Retaining India’s competitive edge in IT market – Cost of employee

Once again in 2010 and 2011, IT industry seems to be getting bullish in India. There are a lot of talks about more and more and more freshers being hired and skilled resources being plucked away from rival companies at premium. This trend is a far cry from 2007-08 when every IT professional was scared to death about the prospect of being laid off. Some companies did not resort to open layoff because of the fear of media backlash and their nicely manicured image being smashed by laying off in conservative Indian environment. It was no wonder though that every company had a share to add to the list of unemployed IT professionals in the recession time.

The fresh hiring taking place and high salaries being talked about so quickly is something to worry if India has to retain its competitive edge. The start realities of market is that it is just India, China, Russia, and Brazil who are growing at a pace better than normal but their growth has very large element of contribution from the countries who are no more growing or having recessionary effects still going on. This one way growth cannot be sustained for too long. Adding to this issue, salaries in India seems to be growing once again partly due to effects of inflation and partly due to issues of demand and supply.

I happened to go through a blog in   (

). While the blog mentioned the right salary standards which are available in market and needs to be paid for skills mentioned, there have been several reactions from the readers (apparently job seekers themselves) who openly thrash this salary standard and appeared very bullish on future outlook and talked of very high salary standards.

It is certain that with such expectations and companies who help generate such expectations just because they like to play short term and get desperate to get business from clients at “any cost” we are not going too far.

It is therefore very important to look IT salaries in the range which is sustainable and does not end up in job losses and impacts society in a larger way. IT industries must set standards which are in line with long term play and keeps India on the cost benefit radar.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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