Festivities and traditions are at the heart of Indian culture. For most Indian families, festivals are an opportunity to not only celebrate and enjoy but also to buy and spend on products that they have been aspiring or saving for the entire year. The Festival of Diwali heralds India’s biggest shopping season of the year. From jewellery to cars to home furnishings, every product category sees a boost in sales during Diwali, but the biggest category that sees some players logging in as much as 9 per cent of their annual sales during this period is Electronics Goods.
India is the largest market for smartphones and other electronic devices in the world, with the total value increasing from $125 billion to $250 billion in just three years. Thus, in a country with more than 637 million Internet users who will increase to 829 million in 2021, it is not surprising that sale of electronics products is expected to grow about 7 to 9 per cent during Diwali in a typical year.
In addition to electronics goods, retail, e-commerce companies and logistics partners servicing the big e- commerce companies are another key segment that usually experience a peak in demand and have all geared up for the ongoing festival demand. Though this year, traditional retail has been experiencing some challenges on account of the coronavirus pandemic, overall, the year has been particularly good for the consumer electronics and home appliances companies, with many of them having reported over 30 per cent increase in year on year sales during the festival season.
“Clearly, 2020 has been a challenging year so far, because of the Covid-19 epidemic, but we have none the less had the usual peaks of demand during the current Diwali Festival season – comments Marcos Segador, India General Manager at Gi Group– We usually register an increase in hiring demand of about 8-10 per cent from our clients in the electronics and consumer durables sector from September onwards. These hiring peaks require high time and resources investing processes for companies. For this reason, many companies look for support from staffing agencies, such as Gi Group. Indeed, our role is to be the candidate “GPS” in the complicated labour market, from recruiting to onboarding and workforce management. Our mission is to find the right people for companies by understanding their needs, and to ensure those complementary aspects that clients are looking for. Flexibility is surely the first and most important one, being able to offer a service that is customisable, and developing trustworthy and long relationships with them. In few words, we aim to be the HR business partner that helps to reach companies’ goals.”
How does an organisation deal with such extraordinary sales peaks?
How can a company manage the consequent increase of the workforce in an organised and flexible way?
Sonal Arora, staffing executive director, Gi Group, highlights four competitive pre-requisites for being prepared and getting the most from Diwali and other typical consumption-peak periods:
1. Counting on a professional sales force. Being able to attract the most competent and effective sales promoters in the market is an excellent plus. They will interface with customers and ensure they have an excellent shopping experience.
2. Managing workforce effectively. During a demanding period, a company should manage its staff in an effective and organized way, saving time and resources without losing efficiency.
3. Forecasting and monitoring. Companies should implement an effective manpower control system both in planning (of necessary human resources) and operational phases, monitoring each phase carefully.
4. Being ready on time. Starting the recruiting processes on time allows an organization to attract the best talent and to complete staffing and onboarding processes in time before the festival begins.
While many companies this year are also choosing to bring back the employees they had furloughed or laid off in the wake of the pandemic; with economy bouncing back and anticipating a steady increase in demand, a lot of companies are hiring additional temporary staff to manage the peak in their staffing requirement. Like every year, this year too Gi Group has partnered with several clients to onboard additional manpower to handle the peak period demand. These include companies from retail, apparel, e-commerce and consumer durables sectors. The typical profiles which have seen a surge in demand are sales, logistics and warehouse workers, delivery agents and customer service agents. For many job seekers too this is a good opportunity to show case their capabilities to an industry leading organisation and get a foot in the door.