Showing posts with label Recession. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recession. Show all posts

Friday, January 29, 2010

, ,

No threat to IT Inc from Obama: Gartner

IT analyst firm Gartner dismissed any threat to the over $60-billion Indian IT exports industry following US President Barak Obama's plan to stop giving tax breaks to those US companies shipping jobs abroad.

"There is no need for panic...Even if tax breaks are taken away, the US firms have to outsource because that makes business sense for them," Gartner senior research analyst Diptarup Chakroborty said.

"If the tax breaks are taken away, it is not going to impact the Indian IT industry adversely. With the global economy looking up, a lot of emerging markets are opening up. The contribution from those markets is going to offset the impact of tax breaks if any," he said.

As the overall market would be growing the problems of tax breaks will be overlooked by the firms. The software firms association Nasscom also has sought to downplay Obama's plan to slash tax breaks for companies shipping jobs abroad, saying the real worry is "protectionism" and not tax breaks.

"I think the concerns that we have is about indirect protectionism. I don't think tax break issue is really the one which is important for us. Obama's comment was not related to outsourcing. It's about US companies operating in regions where they get tax benefits," Nasscom VP Ameet Nivsarker said.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Sharp drop in H-1B visas being used by Indian cos

Reflecting the changed ground realties in the US in the wake of economic crisis, there has been a sharp drop in H-1B work visas being applied for and obtained by major IT companies from India.

For instance the Infosys, which got as many as 4,559 H-1B visas in the fiscal 2008 and was on top of the list of firms bagging the coveted scheme for professionals, received just 440 H-1B visas in the fiscal 2009 (from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009), according to the latest figures released by the US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Similarly, Wipro, which in 2008 got 2,678 H-1B visas, received just 1,964 in 2009; but still topped the list in the fiscal 2009.

In 2008, four out of the top five spots for companies bagging the maximum number of H-1B visas were grabbed by Indian companies. These were Infosys (4,559), Wipro (2678), Satyam (1917) and Tata Consultancy Services (1539). Microsoft with 1037 H1-1B visas was the only US company to figure in top five.

However, the situation has changed dramatically in the year 2009 amid the global financial meltdown.

ArcelorMittal could cut 10,000 jobs: Report

ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, could cut 10,000 jobs worldwide next year to boost productivity and reduce general expenses by around $500 million, French newspaper Les Echos said on Monday.

The company, which currently employs 285,300 people, wants to regain lost market share and has a goal for general expenses to account for less than 3.5 percent of revenue, the paper said, citing trade union representatives who attended a European workers committee meeting on Dec. 9 to 10.

ArcelorMittal said in an e-mailed statement it did not want to comment on the figures mentioned in the report as they were not final.

"During ArcelorMittal's plenary meeting with its European Works Council last week, company representatives discussed the possibility that the business could expect some global workforce reductions next year due mainly to natural attrition and optimization of production," the statement said.

The company has already moved to slash thousands of jobs earlier this year, amid the steel space suffering the impact of the global economic downturn.

Friday, December 4, 2009

, ,

Demand for US H-1B visas on the rise

Applications for H-1B visas increased rapidly since October, indicating growing demand for skilled foreign staff from US companies

Demand for US H-1B visas has grown dramatically in the past month and a half, according to a report on

Figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service showed a spike in applications, after a quiet summer, indicating that US companies are again looking for foreign workers to fill skilled positions.

The demand seen in the past six to eight weeks has driven up the number of visa petitions to 58,900, approaching the 65,000 cap for financial year 2010.

The demand spike may also be down to companies switching existing foreign temporary workers on L-1B visas to the more stable H-1B visa, and demand for visas for students who have recently graduated with technical qualifications.

If the level cap is reached, which is expected to happen possibly by the start of next year, visas would then be allocated on a lottery basis, which is also fuelling the rush for visas as companies push through applications for staff.

The H-1B visa allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, and has been widely used by the IT and technology sectors to secure skilled employees.

Many non-US offshoring companies also rely on H-1B to be able to place their staff with customers in the US.

The system is controversial however, with opponents saying that jobs should go to American citizens first. There is currently legislation proposed to the US Senate which would prevent any company that has already laid off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers, which could potentially affect a large number of technology firms that have laid off large numbers of workers but continue hiring to fill other roles.

ST-Ericsson to lay off 600 staff globally

Chip maker ST-Ericsson has said that it plans to cut around 600 jobs worldwide as part of a move to save $115 million annually.

