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Re-skilling, not layoffs, to address new challenges: Infosys

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Bengaluru, Feb 16: Even as the furore over layoffs in the IT sector is yet to die down, Infosys has said re-skilling talent is the answer to rapidly changing technologies in the software landscape.

"It is not that there are tens and thousands of people (available) with experience in new technologies. The idea is to re-skill people. If technology changes and people don't have those capabilities, you've to re-skill them and re-orient them," Infosys chief operating officer (COO) Pravin Rao told PTI on the sidelines of an industry event last week.


He was responding to a question on recent instances of layoffs in the over $100-billion domestic IT industry.

Last month, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software services provider, had said that only 1,000 jobs have been axed in the country due to non-performance, clarifying that this is a part of normal working and not due to any mass restructuring exercise as being speculated.

The Tata group company had said it carries out performance reviews every year, which result in this "involuntary attrition" and added that the overall number of 2,574 includes only 1,000 jobs locally.

TCS chief executive N Chandrasekaran had attributed the action to a performance review, where the employees were found to be wanting in skill sets. He had also said that all the companies carry out such exercises.

Infosys's Mr Rao said the Bangalore-based company has made 20,000 offers on campuses for hiring freshers in FY16 and will await to see how many of them actually join.

He, however, conceded that going forward the pace of hiring will trail the revenue growth for the industry.

On industry lobby Nasscom's target of a 12-14 per cent growth in exports for FY16, Mr Rao declined to give Infosys's view on the matter saying it's too early to comment on it and the company is assessing the landscape by speaking to clients. He said Infosys continues to be interested in acquisitions and would look for targets in Japan, Nordic countries and Latin America.

"We're very clear what we want to acquire but it takes time," he said.

Infosys welcomes the pro-activeness of the government in launching initiatives like Digital India and will "actively participate" in the opportunities that come about as part of the same.


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