Who is the largest private employer in India?
According to its latest quarterly presentation, the Bengaluru-based company, which provides personnel solutions for some of the largest brands in the country, now has the largest list of employees and associates, 3.85 lakh, in the private sector in India.
With a growth of 38% every year since 2016, Quess has surpassed Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which remains the largest general employer with 4.46 lakh on the lists, but of which around 90,000 are abroad, indicating that its workforce in India is approximately 3.6 lakh, according to people informed about the matter. TCS does not provide a geographical division of its employee base and a company spokesman declined to comment on the story.
The development underscores a growing change in the economy as companies such as Quess have benefited from the demand for outsourced workers in areas ranging from the delivery of electronic commerce to the management of facilities for commercial buildings.
There is, of course, a significant difference in the skill levels of TCS staff, which primarily employs engineers, and Quess, which depends heavily on “gray-collar” workers.
Quess employees function as external service providers for their more than 2,000 customers, including Samsung, Amazon, Reliance, Vodafone India and Bajaj Finance, according to an ICRA report. The company has about 5,000 workers abroad in markets such as Singapore.
“There are many countries that have a population smaller than the number of employees we have. The scale of our impact on the Indian labor market is not known, especially the role we play in formalizing the labor economy, “said CEO of the Quess Corp Group, Suraj Moraje, a former McKinsey & Co partner who joined The company in November.
Development comes at a time when traditional sectors such as cars, telecommunications, consumer goods and even IT services have seen layoffs for reasons such as the slowdown and growth. At the same time, new economic companies continue to grow, driven by a record year of capital inflows.
Investors who follow the space say that the change is happening not only because of the shortage of jobs, but also because wages have increased substantially in the segment. “This area is exploding and these gray collar jobs now have salaries that compare to entry level compensation in IT / IT companies,” says Anand Lunia, founding partner of the venture capital firm India Quotient, and He adds that distributors’ salaries have increased faster than inflation in the last decade.
Lunia was one of the first investors in Rebel Foods, owner of brands such as Faasos and Behrouz Biryani, where the salaries of delivery personnel are approximately Rs 20,000, compared to Rs 6,000-7,000 in 2010, which adjusted for inflation, would have been Rs 10,000-12,000 now.
“Their aspiration is a stable job, which is a great reason why companies outsource these jobs since attrition is high and there is not always a constant demand for these roles,” he said.
According to Moraje, the average salaries in Quess range between Rs 12,000-Rs 40,000 for 70% of their workforce, approximately 75% of which are in the age group of 21-35. While he refused to give a drop-out number, the company interviews more than 1 million people a year. “We need to make sure that employees and associates have a professional career so that our recruitment costs and retention rate improve,” he says. The company says it provides benefits such as pension funds and insurance to its entire workforce, and for many of them, this is their first formal job.
Quess, who started serial entrepreneur Ajit Isaac over a decade ago, has grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions and the support of Fairfax, owned by Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa. The company was on the list in 2016. TeamLease, a local rival, also based in Bangalore, had about 2.28 lakh employees and apprentices as of December 2019. Other major players in the space include world giants such as Adecco and Randstand.
“Companies focus on their main activities, while outsourcing activities that can be carried out by a specialized company; Quess Corp fits there. Companies distrust full-time employment when they can find concerts to complete the work, ”said Mahesh Vyas, MD and CEO of CMIE (Indian Economy Monitoring Center). He added that whether the benefits are provided or not will be essential to measure whether such employment is sustainable. “If a large part of the workforce is getting involved and does not provide social security, in a generation’s time, we could have a problem.”