Staffing companies eye more revenue from India
Given the large number of people entering the workforce, it's not surprising that India is being looked upon as a source of greater revenues by global search agencies which have a presence here. For some of the leading firms, such as Randstad and Kelly, India is a significant contributor, particularly in terms of invoicing hours work to clients. This is a standard measure which quite a few agencies subscribe to in terms of placement work for clients.
For Randstad, the world's second largest HR service organization, India is the largest contributor to the total number of hours that the firm invoices with clients.
"India's the biggest part when you look at invoicing hours work to our clients. We employ 600,000 people per day, on an average, and the Indian business is roughly one-tenth of the total world. So it's the largest number of hours that we invoice," Robert-Jan van de Kraats, global CFO and vice-chairman of the executive board, Randstad Holding NV, told TOI on his recent visit to Mumbai.
However, if one were to take the revenue contribution into consideration, India would be about 2% of the total. "That's today. The board has given me an assignment to bring a significant part of the contribution to revenues from India in 5-10 years," said de Kraats.
This could, however, take some time given that with an hour of invoicing in western Europe, an agency typically earns a bill rate of 20 euros as against 2 euros in India.
Search agencies have benefited from the 20% annual growth in Indian staffing market over the last three years, despite the industry slowdown, touching a market size of $4 billion. For Randstad, in the last 5 years, the total number of deputed employees and the hours invoiced have more than doubled. The firm has grown at a CAGR of 35% over the last decade, according to Moorthy K Uppaluri, CEO, Randstad India & Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, for Kelly Services, which globally provides employment to around 5,50,000 employees, India's contribution stands at about 2% (10,000 employees annually).
Kelly Services approximately does about $5.4 billion business globally with APAC contributing roughly about $400 million, this includes revenue generated from professional & technical, executive search outsourcing and consulting services. Although Kelly does not disclose these figures country wise, Kelly India managing director Kamal Karanth, said Kelly India is a "significant contributor".
For Egon Zehnder, India contributes around 6-8% of its global revenues. The firm does not take into consideration the metric of invoicing hours work to clients.
Indian staffing industry is the fifth largest contributor to global staffing market in terms of number of flexi workers. However, the challenge for search firms is to find the right talent as India Inc. grapples with a shortage of talent. There is supply, but the demands of companies for quality talent are not being met. Search agencies, said HR experts, would play a key role in bridging this gap between quantity and quality.