Bangalore: India’s second largest software services provider by revenue, Infosys Technologies Ltd, says it has completed absorbing all 20,000 engineering students who graduated last year and to whom it had made job offers on campus.
The induction process was delayed by several months because of the global economic crisis that deepened last year, forcing overseas clients to pare technology budgets and delay projects in an attempt to cut spending.
Infosys inducted the new graduates in batches into its training programme starting June 2008 and finished the process by the end of February, company officials said. Typically, companies recruit engineering students in the November-January period through the campus placement process. Students pass out in June and join these firms for work in June-August.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, the country’s biggest software services provider, and No. 3 Wipro Technologies are yet to complete the induction process although they have taken on board most of the students to whom they made offers.
Almost all technology firms delayed the joining date of students to whom they made offers in the period running from late 2007 to early 2008 because they had fewer new projects to work on in the wake of the global economic crisis.
Infosys was able to absorb all the students because it has a large centralized training centre in Mysore, according to Nandita Gurjar, senior vice-president and global human resources head at the Bangalore-based company.
Infosys’ 335-acre campus in Mysore can train as many as 10,000 people in a single day and is the largest training establishment of its kind in the world, the company claims.
Finding jobs has been tough for engineering students who passed out last year, as technology firms attempted to cut costs and reduce headcount, reminiscent of the scenario post the dot-com bust in 2001.
Technology firms have been mainstay employers for the country’s engineering institutions, hiring as much as half the talent from the top schools. Information technology vendors often hire in advance in anticipation of big new projects and project renewals from overseas clients, many of which have been delayed or indefinitely postponed.
While many of these students hung onto campus offers and joined the companies late, others landed jobs sometimes in other fields such as teaching or research and some took to higher studies.
All three of India’s largest IT firms have publicly stated that they will honour all campus offers made. TCS expects to absorb the remaining students by end-March, said a TCS spokesperson. TCS has about 2,200 students waiting in the wings.
Wipro Technologies says it will induct the remaining 6,000 students it still has to hire based on factors such as market demand. ”The market realities are visible to us all so there are some delays in all on-boarding (or inducting) plans. The on-boarding is always a continuous process subject to various factors including business need,” Pradeep Bahirwani, vice-president of talent acquisition at Wipro Technologies, said in an email.
According to the latest numbers available (as of end-December), TCS absorbed 19,800 of the total 22,000 offers made and Wipro 7,500 of the total 13,500 offers made.
“Infosys has set the right example for other organizations. The good part is most companies have given a date of joining or some indication (to recruited students) so students are no longer on tenterhooks,” said Rohit Ramani, director, sales and marketing, at EmmayHR Services Pvt. Ltd, a unit of Amsterdam-based human resources firm Randstad Holding NV.
India’s largest software services firms have also made offers to students passing out in the middle of this year, expecting to win projects. Infosys has made offers to 20,000 students, TCS to at least 24,000 and Wipro to 8,000.