Global Economics

Big Layoffs for Indian Outsourcer Satyam


The Hyderabad-based company is handing out pink slips and could lay off 4,500 of its 51,000 workers

Satyam Computers, which has just started giving pink slips to its employees, could potentially downsize its workforce by a whopping 4,500 employees.

This translates to a little less than 9% of the 51,000 employees that the company employs. Company sources say 1,500 employees have been put under the performance improvement plan (PIP), euphemism for employees put on watch list and asked to shape up or ship out.

Apart from this, 3,000 others have not been given any increment in the last appraisal cycle, thereby indicating that their services are dispensable.

"This 1,500 plus 3,000 equals 4,500, which indicates the total number of persons who could be eased out of the company," the source said.

On Friday, all employees received an e-mail from the company chief Ramalinga Raju warning them, especially the ones on the bench, to not bunk office and be in their best dress code, failing which they may face strict disciplinary action.

Last week, some 400 employees from across different locations were given the pink slip.

Sources also indicated that after getting the message many among the 3,000 have also started leaving jobs. But an estimate of the employees who have left is not known.

A Satyam spokesperson said: "The bottom 5% of those who have got a bad appraisal are put under PIP and given dummy projects to prove themselves. If they fail they will be shown the door. But some of them marked for PIP said they have been given very little time to come up as winners."

However, even as it downsizes, Satyam continues to hire new employees in thousands. Over 40% of them are fresh blood just passing out of college.

The spectre of retrenchment is creating panic among employees of the company. "Of the 12 people working in my project, five were suddenly asked to resign, failing which, the company warned, it would fire us. Everything came without warning," said a techie pleading anonymity.


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