Job market dampened by the search for profits

Job market dampened by the search for profits

By SHAILENDRA TYAGI | NEW DELHI | 17 September, 2016
Cutting employee cost is one way to reach profitability which has eluded the e-commerce sector so far.

The job market seems to be slipping into slow gear with promising sectors slowing down their hiring activities quite significantly this year. The market is not brimming as it did last year. The search for profit that now assumes priority in the e-commerce sector has “burst the bubble that was there”, says Shiv Agarwal, founder of the online placement firm, HeadHonchos.com, & MD, ABC Consultants. The e-commerce sector which has been a major hirer in the past two years has taken a major beating “with significant layoffs (across all levels) happening in past few months”. Cutting employees’ cost is one way to reach profitability which has eluded the sector so far.

Hiring by banks — both MNCs and private sector Indian banks — has also slowed down. Since bad loans still haunt many Indian banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are taking over the consumer loans segment in a big way, leading to aggressive hiring by them. IT has been ok, but overall, job creation continues to happen in the technology sector. As India is tipped to become the fourth largest producer of cars, things are also looking up in the auto sector, but the threat of automation also looms large. India can still become the rank producer of automobiles, but with less human intervention. Many analysts warn that such an approach, if imbibed by other sectors, may not be a desirable option for the country which is looking to employ its younger demography. The government’s grand push for “Skill India” is a strategic one to counter such moves.

The e-commerce sector, which has been a major hirer in the past two years, has taken a major beating as well.

 Less hiring has also impacted the earnings of placement companies. “We, at ABC Consultants, grew about 30% last year, but things do not look that rosy so far this year,” says Agarwal. But he is quite optimistic since “catalysts” are in place to boost the job market. A good monsoon which would re-energise the rural economy is expected to create jobs in the FMCG sector. “Make in India” is a very inspiring theme from job creation perspective duly supported by an apt legislation like GST. “With a stable regime with predictable rules and things in place, I think that Indian companies which are the core of the economy would start investing again in the domestic economy, creating more jobs in the process” says Agarwal.

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