Tech Mahindra to boost offshore hiring to diversify talent base.

Indian IT company Tech Mahindra is looking to boost hiring in its delivery centers across Eastern Europe and Latin America over the next few years to diversify its talent base and provide a buffer against the war of talent currently going on in India.

CP Gurnani, Chief Executive officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “India will only provide 60 percent of the talent base. The company expects to do 10 percent of the hiring in eastern Europe, 15 percent in Latin America, and 15 percent in other Asian countries.”

The company wants to widen the talent pool, improve agility to deliver solutions, and be close to clients.

Tech Mahindra has more than 126000 employees. Several IT services companies have nearly 80 percent or more of their employee base in India.

Such near-shore delivery centers have assumed importance for all IT services companies over the past five years. Europe and South America have been the best choice for delivery centers because of the bilingual skills of employees and time zones that are similar to those of clients, making it easy to collaborate.

Tech Mahindra has its development centers in 20 countries, including Poland, Romania, Brazil, Mexico, and Columbia.

Peter Bendor Samuel, CEO, Everest Group, an IT consulting and research firm, said the benefits of such a strategy are likely to outweigh the costs for the IT companies.

Gurnani compared the current war of talent to one in the late 1990s, when the preparedness for Y2K started leading Indian companies to go abroad and vice versa, upending the IT industry.

“In 1996, when Y2K preparedness started, we went international for talent; we want to bring in the same discipline of the time and make Tech Mahindra a very active and strong focal point for talent development. That time, the company went to South Africa and Australia for mainframes, now going global, ” he added.

The diversification will also hedge against rising attrition, which increased by 400 basis points to 17 percent for the quarter ended June 30.

Gurnani further said, “Tech Mahindra budgeted for 15 to 16 percent attrition, revised it to 18 percent, and have started looking at how to minimize the risk.”

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