Bengaluru/Mumbai: Indian IT services providers have ramped up on internal upskilling and learning platforms since March, as they cut down on external new-age technology courses for employees in a bid to reduce costs at a time when the pandemic is hurting clients businesses globally.
Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and InfosysNSE 2.41 % are focusing on training tools such as iEvolve and Lex to upskill employees with new technology, while Cognizant is streamlining its learning platform to meet its digital business targets.
“Indian companies (technology firms) have scaled down in learning and development during the past few months, whereas global peers have maintained their spending in building their workforce,” said a senior executive at one of the top five digital technology course providers, adding that “they may have taken a conservative approach”.
For technology staffers, the number of hours spent on upskilling through internal platforms has gone up during the lockdown even as active projects have fallen in the wake of the pandemic.
Infosys said around 50,000 employees complete a learning course in a month and the number has steadily increased.
Its digital learning platform Lex has been “core to the seamless transition from brick and mortar only classroom training to the blended learning approach,” it said.
Lex has been adopted more widely and additional features have been rolled in to make it better tuned to learner needs, said Krish Shankar, executive vice president, and group head, HR at Infosys.
“Having said that, there is always merit in tapping in external content. The digital platform plays the role of an aggregator to help the organization integrate its investments in external alliances which include content partnerships. These investments and partnerships are crucial to ensure that we constructively spoil our talent for choice,” said Shankar.
The average learning time on a weekday used to be around 40 minutes at the company and went up to 60 minutes during weekends, before the pandemic.
Now, more than 23,000 unique learners spend over 45 minutes of average learning time on the platform on weekdays and 45-50 minutes on average on weekends, the company said.
Janardhan Santhanam, the global head of talent development at TCS said in a LinkedIn post on Monday that the company saw increased engagement in learning and upskilling programs since the beginning of the current fiscal year. “The start of this fiscal saw our global teams competing with each other on innovative methods of engagement through learning – contextual to work, relevant to upcoming jobs and career progression…261,000 learners putting in 28% more learning hours in the last two months, achieving 271,000 skills and 80,000 certifications,” he wrote.
A TCS spokesperson said that 261,000 was the number of new unique learners in the last three months and the 28% increase was over and above the average learning hours per month.
New Jersey-headquartered Cognizant has been expanding its digital portfolio in the last year and has ramped up training on key digital skills over the last 18 months. The pandemic has resulted in further tweaks to its learning platforms.
“We have not reduced our spend on learning, but are streamlining platforms to further improve the speed, quality, and effectiveness of training in digital skills,” said a Cognizant spokesperson.
A digital technology course provider, Great Learning, said even though there has been cost pressure from some sectors, individual enrolments have jumped.
“We understand that some businesses across sectors are cutting costs to sustain themselves. However, we are primarily a B2C focused learning organization and have seen a 5x increase in the number of people, both working professionals, and students, focusing on learning online and upskilling during this time,” said Mohan Lakhamraju, founder & CEO, Great Learning.
News Source: The Economic Times