18 May 2015 10:44:32 IST

Job market growth will take time

Intent has to be converted into action for things to look up

The much talked about ‘Make in India’ campaign of the ruling NDA government is likely to take time to fuel growth in the Indian job market. The earlier euphoria has been replaced by cautious optimism given the lack of any concrete measures in the Union Budget raising questions over the government’s growth agenda.

While the rate of job growth in labour-intensive sectors such as manufacturing and infrastructure has been restricted to single digits; that in sectors, such as IT and ITeS, the rate has been close to 13-14 per cent over the last one year.

Recent surveys estimate India's yearly job creation requirement over the next decade to be 10-15 million jobs a year. This kind of job creation would be possible only by creating the right environment for the growth of private, non-farm and SME (small and medium enterprises) sectors.

According to V Suresh, Executive Vice President and National Head, Sales, Naukri.com , while at the macro strategic level things are looking up, however, there is a certain wariness. “Many measures that the government has taken will take time to trickle down to the grassroot level. But I expect the job market to get better from here if the intent gets converted into action.”

B-School story

The dichotomy -- development in some sectors and slowdown in others –- is best exemplified by the jobs on offer in B-schools and the futility in the Make in India campaign. Top rung B-schools such as IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Calcutta and XLRI, Jamshedpur, not just received unprecedented offers but also placed their batch of students in record time. IIM-C achieved 100 per cent final placements for the batch of 2013-15 in an all-time record duration of 2.5 days. The batch consisting of 438 students, the largest amongst the older IIMs, received 501 offers during the entire process - -including 143 through lateral hiring, 224 in finals and 134 through Pre-placement Offers (PPOs).

The final recruitment process at XLRI saw participation from 108 recruiters, inclusive of 45 new recruiters, and 321 offers were made for a batch of 300 students over a period of 3.5 days. Finance and consulting firms hired in large numbers from both these institutes.

According to Rajiv Mishra, Chairperson, Placement cell, XLRI, while placements have been better as compared to previous years, there has not been any drastic improvement. E-commerce has been one of the sectors to have witnessed a high uptake. “Manufacturing, and banking and finance have been muted, however, at XLRI we have not experienced the slowdown,” he said.

Make in India campaign

According to Kunal Sen, Senior Vice-President, TeamLease Services, the hiring growth during the April-September 2015 period would be close to 11.3 per cent, which is slightly lower over the growth of 12.8 per cent during the six month period (October 2014-March 2015). “We did a survey of about 1,000 corporates for over a month post the Budget to see their hiring plans. Things are not looking any better and the cautious behaviour continues,” Sen said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign, which showed the promise of significant job creation in manufacturing and automation sectors, is yet to translate into any real and effective measures, industry experts pointed out.

Sector-wise, IT would continue to be the top recruiter, followed by e-commerce. Consumer durables, and health and pharmaceuticals, would also witness a double digit growth in hiring. “Job growth in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors has been little slow and that is pulling down the average growth to 11-12 per cent. The Make in India campaign has not really taken off. There is a lag effect and things might start looking up post September,” he said.

Skill development

There is an urgent need to undertake concrete measures to push through labour reforms and encourage skill development. “It is important to make sure that the young kids are made employable and industry ready by giving thrust on skill development,” Sen pointed out. The ushering in of ' achche din ' (good days) as promised by the Modi government will depend on how well it tackles the three road blocks to job creation: poor infrastructure, labour law and alignment of states with the overall growth agenda.