The attrition rate at Tata Consultancy Services has gone up to 15.9 per cent in the first quarter of financial year 2015-16, the highest in the last nine quarters. The company had reported an attrition of 12 per cent in the same period last year.

While the company has attributed seasonality and better opportunities as the reason for the high attrition rate, several analysts tracking the IT sector are of the view that the industry is losing out talent to the burgeoning e-commerce and growing start-up ecosystem.

Over the last two years, several start-ups and e-commerce giants such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal have attracted top and mid-level talent from across the sectors, including IT, to scale up their businesses.

The companies are not only doling out high packages at the entry level but are also carving new and flexible HR policies for their employees, especially women.

For example, recently Flipkart had announced that it will provide an extended maternity leave of 24 weeks plus four months of flexi-working hours with full pay, and, if needed, one-year career break without pay.

TCS global HR head Ajoy Mukherjee, however, said there was no brain drain happening from IT sector to e-commerce.

“They are doing a different work and we don’t play in that segment. We are focusing on training employees in digital technologies and rotating work assignments to mitigate the growing risk of attrition,” Mukherjee told BusinessLine . TCS plans to provide digital training to over one lakh employees.

Over 15,000 employees quit TCS in the three months to June 30, 2015. The company hired 20,302 employees in the June quarter. The total number of employees in TCS still stood at 3,24,935 as of June 30, 2015.

The high attrition also came in despite a fact that TCS announced a ₹2,628-crore bonus for its employees in the March quarter last fiscal.

Meanwhile, for its closest competitor Infosys, the attrition stood at 18.9 per cent in the March quarter FY-15. It is yet to announce its first quarterly results for FY-16.