Mahindra Satyam to hire 4,000 associates this quarter

News Posted - 2010-04-13

Mahindra Satyam commences SEZ in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: Mahindra Satyam on Tuesday launched a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) here on the first anniversary of acquisition of scam-hit Satyam Computers by Tech Mahindra, and said it would complete restatement of accounts by the end of June as per schedule.

India's fourth largest software services firm said it planned to hire 4,000 associates this quarter. At present it has a headcount of 25,000.

Satyam had a headcount of 53,000 in January last year when its founder and chairman B. Ramalinga Raju confessed to a Rs.78 billion accounting fraud.

The SEZ at Infocity Campus in Hitec City was launched in the presence of Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Secretary R. Bandyopadhyay and Mahindra and Mahindra vice-chairman and managing director Anand Mahindra.

Spread over 26 acres, the first phase of the campus will be ready for occupation within the next six months and will seat around 5,000 associates.

Analysts said since the firm cannot move its workforce to SEZ, it would have to recruit associates for the same. A bulk of 4,000 associates planned to be recruited this quarter would be for SEZ.

Tech Mahindra was reported to be facing problems in restatement of accounts as all the records were in the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). But company chief executive Vineet Nayyar told reporters: "I am sure we will be able meet the deadline".

Earlier, addressing the associates, Khurshid said that his ministry would continue to help the firm meet the challenges. "This transition to success shows what a company can do and what India can do," he said.

"There is a three-year transformation plan. This is a journey in which government will continue to participate. It is only one year. We need another two years to level out some operational matters," said Mahindra Satyam chief executive C.P. Gurnani.

He claimed that the company had retained almost all the clients but declined to give any details about its performance in the last one year.

Gurnani said much of the re-organization in the company happened on June 20 last year when 14 layers of management were reduced to seven.

Anand Mahindra said the company should not remain at number four position but should aim to be on top.

Source: ET 13/4/10

Infosys to hire 30,000 this fiscal, hike wages by up to 17%

BANGALORE: Infosys Technologies, India's No 2 software services exporter, forecast stronger-than-expected annual revenue growth of 16-18 percent, noting that a pick-up in global technology spending was improving demand for outsourcing. During FY-11, the company plans to recruit 30,000 people. Last year, Infosys started with 18,000 and ended up with 27,000.

S D Shibulal, Chief Operating Officer of Infosys said, "We have announced a wage hike -- probably one of the best we have ever done -- 13 to 17 percent offshore and 2 to 3 pct on site.

Shibulal said that the global economic environment continues to be challenging, but customers are starting to take decisions. "Majority of the customers have closed their budget. They believe that they will invest in the short term, cautiously though," added Shibulal.

"Communication service provider continues to lag behind. I think that is the only vertical where we are seeing some weakness," said Shibulal.

The company added 47 clients during the fourth quarter (Q4) of FY 2010, as against 32 in the third quarter and 37 in the same period year ago.

It proposed to pay a final dividend of Rs.15 per share or 300 percent on par value of Rs.5 per share for fiscal 2009-10.

Shibulal said, "Pricing will remain stable. This year, our revenue productivity has actually come down by 4 percent and for the quarter by 1.5 percent. Most of the pricing re-negotiations we believe are behind us. There are some sporadic pricing re-negotiations. For the year, we have taken flat revenue productivity. That means we don't anticipate any changes in the pricing."

Infosys, which develops technology applications, designs supply chains and provides back-office services, said that for the entire fiscal (FY 2010), consolidated income grew 4.84 percent YoY to Rs 22,742 crore (Rs 227 billion) from Rs 21,693 crore (Rs 217 billion).

Source: ET 13/4/10

MBA's losing out to CA's as decision-makers

AHMEDABAD: Chartered accountants, the nuts-and-bolts professionals in the world of finance, are scoring brownie points over suave MBA finance graduates as India Inc gets increasingly risk-averse in a post-slowdown environment.

