HYDERABAD: Satyam Computer has delayed the joining date of graduates it has recruited from college campuses by months–the latest sign that India’s fourth largest software exporter is trying to cut operational expenses amid a slowdown in its largest market, the United States.
The company visited college campuses late last year and issued offer letters in February.
Campus recruits that ET spoke to say that they were initially asked to join the company in Hyderabad in the first week of June and had even undergone the mandatory medical tests as a precursor to their formal appointment.
Subsequently, their joining dates have been repeatedly postponed by the company and the latest date for these students to come on board has been set for the first week of September.
However, the students–who did not wish to be identified for fear that the offers made to them would be withdrawn–are apprehensive that the new date, too, could be a mirage.
Satyam, on the other hand, insists that it has no intention of withdrawing any offers and that it is on track to hire the 12,000-15,000 people this year, in line with its guidance.
Satyam says it has made offers to 7,500 college graduates but it is not clear how many students have been affected by the delay. The professional lives of most campus hires, meanwhile, are on hold.
Those who decided to accept the offer instead of pursuing higher studies find that they have fallen between two stools. And others are in a dilemma whether or not to hunt for other jobs.
“Satyam intends to honour all offers made. But, individuals have their own preferences and they have the liberty to accept alternative employment,” Satyam HR global head S V Krishnan said in an e-mail response to questions.
“Traditionally, the patterns we have seen are that bulks of entry-level recruits join around Q3 or Q4. This is because many are still to complete their academic year and some might want to take a break before they start work.”
HR consulting and staffing firm Adecco India’s CEO Sudhakar Balakrishnan reasoned that the postponement of joining dates by IT companies is their way of coping with the fewer-than-anticipated orders for projects from US companies.
With American firms cutting their IT budgets , Indian outsourcers are forced to bring down operational costs by utilising existing resources to the maximum and trimming bench strength, he said.
“While IT firms visited the campuses and gave offers in November-December (2007), they started feeling the heat from the US slowdown during the last two quarters. That could be one of the reasons for the deferred joining date of freshers as they don’t want to keep them on bench. In fact, during the last few months, bench strength of most IT firms has gone down to about 5-6 per cent as against over 12 per cent one year ago,” he said
Comments on this article:
|Musing , USA , says: Satyam does have a tendency to fulfil its promises. Late but it mostly/always fulfills it. So it cannot be that bad. By the way, all tier-1 software companies are in doldrums. Look at TCS and its attrition rate. Employee satisfaction is at an all time low. Look at Infy. Also, Wipro is not particularly well know for employee satisfaction. One needs to be patient in the IT sector and take the good with the bad.
[25 Aug, 2008 | 2136 hrs IST]
Murali , Pune , says: I do not understand the anger from many on the IT companies themselves. Yes, I understand the frustration, — but welcome to the new era of globalisation. I did not read any body complaining when IT companies were giving huge salary hikes, increments etc. They were giving 25% raise and signing bonuses at one point. Now, the overall cost is high, inflation went up and doing business in India has become expensive. US economy is in a recession, H1B visa is tough to get, IT companies cannot keeop using L1 visa,plus doemstic market si stil not large enough for all the players — so what can IT compnaies do? They have to start reducing cost or “go out of business”.
ajay , delhi , says: I think IT companies are just trying to live upto their reputation by recruiting more freshers every year without accepting the fact that, what could be the case if they could not finalise or delay the DOJ can make the young people frustated about their future.
Raj , London , says: Not just Satyam, many companies did the same thing during the dotcom burst in 2000-2001. I was one of the victims. After several deferral letters from the company, I received a letter almost after a year saying that they want to withdraw my offer. But, by that time I had settled in some other job. So guys with the Satyam offer, better look out for new jobs.
Phantom , Delhi , says: Satyam computers is the worst company that is known to the entire world. They not only change dates, they hire and fire without any cause. The work environment is absolutely dismal and pathetic. Who doesn’t know about the company?
Anil , India , says: Ridiculous. What do these companies think they are? The promoters have made billions by body shopping thousands of young professionals. Body shopping is nothing but modern day slavery. When they are not needed, they are thrown out just like that.
Vinay , Pune , says: Satyam has no money to sustain their existing employees. What will they do with the new recruits?
Piyush , Haryana , says: It’s not just Satyam doing it. This is the scene at other big software exporters too. And I am one of the many victims. They maybe right at their part for doing so. But I think they should at least tell the correct date of joining whether it might be Sep or any other month, so that the candidates can use there time rather wasting it waiting.
