Job portals to lose business if economic slowdown continuesSeptember 9th, 2008 - 11:42 am ICT by IANS
Chennai, Sep 9 (IANS) If India did not overcome the present economic slowdown soon, some of the country’s job portal players may have to look for other business options as the industry would be hit badly. The job portal industry, dependent on economic boom that increased job opportunities, is already under pressure as the IT companies slowed their campus placement, said industry leaders.
“I feel there will be a period of slightly slower growth for the industry due to the softness in the economy. This could lead to a shakeout if the slowdown lasts for a year or two,” Sanjeev Bikchandani, co-founder and chief executive of Info Edge (India) Ltd, told IANS.
The Rs.2.39 billion Info Edge owns the country’s leading job site www.naukri.com and commands 50 percent of the Rs.3.5 billion job portal market share.
According to him, the economic slowdown and inflation have resulted in lower job growth and pay hikes.
“In my view three general job sites can make money when the economy is growing at nine percent and two can make money when the economic growth rate is seven percent. If the growth is four percent then only one will make money,” Bikchandani said.
The major job portals in India are naukri.com, monsterindia.com, timesjobs.com, jobsahead.com, jobsdb.com, jobstreet.com, shine.com and some others.
All job sites other than the top three would be hit badly if economic slowdown stayed, Bikchandani warned.
India’s online recruiting industry has seen many buyouts since 2004 when the US-based Monster Worldwide Inc acquired jobsahead.com for Rs.400 million. Two years later, Television Eighteen India Ltd (TV18) acquired 50 percent stake in jobStreet.com for an undisclosed sum.
In August this year, Times Business Solutions Ltd, the owner of timesjobs.com bought the database of CyberMediaDice.com, owned by Cyber Media Careers Ltd.
Besides, Consim Info Pvt Ltd, in which Yahoo! Inc, Canaan Partners and Mayfield Fund have invested around $20.25 million, is now looking for a strategic partner for its job portal clickjobs.com.
Timesjobs.com chief operating officer Rajeev Gaur is optimistic about the prospects of the industry.
“I don’t think consolidation is happening in the industry. More and more players are entering the sector like yellojobs.com and shine.com,” he said.
According to Gaur, the sector is set to attract overseas players as India has a vast technical pool.
At present, the major revenue streams for job portals are job listing, employer branding and resume access. Other revenue streams are job fairs, job seeker services, Google ad sense, resume short listing, screening and advertising.
Gaur predicted that newer sources like referrals and mobile services would contribute to revenue in a big way.
Yellojobs.com has already started a referral scheme under which a person who is registered with the portal can also refer his friend to a suitable job and earn incentives on successful placements.
Referral schemes not only give additional revenue to the portals but also increase its resume data bank.
The job portal segment is now attracting many media groups, a trend started by the Times group with timesjobs.com.
It was followed by Cyber Media, NDTV with ndtvjobs.com. The the latest entrant is HT Media Ltd that owns Hindustan Times and Mint with shine.com.
“Job portal is mainly a media business as there are lots of synergies between these two activities,” Gaur said.
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