India’s IT firms look to hire consultants

BENGALURU: Indian IT services providers are looking to hire more consultants in order to meet clients’ demand for transforming their businesses using technology, analysts said.TCS, Wipro, Infosys, HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra and others have seen a sudden surge in digital transformation projects as clients decided to shift operations online. This has resulted in an increased need for people with the relevant technology and consulting skills, senior executives at two major Indian IT services companies said.“Large modernization projects require significant amounts of consulting talent, both to sell and execute. In addition, this talent needs to be both onshore and offshore,” said Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive of IT advisory and research firm Everest Group. Bendor-Samuel said developing consulting skills is different from building technical skills and requires apprenticeship with clients. “This is creating a dilemma for many of the services firms who now find that they have to go outside their organizations to hire this talent rather than develop from within,” he added.A senior executive at a Bengaluru-based IT services exporter said customers were “increasingly asking for deployment of talent with multiple technology and consulting skills, but our companies have not been focusing on building such capabilities.”IT companies will have to focus on “external hiring” as they may not be able to fill the talent requirement internally, since their employees have been engaged in one particular domain for many years, he added.Wipro chief executive Thierry Delaporte told ET in a recent interview that the software services exporter would look for more people who can transform clients’ businesses. “I will certainly focus on having more capabilities, more talent who can help our clients develop their transformational journey. So, consulting advisory, digital transformation architects; these types of profiles are essential when you want to really have a very strategic discussion with the client about how to drive more growth,” Delaporte said.Hiring people with consulting skills is, however, easier said than done.“Hiring externally is significantly more expensive than growing your own, and this is particularly the case with the growing demand for onshore resources and the increased difficulties of importing talent due to more difficult visa restrictions,” said Bendor-Samuel. “All of this looks to raise the cost of doing business at a time when it is hard to pass on,” he added.There are not many such consultants available, said Phil Fersht, chief executive of HfS Research.“All the ambitious IT services providers are desperate for talent that can understand business processes and the technologies to enable real digital transformation. The problem is there is not enough out there,” he said. 78756454
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