Summary
TRANSCRIPT

How is Staffing Industry Playing a Pivotal Role in Labour Formalisation?

Suchita Dutta: Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome to a very nice pleasant afternoon from me here. And hopefully that's the same wherever to say for most of the people who are joining us across the world. This is a great opportunity for short, for not really the staffing industry and the fraternity that is joining from India, but also the global players who are participating and giving us an opportunity to be a part of this World Staffing Summit 2022..

Suchita Dutta: And looking forward to a great session with the great speakers I have on my panel. I would like to kick start this afternoon with a warm welcome to all of our speakers who are joining us today while there's an open session that we're going to be talking about the important role the staffing industry's playing in the labor formalization. In our country in India and obviously impacting the global scale at the same time, a welcome my dear speakers. I welcome Triparna Samaddar from Quest Corp. I welcome Pritika Yadav from Genius Consultants. I wellcome Sonal Arora from GI group and I welcome Mahesh Bhatt from Teamlease Services Ltd. These are the eminent people who will be taking us through the journey today.

Suchita Dutta: And looking at the day's discussion that we have had in the previous session where Lohit obviously has taken us to entire off what the past has been, what the future will be in the exciting times that we are living in today. I think we'll all agree that India is at the Cynosure right now for the simple reason that labor reforms, which are going to be happening almost close to about 70 years after that.

Suchita Dutta: And an exciting time, not only from the factor of labor reform. But also from a perspective of the industry's perception, changing towards the staffing industry, the job seekers, the way things are evolving about the situation regarding contract working situation, gig workers. I think we have a great panel, which will be taking us through a discussion, which is between an all round information chair and none other to start with, then I have a discussion with Sonal on the subject.

Suchita Dutta: If I may ask, I know that staffing is playing a pivotal role in driving labor formalization in India. What are the possible ways you have witnessed the transition and what is the contribution the industry is making in the same. If I may put this question to you Sonal. 

Sonal Arora: Thanks. Suchita for inviting me for this event and thanks to the wWorld Staffing Summit team also as you rightly said, this is a very exciting time for the staffing industry in India.

Sonal Arora: I think what we have seen in the last two decades has not just been a formalization, but also transition and evolution. So you touched on a very relevant point of which is the fact that now I think 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago, perhaps stuffing in industry or in India was not really recognized as an industry.

Sonal Arora: You know, we took some baby steps with the formation of the Indian staffing Federation. When some of the bigger players came together. Today, we can talk about it as a industry, the way we talk about let's say other service industries or service sector industries in India there has been a huge acceptance of from the customer side, the corporate, in terms of seeing this as an industry that is partnering with them in taking their business agenda to the next level. And also, I would say there has been much greater acceptance on contract employment from the job seekers or the candidates side. So of course, a gig economy, the fact that India has a population that is growing younger in terms of its average age and therefore the attractiveness of a permanent job from their point of view is not really what it used to be.

Sonal Arora: Let's say for their parents' generation, all this has contracts. This has also led to the fact that today the policy makers and the governments look at staffing as an industry and our voice and our let's say feedback on what needs to be done to improve the formal job market in India. The growth of the former job market in India is taken seriously.

Sonal Arora: So, this has been a huge shift in thinking. I would say from all the three sectors, the employers, the job seekers or the candidates and the policy makers. For the candidates, how, you know, it has benefited is. It obviously given them access to jobs, which they did not have earlier to employers to experience because in India, you know, the challenge always is that everybody wants an experienced candidate, but we have the majority of our job seekers who are freshers or with very limited job experience.

Sonal Arora: So getting a first job for a job seeker is the biggest challenge. And that is where I think the staffing industry has contributed hugely. Also in terms of you know, formalization of the benefits wages opportunities to skill and learn. These are things which majority of the job seekers in India who were, let's say not expiring for a government job, did not have access to.

Sonal Arora: And that is why there was a huge dependence on government jobs because your government job brought stability. It brought them access to all these factors, but now with the growth of the staffing industry, you know, this sector, which was earlier denied, these opportunities now has access to all these opportunities.

Sonal Arora: From the corporate point of view, it has led to ease of doing business because of the formalization of the labor market, formalization of the staffing industry. They don't have to deal with the local contractors, their regulatory arbitrage, or just, you know, managing the workforce is the only value add that the service provider is bringing to the table.

Sonal Arora: It's a professional industry where the customer can demand and get value creation from the service provider. So there is an entire professionalism, you know, that has come into how today's contract staffing piece is managed from end to end cycle, right from the. corporate employer's point of view to the candidate, to the government.

