Saturday, 18 August 2012

IT companies hiring youngsters to lead emerging technologies areas like social media, analytics, cloud computing

BANGALORE: IT companies looking at emerging technologies like social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) are turning to younger people to lead these areas.

The younger professionals tend to be more tuned to these technologies and more easily adapt to them.

"The candidates we find for these positions are in their mid to late thirties and come with 11-12 years of industry experience," says Prasad Medhury, partner at executive search firm Amrop India.

Naresh Nagarajan, senior VP and head of ecosystem business incubation in HCL Technologies, says the company's mobility team is headed by a 30-year-old and its advanced analytics is headed by someone who is 32.

HCL Technologies is planning to make SMAC a $1 billion business in the next five years.

Procuring talent for these new technologies is tough. The turnaround time is slower as the technologies themselves are relatively new, and the talent pool is limited.

For this reason, many of those who are hired for these positions do not come with a background in these areas, notes Medhury.

"Cloud capability doesn't exist as yet," says Deepak Jain, global head of work force planning and development in Wipro Technologies. Wipro, he says, is hiring domain consultants and architects who understand the virtualisation engine and demonstrate integration capabilities. "You need professionals who have launched web solutions to understand what it means to design cloud solutions. Unlike mobile solutions, where it's easier to find a Windows or iOS programmer, people who design cloud solutions come with a combination of storage or platform skills; the rest is imparted through hands-on lab experience," he says.

Infosys Technologies is focussing on a mix of incubation and focussed talent sourcing for cloud, mobility and product development. "These are futuristic technologies therefore this initiative. We also look at start-ups as one of the hiring grounds. This is important as new hires from such organisations bring in a keen sense to explore and create new things," says Nandita Gurjar, group HR head at Infosys.

Venkat Shastry, office managing director in executive search firm KornFerry Bangalore, however feels that in some cases you may need leaders who are fairly senior. "Though you need people with web-scale kind of skills, services companies are hiring talent to create IP-based offerings and therefore need core technology experts or those with a digital legacy. Such people needn't be very young," he says.

15 biggest IT companies in India

The fiscal year 2011-12 was one of the toughest for the Indian IT, says Dataquest magazine's annual survey of Indian IT sector. And unlike 2008-09, this time it was the domestic market which played the spoilsport. 

The sentiment in the Indian market was at its lowest ebb. The global uncertainty only compounded matters for the IT industry. However, despite sluggishness, Indian IT's exports have grown from 14% in FY10 to 22% in FY11 and almost 29% this fiscal. According to the survey, which ranks the biggest 200 IT companies in the country in terms of revenue, the growth is testimony to Indian IT's resilience. 

Here are top 15 IT companies in India as per the survey.

1) TCS

Growth (2010-11): 25%

Growth (2011-12): 32%

The year 2011-12 saw TCS emerge as India's first IT company to cross the ten-billion dollar milestone posting annual revenues of $10.17 billion. 

According to the Dataquest survey, the company's revenue growth in BFSI (27.44%), retail and CPG (45.05%) and manufacturing (38.11%) were major contributors. Other verticals that include Life Sciences and Healthcare (33.10%), Hi-Tech (57.32%), Travel, Transport and Hospitality (42.85%) grew at an average of 37.3%. Practice areas like enterprise infrastructure services, enterprise solutions, BPO units cross $1 billion in revenues. 

Another highlight of the year was the consolidated gross addition of 70,400 employees and net addition of 39,969 employees, which is highest ever in TCS' history, according to the writeup. TCS has over 238,500 resources spread over 42 countries.

2) Infosys

Growth (2010-11): 22%

Growth (2011-12): 20%

Infosys' nearly two-third of the revenues came from delivering operational efficiency projects and a fourth from business transformational projects, according to Dataquest survey. The company had good success with its core banking software Finacle. Finacle now has 154 customers across 75 countries.

Infosys recently also introduced an application for mobile operators Flypp.

3) Wipro

Growth (2010-11): 13%

Growth (2011-12): 18%

In the year 2011-12, Wipro's revenue productivity both in offshore and onsite went up. The company recieved nearly 46% of the revenue from fixed-price projects.

Energy and utilities grew 57% due to acquisitions, BFSI grew 13% and retail and transportation grew 11%. The company witnessed double-digit growth across all services except BPO. Wipro added 173 new customers during the year, compared to 155 in the previous year.

4) Cognizant Technology Solutions

Growth (2010-11): 37%

Growth (2011-12): 36%

The tag of an American company with 75% workforce in India has given Cognizant good brand equity in last few years in the US and Europe, writes Dataquest. The company added over 250 clients during the FY11-12. As of March 31, 2012, Cognizant's total number of active customers stood at 805 and the number of strategic clients at 196.

5) HP India

Growth (2010-11): 30%

Growth (2011-12): 7%

HP India saw its services business grow more than its products. While the company's networking, storage, and servers (x86) showed good traction, software business remained flat, according to Dataquest. 

Some of the big deals like Symphony Services, Tata Motors, Thinksoft, 3i Infotech, Bank of Baroda and Bank of India helped the company. 

