India’s second-largest software exporter Infosys is likely to recruit fewer engineers from campuses this year in line with the strategy expected to be followed by other information technology companies as well amid automation and slowdown in demand for generic IT services.

 The Bengaluru-based firm, which has been hiring over 20,000 engineers from campuses for the past few years, is likely to reduce the count by more than 3,000 this time round, people familiar with the matter said. The company is likely to see a drop in entry-level hiring, a senior executive said. “This year the drop could be about 15%, which may increase in the subsequent years,” said the executive, who did not wish to be identified. Infosys has about two lakh people on its rolls at present.
 In an email response to ET’s queries, Binod HR, global head of talent and technology operations said, “We do not foresee any significant changes in the hiring numbers.” He further said, “With the industry evolving due to technology disruptions and the need for talent with niche technology skills increasing, Infosys is investing in training and reskilling our employees to meet the changing demands.” India churns out nearly 16 lakh graduate engineers every year, of which nearly two lakh are absorbed by the IT industry.

Infosys plans to shift to hiring talent with expertise in new technologies such as artificial intelligence even at entry level, the executive cited earlier said. Data analytics, artificial intelligence and next level of customer applications are the areas where the company is currently focused on, he said. Bigger IT firms usually pay Rs 30,000-40,000 per month at entry level to employees with knowledge of basic coding but for talent with skills in new technologies, salaries are almost double.

 In a parallel trend, with projects shrinking in size at Infosys, several project managers are getting redundant. “Unless these project managers show some technical skills, they are bound to be in stagnation. We are trying to adopt the ‘Zero-distance’ initiative,” the executive said.