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KPMG eyes bigger Bengal pie
- Consulting firm steps up city presence to tap opportunities in east

Richard Rekhy: Wants to grow in east

Calcutta, Feb. 7: KPMG, one of the world’s top four consulting firms, has taken a leap of faith in Bengal.

The firm is scaling up its presence in Calcutta to tap opportunities in the east, taking up space totalling 30,000sqft at Godrej Waterside IT park in Sector V of Salt Lake. It has the option to add another 20,000sqft.

“KPMG had a small office. But we want to grow. Now there are about 150 people. We will take it up to 600-700 in the next two to three years,” said Richard Rekhy, chief executive officer of KPMG India.

The placement requirement can go up further if the firm manages to turn the city facility into a talent acquisition hub for the rest of the country.

KPMG is also toying with the idea of setting up a global delivery centre, an operation to service the international business of the firm.

The consulting company is banking on Ambarish Dasgupta, the former executive director and the eastern region managing partner of PwC, to realise the Bengal objectives.

“After we hired Ambarish, he came up with a new plan. We wanted a leader who people can recognise. Now we have big plans to hire over the next two to three years. Apart from Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar will be in focus,” Rekhy told The Telegraph this afternoon.

KPMG did not have any partner, the most important cog in the wheels that run such audit and advisory firms, in the city. But that is changing.

“We were lacking in partners’ support in Calcutta. We had no partners. With Ambarish coming in, we are hiring in tax and audit space,” Rekhy added.

Ambarish Dasgupta: Four mantras

The firm is also planning to step up its presence in the advisory business. According to Dasgupta, partner and head of management consulting of KPMG, the focus will be on the government sector, family-owned businesses and public sector enterprises.

“From Calcutta, we will also service the metal and energy sectors. We expect infrastructure work to go up after the election,” Dasgupta said.

KPMG is now working with the small and medium enterprise department in Bengal on a cluster development plan. It is also collaborating with the education and transport departments.

“Be it the government or the private sector, clients are looking at four items, as our internal assessment shows. How they can maintain growth, improve efficiency which reduces cost, follow compliance to risk (adherence to rules and regulations) and manage talent,” Dasgupta added.

National plans

KPMG India has now 225 partners and 12,000 personnel on its rolls, including 4,000 at two global delivery centres. The number of employees in domestic operations has gone up to 8,000 from 6,000 a year ago. “Our plans are ambitious. The number should double in the next four years,” Rekhy said.

There will be 12 offices of KPMG in the country, once Goa is added. It plans to open satellite offices in southern and central India. The firm is also looking at cities like Nagpur, Raipur and Jaipur to beef up its presence.

The biggest contributor to growth is expected to be management consulting, which is part of the advisory business. It accounts for about 50 per cent of KPMG’s India revenues while tax contributes 28 per cent and audit 22 per cent.

The advisory business is expected to go up to 55-60 per cent as KPMG grows. “Management consulting is going to be our engine of growth. Along with that, risk consulting and transaction advisory are going to be big drivers. We might also look at acquisitions, targeted ones, in this space,” Rekhy said.