Hiring activity across the information technology sector seems to have decelerated even as the country is involved in exciting new projects that the government's `Digital India' has opened up.
This is a major fallout of the restrictive policies in the US and countries in Europe that is hampering outsourcing business, says Raman Roy, the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom)
The US is the biggest market for India's IT exports, accounting for around 60 per cent of the industry's export revenue - making this one of the biggest challenges on our way.
In an interview with The Hindu BusinessLine, Ray said Nasscom is working toward mitigating this problem by initiating conversations with the new US administration, and highlighting the discriminatory nature of US policies.
He said the focus of H-1B talks with the US will be on the value of India's IT as a 'net creator' of jobs for Americans.
Roy said Nasscom is also working toward identifying and partnering with newer markets that can be built as potential business venues.
Nasscom, he said, is also involved in exciting projects across the country as part of the Digital India programme.
Raman Roy, founder of outsourcing firm Quatrro, has taken over charge as the Nasscom chief at a time when the Indian IT industry is in a flux.
''Nasscom is playing a critical role in evangelising digital opportunity for the sector, and I will support the industry in facilitating skilling and re-skilling efforts through disruptive models. Building India's innovation edge is another key priority and we plan to scale our start-ups and centre-of-excellence initiatives to the next level,'' the paper quoted Roy as saying in an interview.
Besides, Roy said Nasscom is involved in finding ways to enable members achieve the 2020 vision for the industry, which includes showcasing the importance of global skilled-labour mobility, navigating new policy requirements and evangelising skilling and re-skilling of talent, to help continuity of business. Nasscom will also work towards further strengthening various sector councils, he said.
''As far as the H-1B visas are concerned, Nasscom will continue to engage with the US administration and legislators, both directly and through the Centre. The focus will be on highlighting the value contribution of India's IT sector as a 'net creator' of jobs in the US, where it has helped American businesses by providing high-skilled IT solutions to innovate, open new markets and expand operations - creating thousands of jobs for Americans.''
At the same time, he said, the emergence of technologies such as Cloud, Internet of Things and automation, has created uncertainty as well as opportunities for the industry. ''Companies will need to transform themselves from IT services providers to digital-transformation partners and provide re-skilling opportunities for their staff to mitigate the requirement for newer skills in these emerging areas.
''Hiring activity has decelerated compared with previous years. While fresh hiring is either static or gently declining, it is not as if overall hiring is going down; but it is just not going to have the same pace as earlier. There has been an increase of 1.7 lakh employees in FY17, growing the overall employee base to 3.9 million. The reason behind this is that companies are focusing on productivity and automation. Having said this, there is an outlook towards requirement for newer skills and change in existing skills across job functions. This will result in more re-skilling opportunities for existing employees,'' he said.
Much will depend on how the industry shapes up to meet new challenges and takes up new challenges and opportunities, he added.