Mumbai : With the domestic IT industry staring at a shift in the nature of its work due to the increasing use of digital technologies, a leading firm Capgemini India has said a majority of its workforce cannot imbibe the required emerging skill-sets and warned of high job losses at the middle and senior levels. Capgemini India is the domestic arm of the French IT major employs nearly one lakh engineers in the country.
“I am not very pessimistic, but it is a challenging task and I tend to believe that 60-65 per cent of them are just not trainable,” Capgemini India’s chief executive Srinivas Kandula said here over the weekend.
“A large number of them cannot be trained. Probably, India will witness the largest unemployment in the middle level to senior level,” he said at the annual Nasscom leadership summit here over the weekend.
He also flagged concerns surrounding the quality of the IT workforce, saying much of the 39,00,000 IT employees come from low-grade engineering colleges which do not follow rigorous grading patterns for students in their zeal to maintain good records.
The remarks come days after the industry lobby Nasscom said there is a need to re-train up to 15,00,000, or nearly half, of its sectoral workforce. This is primarily on the back of a change in the nature of work in newer, digital technologies.
Kandula said that the industry, driven by yield-seeking investors, has not invested enough to upgrade the skill sets of its employees.
He also said that more number of students are now being hired from lower grade engineering colleges, which has ensured that the rise in wages has been negative by a huge margin.
Kandula said that as against offers of Rs 2.25 lakh per annum that used to go out for freshers two decades ago, they have risen only to Rs 3.5 lakh now, which suggests a massive decrease in real wages from an inflation-adjusted perspective.
“For some unknown reasons, we call it a knowledge-driven industry. If you have that kind of talent, and then making them learn the existing technology itself is such a huge challenge,” he said.
The quality of the students who are coming in is so bad that many of them are not able to answer, when asked about the subjects taught to them when they were in the final semester of their engineering degrees.The critical remarks come months after a study found out that as much as 80 per cent of India’s engineering graduates were unemployable, he said.
Kandula also told that his company would shift focus to hiring freshers from the laterals earlier due to the newer skill-sets which are required and the ease of training which the freshers offer. He, however, had maintained that the company will continue to hire.
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