Wipro’s executive chairman Rishad Premji said on Wednesday that the company has terminated the services of 300 employees who were found to be working for its competitors simultaneously. He was speaking at AIMA's (All India Management Association) National Management Convention in Delhi.

Premji said that he stands by his recent comments on moonlighting. He had tweeted that moonlighting by employees in the tech industry is ‘cheating’. He added that this was a complete violation of integrity in its deepest form and the employees were terminated for “act of integrity violation”.

Worrying factor

Moonlighting connotes employees taking up other jobs in addition to regular employment. The trend that boomed due to remote working during the pandemic has become a growing concern in the IT industry. Tech companies worry that the practice might create a conflict of interests, data breaches, and the company’s Intellectual Property (IP) and assets might be mis-used.

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“The definition of moonlighting itself is about having another job secretively. As part of transparency, individuals can have candid conversations about playing in a band or working on a project over the weekend,” Premji explained. Organisations and individuals can make a concerted choice about what works for them or doesn't work for them, he added.

Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno, told BusinessLine, “While this will go down as a black spot in the employee's career, it may not hugely impact their prospects for the next job. In the absence of a centralised employee blacklisting system or credibility rating, like CIBIL for financial hygiene, the shadow of this action would be short if not absent.” The demand for top talent from rest of tech cohorts and their urgency to hire could overrun this inconvenient black spot on the profile, he added.

Wipro was yet to respond to a questionnaire on whether it was taking any further legal action on employees sacked or how they had discovered that some employees were moonlighting.

(With inputs from agencies)

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