MUMBAI: At a time when other professional services firms are talking about a hiring freeze, the Big Four firm Deloitte has announced partnership promotions elevating more than 30 directors into the firm’s partnership.

Deloitte CEO N Venkatram announced the promotions in a mail sent to all Deloitte employees on Tuesday late evening.

With the new announcements, Deloitte’s partner tally crosses 480. The promotions were across the five verticals — audit, tax, consulting, financial services and risk— but audit division saw the maximum number of partner induction (over 10).

“The firm is clearly taking a bet on the recovery of Indian economy so that when the demand for services arises post Covid-19 crisis, we are well positioned to get more business,” said a Deloitte partner on conditions of anonymity.

All the 30 partners that were promoted also saw a jump in their salary.

As per the big four model, a partner– depending on his seniority and function– earns at least Rs 1 crore per anum.

“There are certain directors who were earning around Rs 50 lakh per annum but they would now see their salaries jump to Rs 1 crore plus,” said a service line leader in the firm.

“Appraisal cycle for other employees in the firm would now start and that would be announced by May end. Even for those executives we will hold the same principle, that promotions and appraisals are based on last few year’s efforts,” said a senior partner in the firm.

Last year, Deloitte had inducted 23 directors into the firm’s partnership.

Deloitte usually announces partner promotions in April first week but the rigorous process starts in September. The candidates have to go through multiple interview with business leaders and partner committees.

Insiders also say that it looks like audit business has been strengthened keeping in light the new regulatory environment and increased focus on audit quality.

This comes at a time when most of the other big four firms– PwC, EY and KPMG– too have been looking to conserve cash.

However, all three firms have given assurances that they would not be sacking a single employee.

ET on March 27 wrote that PwC had deferred promotions, increments and bonuses of India employees and that partners and directors had decided to even take 25% pay cut if the situation doesn’t improves in the coming months. None of the other two firms EY and KPMG has officially decided their strategy as of Tuesday evening.

Deloitte did not respond to a questionnaire sent by ET on Tuesday evening.

In India, Deloitte has been aggressively growing its consulting business after the government mandated audit rotation saw most of its marquee audit clients rotate out. The firm, which has the biggest consulting business globally, wants to leverage its deep expertise in technology and digital space to build a robust consulting business in India.

Deloitte global CEO Punit Renjen had in February met prime minister Narendra Modi and then tweeted that the firm is looking to create around 75,000 jobs in the country within next three years.

“There is a feeling in the consultancies that India will see a sharp recovery in next few months as there are many things people are ignoring due to Coronavirus situation, like the oil prices. If that were to happen firms cannot take a short term view and should be fully prepared,” said a senior partner in one of the firms.

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