It is to be expected that stepping out on your own alters the nature of the game; for Wilma, entrepreneurship in HR is a balancing act. “On the Organization side, we cater to quite a broad range of HR work: Workforce Training, Recruitment and Search,
Interim Staffing (Temping), HR Operations Outsourcing and Payroll Administration Processing activities. Apart from focusing on the needs of some of the big Indian and Multi National Companies, we also address the requirements of the Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), to support them in their growth and consolidation stages. On the People side, we cover the vast talent pool that India offers – right from fresh Graduates, Engineers and MBAs to experienced Supervisors, Executives and Managers. We enjoy great outreach in most of the cities across the country, and we tap their potentials by accurately gauging their expectations and aspirations, in order to fit them in the right kind of roles and Organizations.”
In short, Wilma helps both potential employers and promising employees achieve optimum output. Not an easy task by any standards, but Wilma fires on: “As an organization, we have a strong foundation built on the knowledge and expertise of a Leadership Team that consists of HR and Business Professionals from premier Management Institutes with background and experience from both, the Corporate and the Consulting worlds. Our unique strengths lie in our excellent understanding of the complete HR Domain, our strong Process Orientation and the Quality of service that we are able to offer to both, our Clients and our Candidates.” Today, Qwest has made steady progress in such diverse industries as Software, BPOs, Pharmaceuticals and Telecommunications.
Qwest’s business model relies on the ROI (Return On Investment) that Clients receive as they are offered excellent services on an assignment basis, which proves far more economical than employing a full-time HR department. In fact, it is this very feature that enables Qwest to upscale in the midst of the economic chaos that prevails today. “With the current recession and the market downturn, we are looking at innovative and practicable ways to scale up our business. This includes enhancing our range of Service offerings to Clients, reaching out to more Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) and developing a ‘Partnership Model’ with existing Clients with a view to partake of their losses today, as we had shared their profits yesterday and will do so tomorrow until happy times are here again.”
As Qwest registers a growth rate of 30%, Wilma reminisces about the hurdles that lined her path to entrepreneurship. “The first challenge I faced was to convince the people who cared about me why I must leave the securities of a confined Public Sector job and venture on my own. But after hearing what I had to say, I got a lot of support and co-operation from my family members and subsequently my partners as well. The second challenge was to garner enough funds and resources to start this company, and my partners helped me do so after we had agreed upon a sound business model and had a potential customer base in place. The third, and the biggest perhaps, is to constantly innovate within the business and simultaneously motivate my people to face the recession and Market downturns, which now seem to be following its own periodic cycles all over the Global Economy!” In its initial phase, Qwest also suffered from overstaffing; Wilma had to scurry around pursuing businesses with dogged persistence merely to justify her headcount. “The lesson I learned from this was that in our kind of Industry, it is important to grow organically and respond to the business opportunities that come your way.”
For a woman who was voted ‘Most Promising Young Woman Manager’ by her former employers, Wilma is positive that entrepreneurship is her calling. In fact, she and her partners have set their sights on becoming one of the top 3 fully-integrated HR service providers in India, and doubling their turnover with a 50% profit margin on gross revenue by 2010! Does she have any advice for those of us who continue to struggle with our own startups? “Yes! If you have a dream, please go all out to ensure that you can realize it. And also, never give up when the going gets tough, because if you can sail through those adverse situations, you will always emerge as the winner in Life!”