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Wipro Ltd is overhauling its employee bonuses and increments to rein in high attrition and attract fresh talent as India’s technology sector continues to see a covid-induced boom in hiring.

India’s fourth-largest software services firm plans to offer employee promotions every quarter—a first for the Bengaluru-based company—and boost salaries of most of its workforce by 10% in September, with the top performers receiving more than 15% hikes.

“Wipro is expected to roll out the hikes in September, and there are large-scale promotions to be rolled out in July. The company has decided to offer quarterly promotions to top performers, who are not in the leadership team," said a company executive aware of the development on condition of anonymity.

Confirming the plans, a spokesperson for Wipro said the company “will roll out several promotions for its employees, starting July."

“Going forward, the company has decided to offer quarterly promotions to its top performers, up to mid-management level. Wipro is expected to roll out hikes in September," the spokesperson said in response to emailed queries.

Wipro recorded an attrition of 23.8% in the March quarter. The company, which had a staff count of 243,128 as of March-end, is slated to announce results for the fiscal first quarter on 19 July.

According to an industry executive, Wipro is expected to roll out a salary hike of about 10%, but the top performers are expected to get much more. “The 10% is expected for a larger chunk of the employees while top performers will get much more. Depending on pay scales, it could be 15% plus. The early announcement of promotions is another step the firm will take to hold on to its people," said the executive, requesting anonymity. Those receiving quarterly promotions will see a bigger jump in salaries, the executive added.

Wipro’s plan to reward employees comes as the tech sector battles severe attrition. Demand for tech workers has risen sharply with the pandemic leading companies globally across sectors to digitize businesses. This is pitting tech firms against startups and legacy firms in the race for talent. Infosys, India’s second-largest software services firm, may offer a 12-13% hike for some staff, with top performers getting more. It clocked a record attrition of 27.7% in the March quarter, sharply higher than 10.9% a year earlier and 25.5% in the December quarter.

On Friday, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s top software services firm, announced an attrition of 19.7% in the June quarter. Chief executive Rajesh Gopinathan attributed it to seasonality, saying that in this period, junior staff leave for higher studies. TCS has issued a pay hike of 5-8%. Top performers have received higher increments, according to the firm.

Meanwhile, analysts said, offering large pay hikes and other employee incentives may burden firm already struggling under rising costs.

“We expect margins to contract quarter-on-quarter due to wage hike and the continued rationalization of staff costs amid high attrition despite the industry continuing to add record freshers," ICICI Direct Research said in an earnings preview on 5 July.

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