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back to index backASIAtalk November,  2005


India's Talent Shortage

There are excellent articles in both Business Week and the Economist discussing India's budding talent shortage. Simply put, sectors like IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) are simply outpacing the availability of talent. That's why we think it's a good time to revisit this article from July. The Economist's article featured a photograph of a Bangalore suburb that looks better than all but 1 percent of Los Angeles. Adventurous souls, take note. --Editor - Line56.com

There could be as many as 50,000 foreigners working in India, as part of that country's IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, according to Australia's The Age newspaper. The article went on to cite research (done by an Indian company) according to which India will need 160,000 workers with European language expertise by 2010, by which year only 40,000 Indians will have the requisite levels of expertise.

This means that India will be experiencing a shortage in services workers. But that's only one prong of a larger problem. "The institutes are churning out numbers more suited for the IT services sector rather than the product development market," stated Anuj Kumar, VP of IndusLogic, to his country's media.

India has about 25,000 software research and development (R&D) employees, Kumar estimates. The problem is that, according to current growth conditions, India will need multiples of that available employee population in the years to come.

This data is important because, coming as it does from India, it is an indicator that there is an IT skills shortage unfolding globally. Some IT workers in the U.S. have refused to accept that this shortage is a global phenomenon, believing that the data is a mask to justify the migration of their jobs to low cost countries where cheaper talent is abundant.

As it turns out, though, the existing volume of IT talent will be insufficient to meet the demands of the global economy. The good news is that jobs are available; the bad news, depending on how you take it, is that the jobs are in certain sectors and certain countries. The Age goes on to note that "Recruitment agencies say India is an attractive destination for young people abroad." In the U.S. itself, some IT workers are outsourcing themselves to rural states in order to take advantage of the same intersection of opportunity and scarcity.

Source: Line56.com - GAI
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