Request a Meeting!
Request a Meeting!
Request a Meeting!

Request a Demo
Request a Demo
Request a Demo

Techies need new skills to survive the recession

October 25, 2008 | The Week
Techies need new skills to survive the recession
By Ramu Patil 

They changed the way the Indian middle class earned and spent. They brought hope to a generation strangled in unemployment and reservation. They were the mascots of an emerging superpower. But they are in trouble now. IT professionals, commonly called techies, face an unprecedented situation, as the Information Technology industry is in the process of tackling the global recession.

To stay alive in the highly competitive job market, techies are acquiring highly specialised skills in particular programmes or domains, or the ability to multitask. And it is not an easy task. "Professionals with vanilla skills like Java, Microsoft and other such programmes are not in demand, and there is nearly 20 per cent deceleration in hiring pattern this year compared to 2006 and 2007," says E. Balaji, CEO, MaFoi Management Consultants.

Hit by the slowdown in the global markets, Indian IT firms are going slow on hiring. Some are postponing joining dates of new recruits, while many have reduced bench strength and are putting as many people as possible on billable roles. "Hiring patterns of IT services companies are likely to change because of the global slowdown. There will be more just-in-time hiring rather than advanced hiring like campus recruitments," says Phaneesh Murthy, CEO, iGATE Corporation.

Despite the gloomy scenario, people with certain domain expertise are in demand. Ecommerce, telecom, IT infrastructure management, solution architecture and programme management sectors are catching up in India. Business intelligence and data warehousing are also in demand, as most companies are sitting on heaps of data and trying to derive productive information from it. "The banking and financial services industry is in a state of rapid transition. Fierce competition, decline in margins and profitability, tighter regulatory and disclosure norms and need for robust risk management have compelled them to look at data warehousing and business intelligence solutions to manage their business efficiently," says Raghurama Kote, CEO, Iteamic, an IT solutions provider.

Analytics report generation and analysis, engineering services and infrastructure management services are also in demand, as they help companies automate processes and store data for later use. According to Jiten Nair, CEO, Karrox Technologies, future lies in specialisations, and professionals have to be clear on their choice of specialisation. "A Nasscom and McKinsey report indicates that remote infrastructure management services are poised to become a $28-billion opportunity for the Indian IT industry in another five years. It could create 3,25,000 to 3,75,000 jobs by 2013," he says.

Telecom and insurance sectors also offer good prospects. "Telecom represents unique opportunities, while insurance is an industry that is now looking at innovative products, and there is the need to map core insurance processes with operations and customer-facing functions," says Niraj Vedwa, president, Nucleus Software. Security is a key area of concern for all organisations and a demand for professionals in the segment is growing rapidly. Sanjay Bharadwaj, CEO, KTL-Kaashyap Technologies, says: "Over the years, we may need to have multi-domain specialists who can manage more than one domain given a chance."