IT professionals back in demand in India

NEW DELHI Indian software professionals, who were left battling to save their jobs after a sudden worldwide slump, are now seeing a pick up in employment, a survey said yesterday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 15 Feb 2003, 3:47 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

The survey by the country's top information technology software body forecast that employment would grow by 24 per cent to 650,000 IT professionals in India in the fiscal year ending March, compared to 522,250 last year.

"We saw a pick up in the recruitment scene in the IT Services sector from the second quarter of the year," said Arun Kumar, chairman of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

He said a whole range of professionals were in demand including software analysts, information security specialists, database administrators, network specialists and communication engineers.

The Nasscom annual industry survey forecast almost 205,000 people would have jobs in the software exports industry by the end of the current financial year and 160,000 would be employed in ancillary IT services, such as in call centres.

Another 25,000 people will be servicing the domestic software market and over 260,000 will have IT jobs in various organisations.

"In the IT Enabled Services (IT Ancillary) sector, we saw almost 200 personnel being hired every working day of the year," Kumar added.

He said an interesting trend in recruitment in the ancillary sector was that more professionals with specific job skills were being recruited rather than college freshers who needed training.

The survey showed that basic salaries for software professionals rose by eight per cent this year and many firms linked the pay to productivity or revenues.

The average age of software professionals was 26.5 years, while an overwhelming 79 per cent of them were men.

Salaries of software professionals average $200 a month which is one-tenth of pay in the United States, but high by Indian standards.

During the dotcom boom two years ago software engineers were receiving fat pay packets and were very much in demand.

However, the worldwide economic slowdown which started around two years ago reduced software services demand from India, leaving many without jobs and others barely managing to hold on to their positions.

The survey showed that as many of 42 per cent of IT jobs were located in southern India, which has become a hub for the Indian IT industry.

Cheap labour and an abundance of English-speaking professionals have resulted in multinational companies setting up their software developing bases and call centres in southern India.

The survey also projected that the current rate of employment in the sector could lead to a shortfall of around 235,000 people in the industry by 2008. It said total demand was likely to be 1.1 million people, while the number of software professionals available would be 885,000, based on current statistics.

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