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Amid lockout, layoffs, a job boom in Bangalore

Wednesday, 19 March 2014 - 8:50am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: dna

Experts say hiring plans of companies are optimistic

Bangalore: While there is a perception that job scenario in Bangalore is shaky due to some layoffs by IBM in February and the ongoing unrest at Toyota Kirloskar Motors, ground reality seems to be different.
Companies are hiring, and giving annual increments as usual, said experts.

Monthly hiring activity in Bangalore increased by 8% in February, over January 2014, as per data by Naukri Job Speak Index. "Though most corporations are on the wait-and-watch mode considering elections are on cards, we expect hiring to pick up seriously once the uncertainty around the elections clears," said Hitesh Oberoi, managing director and CEO, Info Edge India.

The city today has moved beyond simply IT and ITeS, to sectors like hospitality, retail, biotechnology, microfinance, and a fast emerging segment of entrepreneurs and start-ups, said experts.

"Bangalore is a good place to start a career. There are far more opportunities here to be financially independent than in other places," said Amit Bansal, CEO of skill development firm PurpleLeap.
Job experts said brands such as Infosys, Wipro, and MNCs are no longer the only job forces to reckon with. "The potential for a job seeker with an open mind, willing to try out various options is high," said Bansal.
Shekhar Sanyal, director and country head, Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) India, a professional society for engineers, said many companies in the city are taking in fresh graduates in capacities like interns and apprentices, and then slowly absorbing them based on merit.

"I am not saying that a person who quit today will end up with a job in a week. It may take a month or so. However, the situation in Bangalore today is a lot better than what it has been in many years. IBM job cuts, Toyota lockout are one-off incidents, and have no relation with what is going on in the market today," said Amitabh Ghosh, an independent HR consultant.

Startups are also big job providers in Bangalore.

"Startups is one industry where there is never oversupply of talent. In fact, entrepreneurs like us are always on the hunt for new and fresh talent," says Ganesh Balakrishnan, co-founder, Windsleeve.
Every year, as per estimates, more than 1,000 new ventures emerge from Bangalore across domains like clean technology, energy, food, education, healthcare and microfinance.

These may go on to employ anywhere from 5-500 people over a period of time. "As soon as they get some sort of funding, recruitment starts. Though during the initial phases, only entry-level or people with two-three years of experience join," said Sangita Bains from Nasscom 10K Warehouse.
Vipul Parekh, co-founder of BigBasket.com, which is into online sale of groceries, said several startups nowadays offer benefits like PF, medical insurance, subsidised lunch, "just like any big company."

"We are currently 20 people strong, and would be needing a handful in the next few weeks," said Ravitej Yadalam, co-founder of e-commerce startups, Pennyful.com and Medicash.in.
BigBasket, said Parekh, is growing at 15% month-on-month, "for which we need more talent."

"Though employers had been apprehensive about hiring since the overall business environment was undergoing fluctuation, things are expected to be different in 2014," said A G Rao, group managing director, ManpowerGroup India.

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