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Jobs Abound in India's Booming Tech Sector-thanks bushjr.
Clinton Days-Jobs Abound in Silicon Valleys Booming Tech Sector
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Jobs Abound in India's Booming Tech Sector
Wed October 1, 2003 10:24 PM ET
By Anshuman Daga
BANGALORE, India (Reuters) - Software engineer Prakash just quit his
job in Bangalore, but he's not worried.
"The market is booming. I can pick and choose a firm of my choice,"
said the 28-year-old engineer, who has been in the industry for about
Companies are slashing payrolls in the United States and Europe to cut
costs, moving software work offshore and creating thousands of jobs for
India's low-cost engineers.
Headhunters are scrambling to fill the new jobs.
"The shelf life of a job hunter has come down to two weeks from about
two months," said Gautam Sinha, chief executive at TVA Infotech, which
is placing about 90 software workers a month, double the number from
the start of the year.
Top home-grown software exporters such as Wipro Ltd and Infosys
Technologies Ltd are also on a hiring spree but the bulk of their staff
additions are entry-level positions.
India's software sector, including the back-office services industry,
added 130,000 -- nearly 25 percent -- to its workforce in the year to
March, taking the sector to 650,000. Wage costs are rising but are not
yet a threat for a nation that churns out about 200,000 engineers per
year, ****ysts say.
Software workers with two years of experience are paid about 25,000
rupees ($545) a month, roughly one sixth of what their U.S.
counterparts earn but a princely wage in a country with an average per
capita income of $480 a year.
"Multinational company salaries are 50 to 60 percent higher at the
entry-level and 30 percent higher at the middle management level when
compared with Indian IT services companies," Bombay-based Kotak
Securities Ltd said in a recent report.
A fall in U.S. employment visas for foreign workers are partly driving
the expansion plans of high-tech firms such as IBM, Accenture Ltd and
Oracle Corp. in India. Visa curbs discourage Indians from seeking
employment abroad and some are returning from a stint overseas.
"Clearly, the romance of jobs overseas is no longer there for most
Indian techies," said Pandia Rajan, the managing director at Ma Foi
Management Consultants, a leading headhunter.
Walk-in interviews are common in the shining offices of companies in
the technology hubs of Bangalore, Madras and Hyderabad in the south and
Delhi and Bombay in the west.
India's call centers have been magnets for job-hunting youth in the
past few years, but it is only in the last six months that software
jobs are flooding the market after a two-year crunch. India's software
services exports rose to $9.5 billion in the past year to March and are
forecast to grow 26 percent this year.
"Many Indians overseas are uncertain about their tech jobs and are
coming back," said Smita Goswamy, who runs HR Solutions, a small
consultancy in the western city of Baroda.
A full-page adverti*****t from IBM screams: "The global giant is at
your desktop with the opportunity of a lifetime. Can you afford to
Internet media giant Yahoo Inc and Fidelity Investments, the number one
mutual fund firm, are among other large companies moving technical
support work to India.
Yahoo, which set up a software center in Bangalore in July, is tapping
local colleges for talent, said Venkat Panchapakesan, who shifted from
Yahoo's U.S. center to head its software unit.
Accenture and Oracle are expanding furiously but their staff in India
is still less than a quarter of Infosys and Wipro, which employ about
17,000 and 21,000 people respectively.
"Overseas firms are even hiring from mid-sized local players," said
Bangalore-based Shambhu Agrawal, who handles technology placements at