South Africa’s IQ to Recruit 150 Indian Software Developers


Privately owned IQ Business Group is planning to import 150 Indian software developers over the next 18 months and use them as mentors to train local recruits. The scheme will operate through a joint venture IQ has formed with the Indian software house Prodapt to address SA's severe shortage of technology professionals.

  The joint venture, ProdaptIQ, will fly in Indian software developers to carry out contracts that the IQ group has won from local organisations in the private and public sectors. The Indian workers will be "shadowed" by at least one trainee recruited locally so skills are passed on to a new generation. The mentoring will last for six to eight months, and some mentors could be shadowed by three or four local recruits. The trainees would probably be employed by the client company, which would keep them on the payroll when the training ended, said Craig Rodger of IQ, who is heading the new venture.

The IQ Group has a turnover of R400m and 700 employees, and could handle more work if it had more staff. Critical projects were missing deadlines and running over budget because of the shortage, and this deal would let it tap into India's world-renowned technology skills, said Rodger. ProdaptIQ will also outsource some local software developments to Prodapt's laboratory in India.

  Prodapt has been operating in SA for three years, and one of its main contracts is to handle online billing services for Telkom. "We realised there is a huge opportunity in SA in building software for organisations and the demand far outstrips the supply of personnel," said its chief operating officer, Ragu Raghuraman.

"Companies are running into serious skills shortages and that's hurting the South African economy because they are not able to take on large technology automation projects. We will bring software skills from India into SA and use that knowledge to train local people."

The partners would not say how much they were investing in the joint venture. At a later stage, ProdaptIQ might also set up a business process outsourcing centre, which could create more jobs, Raghuraman said.

(Source: Business Day)