As senior-level attrition skyrockets in the IT industry, driving talent shifts among peer companies, Indian giants Infosys and Wipro appear locked in an impasse with international rival Cognizant, squarely in each other’s crosshairs.

Bengaluru-based IT firm Wipro filed a lawsuit in Bengaluru Civil Court against Jatin Dalal, who quit as Chief Financial Officer (CF0) in September and went to assume the role of CFO at rival firm Cognizant.

The company has also filed a case against Mohd Haque, its former senior vice president (SVP) and head of healthcare and medical devices for the Americas, alleging that he violated non-compete agreements by taking a position as the SVP and head of the life sciences business unit at Cognizant, per reports.

Its cross-town peer Infosys, too, reportedly accused Cognizant of unethical poaching tactics and sent a written communication after its senior-level executives moved to the company.

Analysts opine that the purpose of these moves is to establish a standard for future talent shifts to peers. Pareekh Jain, founder of Pareekh Consulting, said, “While non-compete clauses have always been present, the companies have historically been lenient and depended on mutual understanding when it came to talent shifting to peers. But with growing senior-level attrition in the industry, the companies are now taking proactive measures to set precedent for the future. This, in a way, is also a measure to control senior-level attrition going forward.”

In regards to Infosys sending a letter to Cognizant, it is a healthy practice between companies to communicate the issues so mutual resolution can be sought, he added.

Similarly, Sumit Pokharna, Vice President at Kotak Securities, said, “Companies generally have checks and balances in place to make sure that when a resource leaves, client information and know-how are protected within the company. In the instance of Wipro filing a complaint against a former executive, it is only natural to do so, and such a move might have some substance as contracts and clauses are to be followed by all employees in every industry.”

In the last year, Wipro and Infosys have both increasingly seen senior-level exits. Notably, Infosys saw the exit of its CFO Nilanjan Roy, EVP Rajeev Ranjan, President Mohit Joshi, and MD Ravi Kumar, among others. Similarly, Wipro saw the exits of its CFO Jatin Dalal, Growth Officer Stephanie Trautman, SVP Mohd Haque, and Ashish Saxena, among others. Many of the outgoing executives have went on to join rival firms, including Cognizant.

Queries sent to Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant did not elicit a response