October, 05, 2015
Teamlease on a mission
01 Nov
Posted by S. PREM KUMAR

By partnering with the Karnataka State Government to privatise its employment exchanges and setting in motion TeamLease University, a vocational training university, TeamLease is focused on delivering on its tagline, ‘putting India to work’

37-CS-10It would be rare if you get through a CII, FICCI or a NASSCOM conference without hearing the words education, employability or employment (3Es). Add the word entrepreneurship to the mix, and everyone will agree that the 4Es are crucial for the growth of India. For Ashok Reddy, co-founder, TeamLease, these words have been ringing constantly in his head since he founded the company in 2002. “We’re certainly in an elegant place. The country is growing and the 3Es haven’t been more important. There is demand for more skilled people, better productivity and better matching between demand and supply,” he says.

This is not the first time we’re writing about TeamLease. We spoke to Reddy in January 2011 right after TeamLease had acquired Indian Institute of Job Training (IIJT) to enter the skill development space. Over the last 21 months, the company has focused on integrating IIJT and TeamLease, gearing up to launch its new education division, TeamLease University, and establishing partnerships with governments to privatise employment exchanges. At a broader level, the company is focused on delivering on its tagline, ‘putting India to work’ by executing on each of its verticals.


The employment vertical will continue to focus on temporary and permanent staffing in addition to payroll processing and assessment services for companies. At IIJT, the focus is on vocational training by conducting three to nine month instructor-led programmes. Recently, the company partnered with the Karnataka State Government to privatise its employment exchanges. The third piece, which Reddy is gearing up to tackle right now, is the education issue, which requires longer-term programmes to impart relevant skills over a sustained period so that people could find the right jobs. The company is gearing up to start classes for TeamLease University, one of India’s first vocational training universities, in the next few months (the company is waiting on clearance from the government).

Education foray

According to a study conducted by TeamLease, there were over 8.32 lakh educated jobseekers in December 2009 in Gujarat, a state that is fairly industrialised. While there is good demand (in terms of jobs) and there is equally good supply (in terms of semi-skilled people), the problem is either the skills are not relevant or there is a matching problem where it is tough to connect the right jobs with the right people. Reddy believes that fixing the education bit is critical to match this demand-supply disparity.


“The objective (of raising money) was to fund TeamLease University, pump in cash into the IIJT acquisition and keep aside some acquisition capital if there were any wounded assets in the market.”


The model adopted for TeamLease University is fairly unique as well. The main campus will be located in Ahmedabad and there will also be 22 community colleges across various districts in the state. The curriculum is being designed through partnerships with various prospective employers and the subjects are decided based on specific skill sets needed. For instance, the curriculum includes courses on mechatronics, IT infrastructure, sales, marketing and hospitality. The students will enrol in a two-year associate degree program. “Relevance and industry focus lie at the heart of TeamLease University. With this, we have a larger control of what we’re teaching and it is based on demand,” says Reddy.

Continuing Growth

Over the last couple of years, the company has consistently grown its top line. “In FY 2013, we expect to touch revenues of Rs. 1050 crore.” Today, the company employs over 85,000 people and has offices in 110 locations around India. Including its associate partners, the company has a presence in 880 locations. On the fund-raising front, the company raised Rs. 100 crore from Gaja Capital and ICICI Ventures. “The objective (of raising money) was to fund TeamLease University, pump in cash into the IIJT acquisition and set aside some acquisition capital if there were any wounded assets in the market,” says Reddy. 

To continue its growth trajectory, execution lies at the core. “It is an industry that is fairly fragmented and unorganised. We need to continue to deliver on our promise day-to-day,” explains Reddy. TeamLease also managed to build a visible brand, an important part of its strategy of becoming an organised player in this space. The company is minimal on advertising but publishing research reports, public relations and media outreach efforts and digital marketing form a greater part of its marketing mix.


Ability to execute on its key metrics – hiring and training people across India and bridging the demand-supply gap

The macro factors are in favour of the company – 3Es are crucial for India’s future

Team building, creation of the right processes and patience on delivering on new initiatives

Then and Now


Rs. 704 crore (FY 2009)

Rs. 1050 crore* (expected FY 2013)





Employment and employability

Added education and employment exchanges to the mix


Expanded through the acquisition of IIJT

Launch TeamLease University with funding from Gaja Capital and ICICI Venture

No comments for the article
Editor's Pick
  • The Snapdeal Pivot

    In January 2013, Snapdeal had a mere US $100,000 in the bank, a small chunk left after it had burned through almost all of the US $57 million it had raised since September 2009. Th...

  • Transformation by design

    Polaris’ Arun Jain has engineered a unique strategy at the mid-sized financial technology company, incubating a robust products company from within a running services entity. He ...

  • In coffee, we trust

    Tata Starbucks is the coming together of two iconic brands. 34-year-old Avani Saglani Davda, the company’s CEO, explains to us why her game plan for Starbucks in India is to “g...

  • Where there’s traction, Money will follow

    Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO, Zomato, shares a great working relationship with investor Sanjeev Bikhchandani of Info Edge for one simple reason: Bikhchandani is more entreprene...

  • Playing 20 Questions with Mittu Chandilya

    The AirAsia India boss discusses his interview experience with Tony Fernandes, his firm-and-fair management style and why it is crucial to be a serial innovator to win in the aviat...

  • Where ownership and management are different

    Dr. Ranjan Pai, Managing Director, Manipal Education and Medical Group, has led the professionalisation of the Group by consciously empowering his senior managers, seeding several ...

  • Building a Happy Company

    Ashok Soota-led Happiest Minds Technologies has woven happiness into its business process. Find out how you can do it too....

  • Narayana Health’s ten-year plan

    Narayana Health’s Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty wants to rewrite India’s healthcare story. His personal mantra: it is pointless talking about all the advancements in healthcare if peo...

  • Creative Dialogue on Scaling Up

    Cognizant’s Lakshmi Narayanan indulges in a creative, freewheeling chat with L. Kannan and Vijay Babu of Vortex Engineering, a solar-ATM manufacturer....

  • "Businesses don’t go anywhere, people do"

    Mindtree’s Subroto Bagchi urges entrepreneurs to think of their journey as a process of continuously creating infrastructure – physical, intellectual and emotional. He specific...