Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CSC under scanner for 'exploiting' Indian IT professionals in Denmark

The Indian subsidiary of the world’s fourth-largest IT services provider, the $16.7-billion Computer Science Corporation (CSC), is under scanner for allegedly exploiting Indian IT professionals sent onsite to Denmark.
Source: EconomicTimes

The accusation comes from a local IT workers’ union, which claims CSC is paying Indian IT professionals in Denmark salaries lower than the minimum stipulated by law.

PROSA — a Danish trade union for IT professionals — raised the issue last month when an Indian IT professional on deputation in Denmark, protested about not being paid the salary promised by CSC. The issue is creating headlines in the Nordic country, which has about 65,000 IT professionals.

According to papers filed by PROSA with Danish investigating authorities, CSC pays Indian IT professionals between 5,000 and 8,000 Danish Kroner (DKK) a month — roughly equal to what the Indian IT workers would get, working in Noida or Hyderabad. (One DKK is equal to Rs 8).

But Danish law states that foreigners must earn at least 31,250 DKK monthly to enter the country through the so-called salary amount rule, which is part of the Aliens Act. “Danish law requires companies to pay foreign IT workers in Denmark a minimum wage of 31,250 DKK, which is roughly equal to Rs 2.5 lakh per month, to enter the country. We believe more such IT companies are involved in exploiting Indian IT workers onsite,” said Hanne Lykke Jespersen, union secretary, PROSA. “The Danish government has already launched an investigation into this matter,” she added.

To give a comparison between the cost of living in Denmark and India, a McDonald’s Big Mac (called Maharaja Mac here) costs $1.5 (Rs 69) in New Delhi. The same Big Mac costs about $5.7 (Rs 250) in Copenhagen. In another comparison, per capita income in Denmark is about $3,000 per month. In contrast, Indian IT workers are often paid even lower, at about $1454 per month (equating with 8,000 DKK per month), going by PROSA’s claims.
Source: EconomicTimes

TCS to hire 30,000 in next fiscal

IT major, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), today said that its growth momentum in the last quarter of this fiscal would be better than the previous quarter and that the entire IT industry would see an improvement in the deal pipeline.

"The growth is definitely there and we should stick to what we have said earlier...The growth momentum in the last two quarters will continue this quarter also but we have to see whether it will be better than those during the boom days," TCS Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, S Mahalingam, told reporters on the sidelines of a CII-IFRS summit here.

On increments to its employees, Mahalingam said that the company would be announcing the same around April but he would not be able to divulge the quantum now.

The TCS official, however, said that it would definitely be as per industry standards and keeping in view the prevailing economic scenario.

Mahalingam said that the company has planned to hire 30,000 personnel in the next fiscal.

Infosys to give ‘unheard of’ increments

Infosys Technologies has been seeing a churn of employees in the past three quarters. The churn began after new HR initiatives, including a career-determining programme called iRace, were started.

Several thousand dissatisfied employees have quit since October. Though no official count is available, employees put the number of exits since October at over 10,000. This has forced the company to make some changes in its HR policies. One of the changes is believed to be good salary increments this time.

Some of the other changes are: Delinking the average working hours every quarter from iRace and appraisal, and scrapping the requirement of completing two compulsory internal certification programmes.

A Hyderabad-based employee quoted the HR head, Nandita Gurjar, as saying that salary raises unheard of in the company would be given this April. Gurjar was not willing to tell Financial Chronicle the size of raises; but employees expecting hikes in the range of 5 per cent to 13 per cent.

The problem HR plan – iRace (short for Infosys role and career enhancement) – introduced last June, defines roles, competencies and proficiency requirements, while linking career movements to performance and business focus. FC had then employee apprehensions about the programme.

In the past two months, Infosys employees have been rushing to the internet, and the blogosphere, in particular, as well as the company intranet with lambasting iRace. Cartoons, videos on Youtube and fake interviews have also been posted.

This led Gurjar to post her comments on the internal blog. She said, “Of late I have noticed a disturbing trend wherein employees leaving the organisation write mails about it in disparaging terms, and existing employees take joy and pleasure in circulating these mails among themselves and even outside.”

“I feel deeply hurt when I hear of such incidences. It makes me wonder, would we behave in this way if someone spoke similarly about our friends, family or country...? At what point do we move from being a bystander enjoying the fun to be an owner who takes offence at this kind of behavior?’’

According to employees, of the over 10,000 that have quit since October, 4,000 left in February. About 1,000 e-separations were filed on the intranet on a single day: December 31. Gurjar though says that only 1,200 people quit in January, 1,104 in February; and a slightly higher number of departures were expected this month.

