IT service providers such as Accenture Inc, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies and Mindtree, among others, are expanding to tier II and tier III locations as they battle an unprecedented talent crunch.
Accenture is setting up centres in Jaipur, Indore and Coimbatore, and expanding its existing presence in Ahmedabad, the company said.
Tech Mahindra has over the last two quarters ramped up hiring for its centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Vizag, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Indore, Vijayawada and Coimbatore.
HCL Technologies, the country’s third largest software firm, said campaigns like Stay Rooted and Come Back Home have been instrumental in growing and nurturing talent at its centres in small cities.
Mid-tier firms like Mindtree, Zensar and Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) are also following larger peers in going deeper into small towns.
An increasing number of companies are tapping resources at these locations due to greater availability of talent, lower cost and attrition rates, analysts said.
Quite a few employees hailing from small towns do not want to return to big cities post-Covid-19, they added.
“India is a key talent and innovation hub for Accenture… (These centres will) provide our people with work options that fulfil their need for flexible working, and in-person connections,” said Mahesh Zurale, senior managing director and lead of Accenture’s advanced technology centres in India. “The new locations will not only strengthen our already rich and diverse talent base, but also provide local talent with the opportunity to build meaningful careers.”
The US-based company, whose largest employee base is in India, has been hiring for specialised areas such as digital, cloud, security, data and artificial intelligence from these locations.
HCL Tech, which has delivery centres in Lucknow, Madurai, and Vijayawada as part of its ‘New Vistas’ strategy, said the availability of abundant talent and better quality of life compared to other metro locations, were the main reasons to move into such locations.
“Campaigns like Stay Rooted– which aims to provide global career opportunities to people in their hometowns, and Come Back Home – which provided avenues to people to return to their cities and still pursue global careers, were instrumental in growing and nurturing talent in our New Vistas locations,” a spokesperson for HCL Tech said.
Apart from reskilling the workforce and hiring professionals skilled in niche technologies, Tech Mahindra has also been ramping up its presence and hiring from tier-II and tier-III towns to tap into new talent, said Harshvendra Soin, global chief people officer and head of marketing.
Before the pandemic, one reason why companies set up these centres was to cut costs and diversify the talent pool, said Pareekh Jain, an outsourcing advisor and founder of Pareekh Consulting.
“Now, the main reasons are to facilitate employees who don’t want to return to their base locations after the pandemic and also tap into local talent whose stickiness to the company may be slightly longer due to lack of competitive employers in those locations,” he said.
Karnataka, Telangana, West Bengal and others are providing many incentives to IT service providers to establish campuses in smaller cities, Jain added.
Companies are opening ‘satellite centres’ of 100-200-seater capacity in tier II and III locations to make employees meet once a week, analysts said.
Top colleges and universities are also influencing companies to pick these locations.
For example, Mindtree launched its first development centre in Kolkata in March.
The company is aggressively adding to its team in the city and expects to double its headcount in the next financial year.
Mindtree chief executive Debasish Chatterjee previously said that the city has very good access to talent in terms of engineering colleges and management institutes, apart from the Indian Statistical Institute. Zensar, another mid-tier IT firm, also established a delivery centre in the city recently.
“The advantage of Kolkata is, apart from engineering talent, you also have the statistical mindset which is very unique to the work that we do these days in terms of data and analytics,” Chatterjee had said.
Similarly, LTI, which opened a 3,000-seater delivery centre in Hyderabad in December, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian School of Business to conduct research on digital readiness. Tech India Express