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Pay cut shock for new hires at India IT giant

Published on 2023-06-04 14:42:41 source:NBC News

Sarita, 24, was shocked rather than pleased when she received an email recently about her new job with a top tech firm in India.

The annual salary package she was being offered now had been revised; it was 50% less than before, having gone from 650,000 rupees ($7,849; £6,484) to 350,000 rupees.

The email also encouraged her to "grab this opportunity as it is timebound".

She says she knows of several new hires who, like her, received such an email from IT giant Wipro last week.

Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) - a union for IT employees - says that around 4,000 new hires awaiting onboarding at Wipro have been impacted by the revised offer.

The IT giant told the BBC that the "original offer stands should they [new hires] refuse" to accept the revised salary. But there was no clarity on how long the candidates would have to wait to join if they chose to stick with the original offer.

"In light of the changing macro environment and, as a result, our business needs, we had to adjust our onboarding plans. As we work to honour all outstanding offers made, this current offer creates an immediate opportunity for candidates to start their careers, build their expertise and acquire new skills," Wipro said in a statement.

Sarita says that she applied to join the firm in September 2021, as part of a recruitment drive when she was in engineering college.

After several tests, interviews and an unpaid internship, she was informed by Wipro last July that she had completed their Velocity training programme - one of two programmes offered by the firm to new candidates.

She says that she had been waiting for a joining date since then, but on 16 February, she received an email that offered her a different role and salary.

"Like others in our industry we continue to assess global economies and customer needs which factor into our hiring plans," Wipro said in its email to candidates, a copy of which the BBC has seen.

The email also asked candidates to fill up a survey by 20 February to accept the revised offer, and that if they chose to accept it, "all previous offers will stand void".

The email stated that the offer was made to "all of Wipro's candidates under the Velocity graduates category in the FY23 batch" and that onboarding for these roles "will be initiated from March 2023 onwards".

"I feel cheated. I studied really hard to clear the tests. I also didn't accept offers from other companies as I was happy with the package I was being offered by Wipro. Now I'll have to settle for less as I have no choice," says Sarita.

Harpreet Singh Saluja, president of NITES, says that the union has asked the government to intervene to help the graduates.

"The decision to cut the salaries of the employees without prior consultation and negotiation is not only unjust but also goes against the principles of fairness and transparency," he says, adding that "it is unacceptable that the burden of the company's financial troubles is being placed solely on the shoulders of the employees".

"I know of friends who are the sole earning members in their family or come from poor backgrounds and are devastated by the pay cut," Sarita says.

"I'm not in the same boat, but it's a big disappointment for me and my parents."

Some names have been changed in the story to protect their identity.

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