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