Article (August-2017)

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Dr. Rima Ghose Chowdhury

Designation : -   VP & Head - Human Capital Management

Organization : -  India at Quinnox Consultancy Services, Mumbai

01-Aug-2017

1. How do you see the scenario of mass layoffs in IT sector to change in future?
Ans. In my opinion, the 'mass layoffs' part was a bit of an exaggeration. Post appraisal season every organization has its own process of rationalizing bottom performers. The timing of that process and change in US policies, the news of IT sector being temporarily down, everything coincided, leading to this widespread negative publicity about the sector. IT industry has stabilized after seeing lot of ups and downs in past. It is proven that the business model is sustainable; contribution to the Indian economy is established. Year 2001 is when IT industry had faced its 'first' downturn, but the slowdown did not intensify. In any industry ups and downs are quite common. Key to survive and thrive is resilience, which IT industry has learnt. The workforce in India has been very fortunate that there has hardly been mass layoff ever in the past 15 years (even during the 2007/2008 Financial Crisis). However, the world is changing and technology advances will create a challenging workforce and tech workers in India will need to ensure that they prepare themselves, improve their communication, people interaction and business/process subject matter expertise. To the extent possible, they should aim to be multi - skilled rather than an expert in a single technical area.
 
2. What all sectors and functions will be highly impacted by job cuts?
Ans. Indian corporate sector is heterogeneous and fragmented. Expectations have changed over a period of time. Gone are the days when a graduate degree was enough to get a job or sometime later, when an engineering degree was enough. It gradually made way to that '++' engineers with additional skills or graduates with a post - graduation in management etc. Different segments are impacted differentially. Professionals, who have not updated their skills, always stand the chance of getting negatively impacted by a downturn e.g. not making the move to learn automation testing from manual testing or not learning niche skills or allowing prehistoric practices to rule functions or continue to do repetitive work without worrying about automation or digital drive. The unrest would create enormous opportunities as well, in the areas of data science, machine learning, cyber security, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence etc.