Sunday, July 18, 2010

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TCS pips Infy as the most valued IT company in India

Country's top software exporter TCS today toppled its main rival Infosys Technologies as the most valued IT company in the country.

Shares of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) rallied over 6 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange, taking its market capitalisation to Rs 1.62 lakh crore, higher by Rs 3,470 crore than Infosys' Rs 1.59 lakh crore valuation.

The Tata Group company TCS is now the fourth most valued company in the country. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is the most valued firm with market valuation of Rs 3.47 lakh crore as of today, followed by state-run ONGC and NTPC in that order. Infosys is at the fifth place in the top group.

TCS's over 24 per cent rise in April-June quarter profit at Rs 1,906 crore saw it shares surging on BSE. The counter closed up by a whopping 6.16 per cent, the highest among Sensex stocks.

TCS looks to generous variable pay to keep staff

The country’s biggest software exporter, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which competes with rivals Infosys Technologies and Wipro for talent, will bank on a generous quarterly variable pay linked to the company’s performance to retain talent, a senior executive said.

TCS battles rising employee churn as demand for IT services revives, and unlike Infosys and Wipro, does not have the benefit of Esops as a tool to retain employees. “We have the variable option, which we pay out at the end of the quarter. Last year, in three quarters, we paid more than 100%. Two quarters (Q2 and Q3), we gave out 150% and in the fourth quarter we gave 125% of the variable.

In the first quarter of 2010-11, we have given 100%, which is the full variable. That is one kind of lever that we have which peers don’t,” Ajoy Mukherjee, global head, (HR), TCS, told ET.

The Tata group firm does not have an Esop policy and instead compensates senior executives with higher pay. Last month, Infosys issued five equity shares to every employee and one more share for every year in the company to its lakh-plus staff to ring in its 30th anniversary.

Friday, June 18, 2010

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MindTree bags UID deal to develop applications

Software services company MindTree on Thursday said it has bagged a multi-crore IT deal from the Nandan Nilekani-headed unique identification project (UID).

As part of the deal, MindTree will develop and maintain applications for the UID project, also known as Aadhaar, the company said in a statement. The exact financial details of the contract were not available. The application will capture and manage data from different sources.

Capgemini buys UK-based company

Capgemini, the Paris-based information technology (IT) consulting, services and solutions provider, today announced that it had acquired all of UK-based Strategic Systems Solutions (SSS) to boost its presence in the capital markets sector and add new platforms in China and the Philippines.

Prior to the acquisition, Capgemini owned 49 per cent of SSS, and now it will fully integrate SSS with its capital markets unit. The acquisition will strengthen Capgemini’s presence in the capital markets sector and provide added strength in the Asia-Pacific region, with IT and BPO (business process outsourcing) platforms in the two countries.

It will reinforce its presence in Singapore. Capgemini has more than 23,300 employees in India. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in the United Kingdom (UK), SSS is recognised in the capital markets sector and employs 670 professionals across the UK, US, Singapore, China and the Philippines.

Cognizant buys Paris-based Galileo Performance

Cognizant, a Nasdaq-listed information technology (IT), consulting, and business process outsourcing services company, today announced the acquisition of Galileo Performance, a Paris-based provider of IT-testing consulting services. The terms were not disclosed.

Galileo helps leading companies in France optimise and extend business performance through IT system measurement, management and testing. It will complement Cognizant’s fast-growing global testing practice, with its 10,000 testing professionals, while strengthening Cognizant’s existing business presence in France, according to Cognizant’s statement.
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Infosys to set up another centre in Tamil Nadu

Infosys Technologies, the country’s second-largest information technology (IT) services exporter, has approached the Tamil Nadu government for 200 acres of land near Chennai for setting up a development centre, according to a senior state government official. The Bangalore-based company confirmed talks with the state government representatives, but refused to comment further.

The official said Kris Gopalakrishnan, chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys Technologies, met Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday discussed on the company’s future expansion in the state.
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Pay hikes for all Satyam staff next month

Information technology company Mahindra Satyam [ Get Quote ] (earlier known as Satyam Computer Services Limited) is likely to announce a pay hike for all its employees on July 1.

This, according to a top executive of the company, follows Mahindra Satyam's annual appraisal process 'ASPIRE', which begins in April and ends in June.

"It is progressing as scheduled," the executive said. The exercise applies to the entire 25,000 associates (as Satyam calls its employees) and will be communicated internally to the company's leaders on June 21.

While declining to share the final quantum of the salary revision, he said: "We haven't closed the loop internally, as yet. The pay hike will be announced on July 1.

"The company is also in the process of hiring 1,000-1,500 laterals (or experienced hands) in "sync with its growing business", said the executive.

"Recruitment of 3,000 freshers is now more or less concluded and the next thing we are going after is laterals, which is going as per the schedule.

"We will be having about 1,500 laterals on our rolls this quarter and the next quarter. Given the growth, we may continue to hire more in the coming quarters," said the executive.

Key leadership hiring in different pockets -- a few from other companies -- to beef up the company's sales efforts is currently on, he added.

Wins from new and existing customers continue across various continents from a multi-year contract with an auto major in Japan [ Images ] to government accounts in Singapore, from a global energy drink giant in Australia [ Images ] to a retail chain major in South Africa [ Images ] and from an electricity and water management authority in West Asia to major banking institutions in Europe.

Additional business from large customers in the US is also helping augment Mahindra Satyam's position in the market, he added.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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Experts' take on how India Inc handled layoffs

Mohandas Pai, DIRECTOR, HUMAN RESOURCES, INFOSYS:
You have to look at the layoffs within the context of the fear of a global financial crisis and an impending deep recession. After our annual performance appraisal last year, we let go of about 3% of people as compared to 1.5-2 %. In a good year, when people rank poorly, they tend to leave on their own. However, that wasn't the case last year as there weren't many jobs available. It was a gut-wrenching decision, but it had to be taken. We kept people on the bench for a longer time, and doubled our investment in training and education during the period. This year we are looking at hiring about 30,000 people.

Manish Sabharwal, CHAIRMAN, TEAMLEASE:
There is a new normal in the industry as companies are realising that they can do far more with less people. When the tide was high, hiring standards had gone low and companies had started converting variable costs into fixed costs. This resulted in low productivity which came back to bite them when things got bad. Companies are still not back to hiring the way they did in the past. Over the last few months when companies say that they have been hiring, it means that they are no longer firing people. The upside to all of this however is that companies are now focussed more on quality and the productivity of the employee.

