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By 2020, about 10% of the overall workforce in India could be working in a flexible capacity through staffing companies, according to the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF). The percentage share is expected to increase further to 20% by 2025 and the growth is led by the IT industry.
According to Mr. Karuppasamy Pandia Rajan, President of the ISF, “despite tough times due to the economic slowdown, there has been some buoyancy in flexi-hiring among IT companies in India, in order to beat the margin pressures, maintain lean benches and facilitate just-in-time hiring in a highly-volatile market. The firms are increasing their flexi staff count in non-core activities and services to focus more on core activities."
At the National Conclave recently held in Chennai, the Federation stated India's current employable workforce is around 484 million, of which 273 million are in rural areas primarily in agriculture sector (many of them clearly underemployed), and the remaining 150 million in services sector. The Federation stated that flexible workforce is expected to grow from 1.3 million (3% of the organised sector) in 2012, to 20% of the organised sector by 2025.
The ISF has said incremental demand for skilled workers is led by logistics sector around 51 million, followed by construction (15 million), retail (5 million), BFSI (5 million), healthcare (4.5 million), automotive (2.5 million) and creative industry (0.8 million). The association also reported that the country would have to find as many as 83 million additional skilled workers by 2015, the demand will go up to 300 million by 2022.
Considering the growth, the staffing industry is optimistic about the future, although it was felt that the existing gap between education and employment requirements need to be bridged for India to make optimal use of its large manpower.