'Young people are digital natives.'
'Hence, their ability to learn coding and to become a full stack engineer is far more.'
'The demand for such people is more as we feel that if we hire people from campuses, we can train them to become what we want.'
Debasis Mohapatra and Yuvraj Malik report.
Aggregate employee addition by the top three Indian IT services companies jumped close to seven times in FY19 as these firms went into an overdrive hiring fresh talent as well as rebadging employees of client organisations.
Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro together did a net addition of 64,805 (after taking into account the attrition) in the financial year ended March 31, 2019, when compared to an addition of 9,864 in FY18 and 48,350 in FY17.
While industry leader TCS added the highest number, 29,287, in FY19, it was 24,016 for Infosys and 11,502 for Wipro.
In FY18 TCS added 7,775, followed by Infosys at 3,743.
For Wipro, the staff strength declined by 1,654 in FY18.
This quantum jump in hiring can be attributed to robust campus placements, apart from localisation initiatives they have been pushing in different client geographies, including the US.
However, while organic employee addition played a big role, even inorganic additions such as rebadging client employees as part of large deals they clinched contributed to this jump.
Wipro, for instance, rebadged around 9,000 employees in US-based human resources and financial solutions company Alight Solutions LLC as part of a $1.6 billion outsourcing contract it bagged from the latter.
Similarly, Infosys rebadged around 2,500 people of US telecom giant Verizon as part of its $700 million outsourcing contract.
TCS also absorbed some of client employees in the last financial year.
Aggressive hiring is expected to continue in this financial year because these players are trying to cash in on the emerging demand in the market.
This is expected to lift the employee hiring numbers, especially the fresher intake, by the top three players.
Wipro, for example, is planning to double its campus recruitment numbers in FY20 to create a workforce trained in emerging technologies.
Even though the company did not give the number of freshers it is planning to hire this year, industry sources put it at around 20,000.
"While a lot of non-linear growth is happening, I must share our hiring is very robust. We are doubling our hiring on campuses this year as compared to what we had done last year," says Saurabh Govil, president and chief human resource officer at Wipro.
The demand for fresh engineers was picking up, he adds, given the changing focus of the IT services industry on new technology areas.
"Young people are digital natives. Hence, their ability to learn coding and to become a full stack engineer is far more. The demand for such people is more as we feel that if we hire people from campuses, we can train them to become what we want," explains Govil.
Similar is the case of Wipro's cross-town peer, Infosys, which too plans to add around 20,000 engineers through campus recruitment in the current financial year.
'For the whole of last year, we have hired over 70,000 people and about 20,000 people from campuses. This year also we are looking at (hiring) 18,000 to 20,000 people (from campuses),' U B Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys, said in the post-earnings conference.
Market leader TCS has said its hiring will depend on the business demand and outlook.
In the last financial year, the company made around 20,000 trainee job offers.
"We are increasingly doing just-in-time hiring since last year, and based on the business demand and outlook we will continue hiring through the year," says Ajoyendra Mukherjee, executive vice-president and head of Global HR at TCS.
Apart from increased hiring in India, these big firms are ramping up their localisation drive.
"We are hiring big time in other geographies, especially in the US," says Govil of Wipro.
"We have a 65 per cent local workforce in the US today, which is the result of our planned strategic move over the last three years. Three years back, this figure was 30 to 35 per cent," Govil adds.
Infosys says against its plan to add 10,000 locals in the US in the last two years, the company has hired more than 9,000 so far.
'About two years back, we said we would recruit about 10,000 American nationals in 24 months. We have hired about 9,100 American workers in the last two years,' Rao of Infosys says.
The company plans to add around 1,200 people in Australia.