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Cognizant to give freshers 18% more; L&T’s open offer for Mindtree may get delayed

Cognizant to give freshers 18% more; L&T’s open offer for Mindtree may get delayed
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IT firm Cognizant will offer 18% more salaries to freshers from the next year and there will be no mass job cuts, The Economic Times quoted finance chief Karen McLoughlin as saying.

The report said that the statement comes after news early this month that the New Jersey-based company has slashed its revenue growth guidance and is contemplating cutting jobs to reduce costs.

 “We just announced this in India, for the next year’s graduating class we are taking wages up 18% and will have industry-leading pay. Fresher salaries have not increased substantially in over five years, even though companies are focused on paying more for niche skills from top universities,” said McLoughlin.

Cognizant had earlier on Monday said that it is initiating a process to reduce the number of positions at the director level or more. The process will begin in June and the company has already identified the positions that will be axed as part of the plan.

Earlier this month, Debashis Chatterjee had exited Cognizant as executive vice-president and president of global delivery after 23 years of service in various capacities. The exit was supposedly triggered after Cognizant recently appointed outsider Brian Humphries as chief executive, who has made leadership changes to the company, Chatterjee being the latest.

In the beginning of the month, the consultancy major had reported lower-than-expected revenue growth and a decline in net income during the first quarter of 2019, disappointing investors and analysts.

L&T, Mindtree

Engineering major L&T’s open offer for Mindtree may get delayed further as SEBI is taking a close look at the mandatory threshold norm, The Hindu Business Line reported.

According to SEBI’s Substantial Acquisition of Shares & Takeovers (SAST) Regulations, a company can trigger the open offer only when it has crossed the threshold of 25% voting rights. Mindtree has also written to SEBI seeking clarification on whether this offer is “legally valid”.

 “It is clear that the regulator is looking at whether L&T can trigger an open offer since at the time of making the (open offer) announcement, it held less than 25% in Mindtree, which seems to have grabbed the regulator’s attention,” a person in the know told the financial daily.

Meanwhile, L&T has been continuously buying shares of acquisition target Mindtree from the open market, which now stand at 28.87%.

Earlier this month, L&T open offer for Mindtree was delayed over queries posed to it by SEBI.

HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies has planned to increase the footprint of its fan-engagement platform that the company built for English Premier League side Manchester United. HCL plans to take the platform to other sports bodies and large consumer brands, in a bid to grow the higher-margin intellectual property (IP)-led services business, said a report in The Economic Times.

The platform, that includes an app, a new website, and micro-sites, was launched by HCL a year ago.  

The report said that the top-tier IT services firm is talking to sports franchisees and consumer-facing businesses that may have similar requirements. This could cover a range of industries such as retail, consumer goods, and wealth management firms that work with high net-worth individuals.

“Normally, when you work with sports bodies, it is their IP, but what makes this unique is that the IP belongs to HCL. Now, we can take it to the market to any B2C business,” said Ashish Gupta, head, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, diversified industries, HCL.

Gupta added that the time the consumers spent on the app was twice as high as that on the most popular consumer apps.

In the beginning of May, HCL had said that they will be accelerating investments in frontier technology capabilities such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, augmented reality and cybersecurity in the current financial year.

In May, HCL had reported that its profit surged 14.24% for the fourth quarter and its total income increased 20.16%.

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