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Cognizant layoffs: Techies look for options in other sectors

IT solutions company Cognizant is expected to retrench over 6,000 employees in the country.

gurgaon Updated: May 11, 2017 17:43 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,IT job loss,Cognizant layoff
Cognizant office in Sector 48, Gurgaon. (HT File)

Layoffs in the information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors is expected to continue this year with the pace of job creation slowing down. Several people employed in IT and related sectors in Gurgaon have already started looking for options in other sectors, including pharmaceutical and smartphone manufacturing.

The National association of software and services companies (Nasscom) has confirmed that there will be more job cuts as the companies are focusing on hiring skilled staff, and digitisation and automation are increasing.

“I was planning to shift to an IT company in Pune but heard about the massive layoffs. Now, I have applied to a smartphone manufacturing facility in Bangalore as there is more stability in that sector,” a software engineer with nine years experience, working in Convergys at Sohna Road, said.

Employees in the human resource and accounts departments have multiple options in other companies but those with technical qualifications are finding it tough to venture out of the IT sector.

“I planned to be a lecturer but opted for electrical engineering on my parents’ insistence. Earlier, the scope was good in the sector... Four of my colleagues have been asked to leave. I am not sure of my position. Meeting routine expenses will be tough without a job,” a senior support engineer with an MNC in DLF Phase 3 said. She is now exploring options in a teaching career.

A senior executive involved in recruitment process said the companies are reducing their ‘bench strength’ as the financial sector has been unstable after high denomination currencies were scrapped in the country and polls in the USA. “Earlier, employees in ‘bench strength’ were not given hike and kept on hold, but, now, they are being asked to leave,” he said.

Sangeeta Gupta, senior vice-president, Nasscom, said layoffs are a routine process but the number is higher this time as companies need skilled people. “A number of people are already working and automation is increasing; that will impact new job creation,” she said.

IT solutions company Cognizant is expected to retrench over 6,000 employees in the country. Industry sources said other major IT giants are also planning to cut down workforce in Gurgaon.

Every year, companies conduct performance based appraisals and about 2% of the workforce is sacked. “The business environment is volatile... It will impact new hiring,” Gupta said.

According to a report, the hiring process for 2017 is likely to be slow with IT majors expected to cut down intake of engineers by 40%.

Companies, however, are defending retrenchments as part of appraisals.

“As part of our workforce management strategy, we conduct regular performance reviews to ensure we have the right employee skill sets necessary to meet client needs and achieve our business goals. This process results in changes, including some employees transitioning out of the company. Any actions as a result of this process are performance-based and generally consistent with those we’ve made in previous years,” a spokesperson of Cognizant said.

A spokesperson of Genpact said there are no layoffs planned but the company will hire only skilled people. “As always, we continue to invest in developing and upskilling internal talent to take on better jobs while driving a strong performance culture and we will continue to hire in areas of growth,” the spokesperson said..

First Published: Mar 24, 2017 22:27 IST