Infosys Ltd co-founder S Gopalakrishnan said on Sunday that India's information technology industry would tide over the current downturn and might surpass the USA in terms of having the largest number of IT professionals in the world in the next three years.
''We will be the second largest IT country in the world after the USA. In the next three years, we will be the largest in the world,'' the company's chief executive officer and managing director told the media at the 'Systems Continuum 2009' forum organised by IIT Bombay's Shailesh J Mehta School of Management.
''In the IT revolution, we are at the centre. We are under-invested, but that is an opportunity for us,'' he Gopalakrishnan said. ''A lot of investment is being done in R&D here because talent is available here. Our education system provides for that.''
He said the industry offers significant opportunities over the next 30 years. ''We are in the very early stages of the IT industry. Only 25 per cent of the full leverage of IT is understood and used. The impact of IT will be significant in the next 25-30 years. There is still money to be made and wealth to be created in IT,'' he opined.
Recruitment squeezed: Gopalakrishnan said Infosys would be recruiting from engineering colleges and other campuses only in the latter part of the year, adding that they would ''wait and watch'' on how the situation evolved over the course of the year.
''We are now recruiting only where it is absolutely necessary, where there is a gap. We are, of course honouring all commitments we made in campuses. They all will be joining. Beyond that, a very small number of people are being recruited and they are very specific too,'' he said.
''Nasscom [the industry's apex representative body] has said that rather than going to campuses in the first half of the year, maybe we should all go in the second half when there is better clarity of what is going to happen. So probably, campus recruitment will start much later this year across the industry,'' he said.
The head of India's second largest software exporter said the company would be making fewer investments, but acquisitions would remain a part of those. ''There will be fewer investments rather than a lot, but they are still investments. The pace will be slower. We need to sustain our business and make sure that we emerge out of this downturn stronger,'' he said.
Earlier this month, he had said that the company was looking to acquire firms in Japan, France and Germany, with dedicated Infosys' teams looking at it.