IIT Kharagpur bags 200-plus pre-placement offers in top MNCs

The placement season will begin on December 1, later this year

IIT Kharagpur students have bagged over 200 pre-placement offers for the first time in top multi-national corporations, including some based abroad.

Companies like Goldman Sachs, Samsung, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Adobe Systems and Wipro have offered more than ten PPOs each, the institute said in a release on Wednesday.

The placement season will begin on December 1, later this year.

Offers have been pouring for the final year students as an outcome of internships which the students went for during the summer recess.

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“This is an encouraging sign for us that companies recognise our students’ hard work and motivation during the internship,” said Debasis Deb, Professor in-charge of the Career Development Centre at IIT Kharagpur.

According to him, several factors like versatility, wide choices in course curriculum available through flexible academic programmes, dedicated and experienced faculty strength and a strong presence of the alumni across most of recruiting organisations resulted in the huge number of PPOs.

IIT Kharagpur has also received over 200 internship offers for the pre-final year students for the summer of 2018.

The institute authorities expect to cross the tallies of past years in internship offers for the academic year 2017-18, the release said.


Wipro opens Data Discovery Platform for businesses on Microsoft Azure

Industry analysts say Wipro will need appropriate selling methods for such a solution

Wipro, India’s third-largest IT services firm, said it has made its cloud-based Data Discovery Platform available for customers on Microsoft Azure through a “pay-per-insight” model.

To be hosted on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure, the Data Discovery Platform is a big data analytics-as-a-service solution that can enhance the ability of businesses in sectors such as banking and financial services, retail, energy, education, and manufacturing to make better decisions using pre-built applications.

Company News : The platform can be used by businesses through an outcome-based model. “Data Discovery Platform leverages Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite, which includes HDInsight, Stream Analytics, Data Lake Analytics, machine learning, and Power BI to build analytical applications,” said the company in a statement, adding that both Microsoft and Wipro have collaborated in areas such as engineering, solution enhancement, and joint-go-to-market strategy.

“Today, the platform is a significant enabler of analytics-led digital transformation delivering analytics-as-a-service to organisations. We believe that this is a reflection of the Wipro Data Discovery Platform’s maturity and Microsoft’s confidence in the prowess of this platform,” said Pallab Deb, vice-president and global head (Analytics) at Wipro.

Industry analysts say such a solution will need appropriate selling methods, be it data and services packaged or otherwise, as the platform is digital in nature.

“This is going to be a different offering from that of traditional software services. Wipro needs a new-age approach to sell such a platform. Even though there is enough demand for such data analytics-based solutions, this cannot be sold like any traditional technology service,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, founder and chief executive, Greyhound Research.

Indian techies are taking these online courses to get reskilled amid layoffs

Building front-end and stitching it with back-end is a task that IT firms are learning the hard way

Infosys, India’s second largest software exporter this year, has set a bet for graduates who are given campus offers. A graduate is asked to pick a paid course on front-end development (of website or an app) on Udacity, the online technology education provider. The person must get a nano degree or pass the course before being put on training at its Mysuru campus. Once he or she gets placed after training, Infosys pays back the student the course fee on Udacity.

With this, Infosys is ensuring that it gets trained engineers in thousands who are ready to be put on digital projects — a segment that is disrupting the company and the Indian IT services industry. For a perspective, business from newer digital technologies is growing at 25 per cent, while legacy business is shrinking at 2.5 per cent, according to Everest Group, a global technology consultancy.

Traditionally, Infosys and its peers such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and HCL Technologies have built applications for its customers that can be accessed on a personal computer. This business is slowing and the clients now want these applications to be accessed on smartphones with a smooth customer experiece that comes while accessing Facebook app. Such expectations, bring in new challenges such as smaller form factor, better design and applications hosted on the cloud for IT firms. This also calls for addressing patchy internet access and ensuring that the network is secure.

Indian firms have mastered expertise in developing and maintaining back-end applications. A majority of work that can be repeatable is being automated. However, building the front-end and stitching it with the back-end is a task Indian IT companiesNews are learning.

Putting in hundreds of fresh minds with the new skills is a good move. India’s top five technology firms have over the past two years undertaken a massive exercise of reskilling over half a million engineers in newer technologies. “The need to retrain the workforce is further amplified with the automation of the old work procesess. Hence, companies need new skills. In addition to different technical skills digital also requires employees to acquire new soft skills. All this is being addressed by investing in training in design thinking and agile development methodologies,” says Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and chief executive officer of Everest Group, a global outsourcing advisory.

56,000 IT jobs in danger? Infosys, TCS say they’re not responsible for mess

According to reports, the 7 biggest IT firms operating in India are set to let go of 56,000 workers

In his social media post, an anonymous techie called the recent spate of layoffs in the information technology (IT) sector a “nightmare”. The bad news is, the nightmare is unlikely to end anytime soon.

The seven biggest IT companies operating in India, including Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Cognizant, are planning to layoff at least 56,000 engineers this year, Livemint reported on Thursday.

