The Naukri JobSpeak index for Apr’17 at 1768 was 11% down from Apr’16, indicating a fall in the overall new job creation scenario. IT-Software industry was hit the most during Apr’17 with a 24% decline in hiring as compared to Apr’16. Key industries like Construction and BPO/ITES saw a 10% and 12% fall respectively, while Banking saw a 11% increase in hiring during April 2017 as compared to April 2016. Major metro cities recorded a YOY fall in Apr’17 as compared to Apr’16. Commenting on the report, Mr. V. Suresh, Chief Sales Officer, Naukri.com said, “As predicted earlier job market continues to be volatile and the Jobspeak index in April has shown a negative growth of 11% (YOY).Though major negative impact seems to be in sectors like IT/BPO/Telecom/Insurance and Construction, there seems to be an air of caution across all sectors and this volatility is likely to continue for few more months before the markets could move north again.”
Mr. Nitin Seth, recently appointed Chief Operating Officer at India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart, has put down his papers as investor Tiger Global further tightens the reins around the company. Mr. Seth, who was appointed as Chief People Officer in March last year had quickly risen up the ladder at Flipkart. After Mr. Kalyan Krishnamurthy, former Tiger Global executive took over as CEO in January, Mr. Seth was offered the position of COO apart from heading Ekart and HR. Last week, it was reported that Mr. Krishnamurthy would take over HR functions at Flipkart, setting the stage for Mr. Seth’s exit. His departure comes at a time when Flipkart is in the process of buying smaller rival Snapdeal, in what should become the largest M&A deal India’s start-up sector has seen so far. When deals such as these go through, experts say HR becomes a key responsibility, as a company will have to take hard decisions of whom to let go. Apart from the acquisition of Snapdeal, which will create a hoard of redundant positions at the merged entity, Flipkart is also in the process of integrating eBay’s India unit within itself. Mr. Krishnamurthy took over as CEO, inherited an arduous task of reviving a company that was bloated and had lost direction. Exits of top executives such as Mr. Punit Soni, Mr. Manish Maheshwari, Mr. Mukesh Bansal, Mr. Ankit Nagori, Mr. Amod Malvia, Mr. Sanjay Baweja, Mr. Peeyush Ranjan and several others have made headlines in the past one year. The former Tiger Global executive’s hard handed tactics have however yielded results, with Flipkart fighting back rival Amazon’s rise in India. The Indian firm even raised a massive $1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft, which it said it will invest massively in technology and infrastructure apart from growing higher yielding categories such as fashion, furniture and appliances.
Uber confirmed that the company’s head of finance is leaving, just after the on-demand ride service trimmed its quarterly loss to $708 million on rising revenue. Mr. Gautam Gupta will depart Uber in July to become chief operating officer at a younger startup in San Francisco, according to the company. “Over the last four years, Gautam has been indispensable in helping build Uber from an idea into the business it is today,” founder and chief executive Mr. Travis Kalanick said in a statement. “We couldn’t have done it without him, and I will miss his energy, focus and infectious enthusiasm. “Uber said that its revenue during the first three months of this year rose some 18 percent to $3.4 billion, but the company logged a loss of $708 million without taking into account stock compensation for employees. Uber cited the numbers as progress, given that losses in the preceding quarter totalled $991 million. “These results demonstrate that our business remains healthy and resilient as we focus on improving our culture, management and relationship with drivers,” an Uber spokesperson said. “The narrowing of our losses in the first quarter puts us on a good trajectory towards profitability.” Uber has seen a shake-out in its executive ranks as it works through a series of scandals that included disclosures about a culture of sexism, cut-throat workplace tactics, covert use of law enforcement-evading software, and release of a dash-cam video showing Mr. Kalanick berating and cursing at one of Uber’s drivers. Uber said that it had fired an engineer accused in a trade secrets suit involving files he purportedly purloined from Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo. The case stems from a lawsuit filed in February by Waymo, formerly known as the Google self-driving car unit, which claimed a former manager took a trove of technical data with him when he left to launch a competing venture that went on to become Otto and was later acquired by Uber.
