MUMBAI (TIP): Opening up retail and insurance sectors will generate lakhs of additional jobs in India, global human resource consultancy Mercer has said. According to the firm, labour statistics continue to be positive in the country, although not as positive as a year and a half ago.

Speaking to TOI, Mercer’s newly appointed growth markets head Gaurav Garg said, “If retail foreign direct investment gets through, it will start a whole new industry and generate huge employment and bring in investments without eating into anyone’s share. The domino effect will be such that it will create lakhs of ancillary jobs from rural employment to jobs in cold chains and transportation,” he said.

Similarly in insurance, the passage of the bill amending the act would result in new companies setting up shop. “The insurance amendment bill also allows foreign reinsurers to start operations here. This will again result in the creation of a new industry,” he said.

Garg, who has taken charge as region leader, growth markets, incorporating Mercer’s businesses in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America — where Mercer has operations in 20 countries at present — said that India continued to be seen as a high growth market in terms of jobs. “India has this huge demographic advantage, which will result in a lot of investments coming in.

Although growth in India is less than what was expected, a 7% growth would be still better than most other markets,” he said. In India, the hiring is expected to be industry specific. In sectors such as life insurance, some of the large companies have reduced staff but general insurance industry is bouncing back into profitability and is expanding.

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Similarly, in telecom, the established players are still trying to grow market share. “Going ahead, the challenge for companies will be, how to keep young employees motivated, as the choices before them will only increase,” he said.

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