From tweaking HR practices, to setting up dedicated design practices, to acquiring global design firms, to mandating internal marketing design teams to work with clients -IT firms are trying just about everything.
“More digital work could move to India, but there is a gap is in the design capabilities. That is still being done mostly onshore. So we are building out a design and user capability practice in India,“ Paul Nannetti, Global Sales and Portfolio Director at Capgemini Group, told ET in an interview.
Nannetti, who is also a member of Capgemini’s group executive committee, said that while he could not disclose the number of designers that they would hire, it was currently a `supply constraint, not a demand constraint’.
India’s largest IT company Tata Consultancy Services has been building out its design practice for the past five years. The business, which is headed out of Silicon Valley , has been building design studios in the US, Europe and currently has nine design studios in India. The Mumbai-headquartered firm has been tweaking its human-resources policies in some cases to bring in the talent.
“There are some very good artists and design ers who don’t have bach elor’s degrees. So we have to create exceptions in our hiring policies to be able to bring them on board.Even managing artistic and design people is different. They typically need more feedback and we have made it so that even our senior leaders can spend time with them,“ Satya Ramaswamy, vice president and global head of TCS Digital Enterprise, told ET.
Ramaswamy added that, in hiring from arts and design institutes, the network effect plays a key role in convincing students to join an IT firm. Interestingly , TCS also allows some of its engineers, who have talent and an interest in design, to join its creative unit.
“Some of our employees were good at art in school, but maybe due to parental pressure, they moved to engineering. But we have seen some people with talent move to the design side,“ Ramaswamy said.
Wipro, which acquired Danish design company Designit, went down the M&A path to help it attract people with creative skills, not just in India but globally .
“While we had been trying to hire senior designers in the market, it became clear to us that we needed a proven design platform, a heritage and brand in design, to be able to attract the best people to Wipro,“ Rajan Kohli, senior vice president and global head of Wipro Digital said in an email. Kohli added that the company is also using training to create design skills.
Experts say Indian IT may have to become more acquisitive to win in the digital era, like Accenture.
“Indian firms have not to date matched (Accenture’s acquisitions), preferring to build skills internally at a far lower cost. However, given the market share and profits Accenture is capturing, they would seem to be making a strategic error,“ Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of IT consultancy Everest, said.