Some businesses continue to flourish despite slowdown

December 11th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

KPMGNew Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) Not all businesses have been affected by the economic downturn. While the banking and financial sectors are looking to the government for bailout packages, there are some sectors - healthcare, clinical research, private security and gaming - that remain unscathed by the global meltdown.”Healthcare is different from other sectors as it is not affected by business cycles. The medical needs of a population can’t have slumps,” said Daljit Singh, president, strategy and organisational development, at Fortis Healthcare. “How can one defer heart treatment?” he asked.

With 30 million people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, 25 million with type-2 diabetes and 10 million with psychiatric disorders, Indians surely cannot do without quality healthcare.

A report by international consultancy KPMG on the private healthcare industry said it had been growing at a remarkable rate of 37 percent since 2001-02 and currently stood at Rs.51.25 billion (Rs.5,125 crore) this fiscal.

According to management consultancy firm Technopak Advisors, the Indian healthcare industry will grow to $75 billion by 2012 from the current $35 billion.

Another industry that is bucking the downward trend is clinical research, which is slated to touch Rs.50 billion by 2010.

Said R.S. Nadig, president (operations) of the Mumbai-based Clinical Research Education and Management Academy: “A lot of clinical research that happens in India is outsourced from the US because it is 50 percent cheaper to do it in India. Moreover, India specialises in advanced stages of clinical research and companies will not stop them in between.”

Employment opportunities in this sector are on the rise with the country facing a dearth of qualified professionals. “We have around 10,000 professionals in the industry, but we need around 40,000 more,” Nadig told IANS.

Similarly, the private security business is also full of new opportunities, officials said.

Said Rupal Sinha, regional managing director of G4S Security Systems India: “Board rooms across industries now view security as an asset rather than treating it as an expense or liability. G4S has recruited 43,000 people this year and the industry on the whole is expected to generate one million jobs every year.”

Gaming has also defied the downward trend and is set to touch $200 million by 2011, software industry body National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) said.

The industry will grow to $40 billion globally by 2011, Nasscom said in a report.

“Of all industries, gaming is definitely recession proof. We at Zapak itself are expanding our business. We recently launched - a global casual gaming website,” said Rohit Sharma, chief operating officer of software gaming firm Zapak Digital Entertainment.

“Gaming is a fairly inexpensive form of entertainment with a high degree of reusability. All one needs is a computer and an internet connection. With about 2.7 million broadband subscribers and 3.96 million households having a computer, a lot of young people are increasingly logging on to the virtual world of gaming”, Sharma added.

Headhunters agree that some industries prove more resilient than others during economic downturns.

According to Absolute HR Services chief executive Kunal Banerjee, “sectors like healthcare and private security will remain insulated to a great extent because one cannot do without them. In addition, staffing agencies working for such sectors would also do well.”

He added that jobs in the government sector were stable as layoffs rarely took place and work pressure was relatively low. “People have started looking at the civil services with renewed gusto and I think we might have a record number of applicants for the UPSC examinations,” Banerjee told IANS.

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