'Indian IT Employees Should Reskill Or Upskill To Avert Lay-offs'

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Indian IT sector is presently caught in a whirlwind of changes. Automation and new visa laws by the US have forced IT majors to take a close look at their headcount. Companies like Cognizant, Wipro, Infosys and others have recently witnessed a series of job cuts, forcing engineers into a radical rethink of career decisions.


In an interview with the Entrepreneur India, James Agrawal, Managing Director, BTI Consultants, gave his suggestions about what should be the modus operandi of Indian IT employees in the coming months and how should they go about mitigating the harmful consequences of the present situation.

How Has Been The Hiring Of IT Workers Affected?

"In the recent past, we've seen massive cuts in mass recruitment by companies, which are now focusing on skilled or niche hiring. The focus across IT companies at the moment is to cut costs and optimize resources. This has impacted the mid and senior-level hiring too," he said.

Companies are being more cautious on the sort of talent they get onboard and whether or not it is aligned with their strategic growth policies, he pointed out.

"Automation, artificial intelligence and newer technologies are also coaxing IT companies to take a relook at their business models and the way they service clients. This will have a bearing across levels," he said.

What Should IT Employees Do To Sustain Employability?

"One thing is for certain — generalists will seize to exist and the leadership across organizations needs to start pushing employees to pick up skills that will chalk the future growth of their organization. All this needs to be in alignment with the overall corporate strategy," he said.

Upskilling is extremely important for talents to sustain. To a large extent the onus is on the employees and the leadership to ensure that all gaps are filled. Training teams also need to step up to impart trainings that will directly improve the productivity of employees and make them contribute more to business, he stressed.

Should IT Employees Think About Career Transition?

"As mentioned earlier, the need of the hour is to reskill or upskill. IT will remain a crucial sector and will continue to generate jobs in future. However, the nature of jobs and the skills-in-hand will change," he opined.

Employees who are passionate about the IT field need to focus on the emerging skills of tomorrow and on platforms that will provide them exposure to work on such skills, he added.

Agarwal has ticked off top three sectors that are set to emerge as employment generators at senior corporate-level. These are FMCG/FMCD, Pharmaceuticals and ITES (GICs or Captive Units).

BTI Consultants is a leading global consulting firm, specializing in retained executive search, leadership consulting, management assessment and career transition with a 30 year track record. BTI Consultants places 50- 60 candidates at leadership roles every year. Till date, they have placed over 1,000 candidates at critical, senior-level positions in India.