Talking about the crisis, which the IT industry currently finds itself in, Narayana Murthy said that the situation wasn’t new and the industry had gone through these tough times even in 2008 and 2001.
He further elaborated that during those times the senior management at Infosys had taken the pay cut to protect the jobs of the new joinees and those at lower levels in the organization. He urged that senior management should do the likewise today to protect the jobs.
He was quoted by the media as saying, “That time we had offered jobs to 1,500 engineers. Several companies were postponing the joining day. We said let us not do that, let us demonstrate the commitment to youngsters by senior people taking some salary cuts based on the disposable income as we go down the hierarchy and welcome those 1,500 engineers.”
Though, it is still not very clear to industry outsiders, the exact cause of the layoffs which have been happening in the last two weeks.
One of the reasons is definitely the declining revenues from abroad; amidst the conservative initiatives taken by the governments in the developed economy, but it still does not explain the situation fully.
The other reason is the rise in automation in the IT industry.
In any case, and as Narayana Murthy also pointed out, industry leaders should identify newer areas of opportunity and should conduct training programs for the youth.
In the atmosphere of mayhem and uncertainty within the IT industry, his words are a breath of fresh air. It remains to be seen if the present companies would follow Infosys example in 2001, and try to solve the present situation.
This could force the IT industry leaders to look inwards and to question if they had been too dependent on the global export revenues as an integral part of their business model.
What is important currently is to figure out newer avenues of growth, and especially within the country, which would ensure the stability of the industry in the future.
An another avenue that IT industry could consider is transferring its skilled labor into peripheral industries, where there could be a demand and people could be absorbed.
But it remains to be seen the exact course that the IT industry would take and how would it reinvent itself for the future.