India faces offshore IT skills crisis by 2010

Physical infrastructure also needs "immediate attention", says report…
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Physical infrastructure also needs "immediate attention", says report…

A huge IT skills shortage and poor physical infrastructure could threaten India's position as the leading offshore outsourcing location by 2010, according to a new report.

The report by consultant McKinsey and Indian IT body Nasscom warns that labour market pressures could leave India facing a shortfall of 500,000 IT staff equipped with the skills to work in the offshore outsourcing industry.

Jayant Sinha, partner at McKinsey, said that India faces a challenge in maintaining its dominant offshore IT position.

He said in the report: "The skills and quality of the workforce need to be improved, since only 25 per cent of technical graduates and 10 to 15 per cent of general college graduates are suitable for employment in the offshore IT and BPO industries respectively."

Sinha said the country's urban infrastructure also needs "immediate attention" with better road and air links between India's high-tech hotspots.

He said: "Urban infrastructure needs immediate attention, as offshoring companies’ deal with bottlenecks ranging from power to cafeterias. Further growth will have come to from entirely new business districts outside of tier one and tier two cities."

Just last month silicon.com reported from India's high-tech capital Bangalore where IT companies are putting pressure on the government to improve the city's creaking and over-crowded infrastructure.

McKinsey predicts global offshore outsourcing spend to hit $110bn by 2010 and tips India to capture more than 50 per cent of the market if it overcomes its challenges.

S Ramadorai, chairman of Nasscom and CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, said in a statement: "Today the Indian IT and BPO industry is estimated to be $22bn. The industry is in a strong position to leverage the global software opportunity and establish India as the premier IT destination in the world."

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