The joint venture between Swedish wireless equipment firm LM Ericsson AB and Swiss chipmaker STMicroelectronics said that it will conduct a global work force review. It will announce further details of the layoffs, and which countries will be affected after it has been in contact with the related unions.

The savings will add to a previous savings program announced in July. To reach the annual savings target ST-Ericsson will also reduce operating expenses and introduce an efficiency program within its research and development operations. ST-Ericsson was formed as a joint venture between Ericsson and STMicroelectronics in February 2009 with main headquarters in Geneva.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nokia to cut 220 R&D jobs

Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone maker, said today it would cut around 220 jobs in Japan as part of its plans to streamline its vast research and development operations.

"As part of its global efforts to align its research and development (R&D) operations to be in line with its focused portfolio of future products, Nokia will be reducing its R&D activities in Japan," the Finnish company said in a statement.

Last week Nokia announced that about 330 employees at its research and development units in Denmark and Finland would be made redundant.

The company employs about 17,000 people in research and development worldwide.

It said that despite the planned reductions, it would continue to have "significant sourcing activities in Japan."

"Vertu, Nokia's exclusive line of handcrafted mobile phones for the luxury market, will also continue operations in Japan unaffected by today's announcement," it noted.

The mobile phone giant launched a cost-cutting programme last January, after its earnings fell as consumers cut back on buying handsets amid the global financial crisis.

The programme aims to generate more than USD 1.0 billion in annual savings.

Before today, Nokia had announced about 4,000 job reductions since January, including around 1,300 voluntary redundancy packages.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


3i Infotech to implement four day work week for US employees

In a bid to cut costs, 3i Infotech, plans to implement initiatives such as offshoring and a four-day work-week for its US employees, a top company official said.

3i Infotech is a leading information technology services firm.

"Apart from debt management, we plan to focus on cost reduction during the current fiscal. We plan to give a four-day work-week to at least 400 US employees," 3i Infotech's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, V Srinivasan, told news agency here.

Presently, 3i Infotech has a staff strength of 13,500 with around 4,500 employees working overseas.

Increasing offshoring, which involves moving work from onsite to India and other low-cost destinations will help the company in reducing its costs, he said.

"Offshoring of work will help in cutting costs," Srinivasan said.

He, however, did not disclose how much savings the company would effect by these initiatives.

Asked whether the company planned to up its headcount, Srinivasan replied in the affirmative, saying the company would increase its headcount in the coming days.

"We plan to hire at least 500 professsionals for our India and foreign offices," he said.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lloyds to cut 5,000 jobs to reduce costs

Lloyds Banking Group said it plans to cut about 5,000 jobs in its administration, insurance and mortgage units. The bank will eliminate 2,600 full-time positions and a further 1,000 contractors and temporary workers by the end of next year, Lloyds said. About 1,400 workers will redeployed or relocated, the bank said. Lloyds had about 129,000 UK employees as of June.

The lender has eliminated over 8,000 jobs since its January takeover of HBOS, a deal which led it to seek a government bailout. Lloyds follows Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC in cutting jobs. The two lenders said last week they would eliminate a combined 5,400 positions.

Lloyds is in the midst of a three-year plan to reduce costs by more than £1.5 billion ($2.5 billion). The lender, which is 43% owned by the government, reported a £3.1 billion loss in the first half. x

“The government cannot afford to continue to look the other way as hard-working families are punished in this manner.” “There is a lot of overlap with HBOS and Lloyds,” said Irfan Younus, an analyst at NCB Stockbrokers in London. “There will always be casualties when you go through a significant restructuring.”

Chief executive officer Eric Daniels plans to raise £21 billion to avoid the Treasury’s asset insurance plan, which would have given the government a majority stake in the lender. Lloyds is raising £13.5 billion in the UK’s largest rights offer and £7.5 billion in a bond exchange. The bank will also sell 600 branches, including 164 Cheltenham & Gloucester branches it had earmarked for closure in June, to gain European Union approval for state aid.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


75% Indian engineering students unemployable: Report

Discussing a report by software industry group Nasscom which says that 75 percent engineering students in India are unemployable, education experts here on Saturday said that the Indian higher education system must give skill building and practical training equal importance as academics to give them an edge.

A.D. Sahasrabudhu, director of the College of Engineering, Pune said that one of the major reasons why engineers, even from reputed institutes, are not easily employed because they lack hands-on skill.

