Bengaluru: Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp has deferred joining dates of all campus offers it has made to students across India to the latter half of the year, and said it will honour all commitments.
“We remain committed to growth and plan to honour the more than 20,000 campus offers we have made. The timing of our trainees’ start date in India will be deferred to Q3 (July-September). This will continue to be dependent on lockdowns and school schedules across India," Brian Humphries, chief executive officer, Cognizant told Mint.
Given the subdued demand environment, Cognizant will freeze most of its lateral hiring across all functions in India, with few exceptions in sales roles.
“We will continue to move forward with our sales hiring plan and other key positions and honour all outstanding accepted offers," Humphries said. “The size and timing of any changes to our workforce will unfold as the demand environment becomes clearer."
Cognizant has a global headcount of about 2.9 lakh employees, of which a majority is based in India. Last year, Cognizant became the second IT company to touch the 2-lakh employee mark in India, next only to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd.
Globally, Cognizant has been focussing on strengthening its capabilities in four key areas: data, digital engineering, cloud, and the internet of things (IoT). As part of this, the company has already doubled its investment in Cognizant Academy so that it can redeploy staff in these new skillsets.
“We will also accelerate the further development of employees with skills aligned to our key digital imperatives, which we expect will align with client demand when an economic recovery emerges," Humphries said.
Cognizant’s digital revenue grew approximately 19% year-on-year in Q1 and contributed 41% to the first quarter revenue. Humphries said that the covid-19 crisis has spurred clients to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. “Our strategy to win in the digital battlegrounds of artificial intelligence and analytics, digital engineering, cloud and IoT becomes more relevant than ever."
Cognizant also hinted that it would tweak its bench policies to the current environment. “Against today’s covid-19 backdrop, we feel that traditional industry bench policies do not adequately address the interest of the impacted employees. Consequently, any employee impacted by demand/supply imbalances may benefit from extended medical coverage and exit packages through the end of the third quarter," Humphries said.