I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email: email@example.com
IT demand seems to be picking up slowly, but... Last year when journalists asked Azim Premji about his outlook for IT sector, he said he expected things to turn better during the second half of 2013. He might have been right. IT executives speak with more confidence about the demand - not least because US economy appears to be gaining momentum. The volumes last quarter picked up for both Infosys and TCS. But it wouldn't mean more jobs. Like we have argued earlier, companies have low utilisation rates, and the bigger demand won't reflect in fresh hiring till that picks up. Last quarter, net hiring by Infosys and TCS was the lowest in four years, according to Business Line. The biggest losers will be the freshers. Mint reports Nasscom president Som Mittal as saying, "With the hiring pattern changed, we would have only about 40% of hiring from campuses and the rest will be lateral hires and just-in-time hiring so that we can forecast the attrition and business better.. The business is so uncertain that we don’t want to give a large number of offers and extend their stay.”
Bigger is better, but...
While reporting for a story on Polaris, one recurring theme I heard from industry executives and experts was around the ability of mid tier firms to bag big deals. Polaris itself had a large customer in Citi. But that came through its acquisition of Orbitech which used to be an IT arm of Citigroup. The big question was whether mid-tier firms have it in them to attract talent that would open boardroom doors and help them bag 100 million dollar accounts, if not more. The underlying assumption is that to succeed in IT you have to bag mega accounts. A recent report from JP Morgan questions that assumption - saying beyond a point the returns aren't that high. The authors write: The message is that Indian IT firms must find the right balance between (a) cultivating mega accounts, (b) farming the “bulge” or mid-tier accounts (typically, the USD 20-50 million per year accounts) and (c) “hunting” (new business or scaling up sub-scale accounts)
The online advantage moves offline... through your mobile
"...even though retailers seem to know more than ever about how shoppers behave, even though their efforts at intelligence-gathering have rarely seemed more intrusive and more formidable, the retail business remains in crisis. The reason is that shoppers are a moving target. They are becoming more and more complicated, and retailers need to know more and more about them simply to keep pace." Thus Malcolm Gladwell in his 1996 essay The Science of Shopping. Now, the retailers have another weapon to aim at these moving targets - mobile phones. New York Times has an interesting story on companies that take the advantages that online retailers such as Amazon had to brick and mortar companies.
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