Cognizant to continue sales team hires, protect digital talent: CFO McLoughlin

Cognizant to continue sales team hires, protect digital talent: CFO McLoughlin
Photo Credit: Reuters
1 Jun, 2020

Teaneck, New Jersey headquartered information technology (IT) services company Cognizant will continue to hire for its sales team and protect the firm’s digital talent, according to CFO Karen McLoughlin.

The company makes 38% of its $16.8 billion revenue from the digital services vertical.

“So even if, for some reason, we have digital talent that becomes unutilised during this timeframe, assuming that they have the right skills and capabilities and so forth, we will protect that talent for the recovery,” she said at the 2020 Bernstein Strategic Decisions Web Conference. 

Read: Veeraraghavachary to step down as COO, marking yet another exit at Cognizant

Business has been stable to some extent in the past couple of weeks, with clients opting for deferment of projects instead of cancellations, McLoughlin said.

“For the most part, you're seeing clients try to maintain some level of the work, but (they) either defer new work or slow down starting new work,” she added.

On revenue growth and profitability, McLoughin said that the company could manage a balance of reasonable margins.

“I think it's possible to have reasonable margins and also drive strong growth -- certainly better growth than we had last year,” she said.

Additionally, the company may allow employees in India to return to the office on a small scale in the coming weeks, she said. 

“But we do not expect to have everybody in the centers any time in the near future. We will continue to have most folks work from home,” she added.

Read: Layoffs at IBM, Cognizant signal declining confidence in demand rebound

Of its global workforce of 2,91,700 employees, the IT services firm has over 1,50,000 residing in India across 10 locations, with a stronghold in Chennai.

The company will also set up voluntary programmes for bench employees, she said. They can also avail a voluntary separation package or continue to work with the company, she added. Bench employees refer to those who are not engaged in an active project, but remain on company payroll.