What slowdown? MNC tech firms are hiring thousands

The Indian IT services sector may be passing through some rough weather with challenges of automation and lower growth rates, forcing many to lay off employees and reduce the rate of hiring. But many technology MNCs in the country are continuing to hire in large numbers. Companies such as Accenture, Capgemini, Oracle, IBM, and Goldman Sachs are hiring in hundreds, some in thousands.

Accenture has 5,396 job openings in India, more than four times the openings in the US and more than 12 times that in Poland and Philippines, its other major hiring locations. French IT major Capgemini has 2,649 job openings for India, 55% of its worldwide hiring, according to the company’s website.

Oracle has 1,124 open positions for India. TOI reported last week that e-commerce giant Amazon was in process of hiring thousands in India.Their website currently lists 1,208 open positions.

Other major hirers include IBM (675 open positions), Goldman Sachs (320), Dell (285), Microsoft (235), Cisco (229), and French bank Societe Generale (185). The openings are periodically refreshed, so the total hiring in a year could be significantly more.

The global inhouse centres (GICs) of MNCs in India are growing at 10% in terms of revenue and employ close to 770,000 people, according to IT industry body Nasscom. Consultancy firm Zinnov estimates there are 1,150 MNCs with GICs in India, and puts the employment figure at 815,000 for 2016. It is estimated that the GICs will add an additional 30,000 jobs this year on a net basis (excluding those who quit firms in the category to find jobs elsewhere). About 35% of the GICs are in Bengaluru, and 15% in NCR. “All these MNC GICs are doing their digitisation initiative in India, and most of their newly added capacities are also expected to be in India,” K S Viswanathan, VP, industry initiatives at Nasscom, said.

The job openings are heartening, given especially that four of the biggest IT services companies – TCS, Cognizant, Infosys and Tech Mahindra – saw their workforces shrink at the end of the June quarter. The current job openings by themselves don’t tell us whether the MNCs are increasing their hiring or reducing them. Accenture, for instance, had 10,700 job openings around the same time three years ago, but Capgemini had a slightly lower number three years ago than what it is now.

But more and more MNCs are establishing GICs in India, among the recent ones being Saks Fifth Avenue and TransUnion. And the ones that came in the past few years are now confident enough to expand rapidly , like Lowe’s and JCPenney. Lowe’s 490,000 sq ft office space lease deal in Bengaluru was the second largest in India in the first half of this year, after that of Microsoft’s 589,000 deal, according to property consultancy Colliers International.

“If a company wants to hire 1,000 people in a quarter for things like data analytics, India is the only place where you will find people available at that kind of scale, and it will remain so,” Sandeep Mathur, former Oracle India managing director, said. MNCs, he said, had long stopped coming to India for cost. “They need people to address their growth challenges and even automation codes have to be written by humans.”

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