Sonal Arora: So I think this is that this has been hugely beneficial for all sections of the society and last but not the least this also helps in counting these job seekers or the contribution of these candidates into the formal economy. You know, today when we talk off the Indian economy is growing at the rate of let's say 8.5% or 9%.

Sonal Arora: Ultimately, we talk about the former economy until an analyst, this piece of our economy gets factored into this calculation. For many years, it was not. And I would say to some extent it is still not because there's still a lot of informal staffing segments, which needs to move into the formal sector.

Sonal Arora: But over a period of time, the contribution of the formal staffing industry has increased significantly. We have a long way to go. It will continue to increase, but this is where we are going to contribute to all sectors of our ecosystem.

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely. So now I think we have a very large role to play as a staffing industry. And also from the perspective that our country is a proud youngest workforce of the world and is working towards building that trust for ease of doing business. And it requires the vital push that is required not only from the industry, but also from the government, the job seekers, as well as our industry has.

Suchita Dutta: Very large role to play. As you rightly put across with the 39 crore informal labor workforce, while we are grappling with an issue that 85% of our industry is in the informal staffing industry is definitely in the position where once, when the government is trying to bring in a formal employment, formal recognition to the job seekers, I think it's also depending on the staffing companies and other one per outsourcing companies for sure.

Suchita Dutta: If I were to look at the security service, the facility management and everything encompassing that there is a very interesting way forward. Social security is the best of one of the best games that runs. However, there is a large section of the society, which is deprived of that. And that's one of the areas where our compliances and staffing companies play a large role.

Suchita Dutta: So if, I mean by it Mahesh to throw light on the same question that, you know, what are the possible ways you have witnessed at transition? And the contribution the industry is making in the same parlance though. Mahesh, if I could invite you. 

Mahesh Bhatt: Thanks. Suchita, Good Afternoon everyone the last two years crossword.

Mahesh Bhatt: And mind you India's informal economy has shrunk by about 15 to 20%. In spite of this fog effect, it is important to bear in mind that the staffing industry has provided formula employment for at least 6 million youth in 2021, thereby giving them access to a life in 2021. The Indian staffing industry witnessed the growth of about 3.6%.

Mahesh Bhatt: The pandemic has a real eye-opener for the companies to rethink their staffing structure, their strategies, and the roles which cannot be outsourced. Companies are revisiting their definition of poor employees and exploring flexi staffing for say six months, eight months, 12 months contract for roles, which were earlier reserved only for the permanent employees.

Mahesh Bhatt: So I believe that the hospitality

Mahesh Bhatt: that I've seen about a 50% increase in the formulation of workforce and sectors like textiles have seen a jump off 20% said as part of the payroll data from EFO , that is our Employee Funder Organization sectors like IT, ITES, Healthcare, Ed-Tech, Pharma, e-commerce, BFSI, et cetera. And the leaders are the leaders in the adoption of flexi workforce with higher penetration because of the extensive use of technology in the profiles, the pandemic has helped open up the ghost for e-commerce and healthcare, thereby leading to fast adoption of flexible staffing.

Mahesh Bhatt: That informal workforce. It Contributes around 80% of the total Indian workforce, as you rightly pointed out. And the flexi staffing industry was supposed to grow at about 22% compounded annual growth rate for the year 2021 with some sectors like BFSI, Tech and Logistics doing wonderful numbers. I still think that 22% growth is a conservative number and our industry.

Mahesh Bhatt: We also experience reality distortion through technology, and we all would contribute to this.

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely Mahesh, I think in terms of the numbers India is definitely showing are remarkably good growth post pandemic. And what we have noticed even our ISF report has said that quarter one quarter growth from the last quarter. Despite the fact that we have just come out of a COVID situation, this time the industry was resilient in terms of addressing our Q2 growth team, to work close to about 9%.

Suchita Dutta: And I'm talking. Net income growth, not in revenue terms while year on year, we have almost touched 23%. So yes, definitely a great and exciting time post pandemic. We are noticing these changes. Not something that is something we were prepared for, but in a good way we would love to have problems like this, where we are dealing with certain demand supply gaps, but at the same time, the prescription evolution that has happened towards our industry is unremarkable posts, the pandemic.

Suchita Dutta: And we, that extent, I think I would like to bring in Triparna and Pritika on this.. How has the perception evolved post pandemic from government customers as well as job seekers towards the former staffing companies. I believe you bought that again in businesses, which are completely governed by all three stakeholders.

Suchita Dutta: So if I may put this question across to you and then Pritika, if I would invite you to join with Triparna post this piece. 

