As the Indian IT industry battles with high levels of attrition, it must find new locations and talent sources to address this challenge, Wipro chairman Rishad Premji said at the ongoing Global Investors Meet 2022 in Bengaluru.
“Covid has shown us that work can be done remotely and at scale. This would make it easier to widen the talent pool and help especially women and people with disabilities, who will benefit from the flexibility of remote work,” Premji said.
Wipro’s voluntary attrition rate, on a last twelve-month basis, rose to 23% for the September quarter from 20.5% a year ago indicating demand for tech talent continues to outpace supply, a trend seen across the industry. The Premji-led company onboarded 14,000 freshers during the second quarter taking the total headcount to 259,179 employees as of September 30.
“We have a very large number of highly skilled young workers and the largest number of engineers in the world. But instead of going to where the talent is, we force them to migrate to the big cities where the jobs are. This limits the talent pool and puts a huge strain on the infrastructure of the big cities, pushing up the costs of living,” Premji added.
Premji applauded the efforts of the government of Karnataka in setting up new technology clusters in tier-2 and tier-3 cities as part of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission, which is a non-profit organization created to serve as a knowledge bridge between the state government and industry, with the goal of speeding the growth and investment in the state.
The second initiative to address attrition should be on reskilling the existing talent pool on new-age technologies that are of relevance in the future, Premji said.
In the last three decades, the Indian IT industry has grown significantly. Today, the IT sector contributes about 8% to India’s GDP, growing significantly from less than 1%, 30 years ago, he said.
“India has grown from a low-cost offshoring destination to a true technology and business partner for the world…which is why despite the macro-economic challenges, I remain bullish and incredibly excited about the long-term prospects of the industry,” Premji said.