Ganesh Shermon, PARTNER AND COUNTRY HEAD OF PEOPLE AND CHANGE PRACTICE, KMPG:
Companies often use the 'saving jobs' rationale to justify retrenchment. They say they are letting go of 500 people as a way of saving the remaining 3000 people. However, the way they have gone about doing this has left a lot to be desired. Many companies hired in the previous year based on predictions of growth, but it was a forward hedge that went wrong. Companies that fired people in a huff now find themselves in a situation where they have to go out and hire people at a far higher remuneration , and are still finding it difficult to attract the right kind of talent.


N S Rajan, PARTNER, NATIONAL HEAD & EMEIA LEADER - PEOPLE & ORGANISATION, ERNST & YOUNG:
When you are trying to save an organisation, there is a very fine line be tween whether you need to do something or not. When it comes to letting go of people, there are only certain situations, when the company is faced with bankruptcy or is restructuring to avoid going under, that layoffs deemed acceptable. There is a relatively simple quid pro quo between reducing the number of people and saving costs, but has deeper implications. As you slice layers from the organisation, you lose not only the individual, but also his collective years of experience within the organisation. The employer brand also needs to be safeguarded. Layoffs, done as a first resort without compassion, have a negative impact on employee engagement among the people who are still at the firm, often leading to the best talent leaving the organisation.
Source: EconomicTimes
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IT cos hire non-techies to cut costs

When Ishwar Prasad graduated from a Mysore college two years ago with specialisation in commerce, a career with one of India’s top three technology firms was nowhere on the agenda.

However, Prasad went on to do a six-month diploma in computer hardware management last year and is now helping some of the leading telecom companies in the world manage their computer desktops and other infrastructure, from a remote infrastructure management centre at the tech firm.

As tech firms automate their commoditised service offerings, they do not necessarily need engineers to perform all tasks. Instead, they are increasingly hiring non-engineering graduates such as Prasad for testing software applications and managing computer infrastructure of their clients in order to do more with fewer staff and at lower wages than computer engineers.

From nearly 10% of their current workforce, non-engineering graduates could account for nearly 20-25% of the staff at companies such as TCS, Wipro and HCL, over the next one to two years. Multinational rival Cognizant already has almost 20% of its global workforce who are non-engineering graduates.

Prasad is among thousands of non-engineering graduates being hired by companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, HCL and Infosys for performing highly automated tasks of software testing and computer infrastructure management with the help of user-friendly, readymade platforms that can serve multiple customers.

“In my hometown, working for Infosys or Wipro makes parents proud. I could have never got into such companies with a commerce degree, but now many of my relatives think I have made it big and become a software engineer,” says the 27-year-old.

Companies such as Wipro are already readying their strategies for shifting nearly 40% of software services to readymade templates that can serve additional customers without having to hire incremental staff.

“The prime impact of these delivery models is the asset-based view as opposed to a labour-based one, that is, less number of people for the same work and an increase in operating margins per employee, while simultaneously reducing capital expenditure for their clients. The impact on employee mix (those with a BE degree vis-a-vis non-BEs) will be there but will not be applicable for all technologies and domain areas,” said Saurabh Govil, senior vice president HR, Wipro Technologies.

For years, India’s $50-billion software exports industry has been hiring thousands of engineering graduates every year for writing software codes and processing back office tasks for top customers such as General Electric, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase. However, increasing wage inflation and rising attrition has forced them to seek ways to arrest linear growth.
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Intelenet to hire 7,000 in India

Leading BPO services provider Intelenet Global Services has said it plans to expand its footprint overseas and hire around 7,000 personnel in FY '11.

"The IT sector is expected to grow at 15-20 per cent and so is the BPO sector. With the US economy back on the recovery path, we expect double-digit growth as against four-seven per cent last fiscal. We are, hence, planning to expand our business and hire more people. We plan to hire 7,000 personnel across the country this year," Intelenet CEO Susir Kumar said.

Currently, Intelenet employs over 32,000 people across the globe at 35 delivery centers at strategic locations. It has a headcount of 18,000 in India.

Mumbai-based Intelenet, that operates its BPO arm under BSE-listed Sparsh BPO, also plans to open more offices overseas and is focussing on markets such as China, the Middle-East and South America.

"The emerging markets such as the Middle-East, China and Latin America have tremendous potential. We are planning to open a few offices there. Besides, we are also looking at expanding our domestic operations to Tier II and III towns," Kumar said.

He, however, refused to divulge details on how many offices it plans to open and the amount of investment to be made in fiscal 2010-11.

Intelenet, with a global turnover of $350 million, already has offices in the US, Poland, the Philippines, Mauritius, the UK and Australia, to cater to the needs of several Fortune 500 companies there.

The company, which provides BPO solutions on banking and financial services, travel, hospitality and telecom, has recently added manufacturing services to its portfolio. It has over 90 clients across these sectors.
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Desi IT co bags $4.5 mn UAE contract

Software developer Valuemart Info Technologies bagged a $4.5-million (Rs 20 crore) contract from the UAE-based Supreme Software Technologies to develop a project help desk solution, the Bangalore IT firm said.

"The project help desk suite is an enterprise web-based solution for electronic monitoring of project-related processes. The solution helps an enterprise to track workflows of multiple projects and ensure their completion within timelines," Valuemart managing director C K Vasudevan said.

The company will execute the order within two years to facilitate Supreme Software manage multi-location project teams, including those working on offshore and onsite models.

"Supreme Software awarded the contract after we successfully demonstrated the functional aspects of the suite as a proof of concept. The deal will also enhance our ability to bid for high value projects and move up the value chain," Vasudevan said.

The 13-year-old Valuemart offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business process management solutions in diverse verticals such as manufacturing, banking, financial services, insurance and legal.
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Cost cutting helps Sony cut losses

Sony Corp reported a smaller loss than the company forecast, citing bigger-than-expected cost reductions and gains from its life insurance unit.

The net loss was 41 billion yen ($445 million) in the year ended March 31, narrower than the 70 billion yen the company had previously projected, Tokyo-based Sony said in a statement today. Sales were 7.21 trillion yen, or 1.2 percent lower than forecast, according to the statement.

The maker of Bravia televisions and Cyber-shot cameras has eliminated 20,000 jobs and shut factories to weather the global recession, which led to Sony’s first back-to-back annual loss since its listing half a century ago. Chief Executive Officer Howard Stringer is counting on a recovery in global demand for electronics to revive earnings growth this year.