Triparna Samaddar: Thank you Suchita and good afternoon, everybody to all the audience joining from India and all over the world. So, yeah, it's true. I mean, pandemic has was a very disruptive phenomenon which had happened, and this has made most organizations face certain challenges, which are similar in nature.

Triparna Samaddar: However, the way each organization has overcome those challenges have actually been actually seen from two different angels. Specifically for organizations who were already engaged in the formal staffing model while organizations who were not engaged in the former staffing organization. So the challenges typically, which they faced were like erraticness of physical presence in the workplace be it offices, malls, stores, marketplaces either shutting down for a certain time or opening with limited capacity.

Triparna Samaddar: All with restricted timings. This has impacted every individual be it office employees, back-end staff, the frontline staff, the on field staff, everybody. There are employee health issues, which need to, which were pretty challenging. So organizations needed to have knowledge on whether the employee was either affected with COVID or somebody in the family.

Triparna Samaddar: It was imperative to know the vaccination status also. There were challenges of employee migration. So employees move from their current work locations to hometowns, and there was a very degree of willingness for them to relocate back and the time taken to do that. Also, now these are factors which are impacting operations resumptions when the markets started to open up. They were also requirements of, for organizations started wearing very much, depending on the geography, seasonality and government decisions. So it was tough to manage the different fulfillment, considering the factors of employee movements, vaccination status.

Triparna Samaddar: There have been also extreme cases of premature contract renews or salary cuts despite government efforts through a profit, the interests of both the employees and the employees. At the same time, the organizations had to manage the challenge of employees working from home, tracking them then keeping the employees engaged, motivated, and up-skilling them in these lockdown times and the pandemic time.

Triparna Samaddar: So while challenges where they say the solutions were different. Organizations who were already engaged with the large formal staffing companies could take benefit of the staffing infrastructure already provided by these organizations beat terms of backend operations, recruitment capability, and most importantly, the technological prowess and depending.

Triparna Samaddar: These were like the biggest differentiators. So technology in fact was used extensively along with the backend operations to ensure the situations were monitored continuously. So, things like the employee's health status were monitored, whether they were infected or somebody in their family, this helped to identify how long the person will not be available for work.

Triparna Samaddar: Or the people could be reached out in any critical situation. The people who needed some medical support and they could be reached out in those times, it was very important to track the vaccination status and all these staffing companies were tracking the vaccination status. This was a big requirement, even from the government side also because it was mandatory to deploy the vaccinated people only back into the market.

Triparna Samaddar: Plus this data helped the organizations to come back with vaccination camps so that they could ensure that their people were getting vaccinated. In fact, this also helped the government project in terms of getting the vaccinations on track there now during this time, because the physical imply connects could not happen.

Triparna Samaddar: The staffing companies helped in creating this employee connect virtually. A lot of organized staffing companies. We have a paperless onboarding system, which ensures that beat pandemic, the entire employee onboarding their KYC, everything happens digitally. So the process of hiring handles, the onboarding, everything moves on smoothly.

Triparna Samaddar: This thing we've conducted employee service, the staffing organizations conducted employee service to understand where the employee was, whether at the work location or at his hometown, how much time it would take for that employee to come back and join back. Now, this gave a very good idea about the hiring recruitment.

Triparna Samaddar: So I mean how to fulfill the hiring requirements. So how, if at all, if a company has a requirement of, I can take the X man quote, how much of the existing workforce could be joining back and how much needed to be hired? At the same time, the staffing companies had set up a lot of reference games and online job portals to capture the existing data of unemployed people and job seekers.

Triparna Samaddar: And these data was used continuously to fulfill the requirements which were coming up. Mobile platform service set up to ensure that they were relevant contents were run for the employees to make these. To engage the employees and upskill the people, the employees during these times. 

Triparna Samaddar: So if you see the staffing companies the organizations who had engaged with this staffing, so one more thing also happened there while there were certain cases pay cuts and all those things, the staffing companies insured, they work with the organization to ensure that the government norms and the compliances were met.

Triparna Samaddar: And that's something the government got a big support from the staffing organization.. 

Triparna Samaddar: So if you'll see the organizations who were already employed with the, who were already working with the staffing sector, they could actually tide over the pandemic challenges piggybacking on the infrastructure provided by these staffing companies.

Triparna Samaddar: Be it recruitment, we'd pay backend operations or the technology now organizations who were not involved in the staffing companies, the staffing operations, they had to, they were either completely clueless how to tackle these issues. Or they had to use a huge bandwidth of their own core employees to this challenge.

Triparna Samaddar: So what we have seen as well, the benefits of it, the organizations have what they have received from the staffing, the infrastructure. This has enabled a lot of organizations and. To shift towards the staff or the staffing model. And this is why most pandemic VC is such a huge sport coming in the staffing industry.