"The focus in most institutes here is always on academics and theory. Thus a mechanical engineer may actually not know how to change a part of a machine. Therefore even if a high scoring student gets placed in a good company, eventually that lack of practical knowledge catches up," Sahasrabudhu said during a panel discussion at the sixth Higher Education Summit organised by Federation of of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

"From our experience we now know that practical, hands-on training is very crucial in the education system," he added.

In their latest report released in the last week of October, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said that Indian IT firms reject 90 percent of college graduates and 75 percent of engineers who apply for jobs because they are not good enough to be trained.

And because there is such a dearth of competent people, companies like Infosys increased its training of employees to 29 weeks from this year. That's seven months of training, the report added.

Richard Kerly, a Scottish university professor, who had participated in the discussion said: "Just recently I came to know that Citi Bank had started its recruiting process here, but was not going to campuses placement cells.

"The possible reason is that students here, although brilliant, don't have an edge when it comes to putting theories to practice."

Sudhir Matthew, Dean, Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa, Lavasa Corporation Limited, Pune said: "The scene is very similar in the hospitality industry. Lack of hands-on trained students have forced hotel chains like the Oberoi, Taj and ITC to open their own hotel schools where the students are trained as per their needs.

"Tourism will grow at a rate of 8.8 percent till 2015 in India, making it one of the fastest growing markets but there is a serious lack of skilled hands. Academics combined with practical training is therefore very important to meet this shortage which is estimated at 3.2 million."

Mahindra Satyam sees worst over

Indian IT services firm Mahindra Satyam has added 35 new clients since April 13 and lost just a handful, said the firm's chief executive, adding that the worst was behind it and that spending by key customer groups was improving.

Mahindra Satyam, earlier known as Satyam Computer Services, was acquired by India's Tech Mahindra in April after the firm was hit by India's biggest corporate fraud, which came to light in January.

"I do believe that we are now stable from a customer, or a delivery perspective," C P Gurnani said.

"I am very, very clear that the bottom is behind us and we are back on a path to recovery," he added in the interview on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum event in New Delhi.

He said the company, which lost 25 to 30 percent of its customers between January and Tech Mahindra's agreement to take over the firm on April 13, had since then added 35 new customers and, to his knowledge, lost just three.

"These 35 logo accounts have come from emerging markets, the Middle East and Africa, and we have also added some clients in the US and Europe," Gurnani said.

The firm had about 380 customers when Tech Mahindra won an auction to take it over, said Gurnani, who was president of international operations at Tech Mahindra before taking over at Mahindra Satyam.

Tech Mahindra, a unit of tractor and utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, owns about 43 percent of Mahindra Satyam.

By comparison, rival Wipro said it added 37 clients in the July-September quarter.

Satyam's founder and then-chairman Ramalinga Raju shocked investors in January by saying profits had been overstated for years, which at the time had put in doubt the survival of a Hyderabad-based company once ranked as India's No. 4 software services exporter.

"I am very happy with the progress that we made, considering that this company had a situation where the focus on new sales had practically become zero," said Gurnani.

He said growth for the IT outsourcing industry would come from clients including the financial services sector.

"They went through a fair amount of slowdown in spending. And now with some of the, at least the American firms you've seen, the kind of numbers they are returning with, I do believe that they will accelerate their spending," he said.

Bigger rivals Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services have said demand from financial services clients was stabilising, but manufacturing and telecoms remained weak spots.

"Similarly healthcare, education, government, public sector -- I mean these are the areas where the spending velocity will be higher than last year," Gurnani said.

"The momentum is good, the uptake has improved, and I hope that it translates to better numbers not only for us but for the Indian IT industry," he said.

Gurnani also said the restatement of company results for recent years would be made on or before June 30, 2010.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Johnson & Johnson to cut 7,000 to 8,000 jobs

Johnson & Johnson will eliminate about 6 per cent to 7 per cent of its global workforce, or some 7,000 to 8,000 positions, as the diversified healthcare company restructures and seeks cost savings, the company said on Tuesday.

The company said it expects to generate annual pre-tax cost savings of $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion in 2011.

"We are announcing a series of actions and plans designed to ensure that our company remains well-positioned and appropriately structured for sustainable, long-term growth in the health care industry," J&J Chief Executive Officer William Weldon said in a statement.

J&J, which employs about 117,000 people, said it expects to record a pre-tax charge of about $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter associated with the restructuring. It backed its 2009 forecast of $4.54 to $4.59 per share, excluding special items.

Cost savings will be achieved mainly by reducing layers of management, increasing individual spans of control, and simplifying business structures and processes, the company said in a statement.

