Real challenge is closing the skills gap in many markets
‘Cost is not as big a challenge as the availability of talent’
Editor's Comments: Cognizant CEO, Rajeev Mehta speaks candidly about the challenge in accessing the best global tech talent. This underlies the importance of the tech skills gap to organization growth. It was interesting to read that they are developing training programs with colleges to grow the next generation of tech workers.
IT services firm Cognizant has reaffirmed that it would grow between 8 and 10% while indicating it will significantly ramp up its U.S.-based workforce. In an interview, Rajeev Mehta, president, Cognizant, spoke about hiring in the U.S., the voluntary separation programme, and the challenges faced by the company. Edited excerpts:
Is growing protectionism across the globe, including in the U.S., UK, Singapore and Australia a cause for concern to the industry?
We can only speak for ourselves. Given the shift to digital, there is increased need for co-location and co-innovation. We are focused on our clients’ needs, helping them make the shift toward digital enterprises. Our resourcing, employee mobility and financial model all underpin our strategy. In the U.S., for example, we are hiring more, expanding the number of our U.S. based delivery centres and driving innovative training programmes with colleges to help train the next generation of technology workers.
Access to the best global talent continues to be the key to increasing the competitiveness of these and other countries. The real concern is around the technology/STEM (science, technology,engineering, mathematics) worker skills gap there.
Which is the biggest challenge that is on your table now — the visa issue or changing business models?
None of them. Our investments over several years have positioned us well to enable clients to transform their business models, their operating models, and their technology models in tandem to deliver digital at scale. We’re expanding our solutions portfolio, deepening and broadening our digital skills under the guidance of chief digital officers in each of our industry and regional business units and enhancing our digital engagements with clients. The real challenge is closing the technology/STEM-worker skills gap in many of the markets we serve in order to help our clients transition from “doing digital” to “being digital”.