India’s information technology (IT) services industry is hiring engineers with skills in cloud computing, analytics and digital — the segments that clients are spending money on — even as companies tighten performance appraisals of employees working on legacy services where budgets are shrinking. Industry lobby group National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) sathe sector is expected to hire 150,000 people this year, with the top two firms — Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys — making public that they intend to recruit more than 20,000 engineers each. IT firms are also undertaking a massive exercise to reskill the existing employees, nearly half of the 3.9 million people the industry employs, in emerging technologies as the industry faces its worst crisis in nearly a decade. Wipro, HCL Technologies, and Tech Mahindra did not disclose their hiring plans. Nasscom said the industry is witnessing an increasing demand for services using new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things, machine learning and big data analytics. “While reskilling is imperative, there is a clear shortage of talent in skills, both in India and globally,” Mr. R Chandrasekhar, president, Nasscom, said in a telephonic interview. “But it is hard to give a number.” Today, clients are seeking services in digital, where applications need to have better designs for users to access on smartphones or shift them from existing IT hardware on premise to a secure place on the internet. This technology shift also means that firms need to work with clients jointly or even consult them, as against the traditional model of building software based on specifications. Clients also spend smaller amounts initially for the new work before scaling up, unlike multi-million dollar contracts Indian firms they bid for in the past.
SoftBank has announced the induction of India-born Mr. Rajeev Misra who has been heading the firm’s Vision Fund since over seven months, into the company’s board of members. Earlier this month, SoftBank CEO and President Mr. Masayoshi Son signed a deal with the Saudi Government raising USD 93 billion capital for his Vision Fund. SoftBank Group and Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund have committed to invest over USD 93 billion in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics. This will be the world’s largest tech innovation. The Softbank Vision Fund is expected to target long-term investment in firms that seek to target the next leg of innovation. Before heading the Vision Fund, Mr. Misra was the head of strategic finance at SoftBank. He joined SoftBank in November 2014. Mr. Misra has also served as the global head of credit at financial services firm UBS. SoftBank has funded a bunch of start-ups in India including e-commerce firm Snapdeal, wallet firm Paytm and cab aggregator Ola, among others.
Even as Snapdeal finalises the contours of a stake sale to Flipkart, the Gurgaon-based ecommerce company’s human resources Chief Mr. Saurabh Nigam has quit and will move out shortly. “An intense and enriching three years with Snapdeal comes to a nostalgic close. It has been a true honor to work with an outstanding team and exceptional leaders. It is now time to paint a new canvas,” Mr. Nigam said without specifying his future plans. Commenting on Mr. Nigam’s exit, a Snapdeal spokesperson said: “After spearheading Snapdeal’s human capital function for more than three years, Mr. Saurabh Nigam has decided to move on to pursue further career interests in a field close to his heart. He has been an integral and invaluable part of Snapdeal’s journey.” Mr. Pravin Kutty, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Administration will head the human capital function post Mr. Nigam’s exit, the spokesperson added. Mr. Nigam had joined Snapdeal in 2014. Besides senior level exits, Mr. Nigam’s tenure also saw massive layoffs by Snapdeal impacting over 2000 employees. He also played a major role while the company scaled up its hiring initiatives during 2004-05 period. His departure comes soon after Snapdeal’s general counsel, Mr. Ashish Chandra quit the company as the deal with Flipkart was being driven by the company’s largest stakeholder SoftBank. Mr. Nigam joins the list of senior executives who have quit the company in the last few months such as Mr. Tony Navin, Mr. Abhishek Kumar and Mr. Sandeep Komaravelly, among others.
Wipro has denied the reports stating that the tech giant asked its managers to identify the bottom 10 per cent of the workforce. Earlier reports said the company had taken the decision after the recently concluded quarterly appraisals in April. In an email response the company said, “We constantly seek to help our employees develop new and niche skills. Wipro’s rigorous appraisal process allows it to identify those employees who will need to be mentored and reskilled to align with the business priorities and strategic objectives.” Terming the reports of company reducing its headcount as misleading, Wipro said, “This is a regular practice and reports suggesting that the company is looking to reduce its workforce by 10 percent this year are false and have no merit.” The company said that they continue to hire talent from colleges and train them on new and emerging technologies, train existing talent on new technologies to fulfill demand and also hire senior level laterals from the market.” Meanwhile, a forum of IT workers is all set to get itself registered as the first union of techies in the country, amid reports of large scale layoffs by companies. “The Forum for Information Technology Employees (FITE) will be getting itself registered formally as the first union for IT employees in India,” forum’s vice-president, Mr. Vasumathi, said.
