Indian IT services firm Wipro has reportedly fired 600 employees amid growing fear that automation will kill tens of thousands of jobs in the country’s ICT sector. Wipro has neither denied nor confirmed the report.
The lay-off is said to be part of what industry analysts call an ‘appraisal process’ — a test that proves if employees are skilled enough to handle new projects. Wipro currently has nearly 250,000 people on its payroll.
The news has caused concern among IT employees across the country, but it’s not just Wipro sacking employees, as rumor mills churn out news about retrenchment in the sector.
Last year, Infosys, the country’s IT bellwether, laid off nearly 10,000 employees and reduced the pace of hiring to a bare minimum.
Earlier in March, rumors spread that Cognizant would slash nearly 5% of its workforce in India. Although headquartered in the United States, the company has deployed more than 75% of its employees in India.
French BPO giant Capgemini said that it would re-skill its Indian employees, but its India chief Srinivas Kandula said later in a NASSCOM summit that more than 60% of his staff are “not trainable.”
It is widely believed that automation and AI systems might help IT companies cut costs on productivity, infrastructure, and consumption of resources between 30–40%. Today, those performing jobs such as coding, back office maintenance, and applications testing, are the ones facing the axe.
Advancing technology is going to kill 94,000 jobs in India by 2021, according to consulting firm Zinnov.