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Entire generation of IT managers set to lose jobs as frugal companies embrace automation, Bangalore

HR & Payroll
2014-06-25
BANGALORE: At a classroom at CMR-IT, an engineering college in Whitefield on the outskirts of Bangalore, a group of around two dozen information technology industry managers in their forties listened intently to what the instructor had to say about tackling their mid-career crisis.Most of them had spent about a decade in coding and managing teams of engineers at some of India's biggest technology companies such as Wipro, InfosysBSE -0.62 % and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

These professionals came from a generation of engineering graduates who joined the sector during its boom years at the start of the new millennium.As revenue from software development and maintenance grew rapidly year after year, companies such as Infosys and WiproBSE 0.87 % promoted hundreds of them to manage armies of coders chasing project deadlines."It was a dream run that got over like a sprint," said Piyush, a senior manager who worked at a Bangalore-based software company until a few weeks ago. He used to manage project allocation for hundreds of engineers at one of the top three Indian software exporters.Earlier this year, his company automated the entire process of deploying staff across different customer projects using a single dashboard. "It's a rude shock because now I have nowhere to go. My salary is considered too high, and the new employers are looking for different skills, he said. Piyush, who gave only his first name, is among the hundreds of thousands of managers in IT companies who are stuck in the middle with nowhere to go in an industry that employs about 3 million. Promotions at that level are rare to come by, automation is beginning to replace monitoring roles, and the software services companies are looking for ways to cut the flab by eliminating layers of highly paid managers whose jobs can be automated.

The instructor, David Fradin, a Silicon Valley-based technology veteran who had managed products at Apple and Hewlett-Packard years ago, was asking these managers to become software product leaders and move away from commoditised services. "What got you here is not necessarily what will get you there, Fradin told his students a few days ago.The students were enrolled in a 15-month course offered by the Institute of Product Leadership based in Bangalore.

Source : E T
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