Triparna Samaddar: So what staffing industry in our short provides is whatever whether it's a market disruption, be pandemic, or some other form staffing is going to be the way forward for everybody.

Triparna Samaddar: What would be Suchita? 

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely Triparna. I think it's an inevitable fact that, you know, even government customers are realizing and I'm sure the job seekers are also warming up to the idea that with the kind of social security and the compliances that the staffing companies take care of also that, you know, there is a continuity in the jobs.

Suchita Dutta: It's just that when one project ends, another project opens up and that opportunity for a job seeker is not something that he or she will be able to do on their own. It was supposed to be a job that they have to hunt for. So on all those parameters, the staffing industry definitely has been playing a large role in India since the penetration level is lower than the global average.

Suchita Dutta: Close to 4.07%. Whereas some of the advanced countries like the US and Japan are almost close to about 2%. I think we have a very huge scope of growth. And for us things, even a 0.01% would mean about a million and a half people. So for us, yes. I mean, we have a very large business growth and from a perspective of the staffing industry in India we definitely have a large area of work cut out for us.

Suchita Dutta: Bringing the same question to you Pritika, what is your observation? How do you see things after post pandemic? 

Pritika Yadav: Okay. So Thanks Suchita. We are Covering a very interesting topic today in terms of the staffing company, how we are helping. As a whole to a global audience, job seekers also have a lot of expectations and we saw that during the pandemic they there's many of you who have already covered this being a huge migration of daily wages workers along with loss of jobs, but.

Pritika Yadav: Staffing company was able to protect this to an extent the situation of the workers was not good. And it just currently also is not good because these people are exposed to health hazards. There's a lack of social security schemes. There's a lot of job sustainability for them along with the exploitation of labor and absence of fixed income.

Pritika Yadav: So this is where the staffing industry comes into the picture of providing social security to these set of people, India being a labor intensive economy. Has progressed through various ways. And if we look forward and take the informal employment to the formal employment, which can only happen with the help of the staffing industry. We open a new door of inclusive growth to the entire ecosystem as a whole. Job seekers basically, you know, do not let us understand what the job seeker looks for.

Pritika Yadav: They look for insuring the wage and social protection, getting the medical benefit for themselves and for their family increased income for these workers would not only create formalization. But in turn, reduce absenteeism and sick leave for the workers employed in this sector, better health and medical facility directly leads to higher productivity, thereby giving the economy and overall growth.

Pritika Yadav: This is where the staffing industry plays by bridging the gap between the requirement off a job seeker and what it has to give. So I think from my side this is what I would like to say to you, Suchita. 

Suchita Dutta: Yes, that's actually right. I mean, we have taken the right turn after a very tremulous time that we had in the past one and a half, two years.

Suchita Dutta: But I think we are grappling with the issue and we put the best foot forward for sure as a country, as an industry. And obviously supporting all the elements have played a large role in that. While I look at that situation? There is also a lot of encouragement that are coming in forms of the reforms that are in the anvil.

Suchita Dutta: And Mahesh, if I could put this question to you, do you find the encouraging the active participation of the Indian staffing industry? And Sonal, If I may invite you to join Mahesh on this question after he presented his views. That would be a great opportunity to hear from both of you. 

Mahesh Bhatt: Thanks Suchita..

Mahesh Bhatt: You see demand in countries like India can be increased by. Five points I can summarize.1) Is the formulazation. 2) one is Urbanization. 3). I can say industrialization, 4) then financialization and 5) skilling. See the government reforms are bringing in social security benefits to a lot of people. GST reforms have encouraged parts spent from unorganized sectors, removing multiple taxes, the government launched the east portal to help the people to register themselves without any hassle.

Mahesh Bhatt: Then the fourth initiative that the government has demanded is the launch of a portal for MSME . Then the government moved towards providing social security benefits for the workers. They further help us take the growth in the staffing industry. So by doing this, the government will also benefit by reducing the unemployment rate by increasing the revenue accumulation from the GST, improve compliances and schemes.

Mahesh Bhatt: So I feel the strengthening of the SMEs and MSME will lead to economic recovery, employment generation formalization of the economy as almost now 40% of the informal workforce is employed with MSME and I feel the ISF has a major role to play making the Indian job market to formalized by collaborating with the government.

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely true while ISF is doing its role and the members are obviously working towards the same. I think from a perspective of what this industry needs is also an articulation that industry has been building over a period of time, which has finally been heard. Sonal what is your take on the situation on how the reforms are going to be impacted?

