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Software industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) dismissed incorrect reports of mass layoffs by IT companies in India. The industry body said the numbers being reported with regard to layoffs across different sources are not in line with the actual employment progression. “In fact, the industry continues to be a net hirer with talent acquisition continuing across sectors. In 2016-17, the industry added 170,000 new jobs (600,000 in last three years) and today boasts of a total employee base of 3.9 million (95,000-100,000 in start-ups and 50,000-60,000 in e-commerce),” it said in a statement. “The sector remains one of the largest employers of the nation. While there is a gentle deceleration in the net hiring growth rate due to shifting focuses towards innovation, lower attrition and enhanced efficiencies, the sector continues to hire fresh as-well-as lateral employees in equal proportion thus indicating the opportunities for employment at the entry as well as the mid-management level.” The statement said workforce realignment is common to any industry and is a part of the regular exercise of yearly performance appraisal processes, which only impacts 0.5-3 per cent of the overall IT talent pool. “Both skilling and talent re-deployment are part of a regular yearly cycle, as this enables companies to remain competitive,” Nasscom Chairman Mr. Raman Roy said.
In a first for an e-commerce company, Mr. Kunal Bahl and Mr. Rohit Bansal, co-founders of online marketplace Snapdeal, are planning to give $30 million, roughly Rs 193 crore, to the existing and some former employees from their own payout once the company’s sale to Flipkart is through. According to sources, the 1,200-odd employees left at Snapdeal will get from the co-founders half the $60 million payout SoftBank will pay Mr. Bahl and Mr. Bansal for their 6.5 per cent stake in Snapdeal. The co-founders, along with other directors including early investors Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners, agreed last week to SoftBank’s proposal to sell Snapdeal to Tiger Global-backed Flipkart. The value of Snapdeal shares and options has eroded and will be nil once the deal is signed. The deal-linked payment will also be extended to employees who do not own Esops to reward those who stayed on. Sources said that employees at Snapdeal individually would be richer by Rs 2 lakh-1 crore. “This would depend on how long an employee has been with the firm, their overall experience, and their position in the company. Some of the senior management team members who have stuck around with the founders even through tough times would be handsomely rewarded,” said a source close to the company. Not only the present employees, some who have left the firm but hold Esops or were asked to leave would be compensated. While in the past one and a half years around 30 ecommerce companies and startups — some even funded by big venture funds — have shut shop, none of the founders had promised such severance packages to their employees. Ecommerce firms such as Askme simply shut shop and left close to 4,000 employees high and dry. According to sources, even when Snapdeal had laid off most of the 10,000 employees it had till February 2016, they were given three months’ salary. Sources said that the founders had — as part of the deal to sell their stake — asked SoftBank to ensure that the 1,000-odd employees were absorbed in the merged entity at least for four to five months so they could have a smooth exit from the company. “The founders have been asking for an employment guarantee that Flipkart should absorb the employee strength in total,” the source added.
Paytm has received the final approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is set to launch Paytm Payments Bank on 23 May, its holding company One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd said. Ms. Renu Satti, vice-president of business at Paytm, will take over as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Paytm Payments Bank, the company said. Ms. Shinjini Kumar, who was hired in February last year by Paytm to lead the payments bank, is on her way out, according to people directly involved in the matter. Ms. Kumar was a former senior executive at the Reserve bank of India. Ms. Satti has been with Paytm for nearly a decade now and started out as manager of human resources at One97 Communications. Since then she has worked on several projects, including Paytm marketplace and the wallet business. One97 Communications founder and CEO Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma was among the 11 applicants to receive RBI’s in-principle nod for a payments bank licence in November 2015. In January, Paytm had said it received the final approvals from the RBI and was planning to start payments bank in one or two months, but the launch was delayed. In the same month, Bharti Airtel Ltd started operations for Airtel Payments Banks, a joint venture between Bharti Airtel Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. Paytm said that all active wallet accounts on the payments app will be transferred to the payments bank. “As per the directions of RBI, the company will be transferring its wallet business to the newly incorporated payments bank entity, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, under a payment bank licence awarded to a resident Indian, Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma,” it said in a statement.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will soon have a chief financial officer (CFO) to oversee financial reporting and accounts, besides shaping policies. Spelling out job responsibilities for the CFO, who will be of the rank of executive director, the RBI said he or she would be responsible for “accurate and timely presentation and reporting of financial information”. The head of finance should essentially be a qualified chartered accountant with at least 15 years of experience of overseeing financial operations of banks or financial firms, the central bank said in a notification seeking applications for the position. Till now, the central bank does not have a dedicated official handling the finance function, and the tasks are being carried out internally. The CFO’s responsibilities will also include establishing accounting policies and procedures, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations and standards. The CFO would communicate both the expected and actual financial performance of the bank. His work will also involve overseeing the Budget process, collecting inputs and comparing actual performance vis-à-vis the Budget Estimates. Mr. Raghuram Rajan, during his tenure as RBI governor, had toyed with the idea of having a chief operating officer of the rank of deputy governor. Mr. Rajan wanted Mr. Nachiket Mor, presently director on the central board of the RBI, to be in that position, said two senior bankers. The RBI expects the CFO to flag risks to the finances and develop strategies to counter and mitigate the same. He would have oversight of three departments, including department of government and bank accounts, corporate strategy and budget department, department of corporate services.
