Home / Companies / News /  Indian staff insulated from job cuts at Google, MS, Apple

MUMBAI : Indian employees of Google, Microsoft and Apple will see marginal, but definite impact of global cost cutting measures rolled out by the tech giants, including layoffs and cautious hiring, said industry experts.

Sector analysts and recruiters said though the workforce in India is still more diverse, the companies will tread cautiously as the cost advantages have dipped over time. “The cost differential is way down. India isn’t much cheaper now. However, the talent pool is larger and more diverse. The tech giants cannot shift hiring for projects easily from the US to India, which is a political hot potato," said Prasanto K. Roy, a technology policy consultant.

According to global media reports, Google, Microsoft and Apple are planning to go slow on hiring and, instead, focussing on increasing efficiency.

Bloomberg reported Apple will cut costs and job growth in some divisions. Other reports said Microsoft may layoff 1% of its 180,000 employees. Google is set to go slow on hiring in 2022, according to an internal memo by chief executive Sundar Pichai.

Roy said the dialling down by tech giants will not be mirrored by the IT services sector. “Some impact will be there in both places, but less in India, where hiring volume is likely go down for US big tech, but not necessarily across all companies. I don’t see Indian tech services giants dialling down."

“We saw a similar trend during the 2008-09 recession in the US, when tech outsourcing to India increased," he added.

While Google and Apple did not respond to Mint’s queries on the impact on their Indian workforce, Microsoft declined to comment.

“Even the tech majors like Apple ought to be prepping for a looming recessionary climate, which could have mixed implications on India. A blanket freeze will mean companies will be hiring wisely even in strategically important markets such as India," said Neil Shah, vice president and partner, Counterpoint Technology Market Research.

Apple shipped more than six million iPhones to India during 2021, up nearly 100% from a year ago. Demand for iPhone continued to rise in India, with smartphone users looking to upgrade to better devices.

Shah, who tracks telecom, said the Apple’s dialling down on hiring in the US could benefit India, given that the companies require highly-specialized and expensive resources for the long-term strategic projects to ensure growth. “Some functions could potentially shift to relatively cheaper but good talent markets like India in lieu of keeping costs under control in an uncertain climate," Shah added.

According to a senior executive working with a tech giant, the layoffs have started but are not very significant. “It is not planned against any one team or geography, but is happening across sectors. Retrenchments will happen, but not in large numbers," the executive said seeking anonymity.

Devina Sengupta
Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
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