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Smaller IT firms too freeze hiring outlook

By Pradipta Mukherjee in Kolkata
December 03, 2008 09:48 IST
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While information technology biggies like Wipro Technologies, decide to go slow on campus hiring, Kolkata-based small and medium IT companies too have nearly halved their hiring outlook for the next few quarters.

Salary hikes too would be hit. Those on the bench and non-performers are jittery too as companies plan on pink slips.

Bench is a term used for temporary and stand-by staffs that all companies keep aside for emergencies or replacements.

According to Jagat M Sarkar, head of HR, e-Rev Max, a product company which has its main development centre in Kolkata and presence in 60 countries, "In the given scenario, there will be increased focus on getting quality manpower.

"However, new hires may deviate from the planned figures. We feel that this downturn should be looked as an opportunity for quality and cost-effective hiring."

In the current calendar year, e-Rev Max has hired around 20 per cent more compared to last year.

A salary correction is on the plate, Sarkar said, adding, "In the last couple of years, salary hike was exceptionally high around 13-14 per cent on an annual basis. Considering the current scenario it should be single digit growth. We feel that it has given us opportunity to review our compensation philosophy."

"The impact of slowdown will be significantly high in service organisation rather than any product development organisation like ours," Sarkar added.

Romit Dasgupta, director of Globsyn Group, said, "The rate of hiring in the IT industry is going to come down as the flow of projects from the US and European markets see a funneling effect. Smaller firms are going to be more affected than large outfits." Hiring outlook too will be affected.

While last year, Globsyn recruited 25 per cent more over the previous, this year the figure has come down to 12 per cent. Current salary hike in Globsyn is between 15 and 18 per cent, which could be affected since results are awaited for the next quarter.

"So that our overall profits do not suffer, we are actively looking at other sectors, technologies and markets to acquire new clients. Our new projects are a mix of software services, support, and product development. Domestic market is also being explored. All projects will be funded from internal accruals," Dasgupta said.

According to Bala Girisaballa, VP and head of product and marketing, iViZ, "In the past three months we have grown by 25 per cent as a company. It will stabilize over time in the next year but as we are scaling our operations, we are adding people in all functions across security research, delivery, software development, support functions, marketing and sales."

This year iViZ grew its manpower strength to 38 so far. Last year, iViZ added 12 people.

iViZ works with large companies in markets such as media, financial, telecom, online businesses, ITES etc, to secure their network. iViZ has conducted over 1200 tests and has helped securing organisations like Times Group, British Telecom, Web 18 Group, Makemytrip.com, Yatra.com, Reliance, TCS, Airtel, NSDL, Indian Defence. iViZ funds its operations through revenues generation from its solution. iViZ has also secured $2.5 mil from IDG ventures which is a $4 billion global venture fund and has companies like Netscape, Baidu etc, in its portfolio.

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Pradipta Mukherjee in Kolkata
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