Sony shares gained 0.7 percent to close at 3,080 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange before the company reported preliminary results. The stock has gained 15 percent this year, outperforming the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
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Cognizant promotes 15,000 globally

It's raining benefits at Cognizant! First, the company paid out about 200% bonus in March to a cross section of its employees. Now, the company is promoting about 15,000 of its associates globally who are below the 'manager' level.

The company has sent out letters of promotion to 15,000 employees on Friday that will take effect from May 1, 2010, sources said.

ToI has also learnt that this is just the first round of promotions and a second batch of promotions for people above the 'manager' level will happen in May. It is learnt that a sizeable chunk of the employees in that level are also likely to see themselves redesignated to a higher level. These employees would receive a fair chunk of pay hikes as well, sources added.

The company has 78,400 employees. This is the single largest number of promotions announced by any IT company in India this year. Last month, Infosys had announced promotions for 7,500 employees.

"This morning we announced global promotions for associates below the level of Manager. These promotions would be effective May 1, 2010. Cognizant's industry-leading growth over the past year has enabled promotion and career growth opportunities to a record number of employees," said Gordon Coburn, chief financial and operating officer, Cognizant in an e-mail.

Apart from the email, company officials remained tightlipped about any of the announcements including a hike in the salaries.

Monday, April 19, 2010

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Infosys IT Inc's biggest paymaster in 2009

Unveiling plans to hire 30,000 persons this fiscal, IT bellwether Infosys today said it has paid $134 million (nearly Rs 600 crore) in salaries in 2009-10-the highest amount in the IT industry's history in India in a year.

Infosys HR head T V Mohandas Pai said the company has already made 19,000 campus offers for fiscal 2011.

Talking to reporters, he also said Infosys envisages recruiting 1,000 personnel each for its China and US offices and around 400 in Manila, he said. The company plans to induct 5,500-6,500 laterals, he added.

"There has been a large wage increase for middle and junior level employees. At the senior level, there has been a 10 per cent increase in wages. Overall, the average wage hike has been around 14-17 per cent," he said.

Nearly 7,500 persons were promoted by Infosys during the past year, out of whom 2,500 had been impacted by the company's new employee restructuring programme, called I-Race.

As per the restructuring programme, which aimed at fitting employees into roles they were prepared for, nearly 4,500 employees had been fitted in a role lower than what they were earlier fitted into. 0ut of these 4,500 personnel, 2,500 have now been promoted and the remaining 2,000 might be promoted in October.
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Indian cos' hiring activity picks up 1.5 % in March

India Inc's hiring activity picked up 1.5 per cent in March, led by IT-enabled services, insurance and auto sectors, a report by job portal naukri.Com has said.

Job portal naukri.Com's monthly Job Speak survey reflected renewed optimism among recruiters, with the new job index moving up to 962 in March compared to 947 in February.

The portal takes into account not only the jobs posted online by its clients but also those made by them with the help of the website's tele-calling team.

"The hiring intentions of companies in most industry sectors seem to be moving in a positive direction as reflected by the consecutively upward moving Job index in the first quarter of 2010. It seems 'cautious optimism' among employers has given way to definite optimism," said Sumeet Singh, the National Head (Marketing and Communication) of Info Edge, which owns the website.

Hiring in ITeS and insurance sectors have seen maximum movement with the index moving up by 13 per cent and 15 per cent respectively in March over the last month.

Recruitment in auto sector moved up by 8 per cent and in pharma sector by 7 per cent in March, the report said.

Professionals in production, banking and HR also witnessed an increase in hiring by 8 to 12 per cent in March over February, the report said.

Overall, the index seems to be moving in a robust manner with hiring moving up across all industry verticals, functional areas and cities.

Among cities, Delhi have emerged as the most bullish on hiring, with the city-wise job index moving up 13 per cent over the last month.
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iGate to hire 500, eyes acquisitions

IT services company iGate said it will hire 500 professionals in the next two quarters to support its expanding operations.

"Most of the 500 people we plan to hire in over the next six months will be in India and some in Mexico and the US. They will be employed in both services in BPO areas," iGate CEO Phaneesh Murthy said.

The Nasdaq-listed company, which has been eyeing acquisitions in $30-70 million range for some time, is hopeful making it in 2010.

"We are aggressively pursuing it... We have $100 million cash on our balance sheet. We are eyeing acquisitions in $30-70 million range and we should finalise it in few months," he said. The company is looking at healthcare and financial BPO services.

There is a large pent-up demand... I think the bigger recovery is in the financial services," he said.

iGate said its net income more than doubled to $11.6 million for the January-March quarter compared to compared to $5 million registered in the same period last year, Murthy said.

Revenue was up 29 per cent at $57.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2010, compared to $44.8 million during the same period last year, he added.

iGate Chief Financial Officer Sujit Sircar said, "While we had an excellent performance in Q1 and expect revenues to grow, margins are likely to be under pressure due to increased hiring, rupee appreciation and wage inflation. Our cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments crossed the $100 million mark."

The company ended Q1 with 7,357 employees, a net addition of 447 employees during the quarter. Seven new customers were added by iGate during the quarter.

Monday, April 12, 2010

MphasiS to buy Fortify for $15m

MphasiS has signed a definitive deal to acquire 100 per cent stake in Fortify Infrastructure Services (FIS), a provider of offshore based Remote IT Operations and Management (ROM) Services, for $15.5 million in an all cash transaction.

With this acquisition, MphasiS – which is an IT solutions, services and BPO provider in application development, system integration, product implementation, consulting services – believes that it will be able to provide outcome based services that go beyond technical SLAs.

Ganesh Ayyar, CEO of MphasiS, said, “This acquisition will catapult us ahead as a provider of offshore-based ROM services. Mid market customers are looking for partners to solve the challenges of operating and managing their IT. We see this as our sweet spot to provide cost effective and outcome based ROM services.”

In a press release, MphasiS said that this acquisition will give it access to marquee customers, an experienced management team, a talent pool of highly specialised professionals and a proven platform to provide ROM services.

Rajkumar Velagapudi, CEO of Fortify Infrastructure Services, said, “Our proven industry track record in providing outcome-based ROM services, coupled with MphasiS’ rich expertise and leading offshore capability will provide mid market customers a flexible, high-value operations management platform that is focused on achieving their business objectives.”

FIS has presence in India and the US with 250 employees.

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

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Convergys to recruit over 1,000 employees

Convergys, global human resource and billing services provider, on Wednesday, said that it would hire more than 1,000 employees in Gurgaon (Haryana) in the next three months.

