IT firms TCS, Infosys, Wipro to reduce subcontractors to control costs

“We will be reducing dependency on contractors to some extent to optimize it (cost). Lateral hiring will be done for specific skills in a limited manner and we also continue to build talent within the organisation,” Milind Lakkad, Global Head, Hum...

Agencies
Mindtree CEO Debashis Chatterjee also said recently that the Bengaluru-based firm will continue reducing subcontracting costs in the coming quarters.
BENGALURU| MUMBAI: Indian IT services companies may reduce dependence on subcontractors to control costs, as the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to slow new deal flow and pressure margins.

TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Mindtree said subcontracting costs are expected to fall in the coming months. On average, subcontracting forms about 10-15% of total employee cost.

In the last few years, subcontracting costs had spiked as IT firms looked beyond in-house talent for new-age technical skills.


“We will be reducing dependency on contractors to some extent to optimize it (cost). Lateral hiring will be done for specific skills in a limited manner and we also continue to build talent within the organisation,” Milind Lakkad, Global Head, Human Resources at TCS, told ET.

Subcontracting costs made up for 13% of total employee cost (a sum of internal employees and subcontracting costs) at TCS last financial year.

At Wipro and Infosys, it formed about 22% and 12%, respectively, during the same period.
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Subcontracting costs accounted for about 11% of total employee costs at Mindtree end of last fiscal.

Wipro’s Chief Human Resources head Saurabh Govil said the company was evaluating the complete supply chain of employees, including hiring, bench and subcontractors.

“We have a fairly large contractor population who are doing work for us. About 10-11% of our billable population is the subcontracted population and we will look to replace those people with our existing employees…,” Govil told ET.

Infosys’ CFO Nilanjan Roy, during a post-earnings call with analysts, said subcontracting will be one of the ways to optimise costs.
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“Our ongoing strategic cost optimization levers around automation, pyramid rationalization, subcontractors will, of course, continue as in the earlier years. We are confident that our proximity to our clients and our superior talent engine will enable us to weather this storm,” Roy said.

Mindtree CEO Debashis Chatterjee also said recently that the Bengaluru-based firm will continue reducing subcontracting costs in the coming quarters.
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Specialist staffing firm Xpheno said IT firms have started to cut subcontracting costs in multiple ways.

“It is a combination of cost-saving measures…in some cases, companies are reducing the number of contractors/suppliers they have, in others, they are asking suppliers to take rate cuts. The third case is that some companies are asking their subcontractors to take deferred payments,” said Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno.
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