BENGALURU: Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. plans to hire more technical graduates in India this year as a growing number of students equip themselves with digital skills. The company aims to hire more than 20,000 students from campuses in India this year, according to Brian Humphries, chief executive officer (CEO), Cognizant.
“With more and more university students becoming digitally ready, we have decided on a 30% increase in our hiring of engineering and science graduates for 2020,” Humphries said in an email interview.
The Teaneck, New Jersey-based firm has also increased annual campus salaries for engineering graduates by 18% to ₹400,000.
“The acceptance rate for offers we have made in about 100 premier engineering campuses is more than 80%, reflecting increased confidence in Cognizant. This is much higher than recent years,” Humphries said.
Cognizant’s plans to grow its India workforce comes even as the company announced laying off 10,000-12,000 employees in the September quarter as part of a programme to optimise costs and simplify its organizational structure. Last year, Cognizant became the second information technology firm after Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to employ more than 200,000 employees in India. TCS is India’s largest IT sector employer with a total headcount of about 440,000 employees.
“India is a high-growth, attractive market for Cognizant,” Humphries said.
Cognizant aims to leverage the local talent and capabilities within India. “There is a palpable initiative among Indian enterprises to attain and in some cases even define global benchmarks in digital adoption. They are increasingly focusing on the imperative to ‘think fast’ and ‘think forward’ to strengthen their relevance for the future,” said the Cognizant CEO.
Last week, Cognizant expanded its presence in Karnataka with a new, 100,000 square feet facility in Mangalore that can accommodate more than 1,100 employees. It also has operations in Bengaluru and Mysuru with a total of about 29,000 employees in the state. Most of its employees in India are based in Chennai.
“To ensure we have the right digital skills in a supply-constrained environment, we have doubled our investment in Cognizant Academy in 2020. This will enable us to reskill and redeploy our people towards our digital imperatives. To accelerate our digital momentum, we believe we need to hire or reskill approximately 25,000 resources in 2020, and we have started to operationalise this,” Humphries said. Cognizant sees commercial opportunity in India, which is its largest global hub for employees. “We have built a very strong position in India with our digital solutions, as well as end-to-end transformational engagements in sectors such as financial services, insurance, retail, life sciences, manufacturing, and education. We currently have approximately 80 clients in India across these industries,” Humphries said.
India’s strength in digital capabilities is in tune with Cognizant’s global vision, according to which it aims to extend its capabilities in the four key areas of data, digital engineering, cloud, and the internet of things. The company’s digital revenue continues to grow more than 20% year-on-year and comprised 38% of total revenue in the December quarter.