The company said 30 per cent of the hiring would include fresh graduates while the rest would be experienced talent.

“It has been a positive year for us and we have started a premium candidate programme under which we will be hiring employees aged between 20-25 years. The hiring has started from Wednesday and would be over in the next three months,” director (recruitment) Convergys’ Customer Management Operations in India, Ashutosh Sinha told Financial Chronicle on phone.

He said these jobs are the result of new businesses from telecommunications and financial services clients, especially from the US and UK, who will provide a range of voice-based support to the clients’ customers there. Apart from hiring, Sinha said the company would also raise wages for the existing employees including team leaders and managers in the company in the next two-to-three weeks.

“We have decided some bonuses and wage hikes for our existing employees of customer care associates and management staff. Our intent is that as it is a good year for Convergys, so there should be some fruitful results for them too,” he added.

The company at present employs around 11,000 people across India in its eight centres. On asked, what kind of investment the company would pump in for this, Sinha said, “It will be pretty much in par with the international standard. We have done some market analysis on that and will forward with it.”

Convergys, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio has around 70,000 employees in 82 customer contact centres and other facilities in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, West Asia and Asia and our global.

Friday, March 26, 2010

India Inc may give up to 12% salary hike in 2010-11: Ernst and Young

India Inc may give salary hikes in the range of 9-12 per cent in the coming financial year to retain talent amid revival in the job market, according to consultancy Ernst and Young said.

Most companies are expecting higher attrition levels over the next few months on jobs coming back into the economy resulting in salary hikes being used as a tool to retain talent.

"At an overall level, extraordinary jump in increments do not seem probable and the average salary increase is likely to be in the range of 9-12 per cent," Ernst & Young partner and national head (People & Organisation) N S Rajan told PTI.

However, Rajan cautioned that along with the pay hikes, companies are likely to follow a cautious approach of keeping tight monitoring and controlling of any additional salary costs.

In spite of excitement around economic recovery, average pay hikes across sectors would be slightly conservative.

"While on one hand pharma and FMCG companies will lead the space with increments in the range of 10-13 per cent, the IT and technology companies will give reasonable increments close to eight per cent," Rajan added.

Moreover, the telecom sector is expected to give above average salary hikes in the range of 12-15 per cent.

Is Infosys losing employee-friendly status?

Source: Infotech.indiatimes.com
For over a decade, Infosys has been seen by many as the epitome of employee friendliness. That reputation has now taken a big knock.

Several measures taken over the past few months -- partly an attempt to correct what the company saw as excesses of previous years -- has had many employees seething with anger.

That's reflected in hundreds of comments made in response to articles about Infosys on the internet in recent weeks, and in conversations TOI had with employees. Even the official internal blog is said to have been used to convey the discontent.

The biggest grouse relates to an HR initiative called iRace - Infosys Role and Career Enhancement - that was rolled out last year. The initiative was designed by consulting firm Mercer with the idea of mapping positions with experience and skill levels.

Previously, positions and promotions were often given arbitrarily, based on an employee's bargaining strength, which often was substantial considering jobs were aplenty. Many were given managerial responsibilities within three to four years, often leading to clients complaining about their lack of technology skills.

While iRace's objective appeared laudable, it suffered in its implementation, the worst of which was to make it applicable with retrospective effect. Many employees were demoted on the ground that they did not meet iRace's experience standards. So, senior project managers went down to project managers, project managers to technical leads, some even went down two levels.

Designations are so important for everybody. And if the management found somebody good enough for a certain position earlier, how can they now say that he is not? What makes it worse is that, all those affected were at lower levels. Nobody in the senior delivery manager and higher positions were affected," said an employee.

Nandita Gurjar, global head for HR in Infosys, said about 5% of Infy's employees would have been impacted by designation corrections and demotions. Infy has a little more than 1 lakh employees, so that would mean about 5,000 being impacted.

She also added that salaries had been protected and that 95% of the company's employees had taken the iRace "career architecture" well. But some employees insist that's not the case.
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Infosys reviewing employee rating system

India's second-largest IT company, Infosys Technologies, is reportedly reviewing its employee rating system, iRace --Infosys Role and Career Enhancement.

According to a news report in D&A, the company has set up a working group to review the employee appraisal system. The initiative designed by consulting firm Mercer with the idea of mapping positions with experience and skill levels is said to have met with widespread resentment.

Previously, positions and promotions were often given arbitrarily, based on an employee's bargaining strength, which often was substantial considering jobs were aplenty. Many were given managerial responsibilities within three to four years, often leading to clients complaining about their lack of technology skills.

While iRace's objective appeared laudable, it suffered in its implementation, the worst of which was to make it applicable with retrospective effect. Many employees were demoted on the ground that they did not meet iRace's experience standards. So, senior project managers went down to project managers, project managers to technical leads, some even went down two levels.

Designations are so important for everybody. And if the management found somebody good enough for a certain position earlier, how can they now say that he is not? What makes it worse is that, all those affected were at lower levels. Nobody in the senior delivery manager and higher positions were affected," said an employee.

In fact, according to a recent report from brokerage firm CLSA, over 4,000 employees may have resigned from Infosys in February.

Though the large attrition figure is said to be due to the improvement in the economy, some industry observers and Infosys employees also said that another reason for the high attrition could be due to iRACE.

Incidentally, so far Nandita Gurjar, senior vice president and global HR head of Infosys, has strongly maintained that iRACE is not the driver behind exits and that the complaints are coming from a “minority”. Also, that promotions cannot happen at the same pace as the pre-crisis times, unless growth returns to the heady levels.
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Convergys to hire over 1,000

Global human resource and billing service provider Convergys Corporation today said it will hire more than 1,000 employees in the country over the next three months.

The company would hire over 1,000 people for its Gurgaon office in the country, the New York Stock Exchange-listed firm said in a statement.

"Convergys provides an outstanding quality of service to our clients, which is why they continue to entrust us with more business. We will hire the top quartile of candidates to ensure that we deliver superior service levels consistently," Convergys' Customer Management (India Ops) Director of Recruitment Ashutosh Sinha said.

The new jobs are for supporting its increased business from telecommunications and financial services clients and the employees taken on board would provide a wide range of voice-based support to the clients' customers, it said.

Convergys has about 70,000 employees in 82 customer contact centres and other facilities in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

In addition to comprehensive training, Convergys offers employees a positive work environment, competitive wages and benefits including tuition reimbursement, the statement added.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cisco to hire 500 at Bangalore unit

After setting up its Globalisation East centre a couple of years ago, networking major Cisco now plans to make Bangalore one of its three hubs for technical services business. The business unit, presently being reorganised at a global level, will grow its Bangalore strength by 500 engineers in next 24-30 months.

