Tech Jam all dressed up and nowhere to go

Nov 19 2012, 19:31 IST
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SummaryThe sluggish global economy and foggy visibility into client spends have taken a toll on the job scene in the $100-billion Indian software exporting industry.

High attrition rates, which have been a major worry for Indian IT companies, have eased up during the September period. Low visibility of the business climate have made techies more risk averse, while companies too are going the extra mile to retain them

The sluggish global economy and foggy visibility into client spends have taken a toll on the job scene in the $100-billion Indian software exporting industry. Attrition rates at top-tier IT companies have dropped to their lowest levels during the quarter ended September for some, signaling a slowdown in hiring of mid to senior level tech professionals.

During the July-September stretch, attrition at TCS, the country’s largest IT firm, was at 10.2%, its lowest in several quarters. For Wipro there has been significant improvement in attrition, which was down to 14.6% from 15.6% in the preceding June quarter. On a last twelve months trailing (LTM) basis Infosys’ attrition fell to 15% from 15.6%, year-on-year (y-o-y).

Meanwhile, for HCL Technologies it stood at 13.6% as compared to 14% sequentially. Nasdaq-listed Cognizant, which has most of its software operations in India, saw annualised attrition come down marginally to 13% during the period from 13.4%, a year ago.

Experts feel with opportunities having dried up to an extent over the past couple of quarters, employees have become risk averse. “In the current market, there are hardly any exciting job options available. With the uncertainty in the global market, people are not willing to switch jobs. They prefer to continue with larger IT firms, which have a stable business visibility, instead of experimenting with new jobs,” says Amitabh Das, chief executive of recruitment firm Vati Consulting. Saurabh Govil, senior VP (HR), Wipro Technologies pointed out that attrition levels in the company touched a 36-month low during the month of September, which is reflective of the current economic environment.

As mature markets globally struggle to establish stability amid cutbacks by consumers, leaders of the Indian IT industry are beginning to feel the heat. In the last two quarters, software-services firms have witnessed a drop in volume growth and some have also shown the possibility of growth missing forecasts this fiscal. The Indian IT-ITeS industry earns about 75% of its revenues from the US and European markets.

“The attrition rates have declined as the industry has been impacted by the political scenario in the US and slowing European economy. Employers and employees are being circumspect with regard to the turn

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