No talent:             IT firms may lose $10bn


A Plan Paper has warned of emerging talent supply shortages of five lakh professionals and unsuitability of large proportion of t he talent pool in the country, which could lead to loss of opportunities worth $ 10 billion in the IT sector. “While India’s young demographic profile has the country favorably placed in terms of manpower availability, talent supply short-ages are emerging. This is extremely disconcerting, especially for the knowledge services sector,” the approach paper the 11th Five-Year Plan said.

Research has shown that so far only a 10th of the global addressable market for these services has been tapped. With its early lead and strong fundamentals, India is best positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. “Yet the unsuitability of a large proportion of the talent pool in the country lead to significant lost opportunities,” it said, citing the Nasscom-McKinsey Report 2005, which projected that these would fall short by about 5,00,000 suitable professionals (representing an opportunity cost of $10 billion) by the end of the decade.

“If the current trends are maintained, the IT-ITES sector (IT-ITES alone of the knowledge sector) would need and additional one million-plus qualified people in the next five years and would generate exports in 2012,” the report said.

However, a major thrust at all levels of education sector was needed to capitalize on the huge opportunity in the information technology and related sectors of the knowledge economy, according to the report. “Clearly, expansion and radical reform of the education sector are called for to ensure that we are able to meet the quality and quantity of professionals needed by the country,” the report said.

Observing that the regional divide in the matte of divide in the matter of  educational and research and development institutions was also a matter of concern, the report said, pointing out that over 60 per cent of these were located in just about eight States.