Joe Pinto, senior vice-president - technical services, Cisco Systems told FC that the rapidly growing division is being transitioned to have three concentrated centres including in Bangalore and Raleigh (North Carolina, US) and other smaller units. “Bangalore will be a key centre with several senior engineers. Apart from doing some support for US clients, the team will take care of emerging markets and rest of Asia,” he said.

Presently, the technical services team has 3,500 people globally. In the short term, the unit is expected to add 500 people.

In its Globalisation East centre, Cisco has mirrored all corporate and operational functions at the US HQ. It also is looking to develop solutions and products especially aimed at emerging markets. Pinto sees the Bangalore team gaining from the available talent pool in India and easier access to solutions being developed at the Globalisation centre.
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Siemens to axe 4,200 jobs from IT business

Diversified German conglomerate Siemens AG has said it will reduce headcount by 4,200 people from its IT business worldwide by 2011 as part of reorientation.

In a statement, the company said it would eliminate 4,200 jobs at Siemens IT Solutions and Services (SIS) worldwide by the autumn of 2011. The company currently employs about 35,000 people in its IT business globally.

Siemens Group has a good presence in India, where it provides direct employment to over 17,000 people.

Of the total number of 4,200, around 2,000 jobs would be axed in Germany, the company said without providing details for the rest of the job cuts.

"As part of the reorientation, plans call for eliminating some 4,200 of about 35,000 jobs worldwide by 2011. Roughly 2,000 of the jobs affected are in Germany," Siemens said.

Besides, Siemens is also planning to hive off its IT unit into a separate business entity.

While making job cuts, Siemens said it would "exhaust all possibilities for voluntary measures and to implement the cutbacks in as socially compatible a way as possible.

"Measures will include, for example, the termination of employment contracts by mutual consent or the non-renewal of temporary contracts. The required consultations with employee representatives will be initiated immediately," it added.

Moreover, Siemens said it would invest over 500 million euros into the SIS by 2012.

Siemens Group currently employs more than 4,00,000 people across the globe in its wide range of operations spanning from energy sector to healthcare and financial sector.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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Cisco India's hiring plan on track, says John Chambers

Network-equipment maker Cisco Systems on Friday said it remains committed to the Indian market and its plans to increase headcount to 10,000 is on track.

“With all the appropriate caveats, the global econnomy is turning. We are deeply committed (to India). We are completing construction on two additional areas, which can house as many as 3,000 more,” Cisco CEO John Chambers said at a private function here.

The headcount India is projected to rise to 10,000 from about 6,000 currently, he added. However, Chambers did not divulge the timeframe.

TCS' 600 mn pound deal under fire in UK

The proposed multi-year contract between TCS and the UK government for administering its employment savings trust has evoked adverse comments from some British websites, one of which even suggested the deal could be reviewed if there is a change of guard in the government after the May elections.

The British's Personal Accounts Delivery Authority (PADA) earlier this month had said it would sign a contract with Tata Consultancy Services to administer the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).

The Personal Accounts Delivery Authority is a non-departmental public body in Britain.

According to the website www.moneymarketing.co.uk, the Conservatives have attacked the decision to sign the contract for NEST administration before the general elections.

The website quoted Conservative's shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson as saying, "He is amazed that contract would be signed so quickly and stressed that this would not inhibit a Tory review of the scheme if they get into power.”

"We wish to make it clear that our review of NEST, should we win the elections, will not be constrained in any way by any contract signed by this government in its dying days," Waterson was quoted as saying in the report.
Source: EconomicTimes
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MphasiS set to offer increments

Software services company MphasiS will roll out a salary increment for its 35,000-employees from May 1 this year, CEO Ganesh Ayyar told mediapersons at Pune. The company recently started a 2,000-seater global command and control centre in Pune for its remote infrastructure monitoring business vertical. The centre currently houses 600 technical staff supporting 450 clients worldwide.

While most companies had cut salaries in the slowdown time, MphasiS had retained them, linking the variable portion to the company’s performance as bonus. Mr Ayyar said: “Though this did give more money to the employees, most are still comfortable with the traditional increments, which is why we have decided to effect the hike,” adding that it had no relation to the revival of the economy.

High UK exposure may pose risk for TCS

With the UK government's contracts worth over $1 billion in the pipeline, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is exposed to substantial risks of project delays and anti-offshoring sentiments, according to local experts and rivals. Such projects also bring along single-digit margins and could impact profitability, unless there is significant work delivered from offshore.

Last week, the UK Personal Accounts Delivery said it decided to award a deal estimated at рде्600 million to TCS to administer the National Employee Savings Trust (NEST) scheme, a pensions scheme, for a 10-year-period in two phases. The decision has attracted sharp criticism from the Conservative party, which is opposing the decision taken close to the general elections.
Read full story on EconomicTimes
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ITC Infotech looks to hire over 1,800 people by March 2011

IT services and solutions firm ITC Infotech is looking to hire over 1,800 employees by March next year in its various offices across the country.

"We are looking to ramp up our headcount by more than 50 per cent to 5,000 employees by March next year," ITC Infotech HR head Anand Talwar told PTI.

The Bangalore-based company's current employee strength is 3,200 across its offices in various cities, including Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
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Cognizant announces bonuses, number touches 200 pc for top performers

Cognizant has announced bonuses for its employees globally for the calendar year 2009, seeking to reward employees after it posted strong growth in a difficult year.

The Nasdaq-listed company,which competes with TCS, Infosys and Wipro, confirmed the bonus payout but did not give out figures. However, people close to the situation told ET Now that the top performers got as much as 200% bonus, a number which is unprecedented in recent years, when IT companies felt the brunt of the recession in their major markets. They also added that a vast majority of employees got bonuses between 150-200%.

Cognizant’s performance-linked incentives are tied to the variable part of the compensation, which is about 10-15 percent at junior levels and goes to as high as 40 percent of the total compensation at senior levels.

Facebook beats Google once again!

Facebook has reportedly surpassed Google to become the most visited Web site in the US for the entire last week for the first time, according to the research firm Hitwise.

This is for the first time that Facebook beat Google for an entire week at a stretch. Before this, the social network took the top spot on a few US National holidays like Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and the weekend of March 6th and 7th this year, which was the long Presidents Day weekend.

According to Hitwise, Facebook's visits increased 185 percent past week compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google increased 9 percent during the same time frame.

