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India’s IT services outsourcing industry will continue to grow and add jobs this year, according to a projection by the sector’s biggest lobby, National Association of Software and Services Companies, or Nasscom. The sector will see exports rise by 8 percent this fiscal, which ends on March 31, 2018, on the back of rising demand from global financial services companies and increasing adoption of “digital” technologies. The figure was 8.6 percent for the financial year ended March 31, 2017.
The industry will remain a “net hirer”, R Chandrashekhar, Nasscom’s president, said in a press release. The sector expects to add between 130,000 and 150,000 new jobs this year helped by an increase in demand at home. IT services in India will grow between 10 percent and 11 percent, Nasscom projects. India, however, remains a market that contributes about 3-5 percent of the top companies’ revenues.
Financial clients such as Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase make up the sector’s biggest market segment. Banking, financial services and insurance clients account for about a third or more of the revenues at India’s top IT companies - Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro.
On the other hand, the demand for new services is coming up at a time of rising sentiment in favour of protecting local jobs. In America, the IT sector’s biggest market, Indian IT vendors, who have used non-immigrant visas such as the H-1B to send staff on a temporary basis to work at client sites, are facing criticism and scrutiny. For instance, Infosys is facing a new lawsuit in the US in which the company is accused of unfair local hiring practices.
The Indian companies expect to hire more locals in the US and other large markets such as Australia and the UK not just to be perceived as businesses that steal jobs. The nature of the demand for their services has changed drastically, and the new type work required of them entails both local expertise and knowledge of the latest technologies that are often developed by startups in Silicon Valley.
Infosys recently announced that it will hire 10,000 Americans to work at four innovation centres that the Bengaluru company will build in the US. Wipro has made a billion dollars worth of acquisitions to build a greater local presence, and also add deep technological capabilities in areas such as cloud computing and cybersecurity.
In India, where the companies will still have the bulk of their staff, the largest companies are trying to retrain their staff to handle more open-ended problems, rather than just execute instructions that are given. They are also attempting to equip their staff with cross-domain knowledge and skills.