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How will Global Epidemic Coronavirus Impact IT Job Market in India?

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By Prasad Rajappan

India’s top IT firms have a large presence within the epicentre of the Global epidemic in China. Coronavirus outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019. There are predictions being made by Economists that the virus outbreak in China could reduce global GDP by almost 0.3 per cent.

Let us understand What is a Coronavirus?
As per World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

China became an attractive marketplace for Indian IT firms as the UK, Singapore had tightened work-related immigration. Also, the US stopped issuing the H-1B visa. Indian companies in china have their joint ventures, subsidiaries, branch offices which has 50% of the workforce from the local market. China has three IT corridors set up at Xuzhou and Dalian Guiyang the 3rd one opened recently in 2019. This was primarily to facilitate the partnership between Indian and Chinese companies. As we know that China is a dominant manufacturing country they wanted to remodel towards smart manufacturing. The main focus was on new-age technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and IoT.

As per the NASSCOM advisory, Companies should have a plan of BCP/DR ready, they should monitor and track the situation. NASSCOM has made a representation to the government to address policies that impede work from home on an urgent basis. We have received several queries from the government and media on the impact of Coronavirus on our sector. Our response based on discussions with members is that right now the impact is limited to low but if this persists and spreads, then global value chains will be disrupted, and our industry is part of that value chain. However, there is no panic at this point in time.

People fear more of the panic than the epidemic. At ZingHR, We feel the initial quarter of AMJ 2020 might have the following implications which might give India a new trend for the other quarters to come :

1. High focus on high-level technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Deep learning will impact recruitments and the mode they are being taken to cover the major aspects of recruitments specially bulk-hiring and key level hiring specially when candidates won’t be screened in person due to the coronavirus scare.

2. With the higher impact of futuristic technologies, more job roles might just be created across the IT sector especially in the emerging technologies across India.

3. More and more people will opt for virtual interviews and sessions for jobs and placements in the job market.

4. More recruiters will prefer to explore candidates who can work remotely irrespective of where they are located.

5. Working remotely was mostly a work based requirement or a Business Continuity measure but now might get adopted by enterprises and SMBs in the IT sector across India.

6. More jobs might spring up for remote working in India, especially in the IT sector.

7. HRTech will take up a keyspace on the innovation front for recruitment, onboarding and Learning Management system with remote management.

8. Products like Geofencing and Mobile based attendance for HR will serve as a good measure for IT Sales and Client Facing jobs and will less impact the business overall.

9. Time taken for shortlisting candidates might reduce so the jobs might not be lying idle for a long time. We feel a first in first out job fulfilment of positions might happen. This might trigger better productivity in Enterprises.

Quote from ZingHR “During this critical phase of Coronavirus scare as biometric machines could be a factor for its transmission, while many companies are asking its employees to Work for Home now, we recommend using Mobile-based attendance with Geo-fencing facility. Companies can make use of new emerging technologies like Robotic Interviews which will not impact the interviews or campus recruitments. Employees can use technology and collaboration tools during the period of Work at home.”

The author of the article is a visionary and a thought leader.

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