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Friday, Mar 05, 2004

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Wipro aims to stem attrition

Raja Simhan T.E.

Chennai , March 4

WIPRO is attempting to bring down the attrition rate in its IT arms to single digit in the near future, from about 15 per cent during the last fiscal.

In other words, for every 100 employees, 15 left Wipro, one of the largest Indian software firms, last year.

Though a timeframe was not given for reducing the attrition rate, a company's top official said that the recovery in the sector is putting pressure on top software majors, including Wipro, to retain critical talent.

"The talent mobility builds up pressure on attrition. Our attempt is to be more manageable on attrition and not end up losing critical talent. There is more pressure now to retain experienced people," said Mr Pratik Kumar, Corporate Vice-President, Human Resources.

Salary increase in the IT industry tends to be higher now than two years back.

But the increase is not arbitrary as it was during the previous bull period five years ago.

Learning from the past, companies would be more responsible on salary hikes this time. There is also no over-eagerness among players, he told Business Line.

For the quarter ended December 2003, Wipro had 27,137 employees. This includes 17,681 employees in IT Services and 9,456 employees in IT-Enabled services (ITES).

This represented a net addition of 2,872 staff - 1,908 in IT Services and 964 people in ITES.

According to Mr Kumar, the company's strong brand image, as employer of choice, will act as a pull for people towards Wipro.

As in the past, campus recruitment will continue to be substantial. However, he did not divulge number of students recruited from campuses.

The company's next major initiative on recruitment is making a concerted effort on talent transformation at the campus level.

From the date of issuing the offer letter, it takes 8-9 months for fresh graduates to join the firm.

"It is a long time. Large recruiters should come to some kind of understanding so that we do not go through the process of recruitment 9-10 months in advance. We need to be fair to students as well," he said.

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