“Future of IT Industry” Seminar was organized in Technopark
“Future of IT Industry” Seminar was organized in Technopark, Thiruvanathapuram by Prathidhwani, socio cultural organization of technopark employees.
Seminar had panelists such as Shri Satish Babu ( Director,ICFOSS), Prof K N Harilal, Prof K J Joseph ( both from Centre for Development Studies ) and Shri Joseph C Mathew ( Former IT adviser to Govt of Kerala and CEO of StandOut IT solutions). All the panelists congratulated Prathidhwani in organizing this seminar. Seminar was conducted in Travancore Hall in Park Centre on 11th March 2015, 5:30 PM.
Seminar advocated need for IT industry to move up in the value chain and also stressed about imaginative government interventions. It also stressed the need for formation of employee’s collectives to address issues of employees.Economists speaking in the seminar spoke about need to stop “race to the bottom” and government must ensure there is social minimums in IT sector. Vineeth Chandran and Bimal Raj ( both executive members, prathidhwani ) delivered Welcome Speech and Vote of thanks respectively. Function was presided over by Rajeev Krishnan ( secretary, prathidhwani ) with Sujith Hillary presenting subject note of the seminar. There was a question & answer session as well post seminar. Panelists advocated the need for more louder voice from IT employee community to address issues IT industry is facing. A good section of technopark employees attended the seminar till the end.
Major Points are given below:
Sri Satish Babu: Indian IT industry is 100 $ billion now, IT consumption in domestic market is also growing. There are schemes such as make in India & Innovate in India to encourage growth. India has big demographic advantage. Indian product industry need to go up, inorder to move up in value chain. There need to be more flexible practices in terms of employement such as allowing telecommuting. He also commented that people like bill gates are of the view that software engineers receive a bigger threat from automation. There needs to be a good ecosystem for startups in India, start ups also need to manage their expectations. Triple bottom lines of Financial, People and Environment needs to be considered while viewing an industry. Companies need to formulate employee friendly policies for Industry’s good future.
Prof K J Joseph : IT has made inroads to all sectors, technological progress is vital for progress.over 25 years from 1990, IT industry has grown from $ 100 million to $ 100 Billion. IT bought lot of credibility as well. Earlier IT was metropolitan activity and it got diversified now. We should think that Hardware Boom has not happened and one of the reason will be “brightest” move to Software. China has done well in hardware, then in domestic market. It is phenomenon to watch out for. IT industry in India mostly works to make western companies efficient, in another way : it is a brain drain. Employees need to learn constantly and innovate in this field.
Joseph C Mathew : clarified that he is not here to speak for IT employers, but will speak about his personal experiences. IT is a general purpose technology and over years more works will come. Asset based model than labour based model is being talked about now. IT engineers are large in supply so the demand is less. There is health perspective such as people are wearing out and having no work life balance. Government should proactively intervene, in the issues of the main labor contractors( IT services companies). IT employees need to form a collective for their rights.Traditional Trade Union way will not work in IT industry.
Prof K N Harilal : There should be a concern about future as whole. TCS what it has done is not wrong individually, but collectively it is wrong. Race to Bottom must be stopped by government interventions and there should be “social minimums” upheld. China is upgrading in all aspects and there is a collective effort guided by government in the same. Bad things in IT industry should be discussed publicly and need to make society aware of all this issues. There need to a research centre in technopark, which will help companies move up in value chain. If employees accept declining standards, there will be race to the bottom unplugged. When social minimums are discussesd, IT industry will also respond; as they also have stake.