Information technology (IT) services major Infosys on Friday said it will hire 20,000 people this year, against only 400 people being asked to leave on performance grounds and termed reports of large-scale job losses as “overstated”.
Infosys Chief Operating Officer U B Pravin Rao said the technology-driven transformation presents new opportunities for companies such as Infosys.
“With respect to all the talks of layoffs, it’s regular performance-based things that we do every year. The number is really 300-400, which is consistent with what we have seen every year,” Rao told reporters after a 30-minute meeting with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He said the country’s second-largest software exporter is “creating more jobs, adding more people and letting go of only minuscule number of people, purely from performance related perspective”.
Rao met the minister along with Infosys co-Chairman Ravi Venkatesan.
He declined however to comment on views of Infosys co- founder N R Narayana Murthy that jobs can be protected if the senior executives of companies take salary cuts and invest in employee re-skilling.
Prasad also asserted that IT companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, continue to hire in large numbers.
“TCS has written that they have employed 250,000 people in last three years and this year they are going to employ 20,000 more... all this talk of sluggishness is unwarranted,” he said.
The comments come at a time when there have been reports of layoffs across the sector. Tech majors such as Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant and Tech Mahindra have initiated annual performance reviews, a process that weeds out bottom performers or non-performers.
This has compounded fears that thousands of employees in the sector could be shown the door over the next few weeks.
The IT sector is already battling challenges in the business environment and stricter work permit regime in countries like the US, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Various employee unions have approached labour commissioners and state governments to intervene in the matter.
“I think all the news about job losses are overstated. Infosys itself last year recruited over 20,000 people and this year again, we are likely to repeat similar numbers,” Rao said.
He added that in the first half of the year, the company will recruit over 10,000 people.