Top News

Tech giant Infosys to expand to Calgary; promising 500 new jobs over three years

A major global IT company is expanding to Calgary, pledging to bring 500 jobs to the city over the next three years.

Infosys — a New York Stock Exchange-listed global consulting and IT services firm with more than 249,000 employees worldwide — has chosen Calgary for the next phase of its Canadian expansion. The company already has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa, and is planning to double its current Canadian workforce to 4,000 employees by 2023.

The Calgary expansion will enable Infosys to scale and work with clients in Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest and the central United States across various industries, including natural resources, energy, media, retail and communications, Infosys president Ravi Kumar said in an interview. He said Calgary was a logical choice not just because of its proximity to the company’s client base, but also because of the size of the available workforce.

“There is a large pool of talent locally,” Kumar said. “We do want to tap into that pool, and that’s why we are in Calgary.”

While Calgary has been keen to grow and develop its local tech sector as a way of diversifying its resource-based economy, industry insiders often identify the city’s lack of tech talent as an impediment. Calgary has a highly educated workforce — however, the skills developed in the oil and gas industry are not always the skills in demand by tech employers, who have bemoaned the lack of software developers and programmers in this city.

But Infosys works using a different model. The company plans to establish Calgary as one of its “tech and innovation hubs” (it already has six such centres in the U.S.), meaning it will use the city as a base to develop its own talent pool. The company will work directly with the city’s post-secondary institutions to invest jointly in training programs that will create a stream of graduates Infosys can hire.

“One of the reasons we chose Calgary is because of the extraordinary academic ecosystem out there,” Kumar said. “We have had conversations with SAIT, with the University of Calgary, about how we could build a pipeline of talent from their schools.”

Infosys also has a “re-skilling” program for individuals looking to make a mid-career shift from more traditional industries. The company starts these people in less specialized positions, and then — through an internal training and apprenticeship program — transitions them into more core, digital positions.

“We have successfully created thousands of jobs in the U.S. using this model. These pathways are open for anyone in industry who has the potential . . . even if they do not know anything about technology and digital infrastructure,” Kumar said. “We invest in their training and get them ready for these jobs.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the work-from-home phenomenon, Infosys has not yet settled on a physical location for its Calgary hub, though Kumar said that is something the company will pursue in the future. He added that 500 jobs over three years is a minimum target — if the Calgary expansion goes well, it could be more.

Kumar said he is bullish on Calgary and its ability to diversify and adapt to a changing economy — in part because its low cost of living and good quality of life make it an attractive jurisdiction for tech companies to set up shop, but also because of the city’s solid foundation as a hub for more traditional industry.

“The energy sector is going to go through a transition, and they’re going to go through digitization as well,” he said. “So this is a great time, and pivoting to the future of digital is, I think, the need of the hour. I’m very hopeful that Calgary can emerge out of this very successfully.”

In a news release, Premier Jason Kenney said he was pleased not just by the announcement of 500 new jobs for Calgary but by the re-skilling opportunities Infosys promises to bring to the local workforce.

“This announcement is a testament to the talent and opportunity that exists in Alberta as we continue our progress toward economic recovery and growth,” Kenney said.

“This is the latest proof that the plan to diversify our city’s economy is working,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a news release. “We are focused on making sure that Calgary is a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life. That benefit stood out to Infosys, and we are excited to be partners in their Canadian growth plans.”

Infosys was founded in Bangalore, India, in 1981. According to the company’s website, it has grown to become a US$13.15-billion company with a market capitalization of approximately US$72.2 billion. It is the second largest Indian IT company after Tata Consultancy Services and its employee stock options program created some of India’s first salaried millionaires.

Infosys has offices in 46 countries around the world and was recently recognized with a Best Place to Work in Canada — Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award. It has also been named a Global Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute.

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmandaMsteph

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2021

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories