For decades, Indian IT’s business model was simple. Hire in bulk, get employees to work on routine client solutions, bill in US dollars, pay in Indian rupees, pocket the (handsome) difference.
That, however, changed when the digital revolution started a few years ago.
Digital is an encompassing term for technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, cloud computing and machine learning, all of which are used by businesses in an increasingly connected world.
The advancement in technologies forced Indian companies to tweak their business models, as their traditional outsourcing business models came under pressure.
Take the case of Infosys. The company has worked hard to ramp up its capabilities on digital.
This it has done by hiring talent that has skills suited to digital, and by training its existing workforce to climb up the value chain.
“There are two types of hiring happening now in the IT sector,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, founder and CEO, Headhunters India, a talent acquisition firm. “Companies hire engineers from campus [for the routine business] and hold online tests when they want to hire niche talents.”
While campus hiring constitutes about 70 percent of total hiring, about 30 percent of new hires are made with an eye on new technologies.
In 2017, the company introduced the Infosys Learning Platform for training existing employees and new hires on latest technologies.
Infosys is also looking to hire non-engineers such as people in liberal arts or with design skills – about as many as 20-30 percent of the company’s US hires were from such background.
The focus on digital has paid off by way of revenues. The segment contributes about 31 percent to the company’s revenues.
Infosys’ focus on digital can also be gauged from a reading of its annual reports from 2013 to 2018 – the mention of the word ‘digital’ has gone up from 30 to 134.
The company’s CEO, Salil Parekh, in a recent interaction emphasised the growing importance of digital, saying that the company plans to ramp up its digital capabilities both organically and inorganically.The inorganic strategy is clear: Infosys’s latest acquisition was the US-based WongDoody, which is in digital creative and consumer insights space. In 2017, the company acquired US-based digital product design and customer experience company Brilliant Basics.