International accounting and consulting firm Deloitte will treble its India headcount from the current 11,000 and shift more of its top talent to the country over the next four years, a company official said. James Brady, CEO of Deloitte’s assurance and risk assessment services, said the company has identified India as a ‘high priority market’ after the economic downturn. The 165-year-old group employs around 1.77 lakh people in 140 countries across the globe and is part of the ‘big four’ audit firms, along with PricewaterhouseCoop ers, Ernst & Young and KPMG.
“India has been the best performing centre for Deloitte over the last year, growing at 30% even during a downturn and has become a high priority center for us,” Brady, who himself relocated to India with family recently, said.

The $26 billion Deloitte group has broadly four practices -consulting, tax, risk assessment and audit. It had separate teams for its India practice and for doing offshore work from across the world. Through the recession, Brady said the separate teams for the Indian market and the off-shoring segment have been merged.

“In risk, for example, we used to have around 500 people in the offshore centre in Hyderabad and around 350 people in different cities catering to the local market. Now, we have integrated them,” he said.

While all four practices are expected to grow, Brady said risk assessment services, which includes internal audit, information security, etc, has been the fastest growing in India over the last one year.

“Going by the current trends, we would quadruple our revenues by 2013 and triple our headcount,” he said.The anticipated growth rate for Deloitte will be significantly higher than the 10-20% growth that the  company has been used to over the last few years. In percentage terms, Brady said the offshore centre in Hyderabad, where the employees deal with Deloitte’s workflow from all over the world, has grown the fastest.

“It has gone from 0 to 500 in five years,” he said. The company’s audit division in India has around 2,000 employees.

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