Thursday, February 19, 2009

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Wipro eyes multi-skilled workforce (IT and BPO skills)

In an effort to slash hiring and increase efficiency, Wipro Technologies, one of the leading IT companies in the country, is training its employees to turn into a multi-skilled workforce.

The Bangalore-headquartered company is providing training to its employees in different domains and technologies to cater to the current requirements as the company is pursuing for integrated deals by providing both BPO and IT services by a single team.

"When people are multi-skilled, we will likely have fewer people. Instead of having two individuals being paid lower salaries, we are better off paying more to a single person who is capable of doing both work. This not only improves turnaround times, but also efficiency in operations," Girish Paranjpe, Joint CEO for Wipro's IT business, told Business Standard.

With an aim of optimally using its manpower in both IT and BPO operations, Wipro has already signed a few large integrated deals, wherein the company is providing both the IT outsourcing and BPO services by a single team. The company has transitioned some of their employees from each of these two businesses (IT and BPO) to work for such projects.

According to Paranjpe, the company has signed up three-four large clients who have outsourced their entire IT and BPO activity to the company. By the end of FY09, the company expects that close to 1,000 people will be deployed in the integrated outsourcing projects.

"One of the things we are trying to drive is integrated projects by offering both BPO and IT services. So, it makes more sense to have a fungible team. Much of our new work, we are hoping to do in an integrated fashion — where we will manage the IT application and also carry out the business process for the clients," Paranjpe added.

In December last year, Wipro had offered close to 2,000 campus recruits from various engineering colleges jobs in the BPO business till they could be absorbed in the company's IT business. The experiment of putting engineering graduates into BPO work, however, seems to have seen a very limited success as the company found many of them unsuitable for BPO works.

Analysts say, Wipro's experiment of putting engineering graduates into BPO work was driven by the company's aggressive quest to make the manpower multi-skilled so that they could be useful as the company signs more number of integrated deals.

Of about 1,000 people who had accepted the offers to join the BPO jobs, the company found only about 300 suitable for the job after initial screening. Among those who failed to qualify the initial screening, close to 450 people are undergoing training now, and will be asked to take the test again, according to Wipro's Head of HR Pratik Kumar.

Said Kumar, "If today we are looking for engineers for BPO works, it's not because we have engineers who are sitting idle. But because suddenly we found that nature of the job is such, we require engineers as well. It's is not a utilisation issue. It's an issue of the integrated nature of the work which is throwing opportunities."


  1. Its a very Good thought of having muliti-skilled workforce.

  2. "Jack of all trades ...."


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