With Talent21 IIM A alumni wants to bridge the huge demand and supply gap in the recruitment industry


After 13 years of experience in the IT industry, Gurinderpal Singh, an IIM-A alumni, worked both as a software developer and as a HR. He realised that there was a gap between demand and supply in the recruitment industry. The market, he says, has changed over the last couple of years, but most service providers follow the same old ways of addressing issues.

Gurinderpal started Talent21 in 2010, to bridge the perceived gap through strategic manpower consulting. "We partner with the client, and become equal stakeholders of success and failure, rather than just being one of the many service providers," says Gurinderpal.

The beginnings

When Gurinderpal came up with the idea of Talent21, an ex-colleague and an angel investor decided to join in. However, within two months of starting up, unfortunately, the angel investor had to pull out as he had lost money in another venture.

Despite facing a cash crunch, Gurinderpal decided to build the business. "Within a span of eight months we had a 32 member team, with 52 clients across India, Singapore and US," adds Gurinderpal.

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The challenges

While the team was fortunate not to face any struggles during the initial 18 months, they found the growing-up stages to be more challenging. This was because of the increasing demands they started receiving from their clients. Also, like most bootstrapped ventures, for Talent21, the next big challenge was to grow organically, wherein they could have scope to grow multifold after.

The industry demands that people be good, and to get good people one needs agood amount of funds. While they were growing organically, the opportunity lost was much more than what they were able to capitalise.

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Traction and plans

Gurinderpal Singh, Founder

Talent21 provides its clients all IT and HR related services. One of the key HR services the team provides is recruitment and selection of the top management teams. Apart from this, Talent21 works towards providing complete solutions to its clients.

"We don't just focus on just getting in the numbers; we understand the needs of the organisation and perfectly match them with a candidate, through thorough in-depth research and a background check," says Gurinderpal.

They have seen good growth from the time of inception. Within a span of two years, Talent21 is now operating in Mumbai and Bengaluru as well as Hyderabad, which is their global delivery centre. Over 70 per cent of their revenue comes from recruitment consulting, while the remainder comes from professional services and business consulting.

"We want to aggressively address BRIC countries, since we see a lot of opportunity for growth in this space. A lot can still be done to bridge the gap from a business consulting standpoint, like giving recruitment support which can ensure growth of the client organisations," says Gurinderpal.

In next three years, the team plans to spread across China, UAE and India, and would like to be most trusted brand in the field of RPO and MSP.

Market space

The Human Resources market has seen a CAGR of 21 per cent in the last few years. According to reports as of 2012, the market is pegged at around Rs 22,800 crore. With growing demand for talent and specialised employees, HR consultancy firms are getting more organised.

The recruitment search market has been marked at close to 700 crores. According to reports, while permanent recruitment hiring is only 13 per cent, temporary hires are said to be close to 73 per cent. Globally, the temporary hires market was pegged close to $140 billion. In fact, in India, several reports suggest that the temporary recruitment industry was close to Rs.17,200 crores by the end of 2012.



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