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The country is now witnessing a spike in hiring for leadership roles (CXOs), with most venture-funded start-ups under tremendous pressure to expand and spruce up their top-level teams, according to firms specialised in executive hiring.

So far in 2021, about 850 start-ups have attracted a whopping $26 billion in funding. Almost 80% of these firms have been in the space of e-commerce, marketplaces, consumer services, fintech, EdTech and logistics. Post funding, these new enterprises are actively scaling up their leaderships, according to data from Xpheno, a specialist staffing firm.

“Any VC firm that invests upwards of $30 million would insist on a leadership expansion,” said B.S. Murthy, CEO, Leadership Capital. The current spike in CXO hiring has a direct co-relation to funding and we don’t see this scenario in large product or tech services firms, he added.

According to Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno, senior-level movements will continue on steroids for the next two quarters based on the current hiring mandates.

“On a y-o-y basis, active senior management openings in the director and leadership levels have clocked a 60% growth in volume in the July-September quarter. The overall action is high and bright in the leadership hiring space and is expected to stay so for the quarters to come,” he added.

Michael Page India, a global recruitment firm, reported a spike of 80-100% in its CXO search mandates in CYQ3 compared with the corresponding period last year.

“While firms this year will continue to focus on growing existing talent in the organisation, there will be an increasing openness for lateral hiring at senior levels, to get a fresh perspective, and guidance through the next burst of growth,” said Anshul Lodha, Head of Page Executive India, the CXO hiring arm of Michael Page India.