‘In 2016, Au­toma­tion Will be Ac­cepted as Part of IT’

The Economic Times - - Companies -

This might be the year when au­toma­tion will be ac­cepted as part of the IT in­dus­try, and it could have an im­pact on hir­ing, said

the newly ap­pointed chair­man of IT ser­vices in­dus­try body Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Soft­ware and Com­pa­nies (Nasscom). In an in­ter­view with Neha Alawadhi, Gur­nani spoke about the chal­lenges fac­ing the in­dus­try. Edited ex­cerpts:

What are the chal­lenges the in­dus­try is fac­ing and what are your fo­cus ar­eas? Over the past two-three years, our mem­ber base has changed dra­mat­i­cally. For ex­am­ple, the num­ber of star­tups we en­gage with has gone up. Then, the mem­ber­ship of the global tech­nol­ogy cen­tres or global in­no­va­tion cen­tres around the world has also risen. We have al­ways had a very ac­tive IT ser­vices busi­ness and the do­mes­tic busi­ness has also got ac­cel­er­ated af­ter Mr Modi came in. Whether it’s a ‘Smart City’ or a ‘Make in In­dia’ or a ‘Startup In­dia’ or ‘Dig­i­tal In­dia’, all of th­ese are cor­re­lated. So, we said the best is to split Nasscom into mini Nasscoms and have sec­tor coun­cils man­age dif­fer­ent ar­eas such as prod­uct com­pa­nies, busi­ness process man­age­ment ser­vices.The other big chal­lenge we have is that of skill. We are try­ing to see if our mem­ber com­pa­nies are ready to achieve a $350 bil­lion tar­get by 2025.

Should In­dia be more ag­gres­sive in pur­su­ing the cur­rent visa is­sues with the US? The first thing is that this is elec­tion time in the US. There will be views and counter views. The other is that all US com­pa­nies re­alise that their mar­ket is not only US, the mar­ket is the world. Also, in to­day's world, for good de­vel­op­ment to hap­pen, you need a global work­force. And the skills they re­quire are not avail­able in the lo­cal mar­ket. Yes, the cost of visas have gone up. We know that Prime Min­is­ter Modi has taken this up with the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

That com­plaint to the WTO is also un­prece­dented… Your view on that? Nasscom is play­ing a very pos­i­tive role in high­light­ing the mes­sage and in­volv­ing the min­istry of ex­ter­nal af­fairs, min­istry of IT and min­istry of com­merce.

Is this go­ing to be the year when au­toma­tion will be the high­light and we will see non-lin­ear­ity in hir­ing? I be­lieve this is the year when au­toma­tion will be ac­cepted as part of the in­dus­try. Yes, it will have an im­pact on hir­ing. (But) The chances are that In­dian IT will em­brace the change.

What are the con­ver­sa­tions around cy­ber­se­cu­rity? We be­lieve that the op­por­tu­nity for us is $35 bil­lion, if we are able to not only an­tic­i­pate the need but also an­tic­i­pate the cure. The Data Se­cu­rity Coun­cil of In­dia and Cy­ber­Se­cu­rity Task Force of Nasscom are spend­ing a lot of time on this. We were in Nether­lands last week, and there is a group go­ing to Is­rael in May.

Nasscom chair­man CP Gur­nani

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