India’s IT industry created more jobs in 2019 than a year ago

Do not buy the headlines.
Do not buy the headlines.
Image: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

At a time when India is struggling with an unprecedented job crisis, at least one industry has not gone slow on hiring.

The nearly $200 billion Indian IT services industry created over 200,000 new jobs in 2019, up from 180,000 a year ago, industry body Nasscom said yesterday (Feb. 12). The sector now has a total workforce of 4.36 million.

Seven in 10 CEOs believe 2020 will be another year of strong hiring, Nasscom’s survey of over 100 IT leaders found. “This is reflected in offers the industry is already making on campuses,” said Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice president of Nasscom.

IT services generated $191 billion in revenues in 2019. E-commerce contributed another $54 billion. Global giants like Microsoft and Oracle and India’s startup unicorns like Flipkart and Ola alike have been hiring aggressively from colleges. Cognizant plans to hire 20,000 graduates in India. Samsung is hiring fresh graduates in India for its research centres in Bengaluru, Noida, and Delhi.

One of the biggest perceived threats to jobs has been the rise of artificial intelligence and automation. While these new technologies are replacing menial jobs, they are also creating more meaningful ones, Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh said. “AI is changing jobs but it is creating new ones…Net-net IT is a job creator. It’s because of the focus on re-skilling,” she said.

As traditional jobs disappear, new ones surface in domains such as big data, AI, Internet-of-Things (IoT), cloud computing, and cybersecurity. Automation optimists will even go as far as saying that in manpower-heavy industries such as textile manufacturing, automation could actually increase efficiency. In turn, prices would drop for consumers while worker productivity and wages increase. Eventually, output and employment would both rise.