TCS has done pretty well with retention, says Ajoy Mukherjee

Rajesh Kurup N. S. Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on January 25, 2013

Ajoy Mukherjee

We continue hiring for our delivery centres, where we need people on a long-term basis. Ajoy MukherjeeExecutive Vice-President and Global Head for Human Resources of TCS

Tata Consultancy Services, the largest software company in the country, will recruit an additional 10,000 people, above its earlier target of 50,000 personnel, for the current financial year.

This, despite having enviable employee utilisation rates and the lowest attrition rates in the industry. The overall environment has helped in retaining talent, while the company also would like to take some credit for its retention programme.

In an interview with Business Line, TCS Executive Vice-President and Global Head for Human Resources Ajoy Mukherjee said that the company is on the right track with its China initiatives. Excerpts:

TCS’ employee utilisation of 81.7 per cent (excluding trainees) and 72.1 per cent (including trainees) is pretty good in the industry. Are you comfortable with this?

We will be comfortable operating at 80-83 per cent. Including trainees, the utilisation dipped slightly from the previous quarter with a number of trainees joining during the quarter. We will have some numbers joining in the fourth quarter as well.

In this industry, I think retention is important. From the retention point of view, we have done pretty well. The overall environment has also helped in retaining talent, I should not deny that, but at the same time should not move away from taking credit for the good work we have done.

What is your recruitment target for next year?

For next year, we have not announced the number yet. All that we have announced is 25,000 trainees for next year, of which we have already given offers to 24,000. That’s where we stand today. The overall recruitment we do for next year would be finalised by end of February or early March.

What is the joining ratio of employees to the number of offers made? Has this year been better?

It’s generally about 70-71 per cent. Some of them go for higher studies and do not join, while some of them may have other offers. We have said it is better this particular year, given the overall environment.

How is the re-skilling programme ‘Ignite’ (launched to recruit non-engineering graduates and train them to be IT professionals), faring?

Ignite was primarily launched to expand our talent pool at the entry level. We started looking at people with a science background, including mathematics, because finally computer science is completely mathematics, then give them dedicated training, which will convert them into IT professionals.

It has been more than three years since we started the programme, and it has been doing very well. We have scaled it to a level of about 1,000-1,500 people we train in a year. We have proven the concept.

Onsite hiring by Indian IT companies was higher in 2012. Are visa concerns a reason for this? Has the situation improved?

Our onsite hires continue, and visa is not the only reason for hiring onsite. We continue hiring for our delivery centres, where we need people on a long-term basis. In the US, we have been hiring close to 2,000 people in a year, while we continue hiring in Latin America, the UK and other regions.

Visa is an issue. On visa issues, the situation has not improved; it is still where it was.

How is your China business doing?

China, from a market point of view, is doing okay. But is not still where we would like it to be. There is a lot of work still to be done.

We have grown, but whether we have achieved what we want to, the answer is not yet. But we are on the right track. When you move into a new country, it takes time to establish.

Published on January 25, 2013

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