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India – Calls to regulate temporary staffing

23 November 2012

Stefano Colli-Lanzi, chief executive of Italy-based staffing company Gi Group, said he supports regulating the staffing industry and allowing only qualified firms to operate in India according to a report from Mint. Colli-Lanzi was interviewed about the company's recent acquisition in India, its growth strategy, and the debate about temporary staffing and the socio-economic security of employees.

Speaking about the investment Mr Colli-Lanzi  said: “The north, west and south have done well. Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore are the hubs. Going forward also, the growth is definitely going to be in these cities. I also don't rule out the possibility of growth coming from other cities as well. The upcoming (major) cities like Lucknow and Kanpur, Jamshedpur, Ranchi have huge opportunities. It's about tapping the right companies and the right people, and creating a market for yourself”.

“We have invested something like Euro 8 million; this includes purchase of a small (staffing) company. Currently, we are in all the major cities. There is a huge opportunity in Bhubaneswar. We are open to going to cities like Jamshedpur, Bhubaneswar, etc”.

“One learning that can be implemented in India is of a qualified player as a pre-requisite to operate in the staffing industry. More the number of players, specially the smaller players, it is difficult to govern and ensure compliance. Legislation can assign a "minimum capital" as a pre-requisite to obtain a licence. This will regulate the entry of private agencies and will favour compliance of the rules”.

“In the unorganized sector, the pay is less. By working through an organized player in the market, a company benefits much more. When you get into a more organized framework, the companies can be assured that the employees will get what the government regulations demand. If I don't follow the statutory requirement, then I will put my business in the line. We are in favour of regulation of temporary staffing”. 

“Gi has an expertise on the staffing side. Now we have four segments-the bread and butter basic (temporary) staffing, then we have search and selection, leadership hiring and now we are very prominently getting into RPO (recruitment process outsourcing). We are looking at all segments of the service line and working with a cross section of companies-Indian, MNCs (multinationals) in different industrial segment.  We have now a section which is specifically looking at Indians who are looking for opportunities outside like Middle-East and Africa”.

Asked how the economic slowdown had affected the staffing industry in general and GI in particular, he concluded: “We are losing some 15-20% in 2012, compared with 2011, in revenue. But I am absolutely sure that once the economy turns around, we will recover all the losses. We are positive on India growth and look forward to having it as a key contributor in our global portfolio”.

Gi Staffing Services Pvt. Ltd. is a JV between Gi Group and Elixir Web Solutions Pvt. Ltd, am Indian RPO and Executive Search firm.  Gi Staffing Services has already opened offices in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, and Dehradun. The Company is looking at opening up a total of 22 offices by this year end and employing close to 20,000 people. The services being currently offered by Gi Staffing are Payroll Management and Temporary Staffing.

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