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What Gloom? This is the Best Time to Get Into IT Industry, Says Mindtree CEO

At a time when there is a sense of gloom and instability around Indian information technology sector and automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are being seen as threats to jobs, Mindtree CEO Rostow Ravanan is upbeat, calling it the best time ever.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com

Updated:May 30, 2017, 2:00 PM IST
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What Gloom? This is the Best Time to Get Into IT Industry, Says Mindtree CEO
Representative image (Getty Images)

New Delhi: At a time when there is a sense of gloom and instability around Indian information technology sector and automation, artificial intelligence and robotics are being seen as threats to jobs, Mindtree CEO Rostow Ravanan is upbeat, calling it the best time ever.

Playing down the current layoffs as cyclic churning of those who have failed to upgrade their skills over the years, Ravanan, who leads the IT major which now likes to be called ‘global digital transformation and technology services’ company, says technology is driving other industries and those planning to join IT should be ready and learn and pick up new skills on the go.

“This phase of information technology industry in India is unprecedented. There is so much to look forward to, so many technological advancements are happening and are set to happen. This is the best time for anyone to get into the industry,” Ravanan told News18.

ALSO READ | IT Layoffs: Why They Are Similar to Taking Fat Out of One's Body

If so, why are people being asked to leave or being handed out pink slips? “There are close to 40 lakh people in the sector. While I don’t believe in the 50,000 number of layoffs that is being reported, but even if there is an iota of truth in it, it is less than 2% of the entire workforce in the sector. It’s not a parameter to conclude that the industry is going through a rough time,” he said, adding that close to 170,000 young engineers are likely to be hired in 2017-18 and that the industry is expected to become worth $400 billion by 2025.

Indian IT, he said, is powered by an explicable growth service, which is cemented by thousands of start-ups that have come up and also the huge investment that the industry makes in people. “There is no dearth of places to work in. Make no mistake, these people who are reportedly being laid off are not leaving the industry. These are the people who may not have the required skill set for their current position. So, they move to an organization that gives them a role fit for their skills,” said Ravanan. But, can’t the companies just re-train these people, rather than rendering them jobless? “In the end, everyone here works for profit. Re-training only means more cost. So, you let go of those people, save costs and invest it to get more skilled people. That’s the norm everywhere and is not to be looked at in any other manner,” he said.

ALSO READ | Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka's Salary Drops 67% in FY17

Ravanan said the idea of unionization was impractical and would only hurt the industry. “Now, when you are part of the industry, you look at things like rides for employees at any time during the day and meals at no or negligible cost from a very minuscule perspective. But, they are actually examples of how much the industry takes care of them… With unions, there are chances of all these services by employers going for a hit,” he said.

All said and done, he added, this is the best time for anyone to join the sector. “Those joining must have the ability to ask questions, and to also have the patience to continue learning. That’s the only way forward. Technology is driving other industries. There is so much to look forward to, so much to work on. There can never be a dull moment in IT,” said Ravanan.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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