Three out of four technology companies in India plan to step up hiring this year. This spells good news for an economy that is ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Happy days seem to be returning for technology professionals in India after a terrible pandemic-hit year when jobs were difficult to come by and at least 19 million white collar workers across sectors lost their jobs.
A recent report by human resource consultancy firm Michael Page India titled “Talent Trends 2021” said three out of four technology companies in India propose to increase recruitments by 14 per cent in 2021.
“With the steady recovery of India’s economy and market, most tech companies are anticipated to increase headcount in 2021. We hope tech hiring will bring a degree of stability and serve as a catalyst for overall business recovery,” Varsha Barooah, Director of Michael Page India, said in a statement.
The most in-demand jobs are those of Chief Technology Officer (CTO), application architect, backend engineer and roles in new technologies such as augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), video gaming, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
This is not surprising as IT spending in 2021 across the world will grow a healthy 6.2 per cent to $3.9 trillion, compared to the figure for 2020, a Gartner report said. This trend is expected to be reflected in India as well. Here, spending on technology is projected grow at a slightly higher rate than the global average – at 6.8 per cent – to $88.8 billion this calendar year, compared to a 2.7 per cent contraction in 2020, the report added.
“Digital initiatives directly related with improving customer engagement and supported with a shorter return on investment (RoI) window will be prioritised in the current economic environment. Improving demand scenario across select verticals in India will spur the overall IT spending in 2021,” financial daily ET quoted a senior Gartner executive as saying.
To survive the in the post-Covid world, companies across the world, and in India, will have to spend additional sums on digital transformation, opening up hundreds of thousands of new job opportunities for professionals with expertise in this field. Gartner has projected the worldwide spends on remote working to rise almost 5 per cent to $333 billion in 2021.
Following the pandemic, companies are now much more considerate towards the mental health and well-being of their employees. Almost half the companies in the Michael Page India report said they are focusing on “remote/flexible work arrangements “as a key talent attraction strategy.
This means professionals in smaller centres, including in Tier II and Tier III towns as well as in villages and in getaways far from the big cities will be in greater play in the Indian technology market than earlier.
The Michael Page India report also added that seven out of 10 companies said a professionals’ skills and experience in a particular vertical would be the main criteria for recruitments.
In further good news for Indian IT professionals, the country’s top four IT services companies – the largest employers in the technology sector – all reported increases in Q3 profits (for the quarter ended December 31, 2020), pointing to better times ahead.
The net profit of Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT services company both in terms of revenues and market capitalisation, grew a healthy 7.18 per cent to $1.2 billion compared to the previous corresponding quarter.
In keeping with past practice, the company did not provide any guidance for the future but reading between the lines of TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan’s statement did seem to point to optimism about the quarters ahead.
“Growing demand for core transformation services and strong revenue conversion from earlier deals have driven a powerful momentum that helped us overcome seasonal headwinds and post one of our best performances in a December quarter. We are entering the new year on an optimistic note, our market position stronger than ever before, and our confidence reinforced by the continued strength in our order book and deal pipeline,” he said.
India’s second-largest IT services company Infosys reported a consolidated net profit of $715 million for the December quarter, up 16.8 per cent compared to the previous corresponding quarter. The company’s operating margin was at 25.4 per cent, up 350 basis points (100 basis points = 1 percentage point) over the same quarter last year. On the back of this improved performance, the company has raised its revenue ad margin guidance band to 4.5-5 per cent, and 24-24.5 per cent, respectively.
Similarly, India’s third and fourth largest IT services companies, HCL Technologies and Wipro, have also reported significantly higher profits for the quarter under review.
These presage further good news for IT and other technology professionals, who can look forward to more jobs this year.