Infosys co-founder stresses the need for change in IT companies
There is little doubt we’re going through a period of monumental change, with a senior industry figure reporting Indian IT companies need to learn to manage expectations of employees.
Infosys co-founder, Kris Gopalakrishnan says company’s need to ensure they’re on top of employee expectations in this time of rapid technology transition as growth rates slow down.
“The number of promotions will come down because there are no openings at higher levels. So, you have to set expectations properly,” says Gopalakrishnan.
Furthermore, the changing face of technology means employees will need to be retrained.
“One, the company must invest in retraining employees, and two, employees must invest time in learning,” says Gopalakrishnan.
“So, these are stressful situations for both employees as well as leadership in the companies.”
Software exports within India are expected to grow 7-8 percent growth in 2017-2018 according to Indian IT industry body Nasscom, representing a decline from 8.6 percent in the previous fiscal.
The company also forecast the industry to add 130,000-150,000 jobs in the current financial year. With that in mind, Gopalakrishnan rejected suggestions that there is a job crisis in the Indian IT sector.
“Even Nasscom has projected this sector will add one lakh-plus jobs this year also,” Gopalakrishnan says.
“Yes, growth rate has come down, recruitment numbers are lower but it’s still positive and the industry is still recruiting people.”
Despite this, Gopalakrishnan did admit that hiring is slowing down as a direct result of the declining growth rate.
“There have been some impact of automation on certain services. For example, infrastructure management services, maintenance services where automation has had an impact. Several tasks can be automated and those services will require less number of people,” says Gopalakrishnan.
“Now these are services where the work is actually quite repetitive and in the long run, these tasks are better done by machines because they are repetitive.”
Gopalakrishnan believes the next ten years is set to be an exciting time for every sector in the industry as they’re all transitioning, and IT companies need to be ‘reimaginative’ in helping the process.
“Opportunities are huge, because this is the model that can continue to scale, and that’s the reason why multinational corporations are setting up IT operations in India,” says Gopalakrishnan.
“Long term, it’s exciting because you (IT industry) are part of transitioning that’s happening in every industry. It’s driven by innovation, creativity and growth; all that is exciting.”
The challenge, Gopalakrishnan says, is the fear of the unknown that accompanies change and that companies are currently experiencing today.