Breaking his silence on the cash-for-jobs scandal at Tata Consultancy Services, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of the company, on Thursday said six employees and an equal number of business associate firms responsible for staffing have been banned even as an investigation is being carried out against three other employees.

“We found six employees who did not follow ethical conduct. While we cannot quantify what favours they got, they certainly behaved in a way that was favouring certain firms. We have banned all those six employees and six such BA companies. There are investigations pending on three more employees,” Chandrasekaran said responding to a shareholder’s question at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Ethical conduct

The chairman added that an audit is being done on the engagement with staffing partners to plug gaps to avoid such incidents in the future. “For a Tata group company, the most important thing expected of every employee is ethical conduct and integrity in operations. That comes ahead of any financial performance. So, whenever there is a violation of ethical conduct by any employee, it pains me and all the leaders very deeply. We take it extremely seriously and will take very strong actions,” Chandrasekaran added.

Mint reported last week that four top executives at TCS had been sacked after it was found that they were taking bribes from staffing firms to provide jobs to their candidates. The issue came to light after whistleblowers wrote to the TCS leadership flagging concerns around the hiring practice. The complaints were about certain favouritism done and favours received in the recruitment of business associates.

TCS works with over 1,000 staffing firms for resources in 55 countries.

Tech evolution

On the overall business environment, Chandrasekaran said over the past decade, there has been a rapid evolution of digital technologies, bringing about a transformation across every industry. “Now, the advancements in AI have made transition a central focus. The impact of AI and machine learning is going to be profound. There is a transition already underway from predictive AI to generative AI.“

K Krithivasan, addressing the AGM for the first time as the new CEO, said the number of clients contributing over $100 million in annual revenue went up from 44 to 60 over the last five years; those contributing over $50 million went up from 99 to 133 and those contributing over $20 million went up from 215 to 291. “If we divide our total revenue by the number of clients who contribute over $1 million in annual revenue and use that as a proxy for average revenue per client, that figure has gone up from $20.8 million in FY19 to $22.5 million in FY23,” he said.