Analytics company comScore reported that Facebook search queries in the US grew by 10 percent in February to 436 million, up by 85 million over December's 351 million searches.

Facebook currently has more than 400 million active users. Together Facebook and Google accounted for 14% of all US Internet visits last week.

Facebook to set up centre in Hyderabad

Social networking site Facebook today announced that it will set up its office in Hyderabad to support the growing number of users, advertisers and developers in India and globally.

Facebook has seen exponential growth in recent months and has more than eight million active users in India, it said in a statement.

The rising popularity of Facebook has also come as a threat to various other social networking sites like Orkut, MySpace and Flickr.

It has more than 400 million active users worldwide.

The centre will house online advertising and developer support teams and provide round-the-clock, multi-lingual support to its users and advertisers globally, it further said.

The new centre in Hyderabad will supplement operations out of California, Dublin, Ireland and a recently announced location in Austin, Texas.

It has already started its hiring procedure for the Hyderabad centre.

"We expect our new office in Hyderabad to tap into the region's strong pool of talented people who understand operations and technology, and help us more effectively serve the needs of our users, advertisers, and developers around the world," Facebook Director (Global Online Operations) Don Faul said.

What China loses with Google

Source: IndiaTimes
China without Google a prospect that looks increasingly likely could mean no more maps on mobile phones. A free music service that has helped to fight piracy might be in jeopardy.

China's fledgling Web outfits would face less pressure to improve, eroding their ability to one day compete abroad. The extent of a possible Google Inc pullout from China in its dispute with the communist government over censorship and hacking is unclear.

But on top of a local search site that Google says it may close, services that might be affected range from advertising support for Chinese companies to online entertainment.

"If Google leaves, it's a lose-lose scenario, instead of Google loses and others gain," said Edward Yu, president of Analysys International, a Beijing research firm. Chinese news reports say Google is on the verge of shutting its China site, Google.cn, and has stopped censoring results.

A Google spokesman, Scott Rubin, denied censorship had stopped and would not confirm whether Google.cn might close. "We have not changed our operations in China," Rubin said by phone from Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

CEO Eric Schmidt said last week something would happen soon, and Rubin said he had no further details. Google says it is in talks with Beijing following its January 12 announcement that it no longer wants to comply with Beijing's extensive Web controls.

But China's industry minister insisted that the company must obey Chinese law, which appears to leave few options other than closing Google.cn, which has about 35 per cent of China's search market. Such a step could have repercussions for major Chinese companies as well as local Web surfers.

It would deliver a windfall to local rival Baidu Inc, China's major search engine, with 60 per cent of the market. But other companies rely on Google for search, maps and other services and might be forced to find alternatives.

China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest phone company by subscribers, with 527 million accounts, uses Google for mobile search and maps. Baidu offers mobile search but China Mobile passed up a partnership with it earlier after they failed to agree on terms, according to industry analysts.

Millions of mobile customers might lose access to Google's Chinese-language map service. A key issue is whether Beijing, angry and embarrassed by Google's public defiance, would allow the company to continue running other operations, including advertising and a fledgling mobile phone businesses in China if Google.cn closes. China promotes Internet use for business and education but bars access to sites run by human rights and political activists and some news outlets.

Officials who defend China's controls by pointing to countries that bar content such as child pornography are stung that Google has drawn attention to how much more pervasive Chinese limits are. Chinese Web surfers are blocked from seeing Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and major blog-hosting services abroad and a Google pullout would leave them increasingly isolated.

Google hopes to keep operating its Beijing research and development center, advertising sales offices and mobile phone business, according to a person familiar with the company's thinking. But the person said the company won't do that if it believes its decision to stop censoring search results will jeopardize employees in China.

Industry analysts estimate Google has a workforce of 700 in China. The government says Chinese mobile phone carriers will be allowed to use Google's Android operating system but there has been no word on whether efforts to sell its own phones in China might be affected.

Google postponed the launch of two phones with a major Chinese carrier due to the dispute. Uncertainty also surrounds Google's China music portal, a free, advertising-supported service launched last year in partnership with four global music companies and 14 independent labels.

Industry analysts say it has helped to undercut China's rampant music piracy by offering an alternative to unlicensed copying. The music service is run by Top100.cn, a company part-owned by Google, but can be accessed only through Google.cn.

Employees at Top100.cn referred questions to executives who did not immediately answer phone calls. "Without that, are we back to, 'Piracy wins'?" said Duncan Clark, managing director of BDA China Ltd, a technology market research firm.

"Piracy thrives because of censorship." The biggest impact of a Google departure could lie behind the scenes, where Chinese companies, many of them small entrepreneurs, rely on its AdWords advertising service, Gmail email and documents services.

Those might be disrupted if Beijing turns up Internet filters to block access to Google's sites abroad. Its US site has a Chinese-language search engine but is already inaccessible due to government filters.

In an uncomfortable irony for Beijing, Google might suffer little commercial loss from a pullout while China's own companies are hurt. The bulk of Google's estimated $300 million in 2009 revenues in China came from export-oriented companies that would need to keep advertising on its sites abroad even if Google.cn closes, according to Yu. "We believe the majority of revenue would still be kept on, with keyword purchases listed on Google.com instead of Google.cn," he said.

The loss of competitive pressure from Google also might slow Chinese development in search and other Internet services, Yu said. "This is definitely a bad thing for Chinese companies that want to go abroad in the future," he said.

The industry minister, Li Yizhong, said on Friday that China's Internet industry would develop without Google. But even some Chinese industry leaders who normally toe the government line in public are warning that controls on Internet companies and media are handicapping their growth.

Beijing has steadily tightened controls over Internet content and foreign investment in the industry. Video sharing sites must have state-owned media outlets as partners.

People in the industry say it is getting harder to register privately financed sites. "Without full and fair market competition, there will be no quality, no excellence, no employment opportunities, no stability and no real rise of China," said the chairman of major Chinese portal Sohu Inc., Charles Zhang, in a speech in February, according to a report on Sohu's Web site. "How do we do this practically?" Zhang said.

"The problem is complicated, but the fundamental point is to limit the power of the government."
Source: IndiaTimes


Genpact bags 5-year deal from Bengal Aerotropolis Projects

BPO major Genpact Tuesday inked a five-year deal with Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAP) for managing its IT operations for an undisclosed amount.

BAP is engaged in development of aerotropolis projects in the country.

As part of the deal, Genpact will provide BAP with a hosted-IT application and infrastructure services model, which will help the company in saving large capital investments in IT, Genpact said in a statement.