Ankit Agarwal , Mumbai , says: Satyam is not the only company that is doing something like this. Wipro technologies, have also recruited more than 14,000 students from India, and had given tentative joining dates as late as March ’09. Tech Mahindra, another IT giant also gave joining dates to a number of candidates but then asked them to wait for an indefinite period.
Average salary increases for India-based employees will be about 11 percent to 12 percent, compared with 16.5 percent to 18 percent last year, the newspaper said.
The company’s employees, who previously got performance-based raises in July, will now get the increments next month, the newspaper reported.
Krishnan told the paper that avaergae hikes are expected to be 11-12% for India-based employees, compared with last year’s 16.5-18%.
Interestingly, recent media reports quoted Krishnan saying that the slowdown is not as bad as it is made out to be. We are still talking about double digit growth. Satyam will be hiring around 15,000 people this year against 16,600 last year.
He said that around 65 per cent of the new recruits will be freshers out of whom around 800 will be management graduates and the rest engineers.
“We have given offer letters to around 6,500 fresh graduates who are expected to join shortly,” he added.
anonymous , anonymous , says: Today an employee of Satyam, may be out of frustration sent an email to all bigshots in Satyam for their non professional approach using his external email a/c. The mail should give some hint to the management to behave professionally, he/she called them a bunch of monkeys. But definitely they are fueling attrition and company will not be benefiting from this. Just by trying to save appraisal bills they will end up increasing hiring cost and make a note – talent is not cheap. I’m afraid what will happen when the news will be out to Satyam clients, no renew of contracts, no salary hike, bye bye Satyam.
[23 Aug, 2008 | 0108 hrs IST]
satya , sanjose , says: The article is going to be interesting as we see some comments from anonymous users saying I have first hand info on appraisals and all, then why can’t they talk with HR and ask the employees to provide first hand info across organisation and just not limited it to few? Is it again the managements techniques to participate in these write ups?
[21 Aug, 2008 | 2206 hrs IST]
Satya , San Jose , says: Hey dude, someone is saying the company is in trouble, stay tuned and good times will come. If the company is in trouble how is it showing 40 per cent year on year growth? Is the company in trouble or want to be in trouble or don’t want to be in trouble. Companies cannot exist at the cost of employees appraisals.
[21 Aug, 2008 | 1101 hrs IST]
Rajput , hyderabad , says: Well the condition is not worse it has worsen. All the trainees including ELTP’s and MT”s hasn’t got any confirmation. Looking back it feels that we have been cheated in terms of the designation and pay package that was promised. Self assessments will tell one that what we have lost and what we have gained in this year. When a fresher joins a firm he or she is full of enthusiasm and energy which propels the firm as well as the individual’s carrier to a brighter future. But now there is a sinking feeling. Well it’s not all about money; it’s not about ethics, its all about taking pride in being a Satyamite. But this desperation, this fear, this anxiety is eating us like a termite.
[21 Aug, 2008 | 0931 hrs IST]
NA , USA , says: These two articles Satyam delays hikes, to cut payouts and Satyam to hire 15,000 appeared on the Times of India website, within a week of each other. Is TOI doing any investigation into how things at Satyam would change within one week? It makes no sense. Regarding the appraisals, I know the reality first hand. The least said the better.
