Chennai, Jan. 7 North-East India is becoming a fertile recruitment ground for IT services and BPO, according to the Minister of State for Commerce, Mr Jairam Ramesh.
He told Business Line on Monday, “Especially BPO companies are interested in recruiting from the north-eastern part of India. Companies are impressed with the English-language skills and the sense of loyalty that people from this region bring to the job, resulting in lower attrition.”
The Minister said: “Mr Pramod Bhasin, CEO of Genpact, told me that about 10 per cent of the company’s workforce is from North-East.”
He added that both Genpact, a BPO major based out of Gurgaon, and Tata Consultancy Services, India’s leading software company, have evinced interest in setting up base in the region.
TCS is to sign an agreement with IIT-Guwahati to co-locate a training and development centre in the city. Genpact, meanwhile, is exploring options to set up a centre in Shillong. “Now, it is the job of the State Government to provide broadband and air connectivity,” Mr Ramesh said.
He also evinced hope that “now that these companies have made a beginning, investments from others would follow, in this region.”Manpower shortage
This assumes significance in the context of the IT industry facing a manpower crunch. Currently, about 1.6 million people populate IT and BPO companies in India. Despite this, supply of quality manpower has for long been a nemesis for the industry.
Recently, Mr Lakshmi Narayanan, Chairman of Nasscom, the industry’s apex body and Vice-Chairman of Cognizant Technology Solutions, told Business Line, “Work from clients has never been a challenge for the industry, while supply of manpower has been. The industry could have grown faster if quality manpower had come to us at a faster clip.”STPI sops
Mr Ramesh added that he has recommended that the Finance Ministry allow tax sops to continue under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme for smaller sized companies and those with operations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
“I hope the Finance Minister would announce this in the Budget.”
Observing that the SEZ scheme was skewed in favour of IT biggies and a few states he said: “Among the 172 approved SEZs, about 115 of them were for the IT industry. Most of these are concentrated in the four southern states and in Gujarat. It is time to explore options for growth in the rest of the country.”