Software export major Infosys NSE -0.27 % plans to hire a few thousand people with arts and other non-engineering degrees to work on new digital applications, which are more than just delivering technology services. Technology companies such as Infosys are witnessing an increasing number of digital contracts where the solutions are often created with clients, unlike the traditional deals where the specifications were drawn by the clients' ad outsourced. In these new deals, the user experience is key to solving the business problems of clients and the skills needed for this are as many arts as they are science.
“People with liberal arts, who are creative thinkers, tend to put themselves in the shoes of the consumers and tend to think out-of-the-box,” said a person at Infosys. “That is what the industry is looking for.” Infosys’ hiring plan highlights a change in the way Indian IT companies have built their business — recruiting thousands of engineers NSE -1.10 % to write computer codes and maintaining infrastructure NSE -0.34 % for their customers. With the shift towards digital, where the applications need to be built for smartphones and provide the same experience as any consumer app, such as Facebook, they require people with skills in areas such as design and data analytics.
Infosys has already started hiring people with these skills. In the US, where it hired more than 7,000 people in the past year and a half, 20-30% had a liberal arts and nonengineering background, said the person. It will be taking more such staff in the US and India too, the person said without giving a time frame
Digital Tech Revenue at 31%
In an interview, Satish HC, head of global services, data and analytics at Infosys, told ET that the company was “making investments” to bring more people with liberal arts, design and other nontech specializations.
“...to reimagine (solutions), you need design skills. We are making some of those investments as a company in our workforce. You also need people from different backgrounds with design skills, people with liberal arts and everybody cannot be with engineering or MBA background,” said Satish. “It is starting small but will grow over a period of time.”
Infosys’ digital technology revenue is 31% and that is an indication of the number of such people it would need, said Satish, without giving a specific hiring number for people with such skills.
In fact, the first acquisition made by Salil Parekh after he took over as chief executive at Infosys earlier this year, was WongDoody Holding Company, a US-based digital creative and consumer insights agency. The Los Angeles-based advertising solutions company has Amazon Studios, Tinder and ESPN among its clients. In September last year, Infosys acquired Brilliant Basics, a London-based digital innovation and customer experience studio.
Analysts said Infosys’ approach was in line with the shifts in the industry. “When you are doing more business services, you have to cater to varied industries. That necessitates the need for diverse skill sets. It also shows the changing model of business,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief executive of Greyhound Research.