, in May 2021. The learnings were later shared with district administrations across the country in the form of a playbook. “We took the programme to Africa and Southeast Asia too,” he said.

Asked about his biggest contribution to Deloitte, Renjen, 60, who is approaching the end of his tenure, said it has to be the firm’s transformation into a purpose-led organisation and being the undisputed number one in its field.

“I never thought I would get a chance to be the first non-white, Asian global CEO of Deloitte. I’m grateful to my partners who have given me this opportunity,” he said. “What I’m really proud of is the fact that Deloitte has become a purpose-led organisation and the largest professional services firm. We were the first firm in history to break $50 billion in revenue last year, increasing our lead over our competitors. And here’s the thing – we give 3% of our net income back to the communities that we live and work in. Nobody comes close.”



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