India’s top three IT services firms are entering a new phase of development, hiring heavily and bringing in more non-Indians to better serve their American and European clients. Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are planning to hire more than 119,000 employees combined this year, and not just computer programmers and software engineers. The companies are recruiting in areas such as mobility, data analytics, cloud computing, product management and business analysis.
Those most in demand, and the hardest to find, are people with deep technical knowledge in six industries: financial services, retail, health care and pharmaceuticals, energy and utilities, media and telecommunications, and manufacturing and high tech. The Indian firms, which have become major IT players by taking on basic computer work from overseas clients, are adding staff even as their customers in Europe and the U.S. are forgoing domestic hiring. The majority of the big three’s new hires will still be Indian-born, but the number of Westerners at on-site locations is growing. It’s part of an effort to keep happy non-Indian clients, which generate the majority of revenue.
“As an organization, you have to be global, and we have to have local leadership,” said Saurabh Govil, senior vice president of human resources at Bangalore-based Wipro. “Hence we want to hire locals — we feel it’s a competitive advantage.” It’s also essential for future growth. “We believe the top Indian firms need to increasingly expand their presence on onshore locations (e.g., US, UK, continental Europe) by hiring onshore staff,” wrote Rod Bourgeois, a senior research analyst Sanford C. Bernstein Co., LLC, in an e-mail. The firms also need to expand their skill sets beyond basic computer programming into “industry-specific thought leadership, account management, and project management,” Bourgeois said.