The tech sector is seeing high attrition levels, said Chintan Thakkar, CFO, Info Edge. He further said that the company is seeing a sharp increase in tech hiring and could go ahead with more pricing power.
When asked if naukri.com was pure volume play or meant higher pricing as well, Thakkar told CNBC-TV18 that it was both. He explained, “The trends on the recruitment side, particularly when it comes to the tech space, the attrition rates are very high. So we are seeing a sharp increase in that particular business. So, that would mean we can probably go ahead with a little bit more pricing power and increase in volume as well.”
“We have also launched a few new products in the last two or three quarters, they also seem to be doing well. We are pretty optimistic about what we are seeing right now in the recruitment business,” he added.
Info Edge reported a good set of first quarter numbers. Revenue is back to pre-COVID levels, margins also improved quite a bit and were at a four-quarter high but were at 31 percent compared to the highs of 33 percent. The company's billings were sharply down on a sequential basis, but on year-on-year (YoY), there is an increase.
On billings, he said, “One actually needs to look at the billings because that is the lead indicator that tells you what happened during the quarter. When you look at the revenue, it's telling us what happened in the previous quarters. So, when you look at billing, there is a seasonality because it is a subscription-based revenue and therefore, one needs to look at it on a year-on-year (YoY) basis.”
“When you look at the normal, stable pre-pandemic year, in terms of billings it has come back to normalcy. In terms of operating expenses, we continue to derive some of the efficiencies because of work from home. So in fact, inherently the margin is slightly improved, but could be temporary, I would say that it has almost come back the pre-pandemic levels,” said Thakkar.
The company usually spends around Rs 45-55 crore on ads a year. When asked about ad spends, Thakkar said, “Margins have kind of come back to normal, but it's quite likely that looking at the undertone, when you look at the traffic and the sharp rebound, it is likely that we might spend a bit more than what we would have been spending in a normal year.”
He further added, “We have not started that, but it's quite likely that we will spend much more particularly in businesses like real estate, where we are seeing some kind of sharp recovery during this quarter, we are likely to spend more on the marketing side. On other businesses like matrimonial site, we have consistently been spending more on the branding side. And that has been a conscious strategy to keep spending more and we will continue to do that. That's the investment that we are putting behind it.”
For the full interview, watch video