US-based IT major Cognizant, which was in the news recently for its decision to slash around 12,000 jobs, on Thursday said that it was planning to hire around 23,000 talents from technology institutions in the country in the calendar year 2020. This is apart from its campus hiring for business process outsourcing (BPO) operations.
Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, chairman and managing director of Cognizant India, said the company would continue hiring and the announcement regarding the plans to cut jobs is a small portion, considering that Cognizant has around 2.9 lakh employees globally.
Speaking at the 18th edition of CII Connect 2019, an international conference on information and communications technology, here, he said the country has two strengths - technology and talent which is good in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), contrary to the view that there was lack of readily-deployable talent.
"We are probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of the technology talent. In terms of the hiring statistics, in five years from 2014 to 2018, Cognizant saw a net headcount addition of 66,000 in India. If I add the first nine months of this year, we added about 75,000 people net headcount in India - a net addition of around 9,000 people in nine months. The quality of talent is only improving day by day," he said.
Elaborating on the hiring plans, he said the company plans to hire a little over 23,000 students across the country from STEM disciplines of study, primarily engineering, in calender year 2020. This does not include the several thousands that the company would hire for its BPO business from the campuses. The company has made over 15,000 offers in over 80 engineering campuses so far.
Ramamoorthy said the quality of engineering talent in the country especially with digital capabilities was increasing and the company's ability to hire in larger numbers has actually gone up. Cognizant's campus hiring is going up by 30% this year as compared to last year and it has also increased the compensation to recognise the premium skills that they bring to the table from about `3.38 lakh to about `4 lakh at the entry level.
Cognizant, which has significant number of workforce in India, has initiated a multi-year evolution of its business, aimed at unlocking the company's full growth potential and returning it to its historical position as a bellwether of the IT industry.
The company, while announcing its third quarter results recently, has announced that it was operationalising initiatives defined by the Transformation Office formed in May 2019. With its Q3 earnings announcement, Cognizant announced the two-year "Fit for Growth" plan to simplify the way work is done, lower the cost structure and fund investments that will enable growth. The plan is to sharpen the company's strategic focus and simplify the operating model.
In refining its strategic posture, Cognizant is aligning with clients' digital imperatives, and doubling down on four key areas such as data, digital engineering, cloud and Internet of Things. Besides, a series of measures were being introduced to simplify the organisational model. Simplifying the organisational model would enhance role clarity, empowerment and accountability, and help further increase client centricity and cost structure optimisation, the company had said.