Poaching Row: Cognizant CMD Says No Impact On Business

Poaching Row: Cognizant CMD Says No Impact On Business

Cognizant India's CMD Rajesh Nambiar responds to IT poaching allegations, stating no impact on business. He emphasizes the importance of talent mobility within legal frameworks, amid industry debates on employee poaching and contract enforcement.

Amid employee poaching allegations levelled by two domestic IT firms, Cognizant India Chairman and Managing Director Rajesh Nambiar said the issue has not impacted the organisation's business and operations.

Nambiar refused to be drawn into specifics of the matter but said if companies want to enforce contracts they have with employees, "it is certainly their prerogative".

He, however, said that there cannot be a broader industry-wide norm on non-poaching.

"There is not going to be a broader industry-wide norm saying you can't hire from each other...because this industry was built by talent moving from one company to the other, so there should not be any issue in terms of having the right flow, as long as it is done within the broader framework of how the employment contracts work."

The issue has not impacted Cognizant, he asserted, when asked if the pitched battle has affected the company.

"It does not affect us at all. None of this has affected us. As in, if you are talking about Cognizant, I don't think there is any impact whatsoever for us. And it should not have any impact on the industry as well," said Nambiar, who is also the chairperson of the industry body Nasscom.

Over the past weeks, the poaching war among IT heavyweights has heated up, with Bengaluru-headquartered Infosys accusing Cognizant of allegedly resorting to unethical poaching tactics. As per reports, Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar, who was previously with Infosys, has hired nearly 20 senior leaders in the company - several of them were earlier with Infosys and Wipro.

"...we are one of the companies which, even at the entry-level, we do not have a bond or a service agreement. We go out and hire from the campuses," Nambiar said.

He went on to add that "it is a free world out there".

"As I said, it's a free world out there. I think it is important for people to have a little more mobility ...but having said that, you also have employment contracts with companies, and you are willfully signing that or not signing that depending on the choices that you make...So, it is very important for the employee and their corresponding company to have an understanding as to how they deal with all of that," he said.

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