The year 2019 witnessed a lot of dramatic events in India IT industry, be it hostile takeover at Mindtree, change of guard at Wipro, and whistle-blower allegations against Infosys top leadership. Despite all the chaos, it has been expected that automation and AI will continue to harness multi-million prospects for the industry.
Also, as quoted in Business Standard, in a departure from the past, industry body Nasscom discontinued providing its annual growth forecast for the industry which was considered as an important tool to measure the sentiment of the sector. Nasscom analyzed, for 2019 it was “cautiously optimistic” and cited rising global economic uncertainties arising out of trade wars and protectionism.
As we can observe the impact of new-age technologies across the nation, the industry is focussing on robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help customers stay ahead in the game and also remain competitive themselves.
Nasscom Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer Sangeeta Gupta said, the advent of new technology paradigms like robotics, AI, blockchain and IoT is changing how companies and individuals consume technology and for the Indian businesses to remain successful, an update to the technology of tomorrow, today will be needed.
With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence is becoming an integral part of business, the concerns around layoffs also continued to emerge through 2019.
Moreover, at the end of October 2019, Cognizant said it planned to cut off around 7,000 jobs as part of cost-reduction efforts. Adding up to that Indian MNC Infosys also reported to be mulling firing thousands but the company clarified that there were no planned layoffs.
Despite all the slow and steadiness, industry experts predicted that industry continues to be a healthy net hirer.
WNS Group CEO and Nasscom Chairman Keshav Murugesh said, “the IT industry continues to hire in large numbers. The sector, in fact, expected net hires to total about 1.2 lakh last year and ended up hiring 1.7 lakh. This year, in the first quarter itself, 85,000 net new hirings have taken place.”
He further stated that “considering that the industry has witnessed a positive hiring trend, from Nasscom’s point of view, we are cautiously optimistic in terms of the overall year and aim to see this trend continue in the coming year.”
As cited in Business Standard, “the US continues to be an important market for the Indian IT services players, accounting for over 60 percent of the export revenues. While Indian companies have ramped up local hiring in these markets, there continue to be challenges on the regulatory front in terms of visa-related issues.”
Furthermore, Sangeeta Gupta said, “Nasscom strongly supports eliminating the per-country caps on Green Cards as was the original intent of S. 386, the Fairness For High-Skilled Immigrants legislation. However, Nasscom is opposed to both the process being followed and discriminatory provisions of the bill that deal with the unrelated matter of H-1B visas.”
Today, the new money and core of IT services are inclusive of innovation at scale rather than scaling IT services. Some experts believe that in order to accelerate technological growth, India needs to attract more foreign investment, offer tailored upskilling programs, retain home-grown talent, as well as create a favorable regulatory environment. Moreover, the IT industry in India will have to maintain a fine balance between driving innovative solutions and overcoming the challenges that these solutions may introduce.