By: Shruti Dubey
For the last one decade, Indians have been surfing high on the wave of opportunities washing the country’s shore in the form of information technology jobs and information technology enables services (ITES). The surge has been such that no part of the country has been left untouched as youths from almost all states, including Himachal, preferring IT or ITES for a career. ITES is one of the fastest growing industries, growing at a rate of 75% as compared to 30 % by the IT services sector. It is expected to achieve the $10 billion revenue target much earlier than 2008, a timeframe set by the Mckinsey-Nasscom study. The industry is expected to employ about 20 lakh people before 2008, and therefore is being looked as a major employment provider in the future.
As such, Himachal too has not remained untouched by the turn of events, and is today providing a good percentage of workforce to the industry in the National Capital Region. and also in Chandigarh. Contrary to the general perception, the scope of IT and ITES in Himachal is immense. The youth of Himachal is today more aware and adaptable to the requirements of ITES industry. The education system in the state too has changed with due course of time as is evident from the fact that IT has been introduced as a compulsory subject in all government schools across Himachal. Steps have also been taken to promote IT education amongst teachers so that they can impart the same to their students.
The government has also taken initiative to impart IT education to all government employees in different departments such as health, education and so on, and measures are being taken to computerise all governments departments. The state government is also looking forward to introduce IT and ITES related courses in colleges to prepare the youth to face the challenges of getting into IT and ITES companies.
There are many companies who have tried to establish ITES companies in Himachal, but they have been facing some challenges in terms of infrastructure and cost of establishing infrastructure which tends to increase in a hilly state like Himachal. The weather too is a big challenge for BPOs to set up base in Himachal. One way to attract companies into ITES to the state is by offering them other benefits like are being given to other industries. Effort should also be made to encourage entrepreneurship among Himachali youth to set up small-scale IT businesses. The government should also make efforts to develop the IT corridors it had announced earlier.
The youth of Himachal is quiet tech savvy and have good interpersonal skills required to be successful in the industry. Already a large proportion of the resource pool in the industry is represented by people from Himachal. But the major challenge for the IT and ITES industry in Himachal is lack of awareness about the industry and encouragement to get into the industry. Educated youth in Himachal also need to understand the requirement of working under 24*7 environment so that they may prepare themselves accordingly.
The writer is a HR consultant dealing with recruitment for Vision Unlimited