The Panorama newsletter is sent to Moneycontrol Pro subscribers on market days. It offers easy access to stories published on Moneycontrol Pro and gives a little extra by setting out a context or an event or trend that investors should keep track of.As finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman prepares to present the Union budget, she should spare a moment for the troubled job market in India. Information technology (IT) service, a large employer of skilled professionals in India, has more or less paused hiring. Postings in job portals have plummeted.
The top four IT companies added less than 2,000 employees at the net level in the December 2022 quarter, the lowest in more than two years. Less than a year ago, in the March 2022 quarter, the top four IT companies added close to 80,000 employees at the net level. Worse, some companies such as Tech Mahindra are even paring down their employee base -- headcount declined sequentially in the December quarter.
Of course, hiring trends at IT companies largely mimic demand in global markets, where the Indian government has no role to play. Still, the government can help train college graduates better, improve Indian IT’s competitiveness and reduce the impact of business cycles. Note that despite the slowdown in business, demand for employees with niche skills remains elevated.
Regular studies highlight more than 40 percent of college graduates lack the required skills and are unemployable. IT companies spend 1-2 years training these college graduates before commercially deploying them on projects. The government can smoothen the process by implementing industry-ready curriculum in colleges. Further, the government can help companies retrain employees in emerging technologies, avoiding painful retrenchments.
As Subir Roy explains in this column, artificial intelligence and automation are vastly reducing the need for basic coders. Upskilling and training in new technologies can help Indian industry maintain its competitive edge. “All that can be said about the future of tech jobs is that they are not going to go away, but whether they will be around in sufficiently large numbers is another matter,” adds Subir Roy. Do read.
Meanwhile, Tech Mahindra’s latest quarterly results reaffirm a demand slowdown for IT services. Clients are rationalising discretionary spends and are taking longer to award and execute projects. With major economies projected to slow in 2023, many fear clients will tighten or cap IT spending budgets. Analyst projections imply a significant slowdown in revenue growth rates in FY24 compared to FY23. These concerns are weighing on IT stocks, with Tech Mahindra leading losses in the morning trade.
Today’s Budget Snapshots compares the pace of India’s economic recovery from the pandemic vis-à-vis countries across the globe. In Asia, countries such as China, Singapore, Vietnam and Korea have done better than India. Still, India with its high fiscal deficit, is seen to have fared well and should now focus on fiscal consolidation. You can track the full coverage of the Economic Survey and the Budget 2023 at https://www.moneycontrol.com/budget/
Investing insights from our research team
Can Budget 2023 lend a smile to sulking markets?
Larsen & Toubro: On a high growth graph, stock loaded with value
Tech Mahindra Q3 FY23: Tepid execution, cautious commentary; better to avoid
GAIL: Disappointing results, not out of the woods
Laurus Labs: Is the worst over?
What else are we reading?
Will Budget 2023 fulfil your personal finance wish-list?
Budget 2023: Here’s how the FM can manage the growth-fiscal deficit trade-off
Budget 2023: Government should lead efforts in creating real-time electricity pricing
Retail traders up against not just big daddies of trade, but machines too
Need to plug the pain points in power play
Insolvency Code: Latest restructuring will strengthen it, but grey areas may remain
Tripura Elections: Tribal vote is the key
Central banks set to lift interest rates to 15-year highs as investor jitters grow (republished from the FT)
Big money pouring into WPL, U-19 T20 World Cup win are massive breakthroughs for India’s women cricketers
Budget 2023: Policy directions to clean up real estate problems
Budget 2023: Attract private investment in infrastructure to boost growth
Technical Picks: Coforge, Easemytrip, Coforge, PowerGrid
and Copper (These are published every trading day before markets open and can be read on the app).
R Sree RamMoneycontrol Pro