Caught between massive poaching by big brothers and employees reluctant to return to big cities for work, smaller IT service companies are setting up offices in smaller towns. In a way, they are taking work closer to where their employees are as their earlier attempts to get them to work met with resistance, and if forced, they quit contributing to the high attrition.
This is particularly true in Tamil Nadu where the State produces nearly four lakh engineering graduates from over 500 colleges every year, making it the largest contributor of talent to the IT sector.
Ramco Systems is setting up a centre in Madurai; Access Healthcare plans a Madurai centre, and 3i Infotech is setting up a Centre of Excellence in Tirunelveli.
Ramco’s Chief Operating Officer Sandesh Bilagi recently told BusinessLine that the company plans to start the Madurai centre on employees’ reluctance to return to Chennai. If forced, they quit. It plans to hire around 250 employees in the temple town, surrounded by many engineering colleges.
When asked about moving to smaller towns, Vardhman Jain, Vice Chairman of Access Healthcare, said, “In some part, yes. But in our case it’s just the pace of growth. We doubled head count in 15 months. While Chennai is an anchor for us, we feel acceleration of growth is possible if there is a wider access,” he added.
3i Infotech’s Centre of Excellence at Tirunelveli
3i Infotech Managing Director & Global CEO Thompson Gnanam, said Tirunelveli has several engineering institutions and established itself as a hub for high-tech education in South India, making it an optimal location for setting up the campus.
There are multiple examples of employees refusing to return to Work From Office mode. Some who moved to their natives are trying to ‘Work from Anywhere’. They don’t want to return to cities, said Sunil Chemmankotil, Head - Specialised Staffing, TeamLease Digital, a part of recruitment firm TeamLease.
“Employees should not go to jobs but jobs should be taken to people. Teamlease Digital is also working on the talent availability in emerging locations. Considering the number of cities and their state of infrastructure it’s better to move to this model and this is the fastest way to add more cities because jobs lead to growth,” he said. Companies moving to smaller cities will bring about inclusive growth. He added that opening more jobs by companies moving there is the easiest route to add more cities.