Cognizant Technology Solutions plans to hire around 23,000 employees (gross) from India’s major technical institutions during calendar year 2020, said R Ramkumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Cognizant India. The announcement comes a week after the US-based software major and India’s second largest software company said that it plans to ‘remove’ 10,000 to 12,000 mid-senior level associates globally from their current roles in the coming quarter.

The recruitment numbers for 2020 does not include the BPO talent. The company has made nearly 15,000 offers in engineering campuses so far, Ramkumar said at CII Connect 2019, a two-day international conference and exhibition on Information and Communications Technology. In the last five years, Cognizant had recruited a net of 66,000 employees in India, and increased it to 75,000 this year, he said while chairing a panel discussion.

On October 31, Cognizant’s CEO Brian Humphries told analysts that the downsizing was to improve the cost structure to partially fund some of the planned investments and advance the growth agenda. The gross reduction is expected to lead to a net reduction of 5,000-7,000 roles (about 2 pet cent of the company’s total workforce), as the company aims to re-skill and redeploy nearly 5,000 of the total associates impacted, he added.

Of its 2.89-lakh global workforce, over 75 per cent is located in India. This could mean the bulk of the ‘removal’ could happen in India. However, to ensure that there is no panic among employees, an internal microsite has been created offering detailed information and answers to questions about what’s changing, what’s not and how these changes can affect them. A series of Town Hall meetings are planned globally.

Tech talent

Ramkumar at the Connect event said that there is no other country in the world that has the capability that India produces. Availability of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), India is second to none. These two ingredients are required to drive the change. Cognizant is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this technology talent, he said.

There is a massive digital opportunity fuelled by artificial intelligence, machine learning and Internet of Things, Augmented Reality. That is the big opportunity for all to get in to the $5 trillion economy. There is not a single industry that is untouched by digital technology, he said.