Telecom Wobbles under Massive layoffs. Victims so far: 75,000 jobs and Counting

Telecom Wobbles under Massive layoffs. Victims so far: 75,000 jobs and Counting

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@Ajay Rana

The telecommunications sector lost a quarter of its workforce, some 75,000 employees, in the last year as operators, towers and sellers consolidate to stay afloat in the severely competitive industry.

In the telecommunications industry, Manpower represents 4-5% of costs, but in recent years there has been no containment of wages. Now that expenses must be taken advantage of, employees will be the first victim.

Players are closing stores, reducing their operations and losing power in terms of permanent and contracted employees to run a closed ship, and now only 75% of the workforce remains a year ago. More exits are on the anvil.

About a year ago, there were three lakh employees, 25% of whom have moved out of the sector in the last 12 months, “said A Ramachandran, a partner at search firm Ema Partners. they produce by involuntary wear, which means that they have been asked to go to the companies with a warning of a few months and a compensation package of 3-6 months of salary in some cases.

Ramachandran said that between 35% -40% of employees of supplier companies left the sector, while operators saw their workforce reduce by 25% – 30% in the same period.

For the 2.25 lakh employees who remained in the sector, the turbulent period has just begun because once the mergers are carried out, the overlapping areas will see more labor.

Those who have niche skills will find it harder to adapt to other industries and this, say recruiters, is likely to affect middle and senior employees who will have fewer places to go.

About 50% of employees in the telecommunications sector are middle management and at least 25-30% of them who left or were asked to belong to this category, “said Vivek Mehta, executive director of ABC Consultants, that oversees telecommunications contracting, which means that around 20,000 employees in the intermediate segment are no longer employees of the industry.

One of the executive executives of a telecommunications company said the company is not recharging vacancies in the short term.

According to the Monitoring Center of the Indian Economy, about 1.5 million jobs were lost in January-April 2017, which means fewer places to be hired when overall employment in India Inc has fallen.

Mehta, of ABC Consultants, added that there will be a new round of exits once the mergers take place, since consolidation is still in the approval stage for many. “There will be at least another 15% reduction in labor,” he says.


The telecommunications sector, which is reeling under a debt of Rs 5 lakh crore and faces a sharp fall in revenues, profitability and free cash flows, has been in a consolidation spiral since the entry of Reliance Jio in September. last year. The second telecommunications company, Vodafone India, and the number 3, Idea Cellular, are on track to merge, while Bharti Airtel has announced its intention to resume the wireless business of Tata Teleservices, after having purchased Telenor India.

Reliance Communications decided to close most of its wireless businesses before the end of November, while it is believed that Aircel is concentrating in some specialized circles and liquidating business in others.

It’s not just mobile operators, but even those in the supplier segment and the tower companies have also been losing consciousness. The impact has been such that the director of a contracting company, who did not want to be named, said that his telecommunications division now only has two contracting agents, less than eight members a few months ago.

Recruiters say there has been a 35-40% increase in the CVs of employees in the telecommunications sector who want to leave the industry as soon as possible. Employees at all levels prepare to receive a salary cut and go to electronic commerce, transport, logistics and the FMCG.

The hiring experts say that those who have been asked to leave have salaries of a few months as compensation. Another recruiter told ET on condition of anonymity that few of the telecommunications operators that cut costs and changed their business prospects approached them to replace their employees.

A relocation agency helps candidates who have been laid off look for another job or acquire skills. The company that is letting go often arrives at relocation companies.

Kris Lakshmikanth, president of search firm Headhunters India, has seen a 10-15% drop in hiring at the top management level and has seen a 25-33% decline in the industry’s total workforce.

The personnel firms said that customers are asking for more employees hired with software knowledge and technical aspects of the tower and infrastructure business.

“The last year has been almost calm for us from the point of view of the operators, but we expect that the demand for hiring comes from the infrastructure and the tower companies as the investments improve in the segment and the towers are established. fiber cables, “says Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice president, Teamlease Services.

Source : ET

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