The 5G network technology has finally arrived in India. Several telecom giants have launched their 5G services with a promise to expand the network to every nook and corner of the country in the next few months. With the advent of this next-generation technology, is India’s IT workforce ready to embrace the challenge? What are the skills required needed for our techies to adapt themselves to the new technology?
Here are the excerpts of the conversation Hindustan Times had with Amit Mishra, the co-founder and chief executive officer of iMocha. As per the company’s profile, the company founded by Mishra and Sujit Karpe helps organisations build winning teams. The platform is being used by over 1000 organizations in more than 70 countries for their recruiting and upskilling programmes, and has high-profile clients like Reliance Jio, Ericsson, TCS, Cognizant, Capgemini among others.
Q. With the advent of 5G technology, what challenges do you expect with respect to the IT workforce?
A. The advent of 5G technology has brought with it a lot of changes in I/O teams, data science etc and technologies like Blockchain. Millions of jobs have been created in the IT sector in sectors like data science, virtual and augment reality etc due to 5G launch.
Q. This brings me to the second question. Is the IT workforce equipped to function in the futuristic 5G technology environment? What technical skills they should be equipped with to meet the challenges?
A. Due to the advent of 5G technology, the advancements into blockchain, data science, have created a lot of opportunities in the IT companies and the firms which cater to the IT sector. There is a need to create and upskill the talent for the challenges. The number of talents in blockchain, I/O, data science are in millions.
Q. iMocha has been recruiting professionals in various IT companies. What skillsets do you plan to train the talent you are roping in for these organisations?
A. We are serving global IT companies and telecom players. We have three out of top ten global telecom giants as our customers. Apart from traditional technologies, new fields like blockchain, cloud computing, VR/AR etc have emerged. In the telecom sector also, new technologies have come up like eTOM which we cater to.
The 5G technology has led to the emergence of new skills like age computing, network function virtualisation, software defined networking, application network and cloud security and blockchain. We have created hundreds of questions for IT companies which are supporting these telecom giants. We are helping telecom companies to upskill their workforce.
A lot of talent acquisition cannot be carried out from the market as it is a new thing. You need to reskill and upskill your workforce on cloud computing, blockchain etc. We have created new skills in the form of multiple choice questions and a lot of simulations which will help them navigate these transformations.
Q. How many professionals are being trained under these upskill programmes at present, by iMocha in particular?
A. We have been able to train 30,000 personnel from various telecom companies including Jio. We expect that the number will go up to one lakh in the year.
Q. Recently, Hindustan Times’ business publication Mint reported that the number of contractual employees being hired from firms (like iMocha) has been declining because the IT majors have now sought to retain their employees. What strategy you have to tackle any situation of the employees trained by you are not hired by them?
A. Our business is B2B as we serve companies to acquire, retain and upskill talent. We don’t acquire human resources. Our business has not diminished but it has grown multi-fold. Due to Great Resignation, the companies were recruiting entry level professionals a lot. When you hire them via personal interview, you need to train them and check whether they are ready for project or client. We require a set of skill assessments over the time. As iMocha are into talent acquisition and development, we have witnessed a business uptick.
Q. Reliance Jio plans to expand its 5G network to every nook and corner of the country by next year. Such a large-scale expansion needs enormous talent to carry out this mission. What is iMocha doing in this regard?
A. Recently, we attended the Digital Transformation World 2022. We spoke to several business leaders at the event, who expressed concerns about the shortage of talent with respect to 5G technology. They are trying to upskill their workforce through experts. iMocha is helping these telecom customers in transforming the competency mapping, creating skill taxonomy, checking if the talent is upskilled or reskilled.
Q. Moonlighting is an issue which has grabbed a lot of headlines. Among your clients include TCS and top six IT and telecom companies. What is your stand on moonlighting?
A. While catering to global tech and telecom companies, we know how it is happening in United States, India and other parts of the world. In US, working for more than one job is allowed. There they don’t look at your efforts and activities but also outcome. In the western world, platforms like UpWork have existed for more than two decades with reference to moonlighting.
In India, if someone engages in moonlighting, it affects business. A person has matured while working in remote mode. If you are working at home, there is nobody monitoring you. From business point of view, the Indian population is not ready for moonlighting as it affects company’s business. To reduce moonlighting, the IT companies are calling their employees back to office.