March 10, 2012: In order to keep up with the changing demand across the globe, the Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing industry (BPO) should shift their focus from just being service providers to firms in the west to domain experts.
To become domain experts, the firms should employ talented workforce who will have the necessary expertise to take the service providers to new heights. With the present education system, it would be difficult for the firms to find the right kind of employees with the required talents. So the education sector in India needs to have quick and radical reforms in order to meet the requirements of the industry. It has to shift the focus from quality to quantity, if the outsourcing industry in the country has to be reshaped.
Recent studies have found that only 10 to 15 per cent of the candidates who apply for jobs in the IT industry are capable of being hired. This is the result of the skewed education system in the country, which currently focus on numbers rather quality of education. China, a major competitor for India in the field of outsourcing has decided to create 40 world class universities.
India is no longer considered as a labor centre, where routine, low end jobs can be outsourced. Now India has moved up the line and is considered as a high value service provider capable of delivering high value services including Research and Development (R&D). The Indian IT industry is expected to grow at a rate between 13 to 15 per cent, which is a good rate. The industry has reached a value of USD 100 billion. All these figures show the strength of the industry and its potential to grow.
The industry is also witnessing increase in the number of startups in the outsourcing industry. If startups need to survive, they need talented workforce which is flexible and dynamic.
These factors call for the need of highly trained workforce which is industry ready. Leading service providers in India have extended the duration of training period for the new recruits. The main reason for this is the lack of knowledge and skills. Narayana Murthy has recently said that students from the prestigious institutes in the country lack knowledge about fundamentals. Delivering high quality service needs high quality workforce, and to foster such a workforce requires high level of interaction between the education institutions and industry. It will help institutions to prepare the students based on the needs of the industry.