From matrimonials to swank offices, software engineers have been much sought after since the information technology boom brought thousands of lucrative jobs into India. Times are changing, though.
As the US economy goes from bad to worse, India’s biggest outsourcing customer is getting stingy about placing new orders.
The result: IT firms are hiring less and offering less as they pick talent from campuses. In some cases, they are even refusing to go through with offers they’ve already made.
This is the first time since the outsourcing boom began a decade ago that IT companies are dragging their feet on campus hiring, placement officers at colleges across India told Hindustan Times.
“This year, there has been a 15 per cent drop in hiring from our campus,” said Col P Ramesh at Pune-based Army Institute of Technology, from where only 194 students were picked this year, compared to 232 last year.
The drop was sharper at Pune Vidyarthi Griha — down to 131 from 260 last year, said AM Kanetkar, placement head at the engineering college. “Companies like Wipro, Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services didn’t even participate in placement activities this time.”
The scene is as gloomy in and around Delhi, which has seen a mushrooming of private engineering colleges in recent years.
Tech Mahindra Ltd, India’s eight largest software services exporter, had recruited 111 students from Noida-based Amity University last year. The number is down to 20 this year, said Ajay Rana, director of technical placements.
Several colleges in Bangalore said they have received hints of delays in recruitment from many companies.
Two of these — Sapient and Schneider — have even withdrawn offer letters given to students of BMS College of Engineering, said HS Jagadish, of the Bangalore-based institute.
Kanetkar said 10 of his students were also denied jobs by IT giant IBM even after getting offer letters.
IBM has been upbeat about hiring in India, following a 2006 announcement by its chief Sam Palmisano that the firm would invest $6 billion (Rs 25, 800 crore) here to make it the company’s biggest hub outside the US.