Infosys, the second largest information technology (IT) services firm in the country, will maintain its annual campus hiring at 20,000 this year, but is looking at engineers with new skills such as digital and analytics. IT firms in the country have witnessed technology and business shifts in the past few years. Clients are now spending more on digital, Cloud and analytics. Maintenance and testing — services usually performed by freshers — are also getting automated. This has prompted Infosys and its peers to look for new skills when they hire. The Bengaluru-headquartered company will begin its annual campus hiring in September, an Infosys spokesperson said. The placement process at engineering colleges goes on till February. IT companies hire in the third and fourth quarters and absorb the new work force in phases. “Hiring at Infosys has always been driven by business. Over the years, we have only increased the spread of roles we offer on campuses. The IT industry is witnessing a change in hiring patterns with unconventional, high-value graduates with differential skills likely to be more attractive,” said the Infosys spokesperson. The National Association of Software and Services Companies said the focus of the IT services sector was “shifting from scale to skill”. College administrations, however, report they have hardly witnessed any change. Mr. M K Panduranga Setty, president of the trust of Bengaluru-based R V College of Engineering, said, “So far, we have not seen any impact in terms of jobs. About 95 per cent of students in the final year have already got jobs. For the next year, we will have to wait and watch how the companies react to recent shifts in the sector.” Earlier this month, Infosys announced it would hire 10,000 in the US over the next two years and open four new technology and innovation hubs across the US. These would focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, Cloud, and big data.
Micromax’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Shubhajit Sen has stepped down from his position, and is moving out to pursue other interests. The company appointed Mr. Shubhodip Pal as its new Chief Marketing & Commercial officer and Group Head for VAS and online sales efforts. This includes both the Micromax and YU business. “It has been a great journey at Micromax over the past two years; one which I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of. As I leave Micromax, I feel satisfied that there is an excellent marketing team in place, deep relationships with strategic partners and a compelling future roadmap for the business. These present multiple opportunities for growth for Micromax going forward and I wish the leadership team all the very best for an exciting future,” said Mr. Shubhajit Sen, ex-CMO, Micromax Informatics in a press statement. Just last week, Mr. Sen had addressed the media about Micormax’s latest mid-segment phone, the Canvas 2 (2017). He had underlined how Micromax had kept quiet for a few quarters as the malarkey situation had changed and how it now planned to draw on its strengths in the offline channel. In a press statement, Micromax noted the development as a vision move to the next phase of growth for the company. The company’s new CMO Mr. Shubhodip Pal has over two decades of consumer marketing experience in launching, building and managing brands.
