Mumbai: Employees of embattled outsourcing firm Satyam Computer Services Ltd are scrambling to send their resumes to job portals and other firms, but finding work may be difficult given tough market conditions.
As of September-end, Satyam, the country’s fourth-biggest software exporter now bearing the dubious distinction of having perpetuated India’s biggest corporate scandal in memory, said it had 52,865 employees in all.
On Wednesday, after chairman B. Ramalinga Raju quit and said profits of the company had been inflated over the last several years, interim CEO Ram Mynampati, in a letter to employees, apologised for the “uncertainty and inconvenience” caused.
Warning employees of a “tumultuous quarter”, Mynampati asked for their “involvement and ideas”.
But that did not appear to be a top priority for employees who seemed agitated as they entered the company’s sprawling headquarters in the southern city of Hyderabad.
“How would you feel if you were in my position?” said one employee, reacting angrily to a reporter’s question.
Local newspapers said hundreds of employees had begun sending out their resumes to job portals and to other software firms.
But with a global slowdown putting the brakes on India’s $50 billion IT industry, jobs will be difficult to come by.
Nasscom, the industry body, had earlier said it did not foresee job cuts, but lowered its 2008/09 job additions target to 200,000 from 270,000. Wage increases were expected to be moderate for the next two years in the industry, Nasscom has said.
“Today the market is not such that they will be absorbed easily,” said Karthik Shekhar, general secretary of UNITES, an international outfit representing software professionals. “We are in touch with the employees. They are waiting for more clarity from the management, but they are sending feelers.”
Satyam’s rivals, who are expected to pitch for its clients including General Electric, Nestle and Qantas, may be able to absorb some employees.
“If the employees go with the business, I reckon 55-60% of the employees will find work,” said Mohandas Pai, director of human resources at larger rival Infosys Technologies.
“Clients are likely to retain project managers and developers, so, in a worst-case scenario, about 40% of employees are at risk,” he said, but declined to say if Infosys would consider pitching for Satyam clients or hiring its employees.
A project manager at an international IT services firm said he had received about four or five frantic calls from Satyam project managers, asking for jobs.
Others are choosing to pursue different options: a developer who has been with Satyam for seven years said he had been planning on taking a break to do a Ph.D for some time.This is a good time to do it, he said.