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Job givers turning sour

What earlier used to be one of the most employee-absorbing industries, has displayed confusing colours
By Rounak Kumar Gunjan | May 23, 2017

When you are on a single source of income job security becomes a compulsory parameter in reaching towards the general norms of stability. For someone who is not an entrepreneur and is not in a position to keep borrowing money from his/her parents, a constant inflow of money becomes the corner stone for survival.

With the ongoing virtual crisis in jobs and rampant lay-offs across all sectors, employees have been finding it more than difficult to cement their positions in organisations that were once more than enthusiastic in hiring them.

India in the recent times has boasted of a robust information technology (IT) sector with as many as 3 lakh individuals finding employment in the industry on an annual basis. The present picture is however not as lucrative with annual recruitments dwindling to 1.5 lakh. Top firms of the sector have been reported to get rid of both its top brass as well as entry-level employees.

“I have been working in the IT sector since four years now. Things have been bleak of late. Quite a few people have already been laid off and new recruitments are on hold. Appraisals have taken a hit as well. There are definite inhibitions in the employees who are working in an environment that does not guarantee job-security,” said an employee of Tech Mahindra who refused to be named.

Firms such as Cognizant, Infosys and Wipro among others have also axed jobs on grounds of automation and difference in cliental asks.

“We were told that they are in a process of internal overhaul. They are into automation of a few wings because of which jobs are on the cut. Also, most of the clients are getting into cloud operated softwares the Indian industry for which is yet to be ready,” said a former employee of Wipro, requesting anonymity. He was laid off last month with a three month severance.

After a survey conducted by job site Naukri.com, the report said, "The overall job market saw an 11 per cent fall in new jobs, with IT-software industry most hit. IT-Software industry was hit the most with a 24 per cent decline in hiring in April as compared to April 2016."

“April jobs index saw year-on-year fall in major metros - Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. Hiring activity saw a fall in telecom, BPO, insurance and construction sectors during April as compared to April 2016. Key industries like construction and BPO/ITES saw a 10 per cent and 12 per cent fall, respectively, while banking saw a 11 per cent increase in hiring during April 2017 as compared to April 2016,” it added.

While the IT sector garners all the attention, other avenues haven’t been as encouraging as well. Indian Railways has been quietly offering voluntary retirement options to its employees above a certain age without taking in as many new recruits.

“I had five more years to go before my retirement age but I was asked to voluntarily retire with reasons such as excess staff. I have my colleagues in other departments who have been instructed to do the same. When asked, the higher authorities state reasons such as age, need of a relatively new skill-set among others. However, we haven’t seen as many recruitments to support the argument,” said a commercial-parcel department employee of the Indian Railways posted in Howrah, West Bengal.

The media industry, for that matter, witnessed rampant downsizing of jobs in the immediate past.

Earlier his year, Kolkata-based ABP Group asked more than 120 of its journalists to resign with a severance. Pages of its flagship Bengali daily ABP and english daily The Telegraph were reduced considerably as well. The Telegraph’s popular Sunday magazine Graphiti was also lifted off. The spate of job cuts has not only been limited to relatively smaller media houses, larger counterparts like HT Media also axed a 100 plus jobs, bringing the curtains down on editions of Hindustan Times in Kolkata, Ranchi, Bhopal, Indore, Varanasi, Kanpur and Allahabad. HT’s business bureaus in Mumbai and Delhi were also shuttered down and the work outsourced to its sister publication, Mint.

Diminishing revenues generated from ads especially after demonetisation is primarily being described as the foremost reason for axing of jobs in media houses

While the government on one hand has been talking about increasing employment, industries have been responding in a rather regressive manner. It will be interesting to see how and when the market stabilizes to witness a fertile playground for job-seekers.

 

rounak@outlookindia.com

 

 

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