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India – Flexible staffing growing in popularity

17 October 2013

As India continues to navigate its way out of a gloomy economic environment, employing flexi-staff is becoming more of a rule than the exception. Companies across traditional sectors; including retail, telecom, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, hospitality and agriculture-based business, are increasingly adopting the flexi-staffing model, reports the Times of India.

Pandia Rajan, president, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), an apex body of flexi-staffing industry, said: "The more there will be uncertainty, the more flexi-staffing industry will grow. Out of two crore (20 million) flexi-staff in India, only 13 lakh (1.3 million) come under the organised fold involving a tripartite deal among the staffing firm, employer and the client or flexi employee. We see almost +14% rise in number of organised flexi-staff to 16 lakh (1.6 million) across India and +18% jump in business volume for the industry this year. So there is a huge market waiting to be tapped.”

Vivek Paranjpe, HR head of Reliance Industries, reportedly India’s largest private sector enterprise, said: "Generally speaking, flexi-staffing is necessary considering current circumstances. It takes care of sudden and temporary jump in workload, which is the sole purpose of it. During the economic downturn, it helps a lot, too. Things get better with their contribution to the contracted company." 

Parijat Thakur, VP (HR), Matrix Cellular (International) Services, has found that flexi-staffing keeps the wage bill low and it also helps Indian corporations keep headcount down. "With the fear of another tougher economic situations growing, organisations are likely to outsource staff," Mr Thakur added. 

The workforce in the Indian flexi-staffing Industry, is estimated to comprise 3% of total employment. A recent study by ISF predicts that this will increase to 10% by 2025. 

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