Sonal Arora: So Suchita for reform at all levels, especially in the areas of labor laws. We'll obviously make it easier for the staffing industry and other stakeholders in the entire process, including the clients on how you know, we can benefit from it. So today at least, even now why the situation has changed in the last few years, but we have fallen from an ideal situation where we can say the labor laws in India are friendly towards the corporates.

Sonal Arora: Though there is a focus on ease of doing business, but still out of restriction, there are a lot of outdated regulations, which employer, industry players have to deal with. So, once these reforms actually, you know, come into play, which have been in the pipeline for a long time, it will make it that much for the industry and the employers to focus on that actual value creation for the economy, focus on adding new jobs.

Sonal Arora: Without really, you know, having to deal with these types of regulatory ecosystem challenge related baggage. We have a long way to go? And I would say the journey has been a, probably a bit slower than expected. We have been anticipating these reforms for a long time. Some of them have materialized and quite a few of them are still in the pipeline, but this will actually help.

Sonal Arora: Operate India and the staffing companies to focus more on what needs to be done for creating more jobs, as well as adding more value to the entire process, know a good amount of effort on everybody's part goes into just managing compliances, which are really not, you know, beneficial for anybody. I mean, the idea is not that there should be no checks and balances in place, but the checks and balances should actually be enablers.

Sonal Arora: Not more of a disenabler, which right now the situation sometimes tends to be. So, I can see that the government is trying to address these issues. It will take some more time, but these reforms will help the industry grow. You know, again, when the focus is more on value creation towards the employers and the candidates towards skilling, towards giving them proper benefits, it will also attract more professional talent into the industry.

Sonal Arora: Then, you know, you also have within the staffing industry, a pool of people who are interested and excited about taking the industry to the next level. So I think this will be a big enabler for the staffing industry as a whole. And of course not just for the staffing industry but for the entire Indian economy, because this will really help us push the job creation to the next level where we can actually provide.

Sonal Arora: I mean, we have today 15 million people in the economy every year. And right now a large number of them still struggle to get a suitable job when we can focus more on these kinds of challenges, rather than the administrative challenges. Obviously it's going to be a win-win situation for everyone. 

Suchita Dutta: Just a follow on question to what you and Mahesh just said.

Suchita Dutta: And I possibly just highlight one of the points you said is the administrative hassle. While India is perceived, not, you know, wouldn't find that important ingredients for making India Attractive investment destination. And that's what our prime minister has been looking out to encourage more investment with attract more investment in India.

Suchita Dutta: Obviously labor is one of the most important and I would say a large contributor to make that happen. Do you think India is poised with the kind of reforms and I'm not talking just the labor reforms for all kinds of reforms, but if we aspect and consider our budgets are going to be announced very soon and fingers crossed, I'm hoping that this time will be slightly different though.

Suchita Dutta: We don't want to stretch the finance ministry for sure. But what do you think the anticipation at the world holds at this point, if they were to enter India, what, from a perspective of investment and as well, they have to include as a staffing company to set up, to expand their operations in India. And I'm just taking some notes from the discussions you just brought in and it was an interesting part.

Suchita Dutta: If you feel, I mean, I invite all four of you to participate in this because all of you are giving a very diverse perspective. It will be a welcome discussion. If you have any footnote on that. 

Sonal Arora: So, Suchita in our organization, we work with several customers who are looking at setting up, let's say, a manufacturing facility or whatever, you know, business they are currently doing.

Sonal Arora: Several of our MNC clients are looking at starting in India their operations. So obviously India is a very exciting market for everyone from very simply from the point of view that it's a huge market. And you know, there is a large amount of addressable market that's available for almost all industry sectors.

Sonal Arora: But a common undercurrent also is that while yes, there has been a great deal of effort in terms of improving the list still a long way to go. New industry or starting a new company in India still requires multiple registrations, multiple approvals. So, definitely we have covered some ground and I think we should without underestimating or without you know, being complacent about the kind of distance we have covered, we should look at how more we can ease the doing of business for our You know, corporate, especially because that's one way we can have more jobs coming into the economy, which is our biggest challenge with respect to the other aspect of the staffing companies setting up their business in India.

Sonal Arora: I mean, staffing as an industry is I would say a low entry barrier industry in India. It's not very hard to set up a staffing company. Now, we have hundreds or maybe thousands of small staffing companies operating in India. But I think where and this is just an idea from my side it's There are no right or wrong answers here.

Sonal Arora: Important thing, which those of us who are in this business need to think of is okay, what is the value we are creating for our customers in terms of providing them a sustainable and scalable solutions because it's not very difficult to find a few clients with, let's say a few hundred workers, but the important thing is how are we adding value over a period of time, rather than just, you know, being agency through which the payment is made.

