Europe crisis will not impact IT hiring in 2012

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 13, 2012

Mr Rajiv Vaishnav, Vice-President, Nasscom

Whenever there was a downturn our ability to identify newer markets has grown.

When it comes to offering culturally compatible service to an US-based customer, the voice BPO sector of The Philippines scores over the Indian counterpart. Indians are face the issue of voice talent. A country aiming to carve a niche for itself will gain an advantage over India, says Mr Rajiv Vaishnav is the Vice-President at Nasscom (National Association of Software and Service Companies). His previous role as Director, TiE Mumbai, saw him establish the organisation in India.

Recently in Kolkata to attend a NASSCOM summit, “Emerge Kolkata 2012”, Mr Vasishnav, spoke to Business Line about the BPO/ ITeS industry's threat from The Philippines and Vietnam and the future of IT industry in India.

Assocham in a recent study has noticed BPO/ ITeS firms moving to countries like The Philippines and Vietnam. What is your opinion and how can India get back the edge?

When you are talking of losing a business opportunity, especially in the voice BPO sector, there are challenges as far as India is concerned. There are issues of compatibility of culture which The Philippines offer better to a US-based customer. There are also challenges in terms of voice talent in India. But it all revolves around the scale that we can provide. If some country is mastering a niche and focussing on that, then they will definitely have an advantage over us. The issue is where we have our strengths and consolidate them. Also identify our weaknesses and create an ecosystem for development of soft skills. So I don't think many countries can provide the scale that India can provide. When an organisation is looking at scale it will look at India.

So you are not denying that there has been a flight of firms...

Definitely. If you look at The Philippines or Vietnam there are a lot of Indian companies who have set up base there. The talent is being utilised by the Indian companies. And we are not losing out totally to other companies but yes to another country as a location.

Both the US and Europe are in a crisis. And recent studies suggest that this has affected the hiring by Indian IT cos. Do you agree?

It'son the contrary. There are companies who are setting new targets for new hires. In 2012, I do not see major impact is happening. We are likely to keep targets (of 16 to 18 per cent growth). Moving forward if the impact is getting further then there could be some ripple coming to India. But it's election year in the US and employment generation happens. The mood, if not very upbeat, will remain positive (in terms of hiring).

What are your expectations from the Union Budget?

Now the focus is more domestic. There are huge opportunities coming up alongside of IT services and BPOs such as animation and gaming. Now the time has come when there is competition coming from other countries. The challenge for the government is to see that investments do not move out of the country.

What will be the growth drivers for Indian IT companies in the next two years?

Whenever there was a downturn our ability to identify newer markets has grown. What we are saying is that the growth that will come till 2020 will be from new verticals. Nearly, 80 per cent business, both nationally and internationally, will be from these verticals like healthcare, and public sector where we have not looked at. So we will be able to catering to that market which we have not even touched.

Where do you see an end to the debate between freedom of speech and the government's censorship over social media?

Personally speaking, I think the wave of social media hit us only recently. The same thing must have hit the developed nations earlier. There must be some learning from how they have dealt with the issue.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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