IBM India’s performance based appraisal exercise of its employees is likely to impact around 1-2% of its total employee strength while the company has strongly denied any move towards layoffs. In response to a query on reported layoffs, a statement from IBM said, “This is factually incorrect. We are not going to comment further on rumours and speculation.” IBM India which has estimated employee strength of around 1.5 lakh regularly undertakes performance appraisal exercise and sources indicated that the technology major is likely to be very selective in identifying the non-performers. This development at IBM comes amidst the similar exercise undertaken by other companies such as Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Capgemini. Nasscom, the Indian IT industry’s trade body has also said that the annual performance appraisal process for the sector generally impacts around 1-3% of the total employees and this year has been no different from the past. Nasscom also said the industry has been a net hirer of 1.5 lakh people every year with the total headcount now standing at 4 million. “Skilling and workforce realignment are essential to remain competitive in international markets. It needs to be appreciated that such workforce realignment is a normal part of the internal process of companies based on their own operational imperatives,” it had stated. Nasscom chairman Mr. Raman Roy said that 50-60% of the workforce needs to be re-skilled by 2020 to meet the new demands in the market like digital. He also remarked that automation will eat into 260 million jobs worldwide by 2025.
Every industry is on the cusp of a transformation because of technology and this is probably one of the most exciting times to be in the job market, Mr. Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Marketing at Cognizant, said. “We are talking about 3-D printing happening in manufacturing, in financial services people are talking about blockchain, media and entertainment industry people are talking about virtual reality, augmented reality, so on and so forth. All these are enabled by the technology. So if somebody were to get employed by the market today the opportunities and the options that are available to the individual today, the canvas is much wider more enriching,” Mr. Ramamoorthy said. In March, Cognizant came under the scanner for reportedly laying off 6,000 employees and also offering voluntary separation package to senior level staffers. To bring their grievances to people’s notice, the Forum for IT employees (FITE) reached out to the Tamil Nadu state government as well. The US-headquartered firm employs over 2, 61,000 employees. Denying that the company plans to lay off about 6,000 people, Mr. Ramamoorthy said that re-skilling of the employees is required across every sector owing to automation. He added that the company plans to reskill 100,000 of its employees this year in digital technologies such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and automation etc.
Hindustan Unilever, the country’s largest consumer goods company, will rationalise its workforce as it reviews its business in line with parent Unilever’s directives. Last month, Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer goods company, said it would combine two of its main business units, food and refreshment, divest its spreads business, buy back shares worth 5 billion euros, raise dividend to 12 per cent, and target a 20 per cent operating margin by 2020, up from 16.4 per cent last year. While the measures were aimed primarily at boosting its business prospects in Europe and North America, the India business, which contributes eight-nine per cent to Unilever’s $56.1-billion annual overall turnover, would feel the heat, especially in the area of workforce rationalisation, sector analysts said. In response to a query on the subject, HUL’s managing director and chief executive officer, Mr. Sanjiv Mehta, said the company was integrating “brand builders and brand developers” in a bid to optimise resources.
US automaker Ford Motor is making plans to cut about 10 per cent of its global staff, which could mean about 20,000 jobs worldwide. Most of the jobs will be salaried workers who do not have union protection, rather than the 57,000 US hourly staff who work on assembly lines. The company did not confirm or deny the report, saying only that “reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible” is one of its key priorities, but that it has yet to announce any new job cuts. Ford announced last month that it was looking to reduce costs by $3 billion in order to offset efforts to invest in “emerging opportunities”. The company has said that efforts to develop the next generation of electric and self-driving cars would lead to a lower profit margin in the near term. Those are expensive, long-term bets that will take some time to pay off, if they ever do. Ford announced the $3 billion cost cutting goal at the same time it reported sharply lower first quarter earnings. The company has been under pressure from shareholders about declining profits and a weak share price. Earlier this year, shares of electric car manufacturer Tesla (TSLA), which is a fraction of Ford’s size, passed Ford in terms of market value. But Ford and other US automakers have also been under pressure from President Mr. Donald Trump to create US jobs. Ford won praise from Mr. Trump when it announced in January that it was scrapping plans for a plant in Mexico and would invest $700 million in a Michigan plant to build electric and self—driving cars. But the company is still moving ahead with plans announced last year to shift all small car production to Mexico.
