Cognizant to cut 300 top positions; Vodafone Idea & Jio to deploy blockchain to keep spammers out: Reports

Cognizant to cut 300 top positions; Vodafone Idea & Jio to deploy blockchain to keep spammers out: Reports
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
27 May, 2019

Software services and consulting giant Cognizant is initiating a process to reduce the number of positions at the director level or more, The Times of India reported. The process will begin in June and the company has already identified the positions that will be axed as part of this process, the report added.

Chennai- and New Jersey-based Cognizant had revised its full-year growth target to 5% from the earlier projected 9%, after lower-than-expected performance in Q1, which disappointed analysts and investors. Nasdaq-listed Cognizant reported a 15% decline in its net profit.

According to the report, Cognizant will offer a severance package, placement services as well as counselling services to these executives. The company had seen several executives leave since new chief executive Brian Humphries took charge on April 1. Humphries is the first non-founder CEO at the firm.

Till a couple of years ago, Cognizant was the fastest-growing IT services company among the Indian peers, surpassing Infosys, Wipro and HCL, which were founded much earlier. Being registered in the US, the company had a relative advantage in clinching deals in the US, which contributes more than 50% of the IT revenues.

The job cuts are also a reflection of the precipitous drop in the company's operating margin, which stood at 13.1% in the last quarter as compared with the 17.7% in the first quarter of 2018.

Vodafone Idea, Jio to deploy blockchain to block spammers

Two of the country's largest telecom players by subscribers, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio, will deploy the blockchain technology to weed out spam calls, said a report in The Economic Times. The rollout is expected to start soon and the technology is being provided by Tanla Solutions and Tech Mahindra respectively, the report added.

Last week, Bharati Airtel tied up with IBM to do the same. The initiative from the companies came after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India asked mobile operators to restrict spam calls and messages.

The three telecom players together have more than a billion consumers. Users can send their communication preferences and consent to the mobile operators, who are bound to act on the instruction by their subscribers.

Once implemented fully, this will be the largest such deployment of blockchain technology anywhere in the world with the platform impacting more than a billion users, the newspaper quoted analysts.

New policy for reskilling, upskilling

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which won a second term last week, will come up with a new policy to  reskill and upskill the country's workforce with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and internet of things (IoT), a top government official told The Economic Times.

According to the financial daily, the government is looking to strengthen the existing Skill India mission. The government plans to come up with a new curriculum to prevent any technology shocks as well as want to keep the workforce to access new opportunities in the technology sector, it said.

Multiple studies have found that more than 80% of the engineers who graduate from the country's colleges are not employment ready and the country's syllabus is outdated.

The government had launched the Skill India Mission in 2015 to address such issues. The country's ITIs and other arts and science college graduates are also considered as out of sync with the job market requirement.

“We would like to ensure that individuals have access to economic opportunities by remaining competitive in the new world of work and that businesses have access to the talent they need for the jobs of the future,” the official told the newspaper.

IT industry lobby Nasscom along with various IT firms have partnered to work with several engineering colleges to provide several additional courses in the emerging technologies to upskill the engineering students.

The first phase of the skilling initiative introduced the recognition of prior learning (RPL) programme aimed at aligning the competencies of the unregulated workforce with the National Skills Qualification Framework, the newspaper said. Over 1.5 million youths have been certified under RPL from 2016 onwards and the target is to certify 4 million by 2020, it added.