Sonal Arora: So that is where I think there is a lot of scope for innovation. Within the industry as well. And this is going to be an interesting time for the industry in the next five years, I would say there will be a lot of already, you know, there is a debate on, is the gig economy a part of the staffing industry.

Sonal Arora: Is it different from the staffing industry? What is the role that staffing companies like us can play in the gig economy? So those kinds of questions and challenges would have to be addressed in the next few. 

Suchita Dutta: Yeah, absolutely. I think I'll bring in Triparna, if you can bring in your thoughts on this question, because we feel like India is becoming a favorite destination.

Suchita Dutta: So to say specifically after the pandemic, they're noticing that manufacturing is becoming an important agenda for the Indian economy. And also from the global perspective India also has great English speaking talent, which is a global demand. India also has more hands and scale the people, which is a demand, which is coming from the middle east.

Suchita Dutta: And the European markets are noticing. So if I were to look at it, the global demand for Indian talent is very high and so is within India. And now that the globe is interested in setting up their operations in India, how lucrative it will be for the staffing companies to consider. All the formats of reforms that are happening to support these investments in India.

Suchita Dutta: If you have a perspective on that. 

Triparna Samaddar: So Suchita, the staffing industry in India, first of all, has access to the biggest resource, which is the human resource like and this is something which nobody else has. Second thing, what they want is the new hall of the payroll and the compliances, which are prevalent with the organizers in the country.

Triparna Samaddar: And as well as the different labor reforms also, which are going to come up and how to prepare for them. So any organization be it from the global or within India, starting to move into India starting up a new business. What they need to look at is that they would, obviously, they would not want to invest immediately so much into the manpower.

Triparna Samaddar: And they would be definitely looking into the benefits, which the staffing organizations are providing them with respect to the payrolls, the first of manpower, and based on the business growth, what they're seeing, they will see the. 

Triparna Samaddar: They can ramp up depending on the requirements, which are they can ramp up or ramp down or do different models.

Triparna Samaddar: If you see that staffing industries have to work across the different formats of employment, it can be a long-term or a fixed term employment, or it can be short-term employment of certain fixed periods. The industry, the staffing organizations are also having a big pool of technology with support for them, which can help these organizations to set up shop.

Triparna Samaddar: So the, I think that the industries coming into India and opening up starting organizations are going to see the will be one of the very big beneficiaries of the same. 

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely. And I think with the national license and the state license, the staffing companies, which we'll be able to operate immediately, as soon as they are ready to start, the work is a greatest tool that is going to be happening for the staffing companies in India and I have to address Sonal's point that, you know, there are so many small setups that are coming up, which is starting to provide the services of a staffing company. I think streamlining those is one of the biggest agenda that the government has because at the end of the day, safeguarding the interest of a job seeker as well as the corporate. It's the first priority the government is looking at while bringing in any of the reforms that they are currently looking at. Yes, a brilliant point for sure.

Suchita Dutta: And brilliant time for India. Mahesh, would you like to join in on any additional aspects that you see that, you know, the global stakeholders will be benefiting out of the reforms that are happening in India and attracting investment? 

Mahesh Bhatt: I believe if you asked me, India is a place where people have to invest now because the government, obviously with the charismatic prime minister being there, he is expecting the global world to invest in India.

Mahesh Bhatt: So he is giving a lot of focus on. Changing the laws. See the one thing which was riding the MNCs from away from India, about the complexity of a loss. With the GST reforms coming in its one India one tax. In a similar way I think that a lot of other things like bringing in transparency in terms of labor laws making it simpler for the employers to file the returns.

Mahesh Bhatt: So I feel that this is going to be, great time for the world community to come and invest in India. A great time for informal employment to get it to formal.

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely. Pritika. Your thoughts on this, please? 

Pritika Yadav: Yes. So it's always good. If you are the last speaker, almost everyone completes everything. So I would like to say a few things. India is a country with opportunities. The current government has made policies, which benefit both from the job seeker angle from the clients angle and from the staffing industry angle.

Pritika Yadav: And like somewhere in between the conversation, you mentioned that there are many companies Who there are many companies, you know, who start off and they're very small time companies which are open, but in India, some of the benefits of staffing companies or a company which is common in nature in terms of staffing, the benefits that anyone can get is.

Pritika Yadav: And ensuring that the statutories are on time. They are complied with the insurance benefits given to the people so that they form a part off the formal employment which is also the major discussion of today. So these are some of the benefits that people get. If they are associated with the staffing companies in India, the government has also brought in a lot of new schemes.

