India’s IT bloodbath in 2017 : Employees Time to Act

We are nearing the end of a year during which the worst nightmare of many IT employees came true. Thousands of employees from Wipro, Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahnidra, IBM and other companies lost their jobs. Companies fired them illegally showing the exits as voluntary attrition. In most of the cases filed by victims in labour offices all over India, the managements maintain that they did not ask anyone to resign.

What is in store for 2018? A news report in Quartz India claims that things will get worse in the next 3 years. Worse for employees, that is, not for managements and stock markets who will continue to get huge salary hikes and price appreciations.

Company managements take care of their own interests and the interests of share holders. Who will worry about employees’ lives other than employees themselves.

Report in Quartz India 56,000 layoffs and counting: India’s IT bloodbath this year may just be the start

Some excerpts from the report :

“For Indian techies, 2017 was the stuff of nightmares.”
“India’s $160 billion IT industry laid off more than 56,000 employees this year.”

“Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys, two of India’s largest IT companies and once leaders in job creation, reduced their headcounts for the first time ever.”

“Infosys cut 9,000 jobs in January.”

“Around 6,000 Indian employees at Cognizant reportedly lost their jobs to automation.”

“Mumbai-based Tech Mahindra implemented a cost optimisation plan of increasing automation and reducing manpower. It turned ugly in July when the firm made headlines over a controversial audio clip that featured an HR personnel purportedly coercing an employee into quitting by 10 am the next day, or risk being fired.”

“Nearly one-third (700,000) of the low-skilled workers in India’s IT sector stand to lose their jobs by 2022”

But, the reason cited by IT companies for job losses is wrong according to Narayanamurthy.

“There is this whole thing about automation and artificial intelligence. That is much more hype than the reality, at least in the software services,” Murthy said.

Meanwhile, hiring plummeted, with entry-level openings having more than halved in 2017, according to experts.

“In 2017, campus hiring by IT companies fell by a massive 50-70%, While earlier they’d hire freshers in bulk in anticipation of future contracts, the strategy has now shifted to just-in-time contract hiring.”

And according to Mohandas Pai IT companies formed cartels to keep entry level salaries low.

Narayanamurthy says “In the last seven years, the salaries of freshers in the software industry have stayed stagnant while the same for senior-level employees have grown by up to 1,000%”.

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