Freshers from the India's Information Technology (IT) sector are being exploited for the last 10 years and this has led to several issues, like an increase in attrition rate, employees moonlighting after the day job, reluctance to come back to office, along with several other ones, stressed Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Aarin Capital.
Pai, who was previously a director at the Indian IT behemoth Infosys, told Business Today that IT sector companies are making decent profits, especially in the light of the depreciating value of the Indian rupee. He said, “They have 13-14 per cent increase in revenue due to rupee depreciation. IT companies are making good money and they are paying senior people very high salaries. Why not pay the junior people too?”
Pai's comments come in the backdrop of reports about several top IT firms who are known to pay massive salary packages to their CXOs. HCL Tech, for instance, recently revealed in its annual report that the company's CEO, C Vijaykumar, takes home Rs 123 crore annually. As per Infosys’ latest annual report, CEO Salil Parekh’s salary had been hiked 88 per cent, taking his total compensation from Rs 42 crore to Rs 79 crore. Moreover, Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte too draws Rs 79.8 crore annually, as per a report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
He further added, “The IT industry has been exploiting freshers from the last ten years. There has been no increase in compensation, freshers are being paid the same Rs 3.5 - 3.8 lakh which the companies were paying in 2008-09.”
Recently, software giants like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Wipro announced that they have deferred, postponed, or reduced the variable payout to employees for the first quarter of the financial year 2023 due to squeeze in margins.
Pai said, “If any sacrifices need to be made, senior people should make them.” He also added, “How can a senior person take a hike in salary when you aren't paying juniors more? Treat them like human beings, not like midgets.”
On Saturday, Rishad Premji, the executive CEO of Wipro, tweeted that moonlighting is “cheating - plain and simple.” Moonlighting refers to taking up other jobs and assignments while working full-time with an organisation. Pai also had a response to this. He noted, “They (IT companies) need to understand, during my free time, I can do what I want. ”
Pai stressed on the fact that if the Indian IT sector does not bring about a change in its current policies, they would turn into “mercenary organisations”.
He said “This is an industry that put people first, which took care of everybody. Over the last 10 years, the idea of looking out for the people at the bottom of the pyramid has gone. The human spirit is what made these companies great. This industry was built with great human culture, if they diverge from that, they would turn into mercenary organisations.”
It is worth noting that the Indian IT sector companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, and others had been pioneers when it came to distributing Employee Stock Options (or ESOPs). These organisations have also played prominent roles in upskilling their workforce as well as paying for further education of employees, something that is not observed in other industries.
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