Companies are focusing more on risk-compliance than pursuing ambitious targets as they recover from an 18-month economic downturn, paving the way for recruitment of more CA's, perceived to have core competence in financial matters.

Thus, CA's are currently being accepted as business leaders who could take up roles beyond auditing and financial management. While MBA's are being hired for purely sales, marketing or international trade functions, CA's are increasingly being looked upon as decision-makers.

“They are superior (to MBAs). CAs are already groomed for three years during articleship (training with auditors) and can start working from day one,” says a finance official at a top Indian company who did not wish to be named.

Further, with Corporate India getting cautious with salaries, CA's are gaining a natural edge. “If a company is unable to afford an MBA from a top B-School, it would rather hire a top CA than look for a management graduate from lower-rung B-schools,” says a global headhunter. A chartered accountant’s average salary is at Rs 6 lakh a month, while for MBA's, the figure is the minimum, says Nagesh Pinge, chief internal auditor at Tata Motors, who sees a growing preference for CA's when companies need better financial control. Loyalty also tilts the balance in their favour. MBA's, due to peer pressure, appear to constantly pursue higher salaries. CA's, on the other hand, are seen as less aspirational and stick to the job longer.

Apart from the stability factor, competence in financial matters, changing taxation regime and risk-aversion are playing in favour of CA's. “These days, we are recruiting more CA's and fewer MBA's. For higher positions like senior managers, we prefer a CA,” says Abhishek Tiwari, senior manager (HR) at KPMG. The global consulting firm is looking at recruiting 100-150 CA's during the current year in India. Tiwari, however, adds: “We cannot say MBAs are losing their charm, but increasingly, they aren’t preferred for a financial job.”

Compared to a two-year MBA curriculum, CA's go through a rigorous three-year curriculum. Since they understand balance-sheets the best, CA's are being hired for work other than the traditional audit, he points out. Says Vardhan Dharker, CFO of KEC International, a Rs 3,000-crore capital goods company: “I think CA's are as good as anybody else in taking decisions. There has been a change in the thinking over the past five years.”

Source: ET 12/4/10

Companies plan 15% pay-hike in 2010; India-owned cos to outscore MNC's

It's that time of the year again. While traffic on Job Street is picking up, the decibels on the annual increments are getting louder. After a year of salary freeze and pay cuts, companies are looking to fatten the wallets of their employees — albeit more moderately than the heydays of 2006-07. The performers, however, have nothing to worry about. A dip-stick survey by TOI revealed that headhunters are projecting up to a 15% hike in salaries in India Inc this fiscal.

Besides the hikes, here are a few other trends that would stand out. MNC's are no longer the preferred paymasters since the growth story has now taken a desi turn. The wide-eyed obsession of Indian white collar workers for MNC's is a thing of past and the focus is now on domestic companies. And the performers are not going to lose out in the year of the turnaround.

Says Sandeep Chaudhary, leader of Hewitts Performance and Rewards Consulting practice in India: ‘‘The growth drivers are domestic consumption and investment. Since the domestic market is insulated from global downturn, it is less volatile. Organizations across all sectors in this field are looking at better salary increase projections for 2010, when compared to actuals of 2009.''

According to a TeamLease survey, the services sector is providing a fillip to salary growth with an average 6% growth, contrasted with the rather low, sub-5 % salary growth average for the manufacturing sector. Telecommunication, healthcare and IT in that order have been driving this growth. Energy, automobile and allied and FMCD in that orders are the only manufacturing sector industries to drive salary growth at 5% plus levels.

A survey by Hewitt Associates also projects salary hikes for 2010 in India at 10.6%, the highest in Asia-Pacific and up 60% from the actual increase of 6.6% in 2009. It further adds that Indian-owned companies are expected to outperform MNC's with a projected average increase of 11.4% as against a 10.2% by the latter. E Balaji, CEO, Ma Foi Management Consultants, also swears by the 10%-plus hike. ‘‘Salaries are likely to be slightly above the 10% mark.”

Source: ET 12/4/10