Rishad Premji : Moonlighting by employees in the tech industry is cheating: Wipro’s Rishad Premji

chairman Rishad Premji considers moonlighting in the tech industry to be cheating. The former Nasscom chairperson took to Twitter to put forth his views on moonlighting – a concept that has become very popular after the Covid-19 pandemic as people got time and opportunities to do more than one thing for a living.

“There is a lot of chatter about people moonlighting in the tech industry. This is cheating – plain and simple,” Premji tweeted.

Moonlighting refers to pursuing more than one job at a time and remote working has helped employees take up this option.

All of this comes as India’s fourth largest information technology (IT) services provider by revenue
Wipro decided to hold back its variable pay for its mid- and senior-level executives for the June quarter due to pressure on operating margins, according to people aware of the matter, ET reported earlier this week.

The IT industry overall is dealing with unprecedented levels of attrition. Wipro has, however, kept attrition rates lower than peers, with the April-June level down to 23.3% from 23.8% in the sequential period.

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Recently,
food and hyperlocal delivery startup Swiggy introduced a Moonlighting policy . Under the policy, employees can take up external projects for pro-bono or economic consideration based on internal approvals.

The policy is available to all full-time employees of Bundl Technologies, the parent of Swiggy, including subsidiaries, affiliates, associate, and group companies.

This could involve activities outside of office hours or on weekends that do not impact their productivity on the full-time job or have a conflict of interest with Swiggy’s business.

The question of ethics

Swiggy’s human resource (HR) head Girish Menon might not be in agreement with Premji’s notions.

In an
exclusive podcast episode with ET’s Morning Brief, the HR head said, “That’s [Moonlighting] the future of work. And that’s precisely what we [Swiggy] are attempting to do.”

Menon said his company’s policy on moonlighting is “inclusive, not draconian, and clearly defines anything that’s conflicting”. He said the decision to introduce moonlighting was based on intuition and the belief that workplaces would evolve in a certain way.

“Moonlighting came more from what we believe will be the future of work, and less about research or data. People with skills will have opportunities to do side gigs, or what they call the side hustle. So why not normalise it,” he said.

Sashi Kumar, head of Indeed India – the Indian arm of the US-based employment search website – echoes Menon.

“It is not new. Moonlighting has existed in the past, it existed in different countries,” Kumar
told ET Now in an exclusive interaction earlier this month. “The reality is that there are many jobs out there but people cannot make enough money to make ends meet and therefore need to work multiple jobs to be able to meet their financial requirements.”

Slowdown in hiring

From ecommerce colossus Amazon to social networking star Facebook, US tech firms that once grew with
abandon have reined in hiring to endure tumultuous times.

In India, too, the scenario is similar. While
startups have laid off people en masse, major information technology companies have cut back hiring to better deal with a crunch in funding.

Amid concerns over a macroeconomic slowdown,
fewer IT employees are juggling multiple job offers and the rejection rates of offers on hand have gone down as well after two years of a bull run for IT and tech employees, ET reported.

In fact,
TCS, too has delayed its June quarter variable pay for select employees, ET reported.

The Tata Group company has delayed the variable payout for C3A, C3B, C4, and equivalent grades by a month. These are employees at the assistant consultant, associate consultant, and consultant levels. The money that was due to be paid in July will be paid by August-end now, according to an internal email accessed by ET.

“The performance bonus for Q1 FY23 is yet to be finalized for C3A, C3B, C4, and equivalent grades. This will be paid along with August 2022 payroll to eligible associates,” the email sent at the end of July said, without specifying the reason for the delay or the quantum of the bonus which will be given out.

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https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/information-tech/moonlighting-by-employees-in-the-tech-industry-is-cheating-wipros-rishad-premji/articleshow/93677190.cms