Times do not seem to be good for Indian IT professionals. After reports of Donald Trump signing the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order on Tuesday, and the Australian government having reformed its immigration laws to protect local jobs, and as some analysts suggest, the change in immigration policies in US, Australia, UK and even Singapore will have a spillover effect on the Indian IT industry. Even though the specific challenges which would be faced by the industry are still not clear.
Though, according to the media reports, Wipro's sacking of about 600 employees seems to suggest that Indian IT companies have begun to feel the heat. As of December 2016, there were about 1.7 lacs employees working for Wipro. Apparently, before the performance evaluation commenced there were speculations that about 2000 employees would be asked to leave. According to Wipro, the comprehensive performance evaluation process constitutes mentoring, upskilling and realignment of the employees with the company’s vision and goals, but there are always some people which need to be let go.
Interestingly, this isn’t just unique to Wipro because just last month, Practo laid off 10% of its workforce during its own annual performance evaluation process. While Practo promised its outgoing employees two months of pay and outplacement services, the details about of any plans with regards to Wipro’s outgoing employees are still not clear.
But it is not just the protectionist policies sweeping across the world which pose a challenge to IT industry, automation of many IT processes would make many jobs redundant. Another challenge which would rise is when the Indian IT workers return once their visa expires which could lead to an oversupply of talent in the Indian market.
While most analysts suggest that challenges posed by the twin effect of protectionist policies and automation would be difficult to overcome, but according to Mohandas Pai, at least the tightening of H1 B visa could be a blessing in disguise.
For one, it would force Indian IT companies to innovate and invest in upgradation of the skills. Second, it would now have to either look for newer markets.
No matter what the future holds for the IT industry, the next six months would be filled with uncertainty but the industry will mature, especially because now that it has been forced to innovate and develop the top skills required by developed markets.