How this 63-year-old entrepreneur quit his job to start an HR firm, and now makes Rs 940 Cr revenue from Airtel, TCS, and Bosch
In the early 90s, India underwent a significant economic reform on the back of the New Economic Policy. As the economy ushered in the new era of globalisation, there were scores of new and international companies coming up in India.
With the industrial focus on India, job opportunities opened up, however, there was a need for somebody to step in and connect industries with the right talent. This opened the door for HR companies to establish themselves in the industry.
Kolkata-based Genius Consultant is one such company that made the most of the 90s. Started by marketing and sales specialist Rajendra Prasad Yadav (63) in 1993, Genius Consultant started its journey as a placement agency and permanent staffing solutions provider.
Yadav tells SMBStory:
“I worked for 16 years in marketing and sales in companies like Johnson and Johnson and HCL. But I always had a knack for HR processes and policies. I saw huge demand in the economy for staffing solutions and thus, decided to start my own business.”
Rajendra Prasad Yadav, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Genius Consulltant
He started Genius Consultant with his own savings in a 400 square foot space in Circus Avenue, Kolkata. Yadav and his team quickly took advantage of the ample demand in the market for staffing solutions by servicing a range of IT and non-IT clients.
After meeting his clients’ initial demand for permanent staffing, Yadav then started working on flexible staffing (flexi staffing), cloud Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS), background check software, facility management services, and more.
Over the years, Genius started providing clients with technical platforms for processing employees’ leave, attendance, income tax, salary, statutory, disbursement, appraisal, training, and more, Yadav says.
It landed key clients such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Bharti Airtel, Bosch, Paytm, and more, and bolstered its business operations.
Today, Genius records a turnover of over Rs 940 crores.
“With over 11 HR products in the portfolio, we have more than 130 vendors who do sourcing for flexi employees. We also have tie-ups with over 150 institutes for sourcing the right candidates.”
The business currently has 443 employees and claims to have delivered staffing solutions for over 1,500 clients.
In 2018, Genius filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of one million shares to fund working capital requirements, upgrading IT infrastructure setting up new branch offices, funding strategic acquisitions and initiatives, and more.
However, the IPO was put on hold, according to reports, and Genius continued to use internal accrued funds for managing the business. "The capital management is 'extremely strict", Yadav adds.
Yadav also says that recruiting and retaining the right kind of talent can be tricky. For him, the sheer number of flexi, compliance and payroll employees as well as rapid technological innovations in the industry are challenges.
Genius Consultant is headquartered in Kolkata and has 443 permanent employees
Despite facing the challenges in upscaling, Yadav’s mantra for success is matching digital transformation with talent development -both for clients and his own company.
“Digital transformation for any organisation will only be as good as the mindset of people and processes that drive it. If HR tech can work with the business to support all crucial aspects, the actual technology offering has a far higher chance of success.”
His faith in digital is demonstrated by Genius’ monitoring framework which digitally captures on-boarding, attendance, billing, client payment, salary payment, and entire life cycle for its 55,000 flexi-staffing employees.
Yadav also believes HR actions create value only when they create a sustainable competitive advantage for the organisation’s key stakeholders.
Listing some of the basic strategies employed by Genius to create more value for its clients, he says, “We develop the literacy of our customers through industry and company developments, and we think as well as act like a customer and also like a competitor through our market analysis research and HR Trends survey.”
With this business strategy and a healthy stream of revenue, Yadav is looking at the future with excitement. He maintains that HR tech will become more important and that Genius’ practices will help external customers become more connected to the organisation and encourage more investment into the firm.
“My two daughters are also working in Genius, and both of them are qualified. They are effortlessly handling large portfolios of the business,” Yadav says, adding that the immediate goal is to strengthen existing products and expand geographically as well as sector-wise.
(Edited by: Palak Agarwal)