Nokia Siemens to cut thousands of jobs: Company

Finnish-German telecom equipment maker Nokia Siemens said on Tuesday that it could reduce its 64,000-strong workforce by seven to nine percent, or by 4,500 to 5,800 jobs, in a cost-cutting drive.

The cost-cutting is to "improve financial performance and return to growth" by reducing 500 million euros (732 million dollars) in annualised operating expenses and production overheads by 2011, the company said.

"As part of this effort, the company will also conduct a global personnel review which may lead to headcount reductions in the range of about 7-9 percent of its current approximately 64,000 employees," it added.

Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone maker, last month reported its first quarterly loss in a decade partly due to a 908-million-euro impairment charge for goodwill in the Nokia Siemens joint venture.

IT spending won't fully recover: Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that corporate spending on information technology (IT) will not recover to levels seen in recent years before the global economic slowdown.

"The economy went thru a set of changes on a global basis over the course of the last year which are, I think is fair to say, once in a lifetime," said Ballmer.

Spending on information technology, which accounted for about half of capital expenditures in developed countries before the crisis, was unlikely to rebound fully because capital was scarcer these days, he said.

"While we will see growth, we will not see recovery," he said. Ballmer was in Seoul to tout Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system. The latest edition of Windows, the software that runs personal computers, was released last month.

He said company purchases of PCs and servers were down about 15 per cent globally.

"It reflects the fact that CEOs have much more tightly constrained IT budgets," he added.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Recession over? GDP grows 3.5%

The U.S. economy grew more than expected in the third quarter, according to the government's initial report on gross domestic product.

The Commerce Department says GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.5 percent last quarter, the first positive quarterly growth in a year, and the largest quarterly advance since the third quarter of 2007.

GDP contracted by 0.7 percent in the second quarter.

Third quarter growth was led by double digit gains in durable goods and residential real estate, categories propped up by government stimulus programs like the first time home buyer credit and the cash for clunkers program. While that raises questions about the sustainability of growth as stimulus programs unwind, the Obama administration did not hesitate to take the credit.

"Today's numbers indicate that the tough decisions this administration made to rescue the economy from the abyss were correct," said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in a statement. "We're headed in the right direction, and even though there are still too many Americans out of work and still much work to be done, without the action taken in the early days of this administration, the pain families are feeling today would be much worse."

The Labor Department reported Thursday that first time jobless claims totaled 530,000 last week, although the total number of Americans currently receiving unemployment benefits fell 148,000 to 5.8 million, the biggest one week decline since July.

The official declaration of the beginning and end of a recession has traditionally been given to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which has not raced to make any such declaration. Its Web site continues to mark the endpoint of the current recession with a question mark.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

, ,

IT job mart buzzing again, software pros in demand

Headhunters looking out for 30,000 lateral entries in top firms
IT majors are back to hiring experienced hands after an eight-month hiatus beginning January. Counting for the early signals from headhunters in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, tech shops may be looking out for up to 30,000 lateral entries, if not more, before this calendar runs out. Recruitment agencies say they have started getting mandates for hiring in small batches.

At least two recruitment firms that FC spoke to confirmed that IT companies had mandated lateral hiring of between 20,000 and 30,000 employees in the past one month alone, though they were unwilling to hazard a guess on how the numbers might stack up by the end of 2009. They said there were still uncertainties about hiring intentions of their clients.

In the boom years of 2006, 2007 and 2008, the IT/ITeS industry created up to 400,000 new jobs every year of which about 150,000 were lateral entries. And while the global recession set in September 2008, hiring continued right through December. It was only in January-August this year that hiring trickled down to just a few hundred.

Headhunters confide that most large Indian and foreign firms, including the likes of IBM and Accenture, are back to hiring. Infosys and TCS have about more lateral hirings from the October-December quarter. So are some of the mid-sized body shops Sotware engineers with 4-8 years experience are mostly in demand.

Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO of The Head Hunters India said even tier-II IT companies were scouting for experienced personnel. “Depending on the size of the companies, the number of vacancies is generally between 50-100.”

Infosys board member T V Mohandas Pai told Financial Chronicle that his company had increased the forecast of additional headcount for financial year 2010 to 20,000 from 18,000 because it wanted to recruit more experienced people. This was needed to balance out the company’s staff pyramid, 70 per cent of which rests on freshers.

A HR industry tracker, who did not want to be named, said Infosys and TCS were also looking for business and vertical heads with over 12 years experience.

