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Wipro says may ask some staff to go on leave, does not rule out layoffs

It major Wipro said it was considering "all options" to keep costs under control, including sending some of its staff on furloughs and leaves as it prepares for the hit on its revenues from the coronavirus pandemic.


The company's CFO Jatin Dalal and President & Chief Human Resources Organisation (CHRO) Saurabh Govil spoke to CNBC-TV18 soon after the company declared its fourth-quarter earnings.


"There are many indications to show that the pandemic is worse than the global financial meltdown," said Dalal. "In 15 days alone, due to just the discontinued operations, we have seen a 0.7-0.8% hit to the business".


Govil said that the company could look at various options to cut costs. "We will look at if people can go on furloughs and leaves. If sub-contractor costs can come down and if we can deploy people there. We will have to cut costs wherever possible. These are tough times and we may have to take tough decisions."


Wipro's fourth-quarter net profit 6 percent sequentially to Rs 2,345 crore. Revenues rose marginally to Rs 15,296 crore. It also suspended its formal guidance citing uncertainty.


The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic prompted the company to quickly get its employees to work from home.


CEO Abidali Neemuchwala said in a press conference that even with 93% employees working from home, the company was able to see its utilisation rise by 3 percent.


"We have provided stability to customers, it has reflected in annual customer satisfaction. Wiproites have adopted to new normal. Virtual collaborations have increased significantly," he said. "We have created models where employee performance can be as strong as it is when in office."


Still, the hit to revenues means the company has had to suspend all hirings, promotions and increment.


Wipro said it would honour all campus offers made so far in FY20 even though the on-boarding may be delayed.


During the third quarter, Wipro had said it had doubled its campus hirings to 6,000 this year.


Yet, the outlook on FY21 remains unclear. "There is no reason why the company cant hire freshers this year, considering the long-term relationship with colleges but the decision on how many will be taken and when it will be done only after the impact on the company is more clear," Govil told CNBC-TV18.


The company has also formed three three task forces: for crisis management and business community, to gain market share, and deal with the human resources CSR.

Source: CNBC TV18