Murthy asks senior execs to take pay cuts

IT doyen says the move will save large scale job cuts

Murthy asks senior execs to take pay cuts

N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys and doyen of Indian IT services industry, on Thursday made it clear that the ongoing job cuts in the sector can be brought down if senior executives take cut in their salaries across the industry.

In an interaction with a television channel, Murthy said the industry had faced similar situation in the past and overcame it. There is no need for youngsters to panic, he said.

“There are a lot of smart leaders in the industry, but I have no doubt at all that they are all well-intentioned people and they can find solutions,” he said. “I have a feeling that it is possible for us to protect the jobs of youngsters if the senior management people were to make some minor adjustments — adjustment of taking salary cuts,” Murthy said.

Recalling Infosys experience in 2001 when the market shrank, he said, “Let me give you an example of Infosys itself. The market became very tough and it shrank actually in 2001. We all sat together with senior management and then we said — look let us make some sacrifice and ensure that we protect the jobs of youngsters,” he said.

“That time we had offered jobs to 1,500 engineers. Several companies were postponing the joining day. We said let us not do that, let us demonstrate the commitment to youngsters by senior people taking some salary cuts based on the disposable income as we go down the hierarchy and welcome those 1,500 engineers,” he added.

Murthy’s statement assumes significance as Infosys recently, in its annual report, mentioned steep salary hike to its newly appointed Deputy Chief Operating Officer Ravi Kumar S and other three vertical heads.

The industry veteran also pointed out that parallelly IT leadership will identify new areas of opportunity and mount training programmes to train youngsters and give them enough opportunities to pick up technologies.

“We have to ask them to work and ensure they are in a position to add value to the company in next one year and if they failed, they could look out for another job,” he said.

“It is not fair to simply send somebody home, and then let them become very anxious, because they may have families depending on them. They may have children, parents, spouses and all that, so it is incumbent on leaders of the industry to find reasonable solutions,” he said.

Murthy, who vociferously batted for compassionate capitalism, said the job loss happening in the industry is because of a combination of factors like changing business environment and impact of newer technologies. “But there will be more and more job opportunities as long as we help youngsters re-skill themselves,” he said.


Commenting on the recent call for unions in the IT sector, he said as long as leaders of IT industry embrace compassionate capitalism there is no place for unions. “If leaders do not do this, employees will embrace unions,” he cautioned.

Head Hunters India, a leading executive search firm, states that the job cuts in IT sector will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh annually for next three years due to under-preparedness in adapting to newer technologies. Indian IT companies have been one of the largest recruiters in the country in recent years.

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