India Inc's digital transformation is picking up pace, and the hiring numbers across companies backs that up. Last week PwC India announced that it expects to hire 2,000 digital technology experts over the next three years and will be investing Rs 100 crore on development of digital solutions. And now another of the Big Four accounting firms, Ernst & Young (EY), is following suit. As clients across sectors increasingly turn to a 'digital first' strategy, hiring in this space will only pick up further.
EY will be hiring 2,000 employees in the country in the next three years to expand its digital solution services to clients, focussing on domains such as analytics, new technologies, intelligent automation, artificial intelligence, blockchain and tax technology, The Economic Times reported. The headcount is also being beefed up for big automation projects for the government and the private sector.
In particular, EY has been bullish on analytics as a business for a while now - the company is reportedly hiring about 600 people every six months in this domain across all businesses. For the government business, EY claimed to have added close to 700 people in the last 18 months.
"The government is heavily investing in digital from a citizen services perspective. Many of the traditional customer-oriented industries are trying to find models which allow access to customers to tier-two, tier-three towns from a digital perspective," Ram Sarvepalli, leader, advisory services India and partner, emerging markets centre at EY, told the daily. "There are regulatory changes like GST coming in and e-filing and automation of central and state govt departments... All of this is triggering a massive opportunity and the need for hiring digital talent."
For instance, EY has made significant investments in building assets and tools like DigiGST for GST compliance for companies. Then there is its ePragati project with the Government of Andhra Pradesh that's aimed at aimed at digitally connecting the people of the state to 34 departments and over 745 services.
According to Sarvepalli, the hiring plans will cover a mix of lateral and fresher talent. EY already has over 2,200 people working on digital and technology solutions across service lines in India. The daily added that the firm has hired several new partners to expand capacity in tech consulting, digital, managed services and analytics. Furthermore, EY India leader Rajiv Memani has unleashed an internal initiative to inject digital technologies across the company's functions in an attempt to make it future ready.
In August, EY announced plans to invest $1 billion in new technology solutions, client services, innovation and the EY ecosystem over the next two financial years. This amount was in addition to the company's significant annual technology investment and EY said it would be used to create new services and solutions in areas such as financial services, cyber, risk management, managed services, software services as well as digital tax and audit services.
"Some of the other firms have chosen to set up digital as a separate business unit. We have decided not to do that which in the short term was difficult because we try to embed it in everything we already have but for the long run it makes more sense," Hanne Jesca Bax, EMEIA managing partner for markets and accounts at EY, told the daily, adding that a large part of hiring would be around intelligent automation.
Industry insiders say that hiring for digital solutions will get a further boost as Aadhaar 2.0 comes in, generating big projects and opportunities for citizen services in the bargain.
Edited by Sushmita Choudhury Agarwal