After speaking with senior leaders across firms, ET estimates that by the time the current promotion cycle ends, the Big Four professional services firms — EY, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG — would have added between 230 and 250 partners in all. The firms follow different promotion timelines through the revenue year.
While Deloitte has announced 60 partner promotions already, PwC, KPMG and EY have finalised their promotion lists but will announce them in a few days, multiple people with knowledge of the matter told ET. PwC could have 45-50 new partners and 70-plus executive directors by June.
The firms are unrolling the exercise at a time when attrition is also a major issue as seniors are being poached by startups and industry.
Deloitte has promoted 60 directors as partners — double the number of 2021 — a senior executive in the firm told ET.
“These promotions reflect the potential market opportunities and the demand for services, among both domestic Indian companies and multinationals in India and outside. The promotions were also driven by technology, governance, and compliance skill sets,” he said.
By the time all the firms settle their FY22 accounts, the total revenues from India are set to touch Rs 21,500 (EY & PwC follow June year ending).
The firms are also giving the highest bonuses this year, say people privy to the discussions.
It is expected that the market leader EY could announce between 125 and 135 new partners and associate partners in the next month or so, said an industry watcher. “I believe EY is following its time-tested ploy of investing ahead of time to maintain their lead. The firm has grown faster than competition in consulting and digital advisory services and is now bigger than many strategy firms. Now, they are looking to broaden their partnership pyramid across service lines in a bid to create a differentiated delivery mechanism,” said the former CEO at a Big Four firm.
Such is the pressure from clients that firms are unable to start projects immediately in some service lines such as consulting and transaction related services.
The biggest growth theme for the firms has surprisingly been digital transformation services after the Covid-19 pandemic put a spotlight on gaps in digital infrastructure of companies.