The next big challenge in front of the Indian IT industry is to rope in people who have the ability to quickly learn, unlearn and re-learn. The industry no longer requires people who are unwilling to come out of the cocoon. We saw it recently in an action Accenture took against a line of senior executives. Other IT firms also got rid of many such. Bots are becoming an easy alternate to handle the regular roles more efficiently. Automation drive in several banks and large organizations in the US and globe has mopped up the basic roles.
The noise around automation is not uncalled for. It’s part of the progression which will continue to force enterprises to mobilize and optimize their resources. It reminds us of Alvin Toffler who once said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and re-learn.”
Indian IT firms – including Infosys, TCS and others – are in the fray to handle this challenge. The problem is to hire workforce that comes equipped with the latest skills and is flexible to learn new skills as the market dynamics change. India’s T-Schools (engineering colleges) need to come forward and produce engineers who can fit in the current scheme of things.
At present the quality of engineers coming out from colleges is under attack. There are reasons for it. Perhaps this is forcing HCL Technologies to invest in the future talent. As announced earlier this year, the company is going to prepare 200 high-school students for entry-level software engineering jobs. The company will train students at its Madurai campus in Tamil Nadu and Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Though this is not a big number, it is an indication that IT companies do not want to rely on engineering colleges for the talent requirements. It’s a wake-up call for the colleges. It is better that the T-Schools do away with their age-old teaching methods and invest in what the industry needs. Other companies might also follow the same process if HCL’s experiment yields results.