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Hiring for tech talent to double in 2019

According to industry estimates, the hiring of digital and technology talent will double in the year ahead.

Updated: Dec 18, 2018, 06.27 PM IST
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In the BFSI space, tech hiring is largely aligned to business strategies as the focus is shifting to mobile.
MUMBAI | KOLKATA: Companies in India will step up hiring of technology talent in the New Year as digital will play an important role for many of the businesses as they gear up for disruption.

According to industry estimates, the hiring of digital and technology talent will double in the year ahead as businesses transform, customer needs change and newer technologies come into play.

Sectors such as automobile, banking and financial services, consumer goods, manufacturing and pharmaceutical will contribute to the high demand for talent in the space of technology and digital, experts said. Automobile companies are at the forefront of industries that are witnessing an increased demand for talent in automation and digital space. “M&M is actively looking at hiring talent with technology expertise in AI (artificial intelligence). We will be using AI and emerging technologies across the Mahindra Group and we are taking it very seriously,” said Prince Augustin, executive vice president of group human capital and leadership at Mahindra & Mahindra.

In the BFSI space, tech hiring is largely aligned to business strategies as the focus is shifting to mobile. “We are hiring quite a bit in technology. We’ll continue investing in and continue outpacing the growth in other headcount” said Rajkamal Vempati, head of human resources at Axis Bank, adding that the focus will be predominantly on digital payments and mobility, among other thrust areas.

“If overall it’s x, it will be 1.5-2x for such roles. Tech investment for most banks will be higher,” said Vempati.

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“The growth in our digital business is pushing up the need for digital talent and expertise,” said Baljinder Singh, global head of digital transformation and global chief information officer at EXL. The company has had an exponential increase in hiring focused on advanced digital technologies. Information technology and outsourcing company Mindtree expects 5-10% growth in hiring in the areas of digital, infrastructure management and testing services. “We hire for over 250+ skills across our business units,” said Seshagiri Rao, vice-president of talent acquisition and people function.

ROLES IN DEMAND
There is an exponential increase in hiring in advanced digital technologies such as robotics and cognitive automation, block chain, decision science, machine learning, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, design thinking, enterprise architecture, mobile, cloud and digital transformation consulting and solutions specialists, said experts. Some of the roles that are in focus include digital solution architects, business analysts and domain SMEs, design and architecture experts, analytics leads, advanced technologies developers, product managers, digital transformation consultants, project managers, digital delivery leaders, data science and data governance experts, and information security experts.

BUILDING TALENT POOL
Given that many of the emerging technologies are less than a few years old, experienced talent in these areas is limited and in high-demand. The Mahindra Group is looking for talent from niche AI consulting firms, consumer Internet and tech firms, companies in the banking sector and top national and international universities. Fresh graduates with niche specialisations like deep learning and AI for business, etc., are another talent pool that the company is looking for.

ICICI Bank has started hiring from leading engineering colleges such as IITs. “Currently we take 30-40 students from engineering colleges. Going ahead, we will increase the number and will also look at talent in the area of Mathematics, computer science and statistics,” said TK Srirang, head of HR at ICICI Bank.
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