World Economy

Layoffs Rile India’s Flagship IT Sector

Layoffs Rile India’s Flagship IT SectorLayoffs Rile India’s Flagship IT Sector

Experienced Indian techie Raghu Narayanaswamy lost his job recently and fears he may not get another, as analysts warn of massive layoffs across the country’s multi-billion-dollar information technology sector.

IT outsourcing has long been one of India’s flagship industries but experts say automation, a failure to keep up with new technologies and US President Donald Trump’s clampdown on visas is creating industry-wide upheaval, AFP reported.

India’s business dailies have reported that major IT firms are gradually laying off thousands of staff while research has claimed that hundreds of thousands of jobs could disappear in the next four years, although the companies themselves have refused to comment on numbers.

India’s IT sector boomed for more than two decades as western companies subcontracted work to firms like Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra, taking advantage of their skilled English-speaking workforce.

The industry employs nearly four million Indians and rakes in revenues of more than $150 billion, according to the trade body National Association of Software and Services Companies.

Although layoffs are not uncommon in the industry, particularly in the final quarter of the financial year, union chiefs say staff is being made redundant in unprecedented numbers this year as firms deal with narrowing profits.

“Companies are unwilling to talk about the layoffs or how many techies have been served notice to leave as part of their annual appraisal,” J.S.R. Prasad, chairman of the National Confederation of Unions of IT Employees, told AFP.

India’s top IT companies have been complaining for a while about the difficulty of picking up new clients as businesses explore automation, robotics and innovative technologies such as cloud computing.

So analysts say it should come as little surprise if some are now streamlining operations.


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