Nov 27, 2008

Business - Wipro prods 5000 engineers into BPO

Amit Tripathi

Campus-selected candidates can’t write code for 18 months

MUMBAI: Wipro Technologies Ltd has asked about 5,000 fresh engineering graduates selected by it from various campuses to join its business process outsourcing (BPO) division, Wipro BPO, instead.

Disgruntled candidates quoted an e-mail they received from the Wipro management citing the current uncertain market environment as the reason behind the decision.

However, Pradeep Bahirwani, vice-president - talent acquisition, Wipro Technologies,
clarified, “Due to the current business scenario, we estimate delays in joining dates of some batches of recruits. We are providing them an option of a role in our BPO division. The objective is to let engineering graduates commence work without delay.”

Bahirwani did not say how many engineers would be sent to the BPO division.

On whether the engineers would have to work for lesser salary, he said, “Compensation package is structured with the perspective of the new joinee gaining in totality.”

The e-mail sent to the campus-selected engineers on November 25 offers to accommodate the candidates in the BPO division for about 18 months.

An engineer who received the revised offer letter said, “Actually, we got selected for Wipro Technologies (the IT company) and we even received offer letters from them stating the cadre as that of a software engineer. But now they have betrayed us. They made us wait for nine months, only to get this shocking news. We could have applied to other companies if they had informed us of this before.”

Wipro officials though term the practice of moving people with specific competency between different business units ‘normal’.

“We have had people moving after 18 months from BPO to Wipro Technologies in the past,” a company spokesperson said. “In the last eight years in Wipro, I have been in three different business units, starting with marketing, followed by medical division to communications division at the moment.”

Wipro, India’s second-largest IT company by revenues and the third-largest by market capitalisation, earned a fifth of its over-$4 billion IT business revenue from India and the Middle East last fiscal.

In a recent interview to Reuters, Wipro chief financial officer Suresh Senapaty had said the percentage of staff based in India will come down as more jobs are created in China and other developing countries.