Over 3.32 lakh tech jobs were posted in Q1 FY24, according to Rajesh Nambiar, chairman of Nasscom and CMD of Cognizant India, showing that the sector is not contracting. Nambiar noted in his interview with Financial Express that the demand environment was one of caution.
Some clients have put off making decisions as a result of macro uncertainty and recessionary anxieties. It’s likely that this will last for a few more quarters. But we are beginning to see some promising signs in the uptake of emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (AI),” he continued.
He claimed that businesses are concentrating on increasing utilisation and switching to just-in-time hiring. According to Nambiar, there was a fair amount of demand for talent, as seen by the hiring data, which showed that between FY22 and FY23, there was an approximately 0.74 million net increase in personnel. Approximately 5.5 million people are employed in the IT sector right now.
He asserted that the industry is experiencing strong expansion in the fields of business process management (BPM), engineering, research, and development (ER&D), and global capability centres (GCCs), with businesses establishing operations in India.
According to Nambiar, a number of variables will affect the AI boom. Additionally to data, massive computer power would be required for generative AI. Additionally, AI would need both resources and talent. To accommodate the linguistic and cultural variety, he thinks we need to invest in, create, and promote robust AI models. He advises creating a national GPU cloud with exaflop AI capacity and providing grants to entrepreneurs and academic institutions in India.
Access to computers would also be important. According to him, “we can consider creating special economic AI clusters, similar to SEZs.” He added, “We also need to consider how we might develop sectoral AI that will have immediate use cases and will directly transfer into additional benefits.
Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) is a business necessity, according to Nambiar, who also noted that 72% of IT firms have designated budgets for DEI and 80% have DEI policies. We are the largest employer of women in our sector, who make up 36% of the workforce. In FY23, the industry hired 0.14 million more people, bringing the total to 2 million. Not only large corporations though; 20% of unicorns and 18% of all startups, respectively, have at least one female founder or co-founder, he noted.
Campus hiring, in Nambiar’s opinion, can close the talent divide. “In the near future, more businesses will resume hiring at colleges. Today, the tech sector is expanding into every industry. Additionally, there is a severe talent shortage.