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Staffing firm Ikya could be acquisition target

Staffing firm Ikya could be acquisition target

Ikya Human Capital Solutions, the Bangalore-based HR services firm, is likely to be a target for global HR firms planning to set up shop in India, writes Praveen Bose from Chennai, Bangalore.

He says some of the names floating around are companies like the Dutch USG Group, US companies Spherion, Volt, Robert Half and Michael Page from the UK, and Radia from Japan who are looking to enter India and it is likely that they may look at Ikya to start their operations. However, Ikya management denied that they will sell out.

Ikya, which describes itself as a human capital solutions company that offers executive search, recruitment, staffing and learning, and development solutions, has now remodelled itself by offering more value-added services.

The company sees growth from three areas from new markets where it is entering, new product lines it is launching and through new customers. It is now seeking to focus on some of the developing countries, such as those in West Asia. Said MD and CEO Ajit Isaac: Most global staffing giants concentrate on developed markets as they are the bread and butter. A country like India would contribute only a small part of the revenues of global staffing giants present in India.

Ikya in 2008 received a funding of $8 million from India Equity Partners (IEP), a private equity fund focused on India. The recent global downturn had sent many a HR services firm into a downward spiral. Most of their valuations hit rock-bottom.

They have been forced to remodel themselves and have had to innovate.
While aiming to grow organically and inorganically, Ikya has now entered a new line of business, facilities management. Ikya has now acquired a facilities management firm Avon. This line of business gives a better margin, contends Isaac.

This, when compared to staffing, where the margins could be as low as 1 per cent. Ikya intends to concentrate on telecom, real estate, healthcare and education, the new growth areas considered to be relatively recession-proof.

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