However, the size of the deal was not disclosed. The partnership would enable BAP to move to a cloud-based IT model and help shift from a capital-heavy owned model to an operational expense model, it said.

Patni sets up hub for BPO ops in Texas

Global IT and BPO services provider Patni Computer Systems said it has set up a new North American hub for BPO operations in El Paso, Texas. The establishment of the El Paso site follows Patni’s recent move to open a nearshore centre in Queretaro, Mexico, to serve North American and Latin American markets and augment the company’s global delivery capabilities, a company release said here.

Establishing the service hub expands Patni’s business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) delivery capability to service North American customers from domestic locations in a cost-effective manner and employ highly-skilled local talent, the release said.
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TCS signs 5-year deal with Malaysia Airlines

The country's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) today inked a five-year deal with Malaysia Airlines (MA) for an undisclosed amount.

The five-year contract for end-to-end IT infrastructure services will transform the airline's IT operations to deliver seamless internal customer experience, TCS said in a statement.

However, the size of the deal was not disclosed. "One of the key initiatives include fine tuning our IT outsourcing strategy to deliver the required business results at lower cost. At the same time, we will continue to work with our key vendors to maximise service delivery and to proactively address other business requirements," MA Chief Information Officer Faridah Abdul Rahman said.

Infosys may have seen 4,000 staff exits in February: CLSA

Brokerage firm CLSA said over 4,000 employees may have resigned from Infosys in February alone, largely driven by an uptick in business environment that has created a huge demand for talent, after a lull. The normal attrition numbers in India’s second-largest software exporter is around 1,200 employees a month.

“There is quite a bit of industry chatter that 4,000-4,200 employees have resigned at Infosys in February. This is not officially confirmed by the management, but multiple sources are claiming the same number, including industry blogs,” CLSA said in a note to its clients. However, Infosys group HR head Nandita Gurjar said it was not true.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wipro starts probe into $4 million fraud

Embezzlement by employees is seen to be a common phenomenon among Indian companies. And some say even the $4 million that a Wipro employee is said to have embezzled is a relatively ordinary figure.

Wipro is now instituting a high-level internal probe, and is said to have even mandated Ernst & Young to verify the audited accounts. Experts say the reason for such frauds typically is lax controls.

Kashi Memani, former chairman and managing partner of Ernst and Young India, said such frauds happen when a company does not conduct regular internal audits, do not have in place a tight set of internal controls and most importantly, when they decentralize the power of checks and balances to people down in the hierarchy.

"It is very important for companies to change the set of people who have access to accounts on a regular basis. But, one must be careful not to change people either too soon or wait for too long. Many a time people who have for long earned the company's trust of handling accounts, tend to misuse this trust," Memani said.

Several of these factors appear relevant in Wipro's case. The embezzler, one Anoop Kumar Agarwal, who committed suicide last December in Bangalore, is said to have joined the company in 2006 and later promoted as an assistant manager in the finance department. Agarwal, reports say, used stolen passwords to transfer money into his personal account.
Source: EconomicTimes

15 disqualified H-1B employers

Courtesy: IndiaTimes Infotech
2009 was one of the most controversial years for H-1B visas. For the first time ever, nearly 20,000 H-1B visas went a begging even seven weeks after the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started accepting applications for the financial year 2010.

With H-1B visas facing blame for the spiralling job losses in the US, the year saw numerous Bills being introduced for restricting the use of H-1B visas through legislation. This made US Department of Labor (DOL) and other US Immigration agencies tougher in approving H-1B visa applications.

Among all the brouhaha, many companies were also disqualified from applying for H-1B visas. A company faces debarment over what is seen as an H-1B abuse under US laws. The penalty of debarment means that a company is disqualified from obtaining approvals of employment-based, permanent and temporary petitions. This disqualification includes all H-1B, L-1, O-1, and P non-immigrant petitions, as well as all I-140 immigrant petitions, as part of the permanent residence process.

Here's over to the top 15 companies disqualified (starting November 30 2009).

4MY2C, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: Santa Fe Springs, CA

AGA John, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2008 to 5/31/2010
Employer location: 8687 Melrose Ave. Suite B-130 West Hollywood, CA 90069

Amtech Electrocircuits
Debarment period: 3/1/2008 to 2/28/2010
Employer location: 701 Minnesota Drive Troy, MI 48083

API Accounting & Computer Consulting
Debarment period: 4/1/2008 to 3/31/2010
Employer location: 17870 Castleton St. Suite 116 City of Industry, CA 91748

Assured Horizons, LLC
Debarment period: 8/1/2008 to 7/31/2010
Employer location: 18607 Brookhurst Street, Suite 359 Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Bradley Consulting Services, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: 3357 Pitcher Plant Circle Pensacola, FL 32506

Calpension, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2010
Employer location: 23232 Peralta Dr. Suite 218 Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Cambridge Resource Group, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: Sri Reddy 18 Lyman Street Suite 207 Westborough, MA 01581

Complete Systems Solutions, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: 560 Sutter Street #400 San Francisco, CA 94102

Julian and Associates
Debarment period: 8/1/2008 to 7/31/2010
Employer location: 4641 North Ashland Avenue Chicago, IL 60640

LNBJ Construction Company, Inc
Debarment period: 3/1/2008 to 2/28/2010
Employer location: 2642 Briarwood Drive Marietta, GA 30067

Magnolia Pool Supply, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: 9571 Magnolia Ave. Riverside, CA 92503

Morex Enterprises Inc
Debarment period: 3/1/2008 to 2/28/2010
Employer location: 1442 E. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90021

Netultimate.Com, Inc
Debarment period: 6/1/2009 to 5/31/2011
Employer location: 8116 Arlington Blvd. Apt. 121 Falls Church, VA 22042

New Hope Solutions, Inc
Debarment period: 1/1/2009 to 12/31/2010
Employer location: 2731 Sawbury Blvd. Columbus, Ohio 43235
Source: IndiaTimes

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Mega Deals: $1 billion outsourcing contracts may come to India

Large outsourcing contracts worth up to $1 billion look set for a comeback this year, as companies from segments like retail, banking, telecom and utilities, apart from government bodies, seek to cope with renewed demand for their services and also lower their operational expenses.

Outsourcing experts and industry officials told ET last week that auto customers too are looking to award large contracts for managing their business and IT systems this year. British Petroleum’s IT contract worth $1.5 billion awarded to Indian vendors TCS, Infosys and Wipro early this year was one such mega deal.
Continue reading on EconomicTimes

Nucleus Software Exports to recruit 150

Noida-based global banking and finance solutions provider, Nucleus Software Exports, on Monday said the company, after the recession, is expecting better growth from exports and will also increase its headcount during the next six months.