The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), the highest decision-making body of the employees’ provident fund organization (EPFO), rejected the government’s proposal of pruning employers’ contribution to the employees’ provident fund (EPF) to 10% from 12% at present, even as it gave the retirement fund body its go-ahead for enhancing its exposure to the stock market to 15% of the incremental deposits from 10% now. Sources present in the CBT meeting said the proposal of reducing employers’ contribution saw vehement protests from the states, as well as workers’ and employers’ representatives, leaving the Centre with no option but to withdraw the proposal. Under the present law, it is mandatory for units employing 20 or more persons and earning up to Rs 15,000 a month to provide EPF benefits to workers. While employees contribute 12% of the basic pay to EPF, the employer contributes 8.33% towards the employee’s pension scheme and 3.67% to the EPF itself. Employees also make matching 12% contribution. Additionally, employers also pay 0.5% towards EDLI, 0.65% as EPF administrative charges and 0.01% as EDLI handling fee. The Centre had mooted the idea of pruning contribution to ensure that the take-home pay of employees increases and also to promote formal employment. But the employees’, as well as employers’ representatives, argued that lowering the contribution is not in the interest of the workers and should be done away with.
Swiss-based food company Nestle SA is creating thousands of jobs and investing in new factories in Latin America as it looks to tackle social issues and shore up its position in one of its strongest markets, the regional head said. The maker of Kit Kat chocolate bars and Nespresso coffee is working with government officials in the four countries that are members of the Pacific Alliance trade group — Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia – to create 2,900 jobs for young people over three years and teach job-hunting skills. “Our view on corporate responsibility is that to make it sustainable we have to do it in a way that is embedded in our business model. Integrating young people can help us shape our company at a time of digital revolution,” the company’s Americas head Mr. Laurent Freixe said in an interview. “We’re not proposing the jobs just to do good for society. Our business is developing and we have real needs. “The initiative follows a similar project carried out by Nestle in Europe in recent years, where some countries are just beginning to recover from a youth unemployment crisis. The company employs some 60,000 people in roles ranging from factory operatives to veterinarians in Latin America. Although a recession in Brazil and commodities-driven slowdown throughout the region had an impact, Freixe said areas such as pet care and coffee offered potential growth as Latin America’s middle class expands. “We have investments in many places. We are finalizing investments in pet food and infant nutrition in Mexico. We are discussing new sites (through the region),” he said, adding that the company was finalizing a new factory in southern Chile and that one slated for Cuba should be signed off by the end of the year.
The government has expanded the Banks Board Bureau (BBB) headed by former CAG Mr. Vinod Rai by adding two more members. Former Allahabad Bank chairperson and managing director Ms. Shubhalaxmi Panse and private equity veteran Mr. Pradip Shah have been inducted into the board as independent members, a senior finance ministry official said. The appointment of two additional members to the BBB will strengthen the panel, the official added. The body is responsible for selection of MDs and directors of public sector banks and financial institutions. At times, pre-occupation of some of the members results in postponement or delay of the selection process. So, expansion of the Bureau will eliminate delays in timely holding of interviews for filling up key positions in PSU banks, the official said, adding that with the induction, the quorum will be maintained in case some member cannot report at the time of interview due to some unforeseen event.
Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT firm, offered a more than 31 per cent hike in remuneration to its key managers at a time when the rest of the company’s employees received average salary increase of around 10 per cent. The IT services major declared its performance-based hike in remuneration for the last financial year, the firm said in in its annual report for fiscal 2017. Former chief executive officer Mr. N Chandrasekaran, who served as TCS CEO till February 21, 2017, earned more than Rs 30.15 crore including a large share of commission in last fiscal. Mr. Rajesh Gopinathan, who was elevated as the chief executive officer in February, earned Rs 6.2 crore in total compensation for the same period. Mr. Gopinathan served as the chief financial officer of the company till February 21. Mr. N G Subramaniam, who became the chief operating officer since February, earned Rs 6.1 crore last fiscal. Two other key persons in the company’s executive team, Ms. Aarthi Subramanian, Executive Director and Mr. Suprakash Mukhopadhyay, Global Treasury Head and Company Secretary, were given more than 30 per cent increase. While Ms. Subramanian earned Rs 3.7 crore in last fiscal, Mr. Mukhopadhyay earned Rs 2.32 crore.
