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Wipro axes over 350 jobs; number could go up to 2,000

21 April 2017

At a time when the information technology sector is facing several headwinds, Indian tech major Wipro is trimming its workforce. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that about 350-400 people have been asked to leave the company.

Other reports put the number of employees shown the door at about 600, and according to NDTV, speculation was rife that the number could go as high as 2,000.

Wipro sources said the layoffs are part of an annual process of the company, which involves weeding out non-performers and people who are on the bench.

At the end of December 2016, the Bengaluru-based company had over 1.79 lakh employees.

In reply to media queries, Wipro said it undertakes a "rigorous performance appraisal process" on a regular basis to align its workforce with business objectives, strategic priorities of the company, and client requirements.

"The performance appraisal may also lead to the separation of some employees from the company and these numbers vary from year to year," it added.

The company, however, did not comment on the number of employees that have been asked to leave.

The number is still less than one per cent of the company's total workforce and is minute compared to Cognizant's purported plan to sack over 6,000 employees (See: Cognizant axes 6,000 jobs in India, cuts variable pay).

A focus on automation in the sector and US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies have greatly affected the Indian IT sector over the last few months. Curbs are also being proposed on worker visa norms by various countries like the US, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Wipro said its comprehensive performance evaluation process includes mentoring, re-training and upskilling of employees. The company is scheduled to report its fourth quarter and full-year numbers on 25 April.

With visa programmes in these countries becoming more rigorous, Indian IT companies are likely to face challenges in movement of labour as well as a spike in operational costs.

Indian IT companies get over 60 per cent of their revenues from the North American market, about 20 per cent from Europe and the remaining from other economies.

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