Tata Consultancy Services CEO S. Ramadorai has a lot of numbers going his way, like a 44% year-over-year sales gain last quarter. But a looming threat could derail the CEO's plans to turn TCS into a $10 billion-a-year business by 2012: the lack of skilled labor. "Attracting and keeping the best talent is going to be a critical challenge for us," Ramadorai said in an interview last week. Though India pumps out about 400,000 tech graduates a year, every big IT outsourcer is hiring by the thousands. TCS plans to hire 30,500 people this year.
So Ramadorai is looking beyond India. The company is moving aggressively into China, Eastern Europe, and South America, and it's recruiting at top schools, including Harvard and Oxford. "We let [students] participate in real projects we're doing and see our facilities around the world," he says.
TCS must persuade top prospects to pick the company over, say, IBM. For India to remain the country of choice for IT services, its schools must mass-produce capable graduates, because there's always Budapest or Guangzhou--or even Des Moines.