Opinions

Hire humble tech and domain experts


Infosys says it hired more than 19,000 fresh graduates in 2020-21. Nasscom, the industry body, has said that the top IT companies will hire 96,000 people. But three million relatively low-skilled business process outsourcing (BPO) jobs would be lost, thanks to automation. What shareholders want to hear is how many PhDs and domain specialists our IT giants plan to hire.

For, unless they move up the value chain, and fast, they would cease to have a reason to exist. Indian IT companies and BPOs at the higher end already use automation of processes to increase output per employee and cut down on their headcount. Increasingly sophisticated software, employing artificial intelligence, including machine learning, will soon replace much of the routing work the IT companies do.

That does not mean that Indian IT will cease to be relevant or that Indian youth’s dreams of moving from rags to riches via engineering stand dashed. It only means that both the IT companies and the engineering graduates will need to aim higher than they have grown comfortable till now. Businesses in general have achieved a paradigm shift, a large part of their workforce working from home, thanks to the pandemic.

They have been forced to digitise their business. But the digitisation that has been witnessed due to pandemic compulsion is only the rudimentary beginning. The scope to build on what has been accomplished so far is immense. That calls for both higher order computing skills and a combination of higher order business insights and the imagination to think up novel solutions to old business problems.

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Amazon and Microsoft have grown rich allowing people to migrate their data to the cloud and providing them with the tools to make use of that data. Companies like Accenture leverage this infrastructure to offer new ways of doing business, marrying

with technology. This is precisely the space where Indian IT companies can and must thrive. Hire not stick-in-themud veterans, but experts willing to work with geeks to retool businesses.



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