PeopleStrong gets 'landmark' investment from HDFC Holdings, Lumis Partners

byShonali Advani

PeopleStrong, a platform based multi-process human resource (HR) outsourcing and technology company has received an equity investment from HDFC Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDFC, one of India's largest financial conglomerates and from Lumis Partners, an operative private equity fund based out of Gurgaon, with investment in areas like Education, Human Capital Services, Supply Chain Management, Technology and Consulting.

"HR is increasingly becoming the cornerstone of successful businesses," said Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd, in a press release on the investment sent to the media. "I visited PeopleStrong during one of their product launches and I find PeopleStrong ahead of its times. Its founders are competent to take the company to much higher levels. We are happy to be a part of their journey and wish them success for their future growth."

Image: Screen grab from PeopleStrong website.

Image: Screen grab from PeopleStrong website.

"This investment is a landmark move in the HR space. It reinforces the idea and the journey PeopleStrong had embarked in 2005," said Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder and CEO, PeopleStrong. "It clearly demonstrates the confidence of one of India's most marquee investor company HDFC Holdings, and marks the coming of age of India's HR Industry."

In an e-mail response to Entrepreneur Kiran Kumar, Co-Founder and Business head, PeopleStrong said, "This significant investment will help PeopleStrong in the next level growth for expanding technology and making inroads into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market. This investment also reaffirms our direction to which we aligned our journey seven years back and also boost our confidence to compete with big HR technology names in the world." He was unwilling to disclose investment amount.

PeopleStrong views HDFC Holding's interest as an affirmation of the transforming face of new emerging HR across the world, which makes it one of the most reliable mantles to bank on for future growth. It views this as a reinforcement of the transformational role that specialist companies will play in the Human Capital industry which is coming to age from an India standpoint.

Shelly Singh, Co-Founder and EVP, PeopleStrong added, "HDFC's interest in this space positions PeopleStrong as a serious player in the global HR outsourcing industry." Interestingly, PeopleStrong was an early entrant to the SSAE16 certification framework and the only multi-process HR outsourcing company in India to have achieved this feat.

Stalwarts from India's HR fraternity have welcomed this news as a significant breakthrough in India's HR landscape. "PeopleStrong has been a pioneer in the HR Services space," said Santrupt Misra, Director, Global HR and CEO of Carbon black business at Aditya Birla Group. "I have seen the company grow from the inception days and am happy to see it catapult to the next level of growth. The next few years are very crucial for PeopleStrong and its management team and this investment will give them the necessary impetus to grow at a much faster pace."

Sumer Dutta, HR veteran and member of PeopleStrong's Board of Directors stated that PeopleStrong was poised at expanding its geographical footprint in ASEAN geographies, adding that this investment will catalyze PeopleStrong's penetration in this new market.

PeopleStrong's existing institutional investors share the upbeat rigor that this investment has been welcomed with. Sandeep Sinha of Lumis Partners said, "This landmark investment is a clear recognition of a market leader in the making and would go a long way in the next stage growth story of PeopleStrong."

Varun Talwar from The HR Fund, an institutional investor and PeopleStrong's early incubator added, "PeopleStrong's focus on its HR technology backbone will propel its services to transcend geography globally and scale the volume demand from a large trans-geography customer base. In fact, this foresight has made it an obvious choice in the mainline investment game."

In February 2012 issue, Entrepreneur had featured The HR Fund and its investment philosophy. In May 2012,, reported the fund's maiden investment in PeopleStrong.

PeopleStrong enables Business Leaders and CEO's in transforming their people agenda. It has implemented some of the largest HR Service Centers in Asia Pacific. They are delivering employee services across regions and time zones for more than 300,000 employees and have hired more than 40,000 employees through a unique technology interface coupled with high end decision making Tools for people data.

Shonali Advani works for Entrepreneur magazine

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 21:48 PM