IT services will remain a significant part of the job environment in India as the demand for talent and services continues to grow in the country, according to Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan.
He also emphasised on the need for experienced IT professionals to embrace automation and other new technologies to remain competitive even as youngsters, who could be native to these new tools, enter the workforce.
"...in absolute terms, Indian IT's employment potential will continue to be quite strong and will relatively keep growing in pace with where we see the opportunity. The relative ratio of IT to other industries is a factor of what happens in the larger economic scenario...in the foreseeable future, IT services will remain very attractive and a significant part of the job environment in India," Gopinathan said in a recent webinar on LinkedIn.
He added that this is on account of the demand for talent and services, which is "only going to explode given the role that technology is playing today and in future".
There have been concerns of layoffs in the IT sector - which hires thousands of graduates every year - as automation increases. With Covid-19 pandemic impacting businesses globally, there were concerns about hiring and job opportunities in the sector as companies froze and even laid off employees.
Gopinathan, who heads the USD 22-billion firm, was recently named as a LinkedIn Influencer, joining the list of eminent personalities like Satya Nadella, Vani Kola, Punit Renjen and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Tata Consultancy Services is the country's largest IT services firm and employs over 4.4 lakh people.
Gopinathan said the youngsters coming into workforce are native to many of the technologies that are leading the disruption and learn about the tools "by default" because that is the environment they are coming into.
"My bigger message is to the ones who have got more experience, the ones with 10-15 years' experience. They also need to embrace it rather than being worried about it. And they need to invest in their knowledge, in their contextual knowledge and upgrade their skills in terms of the tool usage," he said.
He added that while the tools used today will be different from 15 years ago, but the context that the people have built up and the knowledge they have amassed is "invaluable", which positions the individual in a very unique position compared to any new person entering the workforce.
"If you want to think about a 30-40 year career, you need to be constantly ready to learn," he said.
Gopinathan said the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed people to use technologies that already existed more effectively by reducing the threshold of acceptability.
"So video conferencing did not get invented six months back. But our acceptability of leveraging it and the openness with which we are leveraging it has significantly gone up 10-folds, 50-folds...a lot of the work content could be done through remote collaboration like we are currently doing and the acceptability of that increasing -- both inside enterprises and between enterprises -- will be a huge booster," he added.