Cisco Systems Inc said that it is laying off 1,100 more workers, deepening job losses at the internet gear maker battling declining revenue. The new round of layoffs comes on top of the 5,500 jobs Cisco announced it was cutting in August. That amounted to about 7 per cent of its workforce at the time. Cisco sells routers, switches, software and services business and has seen its business hurt as more of its corporate customers rely on remote data centers for their computing needs instead of online networks maintained on their own premises. The company based in San Jose, California, reported revenue of $11.94 billion for its fiscal third quarter that ended in April. That was down from $12 billion a year earlier. It said it expects its revenue to decline 4 to 6 per cent in the quarter ending in July compared to the same 2016 period.
L &T Technology Services Ltd, the IT services arm of India’s largest engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd, will hire 2,500 Indians across verticals in the financial year to March 2018, a top company executive said. The company also intends to increase salaries at the entry level this financial year by up to 20%, Mr. Paneesh Rao, chief human resources (HR) officer at L&T Technology Services, said in an interview. “Telecom and hi-tech (comprising of semi-conductors and consumer electronics) and transportation are the two verticals that will be driving growth. Additionally, we also see industrial products growing this financial year,” Mr. Rao said. About the impact of automation on jobs at L&T Technology Services, Mr. Rao said, “Comparing us to a purely IT company is not fair. We are a purely engineering services company. We are a designing company, and we support design till production. A design cannot be automated. We need human brains working on it. To that extent, we are excluded from the automation impact.” Companies across the information technology (IT) industry have started to lay off people as growth slows and profitability declines.
To encourage internal talent, markets regulator Sebi has decided to fill two-third executive director posts from within the organisation. The remaining one-third will be filled up by deputation/contract. Sebi has six EDs currently and is planning to increase the strength. Earlier, 50 per cent of the total posts of executive directors had to be filled on the basis of internal candidates and the rest were to be recruited from outside the organisation. In case of non-availability of talent in any category –internal and deputation/contract — the post may be filled from other categories, it added. Now, the new selection committee would comprise two external experts nominated by the Sebi’s chairman apart from others. Earlier, it consisted of two board members, apart from the Sebi chief. The new rules would become part of Sebi (employees’ service) regulations. An employee association of Sebi, representing over 600 people, had recently sought the removal of a provision in their service rules that allowed the regulator to hire 50 per cent of its EDs on deputation, contract from outside the organisation.
The suspense for central government employees over recommendations to 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) could be over soon, as some union leaders may meet senior government officials soon. The meeting could offer an update on the recommendations related to allowance structure. Even though similar reports of a meeting were doing the rounds, the Finance Ministry or any of the government officials did not provide any confirmation. The 7th pay commission’s review committee on recommendations had submitted its report to Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley on April 27. Ever since the submission of the report, the central government employees have been eagerly waiting for an update from the Finance Ministry. The Committee of Allowances was formed under Finance Secretary Mr. Ashok Lavasa to examine the 7th pay commission recommendations on allowances, as passed by the Union Cabinet on June 26, 2016. This was in light of the extensive changes to the allowance structure recommended by the CPC and numerous representations received from central government employees and member of staff. The 7th CPC had recommended that 52 allowances be abolished altogether and 36 be subsumed in other allowances, out of a total of 196 allowances. The changes effected under the 7th pay commission will benefit 47 lakh central government employees presently working across the country.
Finding a well-paying job for graduates of India’s premier engineering institutes, the IITs, has always been a cakewalk. However, amid protectionist policies in the US and other countries, the decades old trend of placements has shown a decline this year. According to reports, the data sent by IITs to the human resource development (HRD) ministry revealed only 66 per cent of students who appeared for campus recruitment got a job offer in 2016-17, as against 79 per cent in 2015-16 and 78 per cent in 2014-15. If one goes by the official data sent to the human resource development (HRD) ministry, out of 9,104 student in 17 IITs who appeared for placements this year, only 6,013 were placed, it said. “We could have potentially done better, we were not able to get as many companies due to political uncertainties in the state. Companies that were to come to campus fulfilled their requirements with other institutions,” said Mr. Manu Santhanam, placement advisor at IIT Madras. The decline in placements at India’s premier engineering colleges is seen as a possible outcome of various disruptions globally, including protectionist steps taken by countries like United States and Australia.
Author, Speaker, Advisor, Global Goodwill Ambassador Startup, C-Suite and Business mentor who helps increase productivity profits, performance, communication, employee retention increase shareholder value