Indian IT – Reloaded

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After the great tsunami of recession, countless pink slips and merciless meltdowns, jobs are back. The year 2010 has shown hope, promise and good times. The Indian IT sector is making a great comeback. Surveys show that Indian IT firms are once again interested in hiring.

A survey conducted by a famous job portal in India, forecasts an optimistic and vibrant employment picture for the year 2010. As much as 72 percent of recruiters, who participated in the survey, predicted creation of new jobs in 2010. The survey stated that hiring optimism was strongest in the IT and BPO sectors, where 80 percent recruiters indicated new jobs would be created. Over 70 percent recruiters in IT, ITeS, auto, telecom, banking and pharmacy predicted that hiring would be robust in 2010, while 82 percent recruiters said that professionals with one to eight years experience would be in demand, added the study.

Leading IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Mphasis, Patni and ITC Infotech are all set for hiring new recruits, which was either on hold or condensed due to recession.

Infosys, second largest IT company in the country, plans to strengthen and expand its development centers in Asia and America, and has raised the hiring target for this year from 18,000 to 20,000. Mphasis, another major player, is also planning to hire about 1,500 people over the next 60 to 90 days.

According to Infosys Director and Head Human Resources, Infosys added 4,429 employees in the third quarter ending December 2009.  “We are witnessing a recovery in the job market and this is a good indication for the industry. We are planning to hire 15,000 people through our campus hiring initiatives and have already offered 9,000 jobs for next year. The new candidates hired through the campus drive are expected to join the company in year 2010-11,” he said.

Many big firms have already initiated the campus hiring process, to get fresh talent from colleges. Apart from campus recruitments companies have also started several initiatives in partnership with premium colleges and various governments across the country to groom industry-ready talent.

Apart from engineering graduates, IT organizations are also planning to hire students with other science background enhancing the career prospects of science graduates. Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Accenture and IBM have already started various programs for absorbing fresh science graduates.
“At Wipro, we hire across all levels and from campus we hire both engineering and BSc/BCA/BCM stream. We have a special program called WASE, where science graduates work with Wipro while also earning a sponsored MS degree from BITS, Pilani. We have just finished one phase of an all-India online assessment successfully for WASE,” says Wipro Technologies vice president.

TCS has already started its campus recruitment drives in December and plans to hire students from over 450 accredited institutes across India, which are evaluated on multiple parameters like faculty, infrastructure, and placement track record, says a TCS spokesperson. “Apart from Tier I cities, we also go for small towns. Every year, around 70 percent of our recruitment happens from tier II and tier III institutes,” adds the spokesperson.

The boom in the job market has brought cheers for the freshers and also for seasoned professionals alike. After more than three quarters of complete freeze in lateral hiring firms have started recruitment at senior level positions also. Many firms are planning to hire more senior level professionals as India Inc is in an expansion mode and plans to set up shops in the European and other emerging markets. This will create an upswing in the hiring at decision making levels. Most Indian companies are planning to set up shops and grow their business into other geographies. It will create a huge demand for senior level and decision making leaders. Though there will be a huge movement in the market and lateral entries also there will be a rationalism in the salary,” said ITC Infotech  Senior Vice President.

Recent top level appointments at various firms including, EMC, Mahindra Satyam, Patni Computer System etc clearly validate the trend. “Lateral recruitment is driven by demand for niche skills. The market is growing and companies are looking for seasoned and experienced individual,” said Mphasis Chief HR Officer.

“With the demand for senior talent and skills increasing on a continuous basis, companies are now looking at multitudes of ways to source talent. Expat hiring is another key area. With the slow economic recovery in developed markets such as the US, the willingness for expats to move back to their country of origin has been found to be high,” opines the Engagement Manager at Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd.

As the job market is looking up, firms are wary of attrition too. With the economy bouncing back, experts expect attrition level to be in the range of 6-9 percent this year. On the reverse side, employees are now evaluating the jobs, based not only on salaries, but also on roles and responsibilities.

Here, career building will become a key priority for almost all employees. However, some experts believe that job market recovery does not mean that attrition will go up.

IT industry in India

Information Technology (IT) industry in India is one of the fastest growing industries. Indian IT industry has built up valuable brand equity for itself in the global markets. IT industry in India comprises software industry and information technology enabled services (ITES), which also includes business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. India is considered as a pioneer in software development and a favorite destination for IT-enabled services.  The origin of Indian IT industry can be traced back to 1974, when Burroughs asked its India sales agent, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), to export programmers for installing system software for a US client. The IT industry originated under unfavorable conditions. The industry was begun by Bombay-based conglomerates which entered the business by supplying programmers to global IT firms located overseas.

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