Hit by downturn, Wipro keeps 9,800 freshers waiting


Bangalore : Reeling under the impact of global meltdown, Wipro Technologies Ltd has kept about 9,800 graduate engineers, hired from campuses last year, waiting to join the IT bellwether, a company official said here Tuesday.

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“Of the total 13,500 campus offerings made across the country last year, we have taken 3,700 of them so far, while the remaining (9,800) have been told to wait for their turn to join,” Wipro vice-president for talent acquisition Pradeep Bahirwani told reporters here at a hurriedly called press conference.

Due to slowdown in the IT industry and tough business environment, Bahirwani said, the company had discontinued campus offerings this fiscal for the time being.

“We have made 8,000 campus offers across the country in about 200 engineering colleges, including IITs and NITs (National Institutes of Technologies) this year as against 13,500 last year,” Bahirwani said.

To make better use of the engineering freshers hired but not absorbed, the company has began to offer them the option of joining its BPO (business processes outsourcing) division at its software development centres in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Hyderabad for the same compensation fixed for IT services.

“To meet our BPO division’s requirements in technical support, we have offered them the choice of coming onboard or wait as long for the joining date at the salary stack made in the offer letter. We hope to see a turn-around in business after 12-18 months to move them to IT services,” Bahirwani said.

The company’s novel initiative to ask freshers hired for IT services to join BPO division by paying upfront Rs.75,000 for bond backfired in Kolkata, with the hired engineers protesting against such the move and taking up the matter with West Bengal IT Minister Debash Das Monday.

“The option has been given in commensurate with our current requirements, which are more in BPO than in IT services, as technical support role requires engineering grads and not those from science or general stream. There is no compulsion or change in compensation,” Bahirwani clarified.

Defending the offer to join the BPO division, the HR official said the decision was taken to give an opportunity to engineering graduates to get on work without further delay.

Wipro’s global IT services business had 97,552 employees, including 16,500 in the BPO division till the second quarter (July-September) of this fiscal.