Service sector to roar, but software jobs to cut in 2022

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By: Narvijay Yadav

Millions of people in India lost their jobs during the Covid pandemic. There are a large number of people among them, who have not been able to get any suitable placement even today. During the lockdowns, companies in the service sector were restricted to function. They have been allowed to start work now, but after a long wait. Now these companies are gaining momentum and are hopeful to increase their workforce next year. However, there is no good news for those working in the field of software sector. Due to increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, the software companies are trying to reduce their workforce in the coming year.

Software companies in India employ more than 16 million professionals in different roles. These companies are expected to lay off up to 3 million low skilled workers in 2022 to reduce their overall cost. The sword of layoffs can strike at lower level jobs, which include departments such as call centers or BPOs. By doing this these companies will be able to save up to $100 billion annually. Most of this amount is spent on the salary of the employees. According to NASSCOM, the largest organization in the software sector, Indian IT companies employ 16 million people, out of which around 9 million employees are working in BPOs only. Most layoffs are expected from this category itself. This will happen due to the increased use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). We are not talking about real robots, RPA is software which handles multiple tasks with ease and does not require human support. Moreover, RPA works round the clock, that too without any tantrums.

According to the Business Outlook Survey report of the British company IHS, the business optimism of the service and manufacturing sector in India between June and October 2021 ranged from 12% to 14%. Japan, Brazil and Russia were also enthusiastic about the manufacturing sector, but not as much as India. 14% of private sector companies in India have shown good prospects for the coming year. This survey report also says that in 2022, companies in the service sector wish to increase their workforce. This is the only sector which was opened in the last after the lockdowns were withdrawn.

According to Ernst & Young, in the years 2020 and 2021, virtual recruitment made the job of HR professionals much easier. Through video conferencing, not only the applicants sitting far away were interviewed, but even in remote small towns, employees were appointed and placed. The pandemic fuelled the culture of work from home (WFH) also, which continues even now in many companies. In the future also, the recruitment of employees through Zoom calls may continue. Meanwhile, The US Embassy based in New Delhi released the Open Dose Report last week, which revealed that 9.14 lakh foreign students from 200 countries are studying in the US in the 2020-21 sessions, of which 20% or about 1.67 lakh students are from India. Despite the Corona pandemic, more than 62,000 study visas were issued by the US this year. Indian students wishing to pursue further studies in the US can take admission in 4500 US colleges. (The author is a Senior Journalist and Columnist & he can be reached at [email protected])

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