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Taskmo's task-based pricing model complements our offerings, says Quess Corp Group CEO

Under the agreement, Quess can acquire upto 49 percent stake in in digital gig worker platform Taskmo. In the first tranche, Quess is buying 16.1 percent stake for Rs 2 crore.

January 29, 2021 / 09:43 AM IST
 
 
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Business services provider Quess Corp is looking to utilise digital gig worker platform Taskmo to complement its existing offerings. Quess Corp will be buying 49 percent stake in Taskmo for Rs 10 crore in multiple tranches.

In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Suraj Moraje, ED and Group CEO, Quess Corp said in the general staffing business, historically the firm has augmented permanent business with temporary business.

“Labour laws will recognise the legitimacy of gig platforms or aggregators. For the past two to three quarters, we as the company have been experimenting with task-based pricing models in some area. Taskmo specialises in selling per-day or per-task SKUs. We find that complementary to our offerings. As we are scaling up, we needed a platform to run the gig model,” he added.

This investment will mark the entry of Quess into the digital gig economy segment. The agreement for investment in Taskmo allows Quess to acquire up to 49 percent stake. In the first tranche, Quess is buying 16.1 percent stake for Rs 2 crore.

Taskmo enables enterprises to outsource tasks to a distributed network of gig workers. It earned revenues of Rs 1.61 crore in FY20 as per a BSE filing.

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Net cash position in Q3

Quess posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 46 crore for December quarter (Q3FY21), which was a YoY decline of 39 percent. Moraje said the dip in the PAT was due to a deferred tax expense that has been accounted for.

“If you look at the profit-before-tax, it is flat at Rs 80 crore for Q3, despite a 16 percent YoY drop in EBITDA to Rs 151 crore in the same period. We have been able to control our paydown debt and interest costs,” he added.

The revenue from operations saw a 5 percent YoY decline to Rs 2,808 crore in Q3, though it was up 7 percent sequentially.

However, Moraje said that the company has been able to have a rapid reduction in gross debt reduction. It reduced from Rs 1,147 crore in Q4FY20 to Rs 521 crore in Q3FY21. He said that the company is eyeing a return of equity (ROE) of 20 percent by FY23.

"We have been better at managing cash in the balance sheet. We also got tax refunds which have been deployed to paydown debt," he added.

Further, Quess Corp also achieved a net cash position of Rs 26 crore from a net debt position of Rs 45 crore in Q2FY21 and Rs 355 crore in Q4FY20.
M Saraswathy is a business journalist with 10 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, she covers consumer durables, insurance, education and human resources beat for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jan 28, 2021 06:53 pm

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