Categories: Tech News

Rishad Premji: Employee moonlighting in tech industry cheats: Wipro’s Rishad Premji

chairman Rishad Premji considers moonlighting in the tech industry a scam. The former Nasscom chairman took to Twitter to air his views on moonlighting, a concept that has become very popular after the Covid-19 pandemic as people had the time and opportunity to do more than one thing for a living.

“There is a lot of talk about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating, plain and simple,” Premji tweeted.

Moonlighting refers to looking for more than one job at a time, and remote work has helped employees make that choice.

All this comes as India’s fourth-largest information technology (IT) services provider by revenue, Wipro decided to hold back variable pay for its mid- and senior-level executives in the June quarter due to pressure on operating margins, according to people aware of the matter, ET reported earlier this week.

The IT industry as a whole is facing unprecedented levels of attrition. Wipro, however, has maintained lower attrition rates than its peers, with the April-June level falling to 23.3% from 23.8% in the sequential period.

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Recently, hyperlocal and food delivery startup Swiggy introduced a Moonlighting policy . According to the policy, employees may take on outside projects for pro-bono or financial consideration based on internal approvals.

The policy is available to all full-time employees of Bundl Technologies, the parent company of Swiggy, including subsidiaries, affiliates, associate companies and group companies.

This could involve activities outside of office hours or on weekends that do not affect your productivity at full-time work or that have a conflict of interest with Swiggy’s business.

The question of ethics

Swiggy’s head of human resources (HR) Girish Menon might not agree with Premji’s ideas.

In an exclusive podcast episode with ET’s Morning Brief, the HR chief said, “That’s it [Moonlighting] the future of work. And that is precisely what we [Swiggy] they try to.”

Menon said his company’s policy on moonlighting is “inclusive, not draconian, and clearly defines anything that is conflicting.” He said the decision to introduce moonlighting was based on intuition and the belief that jobs would evolve in a certain way.

“Moonlight comes more from what we think is the future of work, and less from research or data. People with skills will have opportunities to do side gigs, or what they call the side hustle. Then, for why not normalize it,” he said.

Sashi Kumar, head of Indeed India, the Indian arm of the US-based job search website, echoes Menon.

“It is not new. Moonlight has existed in the past, it existed in different countries,” Kumar told ET Now in an exclusive interaction earlier this month. “The reality is that there are a lot of jobs out there, but people he can’t make enough money to make ends meet and therefore needs to work multiple jobs to meet his financial needs.”

Slowdown in hiring

From e-commerce giant Amazon to social media star Facebook, US tech companies that once grew with abandon have slowed hiring to weather tumultuous times.

In India also the scenario is similar. While startups have laid off people in droves, major information technology companies have scaled back hiring to better deal with the funding crunch.

Amid concerns about a macroeconomic slowdown, fewer IT employees are juggling multiple job offers and rejection rates for available offers have also fallen after two years of a bull run for IT and technology employees, it reported E.T.

In fact, TCS has also delayed its June quarter variable pay for select employees, ET reported.

The Tata group company has delayed the variable payment of C3A, C3B, C4 and equivalent notes by one month. These are employees at the assistant consultant, associate consultant and consultant levels. The money that was due in July will now be paid by the end of August, according to an internal email accessed by ET.

“The performance bonus for the first quarter of FY23 has not yet been finalized for grades C3A, C3B, C4 and equivalent. It will be paid along with the August 2022 payroll to eligible associates,” it said the email sent at the end of July, without specifying the reason for the delay or the amount of the bonus to be given.

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