[21 Aug, 2008 | 0029 hrs IST]
vijay , Bangalore , says: Well, well, well… all’s well that ends well. But with HRs collaborating across the organizations, it seems difficult. I have personally worked here for a few years and have worked a lot, I dont deny that but having said that it is bad on the organization’s front to delay some thing which is mine even if they say that it will be with arrears. People have plans to make and with just words it dose not work. Resignations are fine many of the employees will do but the management will never comply to their needs. Not sure if the above stated makes sense. But over all its a disappointing move and Satyam with its policies has become a bad place to work, though it had its good time. People who love this organization can go ahead and work no one is going to stop them. But remember organization will not always remember you, you need to remember your needs and responsibilities.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 2103 hrs IST]
Mohit , NY , says: Worst part is that the hike percentage (figures) told to media/market is significantly less than actually implemented. Words don’t match the action. As individuals when we are trying to cope up with inflation, loans; history says that for onsite associates there has been hike of $10 per pay check. No one cares for employees who bring business to the organisation so called brand ambassadors. As an IT organisation where people should be considered assets, management is ready to loose the talent and experience. All business units top level are blunt and least bothered about the associates who work day and night to meet project deadlines, deliverables. Thanks TOI giving a forum to make us feel that we are citizens of independent India.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 1448 hrs IST]
Satyam Employee , Singapore , says: Many Satyam employees would understand the market condition and the hike provided by the company. If overall market condition is not good, attrition will also be less, management need not worry on that part. What pinches the most is management has kept their associates who are their real asset in the dark and lied. Generally appraisals happen in April and finishes by mid May from managers side and HR has time till June end and distribute compensation letter by July last week. This time in July there was letter by HR saying: Thank you for completing the appraisal on time and being patient, due to uncontrollable reasons there will be delay and letters will be given by August 10th. Then an internal letter came saying by August end. Now we hear from media that will be in September. Tarikh par tarikh par tarikh…!!! Why keep in dark and keep associates waiting and not telling the real reasons or real motives through internal communication and directly informing media. The act is not professional at all.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 1308 hrs IST]
vishal , bangalore , says: Are we living only for the money? The company which gives you the opportunity to live your life is in trouble-we all know it, still we want more. Be with them, the good times will come.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 1016 hrs IST]
Raghu , Chennai , says: I just thought of mentioning a few points here. Salary hike is going to be on paper and not on-hand by and large. We know more than 40 per cent of one’s salary is variable pay in any Indian IT company. Which means only less that 60 per cent is guaranteed salary, the other 40 per cent employess doesn’t receive based on company performance etc. Even if your salary is going to go higher, Govt of India knows only to tax the poor salaried class which works hard right from school days to have a small betterment in their life style – so what you earn you will loose in Income Tax. And with inflation going higher, increase in salaries is not going to help – you will have to pay higher EMIs for your house and car loans. The govt should curb black money and fake notes to nomralise inflation – this move will never happen as it is like asking the thief to become a saint. Therefore, a 10-13 per cent salary hike will anyways have no effect.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0950 hrs IST]
Anonymous , Europe , says: Management is contradicting their statement. They justify the delay of appraisal because of slow orders and on the other hand they say they have given offer letter to 6500 and plan to hire 15,000 this year. If orders are slow then why are you hiring more? I think the strategy is to pressurize the existing ones who are on high salary to leave and hire freshers who would be cheaper. Looks like performance and quality does not matter for Satyam any more.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0942 hrs IST]
Unknown , Bangkok , says: This is clearly forced attrition.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0933 hrs IST]
PD , Canada , says: It’s all a mind game. On one hand they say our growth is in double figures and on the other they are cutting down salary hikes. If the company is growing, it’s all because thousands of employees like me who work to their skins everyday for Satyam. So the figures are for shareholders and peanut hikes are for employees. This is double standards and can’t be digested. If the IT boom happens again they shall see the highest attrition rate ever.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0835 hrs IST]
Musing , US , says: It’s funny how Satyam employees get their revision and incentive news in the papers as opposed to from HR internally.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0654 hrs IST]
RAVISANKAR , BANGALORE , says: It’s a horrible time for IT people. Even HCL has given a pay hike of just Rs 80 per anum. It’s lesser than a pay hike of my maid.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0516 hrs IST]
Mithil Prasad , NOC7 , says: TCS is doing the same.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0410 hrs IST]
Anonymous , Undisclosed , says: I wish, this news has reached the Satyam’s CEO and MD and they understand the frustration and trauma an associate has to go through because of this. I also would request TOI to take it to the next level and fight for the rights of such people.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0140 hrs IST]
anonymous , NJ, US , says: The case is similar in i-Flex too. But just that the delay is not attributed to any kind of slowdown.
[20 Aug, 2008 | 0028 hrs IST]
Joe , San Ramon , CA , says: The sad part is the employees of Satyam still don’t know when they will receive the revision letters. Shame on a company that boasts of being CMMM-i.
[19 Aug, 2008 | 1839 hrs IST]
guest , unknown , says: in a professional organisation which emphasises so much on its Process, this kind of delay was not expected. No one from HR and top management is giving a clear picture.
[19 Aug, 2008 | 1647 hrs IST]
SB , Dubai , says: What is the use of hiring more people if there is a slowdown.
[19 Aug, 2008 | 1625 hrs IST]
Nilesh , Bangalore , says: Doesn’t matter. Many companies are doing the same thing. MindTree Ltd has already announced that the hike will be less, 10-13 per cent and will be given in October. This strategy has two mottos. The delay in salary will save the revenues and can be given two the employees after few months. That means employees salary can be given to them only in the name of hike. As these are service providers/consultancies, they can not give pink card to employees. So, they are indirectly asking, whoever is not happy with the hike, can leave the company.
[19 Aug, 2008 | 1451 hrs IST]