New Delhi: Indian outsourcing companies are likely to witness a slump in hiring activity owing to the current global economic scenario, but the decline would not be as "substantial" as was after the 2008 crisis, experts
believe.

There is definitely an impact of the global economic scenario on Indian IT and outsourcing firms, however, most of them have long-term contracts with their clients which were signed at extremely competitive rates, experts said.

According to HR consultancy Hay Group's Managing Consultant (Mumbai Operations and Rewards Practice Leader) Sridhar Ganesan, "Post 2008, business planning with high focus on risks and mitigation has been critical for Indian IT firms. The precedence of 2008 in terms of outlook and forecasts is therefore much more realistic".

Echoing sentiment, executive search firm Global Hunt Director Sunil Goel said, "The IT and outsourcing companies have realigned their businesses, and have a very balanced approach. Though there would be a slowdown, there may not be a complete downfall or a shut down in hiring activity".

Prateek Srivastava, Manager (IT Practice), Elixir Consulting, a recruitment process outsourcing firm said, "Impact of a global slowdown would be marginally low than the last time. Early reports already indicate Indian IT firms are picking up more talent than last year from top B-Schools".

Besides, Indian BPO companies in their evolution of business from basic services to more complex services have also realized that clients are looking at portfolio of operations for giving business.

"It is not just pure off shoring anymore. The model has to be a mix of on-shore, near shore and offshore," Hay Group's Ganesan said, adding that Indian outsourcing firms like Aegis and Wipro among others are not looking at only India but a portfolio of locations that will help them win client business based on this model.

Central European countries are getting a lot of the knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) business as the cost is competitive, it is near the main company head quarter and also technical institutions there are providing very good talent.

"There have been an accelerated number of companies that have decided to move to places like Philippines, Latin America and Australia, primarily because of cheapest wages coupled with high literacy rates. Countries like Philippines, a former US colony that retains many American cultural values ensure better cost arbitrage," Srivastava said.

India, which was earlier preferred for its low cost advantage has lost that tag, as in the last decade salaries have gone up, infrastructure cost has increased and support system cost has also jumped.

Companies are now looking for newer avenues where they can align their costs are hence preferring countries like the Philippines, China and Africa, Global Hunt’s Goel said.

(Agencies)