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May 8, 2002 | 1210 IST
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India likely to fall short of 533,500 software professionals by '04-05

Bipin Chandran

India may face a dearth of software professionals in the next few years.

According to a National Association of Software and Service Companies report, the country could face a shortfall of 533,500 software professionals by financial year 2004-05.

According to Nasscom, the Indian software services sector is likely to have a demand of 1,408,500 software professionals by 2004-05, but supply by the education institutions would only be at 875,000.

"If India has to capitalise on the opportunities of the emerging knowledge economy, it should make strong investments in knowledge production and distribution. Research and development and higher education are two critical aspects of knowledge production and distribution," the survey said.

The software exports sector would require about 1,060,000 professionals while the domestic sector would require only 48,500 software professionals by the year 2004-05, the survey added.

In 2001-02, the software exports sector employed 170,000 software professionals and the domestic sector employed about 22,000.

The Nasscom report also pointed out that there was an average 6 per cent increase in the basic salary of software professionals in 2001-02.

"This was the lowest rise ever recorded since 1990. Most companies are increasingly adopting the variable-pay concept in order to link pay to revenue and control costs," the survey pointed out.

It also indicated that almost 44 per cent of the professionals employed were working as programmers, engineers, analysts, computer scientists and other related operations, while 14 per cent of the professionals were employed in activities related to Internet and e-commerce.

The report said that 11 per cent of the professionals were working as database administrators and developers and 14 per cent as network specialists.

The information technology-enabled services sector and other related areas employ about 12 per cent of the Indian software work force, while 5 per cent are employed in digital media and technical working.

"Besides, 44 per cent of software professionals in software companies possessed over 3 years of working experience," the survey said. The survey also pointed out that in 2001-02, recruitment of professionals was highest in South India at 41 per cent, and lowest in Eastern India at 6 per cent.

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