“Tamil Nadu’s share of new recruits by the IT industry is the highest. The state also accounts for the largest number of recruits by the IT sector,” said N Lakshmi Narayanan (LN), Vice Chairman, Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS). However, there is also the flipside: several of these constantly look out for greener pastures! LN has been a prized and forceful speaker on a variety of economic issues. Long before the two per cent commitment to CSR was discussed and formalised, LN has been actively assisting a large number of NGOs, educational and other social organisations with liberal funding from CTS. I remember the passion with which a dedicated and popular Headmistress of the government school at Somangalam used to show one around the computer lab set up by CTS.
LN has been actively involved in the spectacular expansion of the IT sector and presently heads the ICT Academy. For our meeting LN rushed after attending a programme of the Academy, which has been facilitating the spread of IT companies to Tier II and Tier III cities. He pointed to an interesting development: candidates from villages in and around Tier II and Tier III cities competing effectively with candidates of Tier I cities!
A team from Niti Aayog that visited the academy recently commended it as a good model that should be replicated in other states. Several states have shown interest in setting up the Academy.
“Today we have voluminous data and the computing power to handle it, but do not have people in large numbers with algorithmic mind with mathematical skills to analyse it to results. The digital world will demand such talent in large numbers,” said LN.
The IT sector is undergoing a major transformation. It is preparing to enter the next stage of tremendous growth in the digital world. Earlier, computers required programmers; but now machines are designed for self-learning and self-teaching. Already we witness a trend of a decrease in demand for traditional programmers. But demand for programmers to build robots would grow. This would call for a higher knowledge of mathematics, analysis and application.
LN, the principal architect of Cognizant Technologies, points to the rich material available for learning mathematics at low cost from the online platform: “these online courses offered are considered even superior to class room education. Top notch recruiters value such knowledge acquired by prospective candidates for employment.” - SV