Indian IT has 'competitive advantage' in employee talent: Nasscom president

“For me as a leader, attrition has never been an important metric. You completely set yourself up for failure if you want to hit a target (for attrition). For me, it has always been about the best talent,” Ghosh said.
Talent will be the "competitive advantage" for India’s information technology (IT) industry as a hybrid model of working both physically and digitally evolves, said Debjani Ghosh, president of National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), on Thursday.

According to Nasscom, consolidated revenues of top listed technology companies recorded a growth of 5.3 per cent in the second half (H2) of 2020 over the first half (H1) of 2020. Also, with an increase in focus on digital upskilling initiatives revenue per employee grew at 5.5% in H2 2020 as compared to H1 2020.

Attrition rate dropped by 50 per cent in H2 compared to H1. According to a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, attrition in the technology sector in the third quarter of FY21 was the lowest ever at 11.3 per cent compared to 16.2 per cent a year ago. The brokerage however, expects this number to rise over the next few quarters despite wage hikes in the current and next quarters.
“Talent is what is going to define a competitive advantage. There is no guessing, no ifs and buts. Technology is getting democratised faster and faster. Everyone will have access to technology, what will differentiate you is how you use this access to technology. That's where your talent comes in,” she told Business Standard on the sidelines of the ongoing Nasscom Technology Leadership Forum.

“For me as a leader, attrition has never been an important metric. You completely set yourself up for failure if you want to hit a target (for attrition). For me, it has always been about the best talent,” Ghosh said.

Nasscom said on Monday the Indian tech industry is hiring as it focuses on digital upskilling. The industry is expected to add over 138,000 net new hires in FY2020-21, taking the total employee base to 4.47 million in FY2020-21. The digital talent pool is expected to cross 1.17 million, growing at 32 per cent over last year.

“Even this year when we launched the Strategic Review, it was very clear that the traditional jobs are going down, net net jobs are going up. It is the new, emerging jobs that are getting created by use of robotics, AI and so on that are growing much faster,” Ghosh said.
Under the backdrop of increased work from home and the coronavirus-related lockdowns, the IT services industry also reported its highest ever utilisation according to the Motilal Oswal report.

While the Indian technology sector grew at 2.3 per cent during the year, the Indian domestic market, grew at 3.4 per cent in the year.

E-commerce grew at 4.8 per cent while hardware grew at 4.1 per cent during the year. Ghosh said there was scope for each of these areas to become an over $100 billion opportunity.

“It is not just ecommerce, but software products, engineering and R&D (also). We would love to have $100-200 billion sectors across (the board). IT services has led the growth so far, and we're very proud of it but I think the PM said we have to be the best in everything. I think it’s a legit ambition- we have the talent, opportunity and timing,” Ghosh said.

Addressing the NTLF opening session on Wednesday, PM Narendra Modi said the IT industry will have to compete with itself, and will have to give equal importance to a culture of excellence and institution building.



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