Pritika Yadav: Like we have the apprenticeship model. We have a Make in India model. So all these are only increasing employability and formal employment in India. So that's from my side. Suchita over to you.

Suchita Dutta: I think Pritika you've captured the synopsis of the whole discussion, very nicely that, you know, while we are looking at all these reforms and obviously they are playing a large role in making the staffing industry stand out and benefit out of it. It also depends on the factor. How are the other stakeholders going to be adopting and taking up a lot of these changes that are coming out.

Suchita Dutta: Just for the closing comments, because we are almost at the end of our session. And I think we did leave about 10, 15 minutes to interact with the audience as well. Staffing industry is definitely going to be playing a pivotal role in the formalization of labor. And that's a need of the country, not only from a perspective of what the government intends to do with social security, but from the perspective of the industry that wants to come into India.

Suchita Dutta: And that is already into India, the MSME and the SME sector that wants to grow and flourish for short and post pandemic. The benefits that we have had has also opened up channels for the gig workers. So, we are sitting at a junction where possibly a lot of dimensions have opened up.

Suchita Dutta: Apprenticeship is another side that has become one of the areas of interest for the government to push that agenda. Whereas there are labor forms that are happening that are financial reforms that are happening which are going to be supportive from a perspective of a lot of schemes that are coming in the financial support required for the startup.

Suchita Dutta: And if you see the way industry has been growing exponentially, post a pandemic and touch wood for that it's a great you're ahead that we see. So if I may request all of you to come in with your closing comments and observations, that would be wonderful. And this time, if you want, may start with Pritika so that she doesn't come last . We agreed to start and following that request Triparna, Sonal, Mahesh in that order.

Pritika Yadav: Oh, thank you so much Suchita. That's about it. Yeah. So I think yeah, I should thank you first for giving me opportunity to speak. So, I would like to say that, you know, the increased financial security that means if these workers come under the staffing company's perspective, like for example Genius, Which has about more than 50,000 outsource people.

Pritika Yadav: So once these people come under the formal structure the financial security leads to higher purchasing power of these informal workers. And that basically affects the demand and supply chain of the economy as a whole. With the new labor codes. The informal workers are inclined towards saving and investment in money is routed through proper channels.

Pritika Yadav: So that only leads to a stability in the economy. The offline cash transactions are reduced significantly and it impacts the revenue of the government. The collection rates improved for the government, the TAC improved for the government. So for every build contractual worker, though, the government gets the GST.

Pritika Yadav: The shift in the nature of employment to a contractual agreement, or we'll bring about, know, fixed salaries with substantial benefits for these people which will increase the cash flow in the economy and all put together, this will only create more employment. More employment will grow to the economy of India, to the Staffing Industry.

Pritika Yadav: If India does well, we as a staffing industry, ISF and every member in ISF also does well, so I think that's the two things from my side, Suchita. Over to you, please. 

Suchita Dutta: Thank you, Triparna. May I invite you for your closing comments, please? 

Triparna Samaddar: Yeah. Hi Suchita, What I believe the staffing industry is going to have a bigger responsibility towards the Indian economy towards the employers, as well as to the employees specifically with the label formalization codes coming in picture, there's going to be massive change, which is going to happen in the industry. So. while on the financial front cost for the employers may increase, but the next day for employees is going to go down.

Triparna Samaddar: This involves a lot of explanation to the employers on how this is going to happen. A lot of focus on digitalization of compliances is coming into picture and that's something which the staffing industry can support all the organizations to focus on. There's a bigger focus coming on to overtime.

Triparna Samaddar: We live in Cashman policies and all and need immense tracking at the end of the organizations and that's where the stopping companies can play a very big role. The employees are going to have a big have increased voices for raising the grievances and that's something, again, this staffing industry can help to support the organizations to handle this.

Triparna Samaddar: So, what I feel is that the staffing and the role of the staffing industry is going to play a very pivotal role in the Indian economy. And I believe from here, it's like the Boltzmann for the staffing industry is only upwards. And we as a whole should gear up ourselves to take this opportunity and support the growth story for India.

Triparna Samaddar: That's all from my side. Suchita. 

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely Triparna. We are sitting on a goldmine situation for short. It's just a matter of how we materialize it. Sonal may I invite you for your conclusive statement? 

Sonal Arora: Thanks Suchita. So, you know, I would not repeat what some of the other speakers have said. And in fact, throughout this last one hour, we have, I think, quite clearly established that the staffing industry will contribute significantly towards the growth of India's labor market and the evolution of India's labor market.