Sudhakar Balakrishnan, CEO of Adecco India, said, “There is some buoyancy now in the lateral hiring market for IT companies. Companies, though keeping the final numbers under wraps, are definitely looking to hire laterally. With revenues going up and the environment stabilising, they feel that a lot of requirements would be coming up.’’

While declining to give definite growth numbers, T Muralidharan, CMD of Hyderabad-based TMI Group said, the mandates received by his agency for filling up vacancies at top software firms in the past month was equal to what he had got in the preceding five months.

E Balaji, CEO of Chennai-based Ma Foi Management Consultants, said while the signs were good, firms were basically opening up positions that they had frozen earlier. “We have to wait and see how this scenario will pan out in the future,” he added. His opinion was shared by Gautam Sinha, CEO of TVA Allegis, a specialty IT/ITeS

hiring firm. He said, “The situation has improved but we are still 3-6 months away from lateral hiring going up to the pre-economic crisis numbers. The pipeline is good but big hirings will depend on the market condition in the US in coming months.”

He also explained that right now the companies were looking for professionals with 4-8 years experience. The big numbers would come when firms start looking out for professionals with 2-4 years experience, he said.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

, ,

Infosys Q2 result to shed light on recovery

The quarterly results of Infosys often guide sentiments on Dalal Street. And when the country’s second-biggest IT exporter declares its second quarter performance on Friday, it is likely to provide much awaited cues to investors.

While analysts would look for tell tale signs of recovery in the global markets and billing rate movement, a rapidly appreciating rupee may bring to the fore the relevance of near-term guidance of Infosys.

For the first time in four quarters, Infosys is likely to report sequential growth in its dollar revenue, buoyed by decent volume growth. A dollar growth of 2-3 % would translate into near equal rise in the rupee-denominated sales since the latter has not drifted much against the dollar from the previous quarter.

Net profit is expected to grow at a slower pace, given higher selling and marketing costs. As always, the market will keenly follow Infy’s future growth guidance.

Infosys issues guidance based on the rupee-dollar rate at the end of the quarter, which is 48.11 for the September quarter. In the past few days, the rupee has appreciated by 3% to 46.68, which will not be reflected in Infy's guidance.

What should investors watch out for post-Infosys' results? Analysts feel that the IT bellwether's current valuations have already captured the possibility of decent growth and improved guidance.

On technical charts, the recent movement in open interest and volume with declining price reflect a weak trend for the scrip. Considering the open interest in the October options, Rs 2,250-2 ,220 is a crucial support range for the stock in the near future. The stock ended at Rs 2252.8 on Wednesday.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Accenture profit falls, sees FY 2010 recovery

Technology outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture Plc reported a fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, but gave a stronger-than-expected outlook for the fiscal year that began in September, supporting the view that corporate spending was recovering.

Accenture's diluted net income for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Aug. 31 fell to $301.4 million, or 39 cents a share, from $543.1 million, or 67 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding restructuring charges, earnings fell to 63 cents a share, which was in line with the average analyst forecast according to Reuters Estimates.

For fiscal 2010, the company forecast earnings per share of $2.64 to $2.72, compared with $2.44 in the previous year. Analysts had expected $2.75, according to Reuters Estimates. Accenture has fared relatively well amid a global economic slowdown due to solid demand for its outsourcing services, but many customers have been slowing the pace of ongoing projects and deferring large commitments to consulting projects.
, ,

More than 18,000 H-1B visas yet to be grabbed

Reflecting the dire straits of the US job market and strict regulations imposed by the Congress, over 18,000 of the H-1B visas, once the most sought after by Indian professionals, is yet to be grabbed.

According to the latest figure update by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), approximately 46,700 of the H-1B visas in the general category were filled up by September 25; against a Congressional mandated figure of 65,000.

Thus, more than 18,000 H-1B visas or over one-fourth of the slot are still to be filled up, even as the financial year began today.

Primarily meant for professionals from computers and information technology sectors, the H-1B visas have been one of the most sought after visas for foreign professionals in previous years. The US Citizenship and immigration Service (USCIS) have been receiving several times the number of the allocated quota.

However, this is for the first time in several years that thousands of H-1B visas are still to be filled up even at the start of the financial year.

This is unlike the previous years when the entire 65,000 visas were grabbed on day one. Many a times, the USCIS had to resort to a computerised lottery to determine the successful candidates.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

, , , , , ,

IT firms pull out all stops on staff training

Indian IT majors may have tightened their belts in various areas to contain costs as a fallout of the global economic slowdown. However, most of them see continuing value when it comes to employee training, even though it skims crores of rupees off their top-lines.

