Hiring demand by small businesses is on rise

By SiliconIndia  |   Friday, 30 October 2009, 09:22 Hrs   |    7 Comments
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Hiring demand by small businesses is on rise
New Delhi: The job market doors are reopening. Including the IT and ITeS space, also the small firms in retail, banking and realty sectors are hiring in large numbers, which is opening up new business opportunities. Almost 10 percent of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in India are planning to hire additional staff, according to a recent study by New York-based Access Markets International (AMI) Partners.

As reported by the Economic Times, the study reveals that the impact of the current economic downturn on local and regional economies is of greater concern to small businesses than to their medium business counterparts. These same small businesses were not as greatly affected by changes in the national and global economy as the mid-market firms. "A major reason for this is that most small businesses (84 percent) have only a single location, earn almost three-fourths of their revenues from local areas, and their operations are mainly confined to local territories," said Kalyan Banga, Research Analyst at AMI-Partners.

Aerospace component maker Quest Global, which supplies to Boeing and Airbus, did revenues of 363 crore last fiscal, and is looking to hire more people after its proposed funding of $50 million comes through this November. "We need to raise fresh capital now to finance our expansion and hire new people," said Ajit Prabhu, CEO, Quest Global. The exact figure is yet to be decided, said Prabhu, but a source within the company says its sales force is in for a major ramp up in numbers.

"SMEs saw slower growth, and immediately put brakes on hiring. However they are now back," said Prof K Kumar, who heads the business incubation cell at Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore. BPO firm 24/7 Customer plans to hire around 1,000 people this year as the global outlook improves, clients repeat orders and new ones come aboard, says its Chief Marketing Officer V Bharathwaj. The company which has developed new technologies in its labs also plans to hire PhDs, and Masters degree holders in Mathematics and Statistics to further push research. Taking this figure, the total hiring might be close to 1,500 people, which is good considering how hard the slowdown had hit the BPO industry.

Some like the 35-crore Kevin Enterprises are waiting before they start hiring again. The company, which supplies process design solutions and equipment to the chemical, fertiliser and oil and gas industries sees the light at the end of the tunnel with the economy improving. "But we are not yet out of the woods," said its Managing Director Kevin Shah. He hopes to see business jump back by the end of this fiscal, which is when he will start hiring. "We are waiting for the business to turn around so we can pick up the quality talent available in the market today," he added.

Hiring demand in the July-September quarter is up 40-50 percent over the previous quarter and about 60-70 percent higher than the January-March quarter, according to Amit Tandon, Director, Empryean Partners, an HR services firm. Salary expectations today are 10-15 percent lower than before and some professionals who lost their jobs during the downturn are available at 30-35 percent lower salaries. Tandon also said that small and medium companies have got a better window now in campus recruitment, especially at tier-II colleges.

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