Cognizant, the NASDAQ listed IT services major with a major presence in India, has denied that it has laid off employees and has declared that it will continue to hire across geographies. Recent reports stated that Cognizant was in the process of laying off around 6,000 employees given the slowing growth rate of the industry. In an e-mail addressed to employees, Cognizant president Mr. Rajeev Mehta said, “Cognizant has not done any layoffs. Each year, in line with industry best practices, we conduct performance reviews to ensure we have the right associate skillsets to meet client need and achieve our business goals. Resulting actions are performance-based and generally consistent year to year.” The company continues to hire across geographies. “In our recently ended March 2017 quarter, we hired several thousand professionals globally, including top campus talent and experienced hires,” the e-mail said. The company at the end of March quarter, 2017 had an employee strength of 2.62 lakh. “Our performance management is based on having the right skill mix to succeed in the digital economy, globally. We are committed to being a meritocracy. We believe that’s good for all our associates around the world,” Mr. Mehta said in the letter. Cognizant, the NASDAQ listed IT services major with a major presence in India, has denied that it has laid off employees and has declared that it will continue to hire across geographies. Recent reports stated that Cognizant was in the process of laying off around 6,000 employees given the slowing growth rate of the industry. In an e-mail addressed to employees, Cognizant president Mr. Rajeev Mehta said, “Cognizant has not done any layoffs. Each year, in line with industry best practices, we conduct performance reviews to ensure we have the right associate skillsets to meet client need and achieve our business goals. Resulting actions are performance-based and generally consistent year to year.”
Air India Ltd is likely to hire a new joint managing director (MD) soon, even as the government considers disinvestment in the state-owned airline. “We are asking for a post creation from DoPT (department of personnel and training),” said an aviation ministry official. Air India has had two joint MDs since it merged with Indian Airlines in 2007. Bureaucrat Mr. Vishwapati Trivedi was the first. Mr. Syed Nasir Ali, an Indian Revenue Service officer deputed to the aviation ministry, was joint MD from 2012 to 2014. Since then, the post has not been filled. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, had asked the aviation ministry to fill the position, which fell vacant in 2014. The process had slowed since then, but gathered momentum again. The ministry wrote to DoPT last week to create the position. Earlier this month, ACC filled two independent director positions on the Air India board which had been vacant for several months. One is Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesperson Mr. Syed Zafar Islam, a former investment banker; and the other is former Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd chairman Mr. R.K. Tyagi, who previously served in the aviation ministry as head of Pawan Hans Ltd. The aviation ministry official quoted above said besides these, there was no move to bring in more people for now. Mr. Islam has a strong finance background, while Mr. Tyagi has been in aviation for some years now, the person said.
The finance ministry has initiated the process for finding new chief of the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) as Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya’s extended term comes to an end on October 6.”Department of Financial Services has communicated to Banks Board Bureau the emerging vacancies at the top level of PSU banks which will have to be filled during course of the year,” a senior finance ministry official said. This also includes chairman and one managing director of the SBI, which alone has market share of more than 20 per cent. Ms. Bhattacharya will complete her four-year term as chairperson of SBI on October 6. Besides chairman, SBI has four managing directors looking after different departments. The post assumes significance as the bank has recently merged five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) pushing SBI into the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT), besides BMB, merged with SBI with effect from April 1. The process of integration would at least take a year.
Tata Motors, one of the country’s largest automakers, will move to a new salary structure next month which will now be driven by a performance-based component aimed at maximizing the talent pool. This is part of the company’s attempt at restructuring operations, which also involved doling out voluntary retirement packages that led to the headcount falling by 1,300 during the final quarter of last year. “We have changed our performance and leadership evaluation method,” said Mr. Guenter Butschek, Managing Director of Tata Motors, in an interview to the in-house Tata magazine. We are about to introduce a performance-based remuneration scheme that answers the ‘what’s in it for me’ question. This is a core element in the transformation exercise as we will have a completely new remuneration scheme [it will be rolled out with the salary review in June 2017]”, The Mumbai-headquartered Company has cut business roles and responsibilities according to functions and product lines and platforms under the ‘Organizational Efficiency’ programme which was rolled out on April 1. The maker of cars, trucks and buses has brought its management structure down to 5 levels from 14. It also has a right-sizing programme that will improve efficiencies and bring “significant” cost savings.
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