Sonal Arora: So without, you know, emphasizing that once again, I think I will pick up on what you said. There is no doubt that the staffing industry is at a pivotal place, but what we need to see is, how do we go to the next level? Or where do we go from here to the next level? So I would say there are three broad buckets.

Sonal Arora: Probably there would be more, but three key areas for next few years, which within the staffing industry, we should work on through support of various policymakers, government, and to a great extent, our customers as well, because they're also a stakeholder and the candidates would be the first area would be to push for more and more formalization because staffing industry as an industry, now it is recognized as an industry, but still it's a highly fragmented industry. I think it will benefit everyone. If there can be some more consolidations, some more, as you said, national license. Some more formalization within the industry itself.

Sonal Arora: You know, the other aspect would be reforms and simplifications in the administrative process. We still have a lot of regulations and lack of clarity on outdated laws, which are in theory applicable, but in practicality don't work for us. Unfortunately, or fortunately labor in India is a concurrent state.

Sonal Arora: So often. Sometimes the laws between center and state also conflict. So we need to find a way around simplifying the administrative processes, which govern the staffing industry and the third, but very critical aspect for our customers and candidates are also, our customers is the aspect of how we can contribute to their skilling.

Sonal Arora: We have a situation in India where I think there are millions of jobs available and there are even more job seekers available, but there is an issue between the skills that are required in my, our customers and the skills or the talent pipeline that we have. So I think somewhere, of course, apprenticeship is one you know, but there are other ways we will probably have to contribute to the skilling agenda of the economy and the society as a whole.

Sonal Arora: So I would say that maybe in the next few years the staffing industry will strengthen it more. These are the three buckets broadly that we can focus on or take it to the next level. 

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely very rightly put across. And I would say it's a very conclusive way of looking at the whole discussion we have had in the last one hour.

Suchita Dutta: Mahesh, could I request you to bring in your thoughts because while you're not you're the last, but I'm sure from the perspectives that you have brought in today. That is something that we can look at it from a future perspective of how digital India might make India invest in India.

Suchita Dutta: And then now labor matters of India are becoming a very important factor for the globe to watch out for. 

Mahesh Bhatt: I feel that this is work to be a win-win situation for each of the people. If you look at the employer. Employers now maybe more comfortably and more confidently go for formal employment because of the reforms that are happening.

Mahesh Bhatt: And this in turn we benefit the candidates. So unemployment means the rate is likely to go down and people, we have more money coming to them because of the Government reforms, like, in the insurance PF, or PSIC, they will get the more coverage under these. So people will be candidates. We also get more skill, the improvement skill can get improved because they're working with a larger organization, which believes in employees' welfare then on the, for the government.

Mahesh Bhatt: So it is going to help in terms of a bigger tax mockup and also help. India's economy grow. And of course for the staffing industries, like its says, a win-win again. So everyone offers will benefit and Suchita will also keep smiling because more informal vendors can get it from the Indian Staffing Federation.

Mahesh Bhatt: And we will all keep smiling.

Suchita Dutta: Absolutely. We wish more companies would come to them with a bit of formalization. And we welcome all companies who are considering being in the staffing industry to be part of the Federation, because that's how the voice of the outsourcing industry will become stronger to all the stakeholders. Be it the government be the companies.

Suchita Dutta: Actually outsourcing people and the job seekers themselves, or with this, we come to a beautiful end to a great afternoon and a session that's been very mind-blowingly interesting. At least for me, there's a lot of learning to, for me to take from here for short, I would leave a few minutes that we have left in the session for the Q/A in case anybody would like to put any questions to any of our other esteemed speakers.

Suchita Dutta: And then possibly we can connect back one-on-one as required later at any given point time. Or to you the World Staffing Summit professionals who are handling it, if there are any questions do let us know for us too handle.

Suchita Dutta: I speak as out available online as the later stage in, in terms of any questions that we need to address and while keeping the time intact so that the next session starts on time. And we will make ourselves available to address any questions that may come to the organizers. And we'll be happy to address them at any given point of time.

Suchita Dutta: Thank you so much. Thank you so much Sonal, Mahesh, Triparna and Pritika for taking out time from your busy schedules, and I understand this is a year and a quarter. That's going to be brilliant to look out for. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to connecting back to none of which a session together.

Suchita Dutta: Thank you, Jan and the organization, organizers. Beautiful session for us to be part of. Thank you so much.

Pritika Yadav: Thank you.

Speakers

Suchita Dutta

Triparna Samaddar

Mahesh Bhatt

Suhas Basakhetre

Sonal Arora

Pritika Yadav

Duration

55

min

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