Infrastructure and IT industry

The current economic situation has taught some important lessons to the IT industry and the market at large. Even after an improvement in the economic scenario, the IT industry has good reasons to exercise austerity and increase leverage, across all cost elements / investments. There may be course corrections in compensation policies of various companies, based on they demand supply situation that exist at that particular point in time, but it is unlikely to change drastically across the board. On the road to improvement in the economic situation, significant changes in the business models can be envisaged. These will potentially change the way the industry functions. While retention of talent would certainly be of great importance, it is unlikely that the industry will see significant attrition rates.

Despite the fore boarding economic crisis, the Indian IT industry has always produced cost effective and high quality solution to the world industry and that is what makes it a highly competitive and efficient industry as well as demanding in the world market. However, keeping in mind the present scenario, it can simply be regarded as a demand and supply game. Even if the economy improves, for the next 3 – 4 years, the demand is going to be low and economic conditions still will continue to remain weak as a result of which the golden days of huge pay packages will be in question for sometime. Ever since the doors have been opened to foreign players, a lot also depends on how other emerging markets are able to perform in the current situation. But in the midst of all, the biggest benefit that the IT industry is expected to generate are huge employment opportunities for the youth.

This recession has taught many lessons to individuals as well as corporate firms. Also, the economy has started improving in the Asian countries but the bigger giants, Europe and America are still struggling to come out of recession. Hence, we do not foresee any immediate changes like provision of higher pay packets or increase in attrition levels in the IT industry even if the economy improves.

Infrastructure broadly comprises roads, highways, railways, ports, airports, power and telecommunications, and is, largely a government affair in India. Private participation has climbed in the last few years however, providing professionals like urban and town planners, engineers, lawyers, accountants, architects, statisticians, quality control personnel and managers, among others with innumerable opportunities within the infrastructure.

However, qualified personnel to fill these posts are woefully inadequate. Young people will invariably opt for the more profitable job. Until now, all the good jobs were in the corporate sector, primarily in the software segment, and even mechanical civil or electrical engineers would opt to pursue a career in software. If a civil engineering student gets a package of Rs three lakh, his contemporary in the computer science stream will get Rs Ten lakh. It is likely that the civil engineer will earn more than the software engineer in five years. But students look at immediate gain. They cannot be blamed either. They are under immense social pressure.

Despite this, the economic meltdown has forced people to return to core competencies. As jobs grow scarce in corporate India, students are returning to their parent organizations. After that, as stick to their discipline. But until salary structures are revised, it will be very difficult to attract students. Over time, poor performers in one area, can excel themselves in some other area(s). A good team will always work towards optimizing its performance so that the overall output is highest possible and productivity is never hampered.