Growing consumption in India’s tier 2 and 3 markets is fuelling a boom in manpower demand, particularly during the ongoing festive season, amid expectations of a revival in discretionary spending.
Demand for temporary, or temp, workers is soaring in cities such as Jaipur, Indore, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Lucknow, Vadodara, Surat, Bhubaneswar, Bhopal, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Vizag, leading staffing firms including Manpower, Randstad, Quess, TeamLease Services, Adecco and Persolkelly told ET ..
“Compared to the last festive season, the demand has almost doubled from tier 2, 3 cities – increasing urbanization, advent of malls and QSRs (quick-service restaurants) are some of the reasons,” said Alok Kumar, senior director, Manpower.
Sectors from ecommerce, BFSI, retail, consumer products, manufacturing, IT, pharma & healthcare to payment gateway, logistics & warehousing, food industry and telecom infrastructure are hiring aggressively in these cities, as a record 600,000-700,000 temp jobs are expected to be created overall between end-August and December this year.
Easing inflation boosts demand
Yeshab Giri, chief commercial officer, staffing & Randstad Technologies at Randstad India, said the staffing services company anticipates a 20-25% increase in demand for temp staff this year from tier 2 and 3 cities.
While demand is high for warehouse and last-mile delivery personnel and call-centre operators in both metropolitan areas and tier 2 and 3 cities, the proportion of demand is notably higher in the latter category compared to last year, said Giri, adding: “We attribute this trend to the resurgence in rural demand, driven by a reduction in inflationary pressures.”
Small towns are driving the growth of premium categories such as fashion, packaged foods, cosmetics, eating out, and lifestyle accessories, prompting retailers to expand faster in these markets, ET reported recently. This is driving a surge in manpower requirements.
Quess Corp has 63% of its personnel in tier 2/3 and smaller cities, compared to 37% in metros. “This growth is a continuous evolution and means that more new entry-level jobs are moving to tier 2, 3 and beyond. Availability of talent and increased consumer spending in these cities and towns are prompting organisations to make the necessary investments in them as well,” said Lohit Bhatia, president of workforce management at Quess Corp.
The most prominent roles in tier 2 and 3 cities are feet-on-street sales, teleoperators, in-shop promoters, and some shopfloor labour,” said Kartik Narayan, CEO-staffing, TeamLease Services.
Manu Saigal, director, general staffing at Adecco India, said demand in tier 2/3 cities is driven by retail and logistics due to more job opportunities created by better business penetration and increased consumer spending.