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Bangalore Techies in Panic as Recession Trends Begin to Show up

File photo of CEO and MD of Infosys, Vishal Sikka during a press conference at Infosys campus, in Bangalore on June 12, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

The news of recurrent firing in IT companies of Bangalore is not new but the latest thrust in news of almost all IT companies lining up their firing squads has sent shockwaves across the city that lives mainly on tech jobs and over-hyped salaries.

True to 2000 and 2008 recessions which had affected the city, the latest firing by IT majors from Infosys, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra to many other smaller companies has unnerved many techies in the city. Not a single days goes by without a company announcing its layoffs.

Even the industry body Nasscom has admitted that the firing spree will continue and puts the figure at 50,000 this year, while it said no hiring will be undertaken by the major firms while smaller ones may be open to some jobs. “Layoffs in IT and BPO sectors are expected to continue this year with the pace of job creation slowing down,” said Nasscom.

Taking it to 1 lakh, Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of Headhunters told moneycontrol.com: “This time, the middle management is also getting affected because of automation. My estimate is that in next one year, at least one lakh jobs will become irrelevant.”

As of now, Infosys and Wipro are planning to layoff about 2,000 and Tech Mahindra is likely to send 1,500 employees home this year while No. 1 company n IT sector, TCS has managed to restrain for now to stop firing the staff.

The layoffs cannot be attributed to merely shifting some jobs overseas, especially US due to pressure but also the pace of automization which has gripped the industry trend. “Indian IT companies are bound to face disruptions by way of higher costs and even some laying off work force back home, because of US visa rules,” said a report by Assocham recently. “Hiring one person abroad would mean firing 4 here,” adds Kris Lakshmikanth.

Instead of IT companies locking in their customers, the major service sector companies are able to switch over to auto gear than depend on constant support from the IT supplier firms. The indirect impact of demonetisation in the form form of a stronger rupee has also eroded confidence among the Indian IT companies.

Another factor for layoffs is redundancy of staff skill sets. Gone are the days when techies are mere coders and their expertise in a field served the purpose but now with the IT platforms turning automoatic, the requirements have passed on from coders to higher skilled experts.

The latest trend for IT jobs is in Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence and Cloud. The buzz word are big data and data analytics, forcing the traditional IT recruits and managers to diversify their skillsets or be on the firing range.

 

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