The IT industry is moving through a time of turbulence and nearly 2,00,000 IT employees are expected to lose their job in next 2 years in India. Automation, artificial intelligence, and protectionist policies in U.S, U.K, Australia, New Zealand and other countries are resulting in cut-down of jobs in IT industry. But the ray of hope is that nearly 50% of these laid-off employees can be re-skilled and employed.

 

The new technologies like cloud computing, information security, and artificial intelligence are creating a bounty of job opportunities in the IT sector. The attrition rate in IT companies is pegged at 15% to 20% and it is not going to come down in future. The sectors in IT like IT infrastructure support, testing and software development are witnessing major layoffs.

 

 

The transition is already taking place and 50% of the laid-off employees including freshers with under eight years of experience are being re-skilled in cloud computing, information security, artificial intelligence and other industry relevant technologies and are getting absorbed into these fields.

 

Remaining 50% of the laid-off IT employees can find opportunities in other fast-growing fields like retail industry, consumer banking, real estate and others. The IT industry is deploying fast and simpler applications using collaborative platforms, which are making many jobs redundant. Furthermore, automation platforms and automated bots are reducing human efforts and human interference.

 

Socio-political changes in many countries in the West are forcing the respective Governments to adopt protectionist policies and rethink their policies on outsourcing. The immigration policies are being reviewed and it is affecting the IT sector in India. Hence, the Indian IT companies should devise ways to be at the top of the value chain and regain demand.

 

I am of the opinion that there is no need of pessimistic approach regarding the mass layoffs and the future is not gloomy. The IT job aspirants and laid-off IT employees must see the brighter side of the coin and should quickly adopt and re-skill in industry relevant technologies and survive the digital tsunami.

 

Source: An Article from livemint.com

Indian IT sector has made India attain a strong position in the world economic scenario. IT sector in India accounted for nearly $150 billion worth of exports in the previous year.  India is the major sourcing destination for Information Technology and accounts for significant portion of the nearly USD 2,253 billion world market. The cost of IT skilled labor is 3 to 4 times less than what is found in U.S, U.K and other western countries. Hence, India with a huge English speaking and educated workforce is a lucrative option for outsourcing IT projects for Western countries. The introduction of GST has had a positive impact with little hiccups on the IT sector in India. Let us see the impact of GST:

 

 

Tax Regime for IT industry in India

The IT sector comprises of IT products and IT services which were earlier taxed with VAT and service tax. For IT products there is also additional excise duty. Previously VAT was 5% and service tax was 15% for IT products and services. But now there is only GST and there is no excise duty.

 

Previously the taxation was centralized with a central service tax office and all the transactions were done through it. Now there is an 111 points taxation, which requires registration in all 29 states and 37 jurisdictions. Small IT companies find it easy while large IT companies like MNC’s have a difficult procedure to follow. All the head offices and branch offices should be registered in the respective states.

 

The tax rate for IT services comes up to 18% to 20%, which is a considerable increase in tax for the IT services. While the tax rate for IT products was earlier 20% to 25% which included excise duty has been significantly reduced to 18% to 20% under GST. Hence, the IT services become costly to the end consumer and IT products become cheaper.

 

Under the new tax scheme, the clients and IT service providers can take full credit for their products and services and it reduces the cascading effect of the tax. The reduction in transaction costs of doing business increases the competitiveness and productivity of the IT industry. The manufacturers and exporters are on a profitable side with lesser tax and the phasing out of the central sales tax will reduce the cost of locally manufactured IT goods and IT services. India will be in a better position in the export market.

 

The new GST being introduced is a welcome step by the Central Government and the IT industry must embrace it with full arms. The IT industry must put in valuable inputs for GST and can vouch for reforms. I see GST, to be a positive move which will ensure our country’s development over a long run.

 

Source: An article from gst.caknowledge.in

Infosys COO U.B.Pravin Rao denied reports of mass layoffs and said the minuscule layoffs are due to annual appraisal process to weed out bottom performers. He said that Infosys is planning to hire 20,000 techies this year. New technologies in the IT sector has opened up new avenues and hence, Infosys is in look out for employees well versed in new talents and skill set.

 

Only around 300 to 400 people have been laid-off as a part of the annual appraisal process and these are the bottom performers or non-performers. Mr.Rao said that Infosys is the largest exporter of IT and it is adding more jobs, more people and is sending out few people based only on performance.

 

 

It has to be noted that Wipro, TCS, Cognizant and other IT companies are also laying off employees and they have coined this as annual appraisal process for getting rid of non-performers. But the people in the industry are worried regarding the rumor that thousands of techies are going to lose jobs in a foray. But the industry bigwigs are brushing off, saying that these are just rumors.

 

TCS which is a major player in the IT industry has given employment to 2.5 lakhs people in the last three years and is planning to hire nearly 20,000 techies this year. The IT industry is already facing obstacles like taxes, stricter work permit regimes in U.S, U.K, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Hence the mass layoffs come as a shocking news to employees.

 

Regarding mass layoffs, various employee unions have approached labor commissioners and state governments to intervene in the matter. But the reputed IT companies are still saying that the news of mass layoffs are overstated.

 

Infosys COO Mr. U.B.Pravin Rao again reasserts that, Infosys has hired 20,000 IT professionals last year and hence will surely hire 20,000 employees this year. He added that in the first half of the year Infosys may add 10,000 IT professionals to its workforce. Hence, I want to usher in that there is still a ray of hope for IT job seekers in India and there should be no room for panic.

 

Source: Article from economictimes.indiatimes.com

 

Automation is the new mantra of the IT world and most of the repetitive low skilled IT jobs are being automated replacing humans. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, design thinking, internet of things, and robotics are the skills for the new age and are fast replacing old technologies. The IT jobs which required thousands of IT professionals can be completed in one go with only a few lines of code thanks to artificial intelligence and automation. The IT companies are finding these new technologies to be lucrative as less money and human interference is needed.

 

 

Renowned physicist Mr. Stephen Hawking opines that the age of automation and artificial intelligence is sure to spread unrest in the society and will affect the social structure creating economic inequality. Few people will gather huge amounts of money by adopting automation by employing fewer people and this will lead to money stagnation with the few people in the society. In India, the IT industry is responsible for $150 billion worth of exports each year and also significantly contributes to GDP. But due to automation, there will be a drastic reduction in the jobs available in IT sector.

 

The BPO sector will be most affected by the increased usage of bots for customer interaction. Wipro has launched its artificial intelligence platform called ‘Holmes’.  The artificial intelligence platform of Infosys is called as ‘Nia’, whereas ‘Ignio’ is the artificial intelligence platform of TCS. Hence, the top-rated IT companies are already adopting automation in their IT operations and in outsourcing operations and are hiring in fewer numbers compared to previous years.

 

Automation and artificial intelligence will also create jobs in the highly skilled areas of machine language, robotics, design thinking, internet of things and other fields. The IT professionals who keep updating themselves with latest IT trends will survive the wave of automation. The entire order of IT employees will be skimmed, where only the skilled creamy layer will survive and the rest need to adapt to the new age. According to a report, the hiring by biggies in the IT industry like Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Cognizant, HCL Technologies, and others are reduced by 38% in the year-ago period. The fields like applications testing, system administration, technical support, and back-office maintenance are to witness rapid automation.

 

Automation & artificial intelligence will surely give a new direction to the Indian IT industry and are inevitable in the current scenario. The IT professionals should update themselves in the industry relevant skills and should move hand in hand with automation and artificial intelligence.