‘Attrition at highest level in a decade across sectors’

Venkatesha Babu | | | Updated on: Nov 17, 2021

Suraj Moraje, Managing Director and Group CEO, Quess

Hiring particularly difficult in sectors like IT, says Quess’ Managing Director

Quess Corp, one of India’s largest private sector employers, which employs more than 4 lakh people and provides outsourcing services to more than 3,000 customers in workforce management, technology solutions and operating asset management, among others, says it is witnessing record attrition, the most in a decade for all players across sectors.

From a security person working at an industrial facility to someone calling in to sell you something or coming in to install an appliance you brought, there is a very high chance that he/she would be on Quess’s payroll.

Services provided

The company offers everything – facilities management, security services, compliance and tech services, staffing and payroll, installation and after sales services, infrastructure and digital IT services, BPM, in-store and field sales, collections, industrial operations and maintenance.

The company also owns Monster India, an employment website, which provides unique insights into the ongoing war for talent across industries. Suraj Moraje, Managing Director and Group CEO of Quess, says that hiring has been particularly difficult in certain sectors such as Information Technology, where demand vastly outpaces supply.

“While the IT bit gets highlighted much, fact is there is an acute shortage in field sales people or delivery executives and other sectors, too. “The people supply challenge is not for a single company, but for the entire industry and may take some time to settle. In fact, higher attrition benefits a player like Quess as companies look to outsource more.

“Today, a delivery executive can log into five different platforms and bid up his price. What the pandemic has done is tilted the balance between labour and capital, a bit back in labour’s favour.”

While most segments of the market have returned to pre-Covid levels or higher, certain others such as facilities management and security services are yet to fully recover from the impact of the pandemic, Moraje added. “However, we expect as companies slowly return to working from their facilities these segments, we are likely to see a bounce back.”

Moraje said that while Quess has been aggressive on the M&A front, going forward, the emphasis is on organic growth, as the value of most potential targets has gone up beyond the comfort zone. “If it all we make any acquisition it has to be at the right price and provide us the right fit.”

Net profit in Q2

Quess, in its latest second quarter, reported revenues of ₹3,228 crore and a net profit of ₹41 crore, an 8 per cent rise in revenues and an equal percentage fall in profits, compared to the previous quarter. Explaining the fall in profits, Ravi Vishwanath, Group CFO of Quess, attributed it to provisions made for some legacy business in the government sector.

“We also made provisions on some claims regarding GST. It has no impact on the cash flow, but from receivable perspective, we took a charge and thus most of it is a one-time impact.”

Quess says that most industries in the country are enjoying massive macroeconomic tailwinds, with economy expected to grow between 8-10 per cent. Pointing out that as Indian companies increasingly explore outsourcing to drive productivity and flexibility, outsourced service providers like Quess would benefit.

Published on November 17, 2021
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