In just a decade, Bengaluru-based Quess Corp, a global integrated business services provider, has risen to become the leading staffing company. Not restricting itself to just people and services, it started offering services across other verticals- Global Technology Solutions, Integrated Facility Management and Industrials. It went on to grow both organically and inorganically (16 successful acquisitions and investments in the last 10 years), and at present, serves over 1,700 customers.
Both organic as well as inorganic are considered pillars of the company's growth strategy. "We believe in strong foundational organic growth to which we layer inorganic growth," says Amitabh Jaipuria, President and CEO- Global Services of Quess Corp.
The company, which raised Rs 400 crore through an IPO in mid-2016, recently acquired a 51% stake in Tata Business Support Services (TBSS). "It (the acquisition) gives us a wonderful additionality by way of the call centre business and that's an integral part of business services in many ways, and we did not have that exposure earlier. It also brought to us 27,000 people and that's massive capability in terms of customer lifecycle management and it is completely a new area for us," says Jaipuria.
With this acquisition, it is now among the largest private sector employers in the country. "Through staffing, we have over 1.4 lakh people and with TBSS, the total number has crossed over 2.42 lakh," informs Jaipuria.
Also, it recently acquired Mumbai-based Vedang Cellular Services, which is in the active infrastructure management, and it also announced the smart city JV with Trimax IT Infrastructure and Services. "This gives us an additionality by way of the smart city exposure and there we are acting as an SI (system integrator)," says Jaipuria.
Quess Corp, a step-down subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Group; held through its Indian listed subsidiary, Thomas Cook India Limited, is in three life cycle management spaces. "We are in the employee life cycle management, which is our traditional businesses of staffing, compliance, selection and training. Then we are into customer life cycle management. From pre-purchase to post purchase and through TBSS now, we are also into post purchase service. The third one is asset lifecycle management, which deals with managing premises," he says.
Talking about the staffing industry, Jaipuria says the industry is growing very rapidly and that there is enough headroom to grow. "Our growth is through three basic methods- Industry is growing but we are growing much faster than the industry. Market share is another large vector of growth for us. The third is that we are now actively working with customers in helping them understand which new areas they can actually benefit from, say, flexi staffing which they were not doing earlier."
"We tell customers that whatever is non-core to you is core to us. So, whatever you think you can outsource, we are willing to develop a model to actually help you do that," he explains, adding that the Indian workforce is becoming more flexi- oriented.
Quess Corp is helping in formalising the freelance economy or the gig economy. "Because we give them an avenue to hook to opportunities as and when they want to work for the next three months, we can help them find a job for the next three months. We are ensuring that they get benefits whether it's minimum wages or PF or any other pieces like social sector benefits, all of that is ensured," says Jaipuria.
Another trend that the industry witnesses is the shift towards formal economy. According to a joint report by FICCI and Nasscom, 'Future of Skills and Jobs in India', all the new forms of employment are likely to add a further 20-25% to the organised sector by 2022, and this will increase the share of the organised sector in the overall economy to 10% from 8%.
Quess Corp started its global expansion some four years ago. "We ventured into the US and Canada, then we ventured into South East Asia and in 2016, we acquired Randstad Lanka, a staffing and human resources solutions company. We also have a business in Dubai, Malaysia, the Philippines, and now we are entering Vietnam," he says.
In the US and Canada, Quess Corp has MFX, an IT infrastructure company. It forays into other countries through staffing, search and selection, and then introduces its other businesses.
"We go where the business is, but we sort of move cautiously. We want to go and understand our market before we foray into it. We will continue to expand in Canada and the US. But we believe that India itself presents such a massive opportunity that we are focused on realising and reaching leadership positions within the Indian market. India is the foundational element of the company," he says.
Last year, Quess increased its stake in Heptagon Technologies, which gives the company a big technology edge. Apart from this, Quess also has a very large in-house team.
Paperless onboarding is the biggest digitisation drive that the company did recently. It developed a mobile-based digital Paperless Onboarding Platform (POP), which transformed the entire process of onboarding.
"It used to be a huge time-consuming 15-day affair where the employee used to go completely mad in trying to fill the same details in six or seven different forms. Now all of that is crunched into 15 minutes and completely paperless. We are onboarding 100% of our people through POP and now we are taking that process and adapting it to other customer requirements because you can also onboard customers like this," Jaipuria says.
The other big driver of transformation is digitisation that the company is now focusing on. Quess is digitising all its processes and businesses, whether it is internal facing or external customer facing.
Last fiscal, the company witnessed Rs 4,157 crore revenues and it is growing at 20% year-on-year. "Quess Corp today has the potential of becoming one of the greatest companies built in India in recent times. If you look at the last wave of great IT and startup companies that got built, Quess Corp will be one of those great companies that have come from India and we have the potential of becoming a global company and we are moving towards that without losing focus," concludes Jaipuria.