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"As business confidence levels across corporate India have weakened, hiring has definitely taken a hit across sectors. That means Naukari's revenues have decelerated," Raghuvanshi, CFO of Info Edge told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.
We are working on several internal initiatives to counter the growth of LinkedIn.
Ambaresh Raghuvanshi, CFO of Info Edge says the business of its flagship portal Naukri.com has taken a hit on account of the “turbulence and declaration” seen in the Indian economy.
"As business confidence levels across corporate India have weakened, hiring has definitely taken a hit across sectors. That means Naukari’s revenues have decelerated," he told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.
However, he says that things are not quite as bad as in 2008 and 2009.
Below is the verbatim transcript of his interview to CNBC-TV18
Q: How has the business been for your bread and butter business Naukari.com? How is that shaping up?
A: There are two ways to look at the business in the near-term. Certainly, there is turbulence and there is a deceleration in business as the economic growth numbers have dropped.
As business confidence levels across corporate India have weakened, hiring has definitely taken a hit across sectors. That means Naukari’s revenues have decelerated.
We are still in the positive territory, so it is not quite like what it was in 2008 and 2009. There we saw negative, we went into negative area. However, certainly there is deceleration.
The second way to look at the business is that structurally we are lot stronger than we used to be in terms of share of the market today. In terms of share of traffic we have 62-63 percent share. We are continuing to invest in the business.
So, it augurs well that when there is a turnaround and a turnaround is bound to come, hiring will hopefully look up. Then Naukari will be well-positioned to gain from it.
Q: What can you say about this quarter or the first half’s numbers itself. Are you seeing traffic and deals getting done better than last quarter? Can you see it in the revenues?
A: I would not say that in the first half of the year we are going to see a spurt in growth either in our numbers or in hiring, companies are still being cautious. However, the bottom was probably in Q3 of the last financial year.
Since then things have either stabilised or they have marginally looked good. However, I would not say that in general hiring is back on stream and everything is going really well. Companies are still being somewhat cautious. They will wait to see real action on the ground and growth picking up before they commit to hiring in larger numbers.
Q: How much market share would you have lost to LinkedIn because they have been aggressive and globally they have really picked up specially in terms of lateral hiring?
A: LinkedIn offers a completely differentiated method or way of hiring. However, it does not impact our business. At the moment the two businesses are largely complementary. They are seen more as a headhunting support, whereas ours is more in the plain vanilla hiring.
So, they have made headway is the market like the US, where hiring trends and hiring patterns are different. In no other market they had really made much of an impact. So, in India large corporates have begun to use them sparingly, but it has not really affected our business so far.
However, we do treat LinkedIn as a potential competitor. We are working on several internal initiatives to counter the growth of LinkedIn.
Info Edge stock price
On April 23, 2014, Info Edge India closed at Rs 582.10, down Rs 0.5, or 0.09 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 707.00 and the 52-week low was Rs 285.00.
The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 9.27 per share as per the quarter ended December 2013. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 62.79. The latest book value of the company is Rs 60.95 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 9.55.
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