Tier-I IT services companies TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and Tech Mahindra have seen their headcount go up by a whopping 90,964 people during 2018-19 a 9.2% jump year-on-year.
TCS, the country’s largest IT services provider, has increased its headcount by 29,287 in 2018-19, compared with just 7,775 in 2017-18.
On the other hand, the second largest IT services firm Infosys added 24,016 people, 10 times more than the increase of 2,416 people in 2017-18.
This is a complete turnaround compared with 2017-18, when the top five IT services companies had increased their headcount by a mere 3,855, amid lay-offs plaguing the sector a year ago.
The growing demand for skill sets in emerging technologies such as automation and robotics has led to a massive uptick in hiring by the top five IT services companies during the fiscal 2018-19.
Meanwhile, the cost per employee for Tier 1 players rose to Rs 4,79,540 in the last quarter of fiscal 2019, a sharp 9% year-on-year increase compared with less than 5% in the previous eight quarters.
“The increase in cost per employee can be attributed to the rising number of onsite local hires and higher (2x) salaries of employees with digital skills, as the wage hike was only in the range of 6-8% for the employees for the period,” rating agency Crisil said in a report.
However, in percentage terms, the country’s third largest IT services firm, the Noida-based HCL Technologies, has witnessed the highest uptick of 14.9%, followed by Infosys (11.8%) and TCS (7.4%).
The two other firms in the top five, Bengaluru-based Wipro and Tech Mahindra, which trimmed their headcount in 2017-18 due to the stress on the top-line, were back in the hiring mode, increasing headcounts by 11,502 and 8,275 respectively.
Experts attribute this phenomenon to increase in demand for skill sets in new and emerging technologies.
“In the last 15-18 months, we have seen that kind of requirement coming up because technologies are upgrading very quickly,” said Guruprasad Srinivasan, president and CEO of Global Services, Quess Corp, a staffing firm.
He said that 60% of the demand is coming from new technologies, especially robotics process automation (RPA), which has seen a growth of 25%.
However, the demand for human resources with new skill sets is far higher than the supply, thereby pushing up the salaries.
According to Inside report , a technology worker with 1-2 years of experience in new skills is getting paid as much as a worker with 5-6 years of experience in the traditional IT skills which calculates to a pay difference of almost 15-20%.
As tech companies are continuing their focus on automation to reduce the pressure on the margins, the demand in automation skills will remain bullish in the coming days, according to experts