Tech Mahindra recently fired close to 1,000 employees; Wipro was the canary in the coal mine
Once India’s global claim to fame, the country’s information technology (IT) sector is seeing a spate of layoffs by IT majors like Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys and Cognizant.
The churn in the IT sector — which is moving towards increasing automation, use of artificial intelligence and is beset by tightening visa regulations — is likely to affect mid-level employees with 10-15 years of experience the most, as many are averse to learning new skills, industry experts have said.
Further, Indian IT firms are witnessing their slowest growth in a decade, while global firms are shifting their budgets from traditional IT services to newer areas such as digital and cloud, which require engineers to engage with clients instead of working remotely. Even as this shift takes hold of the sector, automation is increasingly taking over low-end maintenance work, forcing companies to shift workers to other projects and reduce hiring from campuses.
However, what happened at Tech Mahindra is not an outlier, other IT majors like Wipro, Cognizant, Infosys and Capgemini are also facing their own share of challenges, and moving to either prune or re-skill their respective workforce.
“We have a process of weeding out bottom performers every year and this year is no different,” a Tech Mahindra spokesperson said.
As on December 31, 2016, the company’s total employee headcount stood at 117,095, while the software division had 80,858 employees.
Wipro was the canary in the coal mine
Late in April, Wipro move to sack around 500 of its employees as part of its appraisal process. (Read more)
The company is reported to have weeded out “non-performers” after a “rigorous performance appraisal”.
While Wipro did not specify the exact number of affected employees, the company said it “undertakes a rigorous performance appraisal process on a regular basis to align its workforce with the business objectives, strategic priorities of the organisation, and requirements of our clients”.
“This systematic and comprehensive performance evaluation process triggers a series of actions, such as mentoring, retraining and up-skilling. The performance appraisal may also lead to the separation of some employees from the company and these numbers vary from year to year,” it said. (READ MORE)