Top tier IT firms — including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Technologies, Wipro and HCL Technologies — have identified the need to train the brains they handpick annually from India’s top engineering colleges and technical institutes as a critical task, even as the industry is seeing a degree of upturn in client demand.

India’s largest IT services provider, TCS, for instance, spends 2 per cent of its revenue every year on training new entrants. Bangalore-headquartered Infosys recently announced the opening of a grand training facility at its Mysore campus. Infosys annually spends over Rs 800 crore on training alone. Wipro spends about 2 per cent of its net sales in providing training to employees.

While Infosys and TCS have, to a certain extent, tried to centralise their training resources, Wipro’s strategy has been of a federal nature to cater to local manpower requirements. Wipro has set up an archipelago of training centres in proximity to its competency centres all over India and overseas.

“Wipro believes in taking learning as close as possible to the learner. Hence, for fresh recruits, training is conducted at the development centres where the employee is to be placed. Training happens primarily at our Talent Transformation Centres in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Kochi,” says Sreekala Ramamurthy, GM (talent transformation), Wipro Technologies. Overseas recruits, she says, are either provided training at the company’s global centres like the Atlanta Development Centre or “...recruits are flown down to our India offices”.

HCL, too, has decentralised its training infrastructure across the globe because its employees are no longer confined to a particular geography or location. According to Anand Pillai, senior V-P and global head (quality, talent transformation & intrapreneurship development), HCL Technologies: “Since learners are spread across the globe, the entire training department is also spread across the world. Our programmes are standardised to cater to global learning challenges and simultaneously manage different cultural nuances and local sensitivities.”

TCS provides an Initial Learning Programme (ILP) at the company’s corporate learning centre in Thiruvananthapuram. “We invest heavily in world-class training for our employees. ILP training is primarily conducted at our corporate learning centre at Thiruvananthapuram for Indian and non-Indian trainees. We replicate our fresher training programme at Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore and Baroda, as well as overseas, to bring scalability to our training model,” says Ajoy Mukherjee, V-P & head (global HR), TCS.

TCS’ new facility, the Peepul Park, is spread over 12 acres of newly acquired land in Technopark. The 3.5-lakh square feet Peepul Park is snazzily designed and also houses a Leadership Development Institute. The ILP Learning Block can accommodate 1,000 employees at a time, a hostel block accommodates 500 people, with a recreation centre and library thrown in. The facility has a capacity of 1,500 people.

The ILP is replicated in overseas geographies for new hires from countries like Australia, China, India, Hungary, Uruguay, the UK and the US. TCS also ensures that it hires people with diverse educational backgrounds and across geographies.

Infosys recently expanded the company’s global training centre, located at its 337-acre Mysore campus, by setting up another dedicated facility (GEC-II) for training. However, Infosys also maintains training infrastructure at all its development centres. The company recently extended the training duration for new recruits (freshers).

“We consider training as an investment in the future. Our investments to enhance our training capabilities are in keeping with future requirements,” justifies S Gopalakrishnan, CEO and MD, Infosys Technologies.
, , ,

TCS: We need more time

The new head of India's top outsourcing firm, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, said that it would take another few months to tell whether business spending was recovering, as customers were still working on their IT budgets for 2010.

"We'll have to wait for the next three months. All the customers are going through their cycles now," N Chandrasekaran, who takes over as chief executive when S Ramadorai retires on October 5, said in an interview.

TCS, which provides consulting, system integration and call center management, competes with India's Infosys Technologies Ltd and Wipro Ltd as well as big global players such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co and Accenture which offer similar services to multinational corporate clients.

Ramadorai, in the same interview, said the company was seeing more stability but that a more substantial recovery would take time.

"When is there going to be growth? I think it's going to take a while," he said.

Despite the cautious outlook and a recently announced plan by Dell Inc to buy technology services company Perot Systems, Chandrasekaran said he did not see a need for TCS to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions.

"It's not a question of ... getting squeezed" by US companies beefing up their services offerings, Chandrasekaran, currently chief operating officer, said.

"There is a lot of room for organic growth. We're expanding our footprint, we're expanding our portfolio of services that we offer," he said. But he added that TCS would consider acquisitions that bolster the company's portfolio of services.

He also said the company plans to add 1,000 jobs in the United States in the next year to boost its presence in a market TCS sees recovering ahead of other regions like Europe. The company currently has around 13,000 workers in the US.