The convention centre at Infosys’s Electronic City centre on the city outskirts was packed on Friday afternoon. Almost every employee in the campus wanted to hear from S D Shibulal, the CEO & MD of Infosys who convened an ‘open house’, the first after the company announced it is putting a freeze on wages following a quarter where it missed its revenue guidance.
A section of employees that Business Standard spoke to, who did not wish to be identified, said the chief executive failed to address this main concern. They also reported that the open house ended abruptly ahead of schedule. “It is obvious that the management wanted to play a gimmick to show outside world that how they are concerned about the employees. They knew that they don’t have any answer to the employees’ queries. We are disenchanted with the attitude of the management and you can see that through the Rs nasty’ questions which have been posted in the blog post where employees have openly blasted the management, which were not seen earlier,” said a middle-level manager.
Decision may be revised
Last week, Infosys announced that it would defer giving wage increases to employees because of high degree of volatility in the environment. The company however said that it would review the decision at the end of every financial quarter. “If you look at the history, whenever we have done it in the past, as and when the situation got better and more clear, we have quickly gone ahead and done compensation changes … Actually there are years in which after delaying, we did high compensation increases,” Shibulal had said replying to specific queries by analysts post the company’s announcement of results.
The open house, which ended about 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled time of two hours, saw the top management including Infosys’s Global HR Head Nandita Gurjar on the dias. Some of the employees said that the company management tried avoiding specific queries from the employees by throwing large amount of data “thus confusing the audience”. After analysing the data when the employees were ready to ask their questions, Shibulal surprised all by announcing “he will stop taking questions”.
“I somehow managed to stand for few minutes as the convention centre can accommodate maximum 1,500 people (sitting capacity) whereas Infosys Electronic City campus houses more than 25,000 people. I am now waiting to watch the telecast of the proceeding what they are going to upload in ‘Infosys TV’, the company’s internal TV channel,” said a project manager with Infosys.
Infosys HR Head Gurjar confirmed calling of the open house with employees. She said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss performance of the company, among other things. When asked if the employees showed concerns over the delay in salary hike, she said “of course, they were concerned”.
The HR department of the company had collected questions relating to the concerns of the employees before the start of the event, said employees. Out of hundreds of questions, a trivial one was picked up to be answered by the CEO.