ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Lay-offs in the Software Industry

Decoding Disruption

Today, large firms that employ between 1,00,000 and 3,00,000 software workers are in the process of being restructured. Changes in technology, geopolitics and cut-throat competition have unleashed a cost-cutting drive. With respect to lay-offs, companies are resorting to informal practices and coercion due to legal constraints and fear of public backlash.

For 25 years, the rhetoric around the information technology (IT) sector in India has remained consistently upbeat. In a context where economic growth has been largely jobless in nature, the sector has provided opportunities for upward mobility and formal white-collar employment. However, the sector has been showing persistent signs of weakness, and the recent weeks have seen a wave of job cuts across firms that are expected to continue in the coming years. Today, large firms that employ between 1,00,000 and 3,00,000 software workers are in the process of being restructured. By some estimates, the industry will lose two lakh jobs each year for the next three years (Economic Times 2017). Campus hiring has already sharply declined. In light of the unflagging optimism that has defined the discourse aroundIT in India, the current state of flux invites investigation and contextualisation. What explains this dramatic shift in an industry that has been aggressively hiring engineers? Is this a temporary slowdown, or a deeper, more enduring moment of industrial change?

Labour-absorbing Phase

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Updated On : 6th Jun, 2017

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