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Home > Sports > Formula One > Report

'Infosys will hire 25,000 people this year'

George Iype | July 06, 2006 17:35 IST
Last Updated: July 07, 2006 13:04 IST

In May, T V Mohandas Pai, Infosys Technologies' chief financial officer for 12 years and member of the Infosys board of directors, made a career change. Pai took over as head of human resources at Infosys.

Soon after Infosys hired 2,000 employees on one single day, Pai explains why his company is on a hiring spree to Managing Editor George Iype.

Why did you shift to HR?

I have been CFO (chief financial officer) for 12 years -- head of finance and CFO. We have an obligation in Infosys to build a succession plan and a team.

I have a very good team (in Infosys' finance department). I felt it was time to step down and allow somebody else to take over without me, so that they too will have their day in the sun and show their stuff the outside world.

It has been a happy coincidence that I could get into HR.

This year, Infosys will hire...

We are 52,700 people in the corporation. This year, we are going to hire about 25,000 people.

These are fairly large numbers, and these numbers have come up because the industry is growing at a very rapid pace and globalising. We think that, as we grow at this pace and globalise, we need to have a more global work force.

We have started many initiatives. In the US, for instance, we are hiring 300 young undergrads. The first 100 would be joining us in July-August and getting trained at our Mysore campus.

In the UK, as an experiment, we are going to hire about 25 people from colleges by the end of this year.

In all centres, locally, we are accelerating our hiring.

As we become bigger and have a more global workforce, it creates its own challenges and we need to face that.

India needs more engineering colleges...

For many years now, we have been working with the government to expand the capacity in engineering colleges.

In the last six years, we have seen that the total (number of seats) in the engineering colleges has expanded. I think the latest data is probably that India has about 495,000 seats in about 1,450 engineering colleges as per AICTE (All India Council For Technical Education)this year.

I think about 200,000 to 225,000 (engineering students) are of acceptable quality.

A large number of them are in the south of the country, which is also where you see the IT industry growing. For example, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad make up about 64% of the total IT exports. This is in tune with the capacity available in the engineering colleges in the south of the country.

So, that (number of jobs) more or less matches the people. But we are talking about a situation two-three years from now (when the demand will have increased) and that is indeed going to be challenging.

Alternate talent pools...

Part of the work is being done by people who have a BSc qualification, so there is a hiring of BScs (graduates) going on. That is creating an alternate talent pool.

But the big issue that we have in HR is that the IT industry is beginning to get an increasing share of the output from the Indian university system. That has to grow and is getting to be a challenge; that is, I think, the big issue we have to work on.

The HR challenge...

The key challenge is in scaling up. You need more people, and that is a key challenge. Are you able to get adequate number of people to join you, to meet the market place demands?

The market is growing. I think most of the large players have said they will grow around 30% this year. If they are growing 30% on top of the million people in the workforce, that is 300,000 people. That is a lot of people.

This means there is a challenge. You see, in the industry itself, many players are growing at varying rates. The top three-four players are able to grow at very good rates. The next five after the top five are showing varying growth rates, so there is clearly an impact being felt.

The Infosys recruits...

We recruit in India, where the majority work force stays in two areas -- at the entry level and the middle level.

At the middle level, I would reckon the pool of talent available -- with maybe four to seven years' experience -- is about 125,000 people. Assuming about 20% of them are available in the marketplace, that will be about may be 25,000 to 30,000 people.

This year, we will hire about 5,000 people at the middle level. We know the pool is small, so we have to depend on the entry level (personnel) to a large extent.

At the entry level, we do get applications from colleges -- 61% of the time on day one (of a recruitment drive) itself. We (Infosys) are at the top of totem poll but, for the whole industry, it is going to be a challenge. In terms of getting global business and sourcing, we need to keep a deep bench.

We have made a very large investment in Mysore, where we have the Global Education Centre, which is possibly the largest corporate training centre in the world. It can train about 4,500 people in a single sitting and has 2,250 residential rooms.

We are now building another training centre with a capacity of 9,000 seats -- where 9,000 people can be trained at a single time -- with another 7,750 residential rooms.

This training centre is about 950,000 square feet and would cost us, I reckon, about Rs 200 crore. Work has already started on it and it will ready in 12 months.

The residential area will be about 3.2 million square feet. When we complete it, we will have about 10,000 rooms in Mysore.

As head of HR...

My focus is two pronged. One, to be a mentor to the HR team. We have a very good HR team, and we have about 260 people in HR, the global workforce. So my job is to be a mentor to them. And two, I will work on policy issues within the corporation.

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