Narayana Murthy’s return a boon for staff

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Bengaluru: When N.R. Narayana Murthy steps onto the stage at Infosys’ Annual General Meeting on Saturday, the scene will likely look like the happy reunion of a much-loved lost one with his family. But that’s on Saturday, and that’s with Infosys’ investors, who had missed Murthy’s Midas Touch these past two years.
On Thursday, Infosys, back under Murthy’s captaincy, addressed a more urgent problem — attrition 3 by ‘defreezing’ salary hikes and announcing an average 8 per cent jump for most of the company’s 1.5 lakh-plus employees, effective July 1.
The company’s overseas employees will get a 3 per cent hike, it said in a statement. Importantly, its sales force – the revenue engine that needs the biggest boost, according to analysts — will enjoy the salary hike effective from May 1.
“The hike has much to do with Murthy’s comeback. All of Infosys’ HR policies initiated after Murthy had left, such as iRace, freezing hikes across the board, etc., had backfired”, said Zinnov Management Consulting’s Sundararaman Viswanathan. Some feel-good news may be in for investors, too.
“The timing of Murthy’s return may have been chosen because Infosys is sure things will look up in the July-September quarter. They have signed up some $500-600 million in deals. So, July-September will show better performance.
It’s when the October quarter results come in that investors will want to see the turnaround and results,” said Sudhin Apte, chief executive officer of Pune-based research firm Offshore Insights.
Infosys’ Bengaluru peer Wipro Technologies, too, has internally announced an average wage hike of 6-8 per cent for offshore employees and 2-3 per cent for its onsite employees, effective June 1.But Wipro staff seem to have suffered a drastic cut in variable pay.
At least two Wipro-ites told Deccan Chronicle that they had the worst quarterly variable payout in three years, down to 40-50 per cent. “Three years ago, we had got a 103 per cent variable payout.
This time, it’s down to 40-50 per cent. It’s like they gave us a hike with one hand, and took it back with the other. Worse, the management is vague about the steep drop. Variable payout is usually 80-90 per cent”.
The variable pay constitutes some 30 per cent of a Wipro employee’s salary. The Infosys and Wipro hikes are in line with what Deccan Chronicle had predicted last month 6-8 per cent.
In May, Cognizant Technology Solutions, which recently overtook Infosys to become the second largest IT offshoring company in India, had told its employees that it was deferring annual salary hikes for all employees from May to July, ostensibly to align all hikes and promotions for junior and senior levels to a common date. Global giant IBM has told its employees across business divisions that there will be no salary hike this year.

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