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94% of IT graduates not fit for hiring: Tech Mahindra CEO

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NEW DELHI: Is hiring in the IT sector under any kind of stress? Will you hire more?

Let me give you an example from a city like Delhi. A student scoring 60% marks cannot pursue BA-English today, but can definitely go in for engineering. My point is simple — are we not creating people for unemployment? … The Indian IT industry wants skills. For example, Nasscom says 6 million people are required in cybersecurity by 2022. But we have a skills shortage. The point is if I am looking for a robotics person and instead I get a mainframe person, then it creates a skill gap. This comes as a big challenge.

How serious is the skill-gap situation?


If you come to Tech Mahindra, I have created a five-acre tech & learning centre. Other top companies have also created similar facilities to skill employees. For learnability, skill development and being ready for the market, the onus is now shifting onto the industry… Despite all this, the top 10 IT companies take only 6% of the engineering graduates. What happens to the remaining 94%?

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Will hiring be impacted?


Hiring is going to be impacted. One reason is that the equation is now no longer linear. For example, earlier for every million dollars of revenue, 20 people were hired. The equation is changing because of increasing productivity, automation and further tools. The same million dollars will equal 15 new jobs. You need 25% lesser people.

Coming to the voices emanating from the US over the H-1B issue, is it a cause for concern for IT companies? Are the tensions over?

To be very candid, every small issue is made big. The number of educated spouses is not more than 90,000 from where this story has been made. This in a population of 330 million. You are trying to shut doors on them as it is a populist move. The industry will move on… (and) every company will come up with their own strategy of dealing with it. But, there is all evidence of a shortage of skilled labour. Sooner than later, the US has to realise that the equilibrium has to set in. I believe that if the US does not want the products to be developed on their shores, the products will get developed in some other country. The US has always benefited from the fact that it was the best destination for talent. Now, it is their problem to solve.

So, do you feel that there can be a flight of innovation from the US to other countries?


This is already happening, and there are evidences. The Canadian Prime Minister openly declares that, “Don’t go to the US, come to Canada”. He is openly using it as an opportunity.

What are your views on cybersecurity and how vulnerable are we?


There is now recognition of the requirement for cybersecurity, but there isn’t enough push happening for it. I consider that only 15% of ventures want cybersecurity needs… that almost 70% of us are vulnerable… It’s a proven fact that in terms of passwords, 80% of the people use their date of birth, or ‘abcde’, and so on. We are so predictable.

Updated: June 4, 2018 — 5:56 am

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