Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Moonlighting A 'Question Of Ethics', Says Wipro Ceo

Moonlighting A 'Question Of Ethics', Says Wipro Ceo

Last month, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji revealed that some 300 employees were fired as the IT services company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls

Weeks after Wipro fired 300 of its employees for moonlighting, the company's CEO Thierry Delaporte on Wednesday said that while little side jobs were fine, working for a competitor is a "question of ethics".
With record-high attrition rates adding to the woes of the Indian IT industry as companies face cost overloads and margin pressures, Wipro reported a marginal dip in attrition rate and said it will pay out 100 per cent variable pay to 85 per cent of the staff.
Last month, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji revealed that some 300 employees were fired as the IT services company has no place for any employee who chooses to work directly with rivals while being on Wipro payrolls.
On Wednesday, at the second-quarter earnings press conference, Delaporte said Wipro contracts stipulate not taking up a side job with a competitor.
Employees signing up for the company are expected "not only to dedicate time for Wipro but also keep time for themselves and for families," he said.
It is "perfectly fine with someone having a little side job here and there. It is different if you are working for a company that is in our environment (business) for example," he said, adding that working for rivals is also a conflict of interest.
"So it (moonlighting) is not a question of legal, it is a question of ethics. We don't believe that it is right to have two jobs having a conflict of interest," he said.
He was responding to a question on whether moonlighting is legal or illegal.
However, he hastened to add that Wipro respects other companies if they didn't have any problem with moonlighting.
"If other companies have no problem with that, we respect that. But also we are not doing anything new or different -- it is clear to our people when joining Wipro," he said.
IT firms are worried that employees taking up a secondary job after regular work hours will affect productivity, lead to conflicts of interest and possible data breaches.
Premji has been a vocal critic of it and has in the recent past equated it to "cheating".
"When I talk of ethics, I talk about conflict of interest," Delaporte said. "Conflict of interest means being in a position where you no longer know if your interests are not mixed. That is an important point."
"So hear me, I am not talking about things illegal. I am not talking about side jobs. I am really talking about being in an obvious situation of conflict of interest. I think that our employees understand that," he said.
His views echo that of India's largest IT services exporter TCS which earlier this week also termed moonlighting as an "ethical issue".
TCS, which employs over 6.16 lakh people, has however not taken any action against anyone.
"Moonlighting we believe is an ethical issue and it is against our core values and culture," its Chief Human Resources Officer Milind Lakkad said on October 10.
In recent weeks, CXOs in the IT industry have been offering varied takes on the subject of moonlighting. Over the past few months, the IT industry has been faced with a manpower shortage triggered by a high demand for services following the greater adoption of digitalisation following the pandemic.
While some like Tech Mahindra have supported the idea of side hustles, others like IBM have flagged concerns about it.
Bengaluru-headquartered software services firm Wipro on Wednesday said it had onboarded 14,000 freshers in the first six months of fiscal 2022, with a net increase in headcount of 605 for the quarter that ended September. The total headcount at the end of the quarter stood at 2,59,179.
The attrition rate marginally dropped to 23 per cent in the September quarter from 23.3 per cent in the preceding quarter.
"During the quarter we followed a strategy focussing on hiring freshers, and we will continue to follow this strategy over the next quarter," Delaporte said.
It also rolled out salary hikes, and promoted 10,000 employees during the quarter. 
Wipro has been one of the top companies where campus hires have been facing delays in onboarding.
HCL Tech reported a net addition of 8,359 during the quarter, taking its total headcount to 219,325. Last quarter, the company added 2,089 employees.
On Monday, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reported a net addition of 9,840 employees in the quarter and said that it plans to onboard around 10,000 to 12,000 in the rest of the fiscal. 


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