Seeking breathing room, CXOs say no to jobs in toxic NCR

Increasingly toxic air quality in and around Delhi is forcing some senior corporate executives to decline job offers in the national capital region, according to executive search companies. Korn Ferry, EMA Partners, Hunt Partners, Transearch and Global Hunt say that while pollution had become an active point of discussion in CXO job searches last year itself, every third CXO they’ve been approaching lately is reluctant to accept a job offer in Delhi-NCR. Instead, top-level executives are seeking opportunities in cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.

Delhi has five seasons now, the fifth being the ‘pollution season’, and search firms including ours see a drop in interest around this time for positions in Delhi, said Uday Chawla, managing partner at Transearch. Search experts warned that this issue is going to get worse over the coming years if measures aren’t taken to combat worsening air quality in the national capital. Some search firms estimated that as many as 40% of CXOs are declining job offers, especially expats and returning Indians, citing pollution. Compared to other locations in India like Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai, it becomes a challenge to attract talent to Delhi and NCR around this time, said Ramachandran. Currently, about 50% of returning Indians/expats are turning down job offers in Delhi-NCR due to reasons such as air pollution, according to EMA Partners.

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