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TCS training 100,000 employees on digital tech

To increase focus on hiring people from diverse skill sets

Shivani Shinde Nadhe  |  Mumbai 

Ajoy Mukherjee, executive vice-president and global head (human resources) at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest information technology services provider, is undertaking a mammoth task. The move, training a third of the company’s employees (about 100,000) on digital technologies, is said to be one of the largest such initiatives by a private company in India.

The need for such an exercise is obvious: With 12.5 per cent of its total revenue of $15.5 billion (FY15) coming from digital, a set of skills is a necessity.

Earlier, Bengaluru-based Infosys had announced an initiative to train 40 per cent of its workforce, or 70,000 employees, in design thinking by the end of this financial year. So far, 31,000 people have been covered.

For Mukherjee, learning within TCS is built on the mantra of ‘anywhere anytime’ accessibility. “We have been investing in digital. We believe everything will be digital and, therefore, everybody needs to be trained. And, training has to be done at different competency levels. This will encompass employees from junior to senior levels.”


The plan to train 100,000 is for this year; in the long term, the company aims to impart such training to all its 324,935 employees.

Under the programme, video capsules for awareness, called Nano, are given to those in sales and senior levels; junior employees are given more intense development and technology-focused programmes.

“The only way we can achieve this scale is by going digital and using the technology platform. The cloud-based platform developed in-house includes peer and social learning, and interactive classroom training with faculty supervision. We have created virtual labs where employees can get hands-on experience, followed by formal assessment. Each level will be assessed,” said Mukherjee.

He added content creation would be a continuous process. For content, TCS has partnered education institutes, product companies and technology platforms, among others.

With the need to tap into the digital landscape, TCS, which has said it will add 60,000 employees in FY16, will also focus on hiring more employees with diverse skill sets. “We have been going to premium institutes for research and development for product development, etc, primarily for the CTO (chief technology officer)’s office. We don’t want to hire only those with a technical mindset; we also want people with different mindsets such as data scientists and statisticians, who can co-relate things,” Mukherjee said.

He added the company had been hiring people from the pharmaceutical segment for its clinical research division. “For designing apps, we get students with a design mindset, and we have been going to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. We are building an ecosystem. Now that the volume is increasing, we will need more and more people with such diverse skills.”

For FY16, TCS has already given offer letters to 35,000 engineers, who are at various stages of joining the company. For the first quarter of this financial year, the company’s gross addition abroad stood at 3,877 employees.

The digital learning exercise could also help the company stem its attrition, which has touched a high of 15.9 per cent. About 80 per cent of TCS’s employee base comprises Gen Y, for which retention plays a major role.

Mukherjee acknowledges the number of opportunities and the mindset Gen Y has leads to higher attrition. “What we have observed is employees undergoing these programmes have immediately found projects to work on,” he said.

TECH GIANT’S MAMMOTH PLANS
  • To train 100,000 on digital technologies
  • Cloud-based platform created in-house
  • Content created with domain expertise in-house, education institutes, product firms and partner ecosystem
  • To add 60,000 employees this financial year; this includes hiring abroad, too
  • 35,000 campus offers already given in India

First Published: Tue, July 14 2015. 00:56 IST
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