In Q4 of FY12, HP merged its PC and print divisions into one entity —PPS -- for cost management and profits. Another organizational restructuring saw HP create Global Accounts Sales Organisation.

6) HCL Technologies

Growth (2010-11): 29%

Growth (2011-12): 31%

HCL Technologies, which follows July 11 to June 12 financial year cycle registered a topline growth of 31% during the year. 

According to Dataquest, HCL Tech crossed $4 billion in revenue and saw its net income grow 47.8% (in INR terms). The company bagged 52 transformational deals and continued to spread its wings in Europe. It won a major deal from Fortune 500 company to provide services in 16 European countries.

7) IBM India

Growth (2010-11): 14%

Growth (2011-12): 9%

IBM's agressive strategy outside US has been reaping dividends for the company for a while. In calender year 2010-11, BRIC growth was at 18.6% while America's revenues increased only by 8%, according to Dataquest survey. The headcount too is reported to have grown in tandem, IBM's headcount in India during FY11-12 is estimated to be around 135,000. 

Global Technology Services (GTS) was one of the biggest revenue earners. The division posted 18.2% growth in infrastructure services and bagged some short-term as well as strategic multi-year contracts. Among verticals, BFSI performed well. On the systems side, IBM emerged as no. 1 in non-x-86 Unix servers and external storage systems.

8) Redington India

Growth (2010-11): 32%

Growth (2011-12): 18%

Technology areas like virtualization, storage, and security helped Redington's enterprise IT infrastructure business during the year 2011-12, according to Dataquest. According to the survey, the long decision-making time that large projects faced during FY11-12 troubled distributors like Redington.

The revitalization of HP's consumer notebook's portfolio and the company's revamped GTM strategy got good dividends for Redington India. Portfolio additions during the year included VMware, Hitachi Enterprise Storage Portfolio, Smart Technologies, Polycom and Microsoft's cloud offerings.

9) HCL Infosystems

Growth (2010-11): 2%

Growth (2011-12): -11%

The FY11-12 saw HCL Infosystem's topline drop by 11%, seemingly making the company go for strategic realignment. The company recently bagged a Rs 2,200 crore UIDAI project. It also got new clients in healthcare including Narayana Hrudayalaya. Education was another area where it bagged new contracts.

10) Ingram Micro

Growth (2010-11): 35%

Growth (2011-12): 8%

Another distributor in top 15, Ingram Micro added three new product lines during the year. According to Dataquest, Western Digital appointed the company as national distributor and RIM tied up to offer BlackBerry Mobility solutions to large corporates and SMBs. 

The company has also been appointed as distributor partner by Zoho to resell its entire range of products.

11) Oracle India

Growth (2010-11): 26%

Growth (2011-12): 16%

Oracle India added nearly 3,500 people to its headcount, according to Dataquest. With Middleware market lacklustre, the company's fourth business unit Fusion Middleware did not see a major turnaround. 

Oracle India, however, saw good growth in the RDBMS market clinching as much as 62% market share in India, leaving IBM and Microsoft behind. The company also successfully fended off stiff competition from IBM and HP in its mid-range SPARC T4 servers business.

12) Cisco Systems India

Growth (2010-11): 35%

Growth: (2011-12): 9%

Cisco Systems India witnessed growth in the commercial markets of tier-2 and tier-3 cities during the FY year 11-12, according to Dataquest. According to the writeup, BFSI and ITS segments continued to accelerate; data centre and virtualization saw good traction. 

The company also increased its partner presence from 1,200 to more than 2,500. Another highlight of the year was the national partnership it signed with HCL Infosystems for Cisco WebEx. Some big customer wins during the year included Essar Group, Gujrat Telelinks, Fastway, UBI, Mantri Developers etc.

13) Dell India

Growth (2010-11): 34%

Growth (2011-12): 13%

The FY 11-12 saw Dell invest its energies on growing its services business. According to Dataquest, the company signed several new customers across verticals. Dell also launched 12th-generation blade and rack and PowerEdge servers. On the server side in Q4 CY11, Dell took the leadership position by factory revenues.

14) SAP India

Growth (2010-11): 31%

Growth (2011-12): 33%

SAP India's growth this year was the best among all geographies, according to Dataquest. The company got good revenues from new licenses. According to the Dataquest survey, SAP was able to leverage its applications suite which includes ERP, CRM, BI and SCM. 

The company witnessed near triple-digit growth in the new license revenue with major contributions coming in from public sector, oil & machinery and utilities. SAP India's customer base reportedly grew to 4,900 names in FY12 and headcount rose to 5,555 with direct presence in eight Indian cities.

15) Intel India

Growth (2010-11): 18%

Growth (2011-12): 5%

Intel had a tough time in sustaining its growth due to domestic and international factors like inflation, slow demand for PCs (mainly assembled) and slump in the global market, according to Dataquest. The uncertainty in enterprise demand hurt the company dearly.

With about 6,000 active channel partners, it expanded its reach to over 700 cities.