“We have opportunities for businesses from new markets like Southeast Asia, West Asia. Business from countries in Europe and the US is also picking up now. We are already in talks with two new customers in UAE and Philippines for providing them solutions in banking and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs). We will hire around 150 people in the next six months,” Niraj Vedwa, chief operating officer, Nucleus Software Exports, told FC.

Continue reading on FinancialChronicle

Thursday, February 11, 2010

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TCS, Wipro to hire 37,500 employees

With improving business sentiment and revival in IT spends, hiring seems to be back in full swing at software firm TCS and Wipro. Tata Consultancy Services, the country's largest software exporter by revenue plans to hire 30,000 employees in the financial year 2010-2011. Wipro plans to add 7,500 people in the next two quarters.

Wipro handed out salary increments to all its employees. With effect from February 1, employees got a pay hike in the 8% to 12% range with some even getting a 15% increase.

Infosys had given a single-digit increment in October. It had announced an across-the-board raise and promotions with effect from October 1, 2009.

TCS CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran said, "China is a tough market for IT firms and the company was seeing business opportunity in Europe." The company is currently seeing an 8-10% growth in revenue from domestic operations and is eyeing a double-digit growth in the next two years.

Chandrasekaran said the company had signed a few large deals as well as a number of smaller ones.
"The financial services sector will drive growth. We expect good growth from retail, pharma and utilities," he said.

The company, however, expects a lesser growth from verticals such as telecom and manufacturing.

Chandrasekaran said the company will hike salaries of its employees in the coming fiscal, but did not give details. TCS, has not hiked wages in the current fiscal, but employees have received 150 per cent VA payouts in two consecutive quarters -- Q2 and Q3 of FY'10.

"We are on a path to hire 1,000 people. We have already hired 300," he said, replying to a query on hiring plans for the current fiscal. In Q3 of FY-10, TCS had made 7,692 net additions, compared with a net addition of 320 in the previous quarter.

Asked about the extent to which India would be affected by the US move to slash tax-breaks to outsourcers, Chandrasekaran said the matter is not an immediate concern.

US president Barack Obama last month had said his administration would "slash the tax-breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas" and instead "give those tax-breaks to companies that create jobs in the country," which sent shivers down the industry's spine.

This is because the US accounts for almost 60 per cent of the IT exports from the country are to that market.

"The regulatory changes with regard to employment and outsourcing in any part of the world is something that we have to watch every day. You need to see how to align to that, but because of this, if you ask me if there is an immediate concern, then the answer is no," Chandrasekaran said.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wipro hikes salary, good news for IT

The smiles are back in Silicon Plateau. Wipro has just handed out salary increments to all its employees. With effect from February 1, employees will get a pay hike in the 8% to 12% range with some even getting a 15% increase.

Such a hike comes after a long dark tunnel — of 12 to 18 months — when employees went through a difficult period of layoffs, uncertainty, additional work loads, and salary freeze. A Wipro employee said she received the increment letter which indicated a 12% increase in salary. Several other employees also said they had received increment mails.

Wipro's head of HR Pratik Kumar, however, declined to talk about details. "Hikes are in the pipeline. We mentioned it during our third quarter financial results. We'll make a further announcement regarding the hike and percentage etc. only in February," he said.

A couple of mid-tier Wipro executives said the hike is a morale booster. "I was seriously exploring a job change. Now that I'm getting a hike close to 15%, I guess I should stay back," a senior project manager said.

Infosys had given a single-digit increment in October. It had announced an across-the-board raise and promotions with effect from October 1, 2009. Domestic salaries went up by 8% while onsite pay rose by 2%. "During the October-December quarter, our variable pay has been 100%, against 92% in the previous quarter. We'll be thinking of a further salary hike only in April 2010," said its HR head T V Mohandas Pai.

Friday, January 29, 2010

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Oracle to cut 1000 jobs at Sun

Oracle Corp CEO Larry Ellison cheered the closing of his company's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems on Wednesday, vowing that Sun will immediately add to Oracle's profits.

He said layoffs won't be as severe as some industry analysts were predicting. Analysts had expected Sun to suffer huge job cuts once Oracle closed the acquisition. But Ellison said Oracle wants to bulk up Sun's staff to improve its sales -- a problem Sun has had trouble cracking since the dot-com meltdown a decade ago.

Oracle is hiring 2,000 people over the next few months for the Sun businesses, while layoffs from the acquisition will be about half that number, Ellison said.

"We're hiring, not firing. We're not cutting Sun to profitability," Ellison said at a conference with industry analysts at Oracle's headquarters here. "We think Sun's a growing business."

Ellison also confirmed that he's interested in buying the Golden State Warriors basketball team, a prospect that had been rumored.

"I'm trying," he said, in response to a question. "Unfortunately you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team." The line that got laughs because Oracle is a highly acquisitive company and won a bruising hostile takeover fight for rival PeopleSoft, a $10.3 billion deal Oracle closed in 2005.

Ellison had previously expressed interest in buying an NBA franchise and could take the Warriors if current top man Chris Cohan eventually decides to sell.

Oracle said Wednesday that it completed the Sun acquisition, one week after the European Union offered its long-awaited approval of the deal. European regulators determined the combined company would not harm competition in the database software markets, where Oracle dominates but a Sun division is a growing rival.

Sun was a dot-com highflyer that advanced the technology used to link computers, making them more useful as a network.

The deal with Oracle was announced last April. The US Department Justice cleared it four months later. With Sun, Oracle gets ownership of the Java programming language, which runs on more than a billion devices, and the Solaris operating system. Oracle also gets sophisticated server technology that it can bundle with its software. Sun is the world's No. 4 server maker.

One reason job losses may be limited is the fact Sun has already cut deeply because of its sagging finances. In October, Sun revealed plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs as the antitrust scrutiny dragged on. Sun has already cut about 7,600 workers in three previous rounds of layoffs.

Sun had 27,596 employees at the end of September. Previous Oracle acquisitions have been followed by deep job cuts.

Oracle fired some 5,000 workers after completing the PeopleSoft deal. Many of the layoffs came from PeopleSoft's 11,000-plus work force. The next year, Oracle cut about 2,000 jobs after absorbing Siebel Systems Inc, a company it bought for $5.85 billion and had 4,700 workers.