L&T Tech plans to hire 2,500 this year amid layoffs at larger rivals

New Delhi: L &T Technology Services Ltd, the IT services arm of India’s largest engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd, will hire 2,500 Indians across verticals in the financial year to March 2018, a top company executive said.

The company also intends to increase salaries at the entry level this financial year by up to 20%, Paneesh Rao, chief human resources (HR) officer at L&T Technology Services, said in an interview.

“Telecom and hi-tech (comprising of semi conductors and consumer electronics) and transportation are the two verticals that will be driving growth. Additionally, we also see industrial products growing this financial year,” Rao said.

About the impact of automation on jobs at L&T Technology Services, Rao said, “Comparing us to a purely IT company is not fair. We are a purely engineering services company. We are a designing company, and we support design till production. A design cannot be automated… we need human brains working on it. To that extent, we are excluded from the automation impact.”

Companies across the information technology (IT) industry have started to lay off people as growth slows and profitability declines.

Mint reported on 12 May that seven top IT companies may fire at least 56,000 people this year.

The number of Indians in the US searching for jobs in India has surged 10-fold since December in the face of visa curbs imposed by the US on foreign tech professionals, Mint reported on 19 April.

L&T Technology Services got listed on the NSE and BSE in September 2016. The company has a total headcount of over 11,000 employees across the globe.

More than 1,700 employees are based out of the US and more than 8,750 are based across six delivery centres in India. The company also has six delivery centres in the US.

At L&T Technology Services, the US accounts for 63% of overall revenue, which reached Rs3,248 crore in the fiscal year ended March.

The company plans to step up hiring in the US. L&T Technology Services has acquired US-based design services provider Esencia Technologies Inc., for which it will pay $15 million upfront and $12 million over four years.

“We will add over 100 engineers in the US post the completion of the acquisition,” Rao said. In 2014, the acquisition of the engineering services division of Dell Inc. saw the addition of 200 people to its headcount in the US.

“We also plan to rope in American recruiters in our team to step up American hiring locally in the US,” Rao said, adding that local hiring numbers will depend on overall business growth.

Rao said the firm prefers fresh graduates over lateral hires. “Last year, out of the 2,500 people we hired, close to 50% of our hiring were fresh graduates… The number of fresher hiring should only increase,” he said.

IT secretary Aruna Sundararajan told Mint that the industry had informed Nasscom that it did not expect to see 2 lakh job losses as reported in the media.

“I want to clarify that there have not been extensive job losses. That is first of all an incorrect statement, a factually non-correct statement because industry and Nasscom has told the ministry that apart from the annual appraisal and some contracts are not renewed etc, there is nothing new,” Sundararajan said in an interview.

“One such specific case is Cognizant. Everybody has reported that Cognizant has laid off 6,000 workers. Cognizant has confirmed through Nasscom that this kind of a job loss has not happened,” she said.

Sundararajan said this year the IT/ITeS industry has told the ministry that it expects to hire another 1.5 lakh persons, adding that in other years, they hire around 2.5 lakh.