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Job Losses In IT Are Over-Hyped, Says Kris Gopalakrishnan

Gopalakrishnan, who served as the chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys between June 2007 and August 2011, said there is urgent need to upskill as IT is a fast-changing industry

Photo Credit : Reuters

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Job losses in IT sector are over-hyped, says Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. “Not many job losses have happened if we read numbers. It is just the media reports that create hype over the IT industry sacking people,” he said while talking to BW Businessworld during World Economic Summit, New Delhi.

He said that companies are not hiring because they are not growing. “One can attribute job losses to artificial intelligence, robotics, US market but the industry has not lost people more than just 1 percent,” he said. “With 4 million people employed by the industry, industry’s sacked or lost over 40,000 people.”

Gopalakrishnan, who served as the chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys between June 2007 and August 2011, said there is urgent need to upskill as IT is a fast-changing industry. “If employees want to stay secure in IT industry, they must have a hobby to keep themselves updated with new technologies and skill set.”

According to Nasscom, IT industry boasts of high attrition rate of about 15 percent. “The high attrition rate reflects that people are still switching jobs. If there were no jobs in the industry or there were merciless sacking, then people wouldn’t be getting so many opportunities to switch jobs and swell attrition figures,” he pointed.

His views resonate with the perspective of his fellow co-worker NR Narayana Murthy, co-founder of IT behemoth, Infosys. In an interview to BW Businessworld in June, Murthy said that the contribution of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation is a very small percentage of revenues generated by IT companies. “Therefore, to blame these technologies for retrenchment is incorrect,” Murthy said.

He further clarified that IT market has slowed down across the world. “Hence, we are not in a mode to hire more and more people.”

Indian IT biggies, including Infosys, TCS and Wipro announced a cut in their workforce count in the June quarter. A majority of these companies have claimed that the reduced workforce is because of automation and digitisation which might result in a few more job losses.

Last year, for the first time in over two decades, Wipro and HCL Technologies reported a net decline in direct hiring.

Murthy, known as the father of Indian IT industry, also stressed on re-skilling and up-skilling employees. “We operate in an industry where the only constant is change. Everything changes in our industry as we go from country to country, culture to culture, technology to technology and application to application.”


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