According to the report, this projected number is double the amount of layoffs by these companies last year. Mint claims the astoundingly high number was arrived at after “extensive interviews with 22 current and former employees across these seven companies”.

The companies concerned are Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions, DXC Technology, and France-based Cap Gemini SA. According to the report, they have denied that the mass layoffs signal a crisis and have attributed the increased layoffs to more rigorous appraisal processes.

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Of course, the news of IT majors handing out pink slips has already been flowing in. On Wednesday, Tech Mahindra let go of around 1,000 of its employees. Tech Mahindra’s layoffs, however, were not an outlier; Wipro fired around 500 of its employees in April, and Cognizant has signalled it could let go of close to 10,000 of its employees. (Read more)

However, Infosys has said that it does not plan to cut jobs.

Aside from the Mint report, earlier reports had also suggested Infosys was planning to hand out pink slips to hundreds of its employees at its bi-annual performance review.

According to an Economic Times report, Infosys Chief Operating Officer U B Pravin Rao has said, “I would like to put to rest any speculation around planned layoffs. As has been the case in the past, we will primarily see some performance-based exits.” (more)

Wipro Q4 consolidated net rises marginally to Rs 2,267 cr

Board approves bonus issue in the ratio of 1:1; standalone net rises 20% on sequential basis

Wipro, India’s third largest software exporter said fourth quarter profits grew 0.4% to Rs 2,267 crore on revenues of Rs 13,987.5 crore, a jump of 2.6%

The Bengaluru-based IT services firm said IT services revenue grew 2.7% over the previous quarter to $1.96 billion. For the fourth quarter, Wipro had projected growth between $1.9 billion-$1.94 billion or 1-2%.

Wipro has forecast its IT services revenue in the first quarter of the fiscal 2018 to be in the range of $1.92 billion to $1.96 billion.

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“We delivered revenues within the guidance range in our fourth quarter,” said Abidali Z Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer of Wipro. “We are confident that the recovery in Energy & Utilities and our demonstrated strength in Digital will help us improve our growth trajectory during the course of the current financial year.”

Wipro’s larger rivals Infosys and TCS too faced business and currency challenges in the quarter.

The company board approved bonus issue in the ratio of 1:1.

Standalone net profit jumped 20% to Rs 2,303 crore sequentially as compared to Rs 1,918 crore in December quarter. (more)

TCS announces share buyback; Infosys and Wipro may follow

Investors eye a piece of the large cash kitty as growth slows


Barely a week after the US-based software services player Cognizant Technology Solutions, which has several delivery centres in India, announced plans to return $3.4 billion to its shareholders through buyback of shares and dividends, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), too, said its board would be meeting on Monday to consider a buyback plan.

In a statement to stock exchanges on Thursday, TCS said, “We would like to inform you that the board of directors will consider a proposal for buyback of equity shares of the company at its meeting to be held on February 20, 2017.” If approved, this will be TCS’ first buyback since its listing in 2004.

The Street took the news positively, as stocks of domestic information technology (IT) majors – TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies – were up 1.4-3 per cent on Thursday.

When asked about the company’s capital allocation plans, Rishad Premji, whole-time director and chief strategy officer, Wipro, said, “We did a buyback last year worth Rs 2,500 crore. We have a stated dividend payout ratio policy, which is 40-45 per cent, which we have maintained. We have said that on an annual basis, we actively discuss this within the company and evaluate what makes sense with the cash that the company generates. We are open to evaluating options like buyback, special dividends. It makes sense for the organisation, as we move forward.”

Buybacks are seen as the preferred route over dividends, as they are more tax-efficient. Besides dividend distribution tax at an effective rate of over 20 per cent, dividend income in the hands of all residents, except domestic companies, trusts or funds, also attracts an additional dividend tax of 10 per cent on dividend income over Rs 10 lakh a year. Read more

Azim Premji and Shiv Nadar in Forbes list of 100 richest tech tycoons

Wipro chairman Azim Premji and HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar are the only two billionaires from India in Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 richest people in technology, ranking in the top 20 ahead of Google boss Eric Schmidt and Uber chief executive officer (CEO) Travis Kalanick.

The ‘100 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World 2016’ list has been topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with an estimated fortune of $78 billion. Premji ranks 13th on the list, with a net worth of $16 billion and Nadar comes on the 17th spot, with $11.6 billion of net worth. Indian-American technology czars — Symphony Technology Group CEO Romesh Wadhwani and founders of IT (information technology) consulting and outsourcing company Syntel Bharat Desai and his wife Neerja Sethi — are also on the list. Forbes said Premji, who heads India’s third-largest outsourcer, Wipro, has been on a buying spree in the past year to boost growth. Premji’s son Rishad, who heads strategy and sits on the board, also oversees Wipro’s $100-million venture capital fund. Nadar co-founded HCL, which is reportedly mulling a US listing, Forbes said, adding Nadar also owns HCL TalentCare, a skills-development firm. His latest venture is a $500-million fund to invest in startups and US health care technology firms.(more)