IT services industry confronts a depressing reality: Vishal Sikka

| | Updated on: Nov 12, 2014
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Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka on Wednesday said India has a huge opportunity to be a leader in a software-defined world but its emphasis on low-cost, coupled with poorly trained manpower, is hindering growth.

“India has a great opportunity ahead to accelerate the reshaping and transformation of the world with software. But the depressing reality of increasingly lower costs, hiring people faster and faster from more and more mediocre places, training people less and less, putting them into jobs faster and faster is a wrong direction that the IT industry is taking,” Sikka said in his opening keynote address at CeBIT India, via a pre-recorded video message.

Asserting that the industry can do better, he said IT service firms must be partners of clients and strategically relevant to them, and that they should not continue to be providers of labour arbitrage, lower costs and staff augmentation.

Sikka said: “We can be better partners to our clients on the basis of innovation, intelligence, automation and techniques by bringing the best new technologies and methodologies to the challenges they face. One of the ways to do this is through design thinking that will not only help us identify the best way to solve their problems but also the best way to find their problems. Instead of looking at doing the same old things cheaper, we should look at doing new things. That is the future that the world looks to India for. To find great new solutions to great new problems that are in front of us.”

Noting there is a need to change the industry mindset to mirror that of entrepreneurs, he said: “Instead of a ‘Seeing is Believing’ mindset of those who follow orders, the industry must change to the entrepreneurial mindset of ‘Believing is Seeing’ where they believe in an opportunity and see it, after which everybody else sees it.” “We are great at taking orders and executing them for our clients but are not great at boldly sharing our views on how businesses need to be run, going forward. I think the way to get there is to rely on our biggest source of strength – Education. Like my mother once told me: If we can learn anything, we can do anything. As of last week, we have trained 5,300 employees in design thinking.”’

Published on November 12, 2014

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