Cognizant Technology Solutions, the US-based technology company with a large presence in India, will pay hikes to eligible employees in August. The company’s CEO S Ravi Kumar said earlier it was announced that in August the pay hikes will be done. It stays so, he told newspersons while discussing the company’s March quarter financial results.

The company deferred the hike by nearly four months as compared to the previous April 2023 cycle.

Employee Metrics

Total headcount at the end of the first quarter was 3,44,400, a decrease of 3,300 from Q4 2023 and a decrease of 7,100 from Q1 2023. “In comparison to the size we are, the numbers have not fallen as much as compared to our peers. In our case, we had a little more room on employee utilisation. We added headcount in the last two quarters,” said Kumar.

Also read: Freshworks: Baton change with mixed emotions

“This was a quarter to strengthen our operational metrics. Utilisation went up from 81 per cent to 82 per cent this quarter and continues to step up by 1 or 2 percentage points before we go back and start to hire. We have some capacity inside to continue to take care of our short-term needs. As robust growth comes back, we will start to look for the headcount. At this point of time, we got to the numbers of this quarter by improving the utilisation and servicing our clients,” he added.

Voluntary Attrition

Tech Services on a trailing-twelve months basis was 13.1 per cent as compared to 23.1 per cent for the period ended March 31, 2023, the company said.

Kumar said first quarter bookings on a trailing 12-month basis were $25.9 billion, an increase of 1 per cent year-over-year. While there is good, sustained traction with our large deals, we saw softness in smaller deals in the range of 0 to 10 million total contract value, reflecting the tight discretionary environment.

Also read: Infosys Q4 results: Are analysts not learning lessons or is the company faltering? 

“Our strong deal momentum in the quarter was evidenced by the fact we signed 8 deals each with a total contract value (TCV) of $100 million or more, compared to only 4 in the prior year period. We have also seen early green shoots in our efforts to diversify our large deals outside of North America. And in quarter one, two of the 8 greater than $100 million contracts we signed were in the APJ region,” said Kumar. “We continue to grow our pipeline for larger deals and make progress against the goal of increasing the value of large deals in our bookings,” he added.

“We were sequentially flat but kept the full year guidance intact. We guided for the second quarter equivalent to 0-1.50 per cent sequential positive. In a tough economic environment, we managed to deliver good results much above the upper end of the guidance,” he said.