Wipro, India’s third largest exporter of software services announced that it has laid off employees following the annual appraisal. While the company did not give an accurate number, reports suggest it could be anywhere in the range of 300 to 600 employees.
Cognizant had recently relieved over 6,000 employees in March this year. While Wipro’s layoffs aren’t in the same league as Cognizant, the move has triggered alarm bells among the Indian IT industry.
According to Wipro, it conducts a “rigorous performance appraisal”, with non-performers weeded out to strengthen the company and meet certain requirements. The Bengaluru based company has over 1.79 lakh employees in its roster.
Automation of several processes have resulted in redundant positions, which a number of IT companies are keen to end. Additionally, failure of employees to upgrade skills have resulted in tremendous losses to the IT industry.
The decision of a number of foreign countries like USA and Australia to tighten their visa norms have also contributed to the layoffs. US President Donald Trump recently modified H1-B visa norms, which Indian companies have been using in the past to deliver on projects in the country.
Wipro CEO, Abidali Neemuchwala had last year emphasised on his vision to reduce the number of managers in the company to bring in decentralisation. His emphasis on migrating from the pyramid structure to a diamond based structure was based on automating lower-rung jobs.
Hiring in the Indian IT industry has also been hard hit, with Infosys, one of the largest mass hirers in the sector adding just around 6,300 employees to its roster last year, less than a third compared to the previous year.
Wipro had a revenue of $7.7 billion for the FY 2015-2016, operating in over 175 cities worldwide. Shares of the company are currently trading at Rs.501.15, up 0.28 per cent from the opening price of Rs.500.