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The Tale of Billion $ Deals | PeopleStrong

The Tale of Billion $ Deals- Did we miss something

July 31, 2019
The Tale of Billion $ Deals- Did we miss something

For those of us who are in business, the steady rise in mercury this year is not just because of Indian summer ?. While M&A activities are not new in the Indian Market the temperature rose as we witnessed scorcher of a monumental deal between “Flipkart – the virtuoso of E-commerce”, and Walmart- “the world’s biggest retailer. It was a classic instance of East meets the West and reflects the paradigm shift which is transforming the business world today; Ah, what a story!

But did you notice the two deals that took place in the HR industry in the same week? Just as many times an organization’s “HR Actions” are missed in a blink, often not gaining enough visibility. It seems the same happened in HR investment, M&A space. Let me add them to your data banks, presenting the “The Tale of Two Multi-Billion Dollar Global HR Deals”.  


·     In 1996, Rosaleen Blair started a phenomenon called Recruitment Process outsourcing. Challenging the prevalent contingent staffing model or temporary staffing (8.33% fee-based hiring), she questioned the existing norms and said, “I will manage and run your recruitment for you”. Within a span of two decades, she built Alexander Mann Solutions- a highly successful RPO company, and sold it to New Mountain Capital for a staggering $1.1 billion. A landmark Billion $ deal! But the true impact of this transaction lies way beyond its 10-digit value. It paves the way to the next wave which is hitting the Recruitment world. As technology (RPA, Assessments, AI) embeds itself into a recruiter and candidates’ lives, the bar will be raised. This is just the beginning and I am sure we will see a lot of other players go through their digital journey – organically or inorganically – as they unveil their next versions.

Do watch-out for another big challenger CIELO steered by a remarkable woman- Sue Marks, who built Pinstripe (now CIELO) & challenged the traditional recruitment firms who then had to bend at the knee. For your reference, CIELO is backed by investment from AccelKKR.


·     GLASSDOOR as we all know is a leading review & rating website that empowers employees to express themselves about their employers. Glassdoor is nothing less than a magnifying lens and being a crowdsourced & peer-reviewed forum it does provide feedback on the culture, environment, and integrity.

But wait, did you know that Glassdoor, a proud US company recently decided to join Recruit Holdings– an HR-behemoth from Japan. Just for the records, Recruit Holdings is a $29 billion firm and stands amongst the top 10 firms in HR from around the globe. Glassdoor was valued at & paid $2.3 billion and, just in a fitting strike of revenge, the East Whale(Japan) swallowed the West fish(US).

Together, both these deals combined amount to whopping $3.4 billion; a landmark value in any industry not just in the HR space. Despite such high valuations & being such a significant market- HR and HR Tech often go unnoticed.

As a member of the “HR and HR Tech” fraternity it is only fair that we keep a note and hope the next time you can’t fathom the fact that HR-Tech Market and billions of USD in the same breath, this blog would remind you of the same. At the end of the day, HR is a big business worth much more than just a few billion dollars.

As Allama Iqbal said “Sitaron se aagey jahan auur bhi hai”, the journey to HR & workforce tech has just begun.

By the way, did you happen to attend the latest HR Tech event that happened in Hyderabad organized by SHRM India, last month? The next time I reach you, I will try to capture the insights of the two days filled with invigorating discussions. Watch out for Talent Tech Talk- post III           

Disclaimer: CIELO is a global partner of PeopleStrong in RPO offerings.

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