An employee based in Bangalore said, “iRace is the reason for the exodus. After the implementation of the programme and other policies like 9.15 hours of compulsory attendance, people now dread to work in the once dream company.”

Asked about the iRace effect, Gurjar told FC that employees had confused it with promotions and linked it to the slowdown.

“The career architecture has nothing to do with promotions and is more to do with skill mapping. Employees have to remember that promotions and hikes are a result of growth and they will grow only if the company grows. Earlier, when Infosys was growing at 40 per cent plus, raises and positions were attuned to that kind of growth. The cycles now will be more relevant to today’s growth rates,” she said.

She added that the company had now started communicating the initiative and employees were beginning to understand the positives. The employee angst notwithstanding, HR consultants feel rationalisation will continue. It could benefit both company and employees in the long run.

P Thiruvengadam of Deloitte India said, “Rationalisation of the career structure is a common phenomenon in most mature organisations. While companies are young and growing rapidly, they reward employees that way too but after they reach 20-30 years and saturate, they are more conservative.”

According to Kris Lakshmikanth of The Head Hunters India, different IT companies deal with the problem of inefficiency and excess fat in different ways. Infosys had chosen this method, which was facing trouble maybe because of the timing of its launch, he added.
Source: mydigitalfc.com

Intel invests in 3 Indian IT cos

Computer chip maker Intel's investment arm, Intel Capital has invested $23 million (Rs.115 crore) in three technology firms to foster innovation in India, the company said.

The three firms are July Systems, KLG Systel and MCX.

Intel Capital, however, did not disclose the investment in each of the firms, claiming confidentiality.

The company issued a statement here that funding would be drawn from the Intel Capital India Technology Fund floated in 2005.

"The investments will stimulate local technology innovation and reinforces our commitment towards fostering Indian innovation," Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani said.

Wipro merges two offshore offices with itself

The the third largest IT exporter Wipro today said "Indian branch offices" of the two overseas subsidiaries-- Wipro Networks Singapore and Cyprus-based WM NetServ-- stood merged with the company.

The two branch offices of the subsidiaries merged with the company following filing of e-form along with certified copies of orders of the Karnataka High Court with the respective offices of the Registrar of Companies, Wipro informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The Indian branch offices of the two overseas subsidiary companies of Wipro filed the form on March 26, 2010 for making amalgamation effective from April 1, 2010, it said.

Wipro Networks provides communication solutions that include consulting, voice, data and converged solutions and managed services.

WMNetServ is a managed network telecommunications services provider. In July 2006, Wipro and Motorola formed it as a joint venture to deliver world-class capabilities in managed services to public and private network customers.

The joint venture was formed to deliver outsourced telecom services to help customers focus on their core business and gain access to capabilities not available internally.

Wipro expands its operations in Australia, opens development centre

In a bid to expand operations, India's leading software company Wipro today opened its new Australian Development Centre here.

Victorian premier John Brumby officially opened the centre and said it added to the state's impressive track record in attracting investment.

"We are working hard to attract investment from around the world and create thousands of Victorian jobs," Brumby said adding "Victoria is a great place to invest, with a growing economy, a highly skilled workforce, one of the most attractive lifestyles in the world, a competitive tax system and a supportive government."

Brumby said the opening has followed a number of Information and Communication Technologies companies choosing to expand their Victorian operations this year, including Kovair, Attra, Infosys, and BIT - creating 210 Victorian jobs.

Wipro's Australian Development Centre will provide consulting, software development, testing and business process services to domestic and global companies in Australia.

In a year, Wipro has grown its number of Australian employees from 450 to 700 with more than half of these based in Victoria.

Rajat Mathur, head of Sales and Operations for Wipro Asia Pacific, said the company was extremely pleased to be increasing its investment in Australia by establishing this new centre in Melbourne.

"Wipro's Melbourne operations will play an integral role in the company's expansion into Australia. We enjoy a good deal of business success in Australia, as Australian industry demonstrates a continued appetite for our global service delivery model," Mathur said.

"We chose Melbourne for its business environment, ready talent pool and excellent infrastructure - this combination of support and talent is what we look for in a strategic business location" he added.

The opening follows visits to the company's Indian offices by Brumby in September last year and ICT Minister John Lenders in February this year.

Lenders said the announcement was further evidence of the Victorian Government working closely with the world's best ICT companies to create highly skilled jobs in the sector.

"We are providing strong leadership to create skilled jobs in Victoria and to keep our state at the forefront of new technology," Lenders said.

Victoria is home to a very strong ICT industry sector and with over 84,000 employees, accounted for more than a third of Australia's ICT services, products and revenue, Brumby said.