Freshers in despair as Wipro, Tech Mahindra delay onboarding without offering timeline

Freshers in despair as Wipro, Tech Mahindra delay onboarding without offering timeline

Recent graduates are facing the pressure of paying off their education loans, and lament about wasted months and job offers that they let go of.

Ravi*, who graduated this year with a degree in engineering, was offered a job by Wipro. He received his offer letter in January and did a two-month unpaid internship as part of a Wipro programme called Velocity.

When Ravi wanted to know when he could join his job, Wipro replied that the information technology company was onboarding selected candidates in batches, depending on batches.

“I completed my B.Tech, and I now work as a daily-wage labourer at a construction site for Rs 300 per day. How is this fair,” says a despairing Ravi.

Ravi is one of hundreds of selected job candidates who face the pressure of paying off their education loans and lament the wasted months and job offers they let go of. They find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.

A similar theme is playing out at Tech Mahindra, where candidates who graduated as long ago as two years are still awaiting to be absorbed in jobs.

The delays come amid concerns of a recession in the US and Europe, the biggest markets for Indian IT companies, where policymakers are trying to douse inflation by steeply raising interest rates.

“You’ll hear from us at least two months prior to your onboarding,” a mail sent by Wipro to candidates reads.

Ravi, who needs to pay off the education loans he took, is confronting an additional humiliation; his family doesn’t even believe now that a job offer existed in the first place.

“My family doesn’t trust me. I am the only son. When I told my family in January when I got the job, they were happy. Now they are questioning if the job ever existed,” he said.

“We will wait if they tell us when we will be onboarded. It doesn’t matter when it is, I just need a timeline. They don’t even tell us what month we will be onboarded,” he told Moneycontrol.

Nowhere to go

Like Ravi, Dhruv*, a 2022 graduate who received his offer letter in November 2021, was told that if he completed Wipro’s Velocity training programme, he could go from Wipro’s Elite program, which pays Rs 3.5 lakh a year, to Turbo, which promises Rs 5.5 lakh a year and a Rs 1 lakh bonus.

Dhruv says that he was supposed to receive a revised offer letter after he completed the certification, which he did in July. Three months on, he still hasn’t received it.

“I had two more offer letters, but because of the training and the increased package that I would receive, I dropped those. I went with the flow and the training was great, and I did everything I was required to do. Now, it’s very hard to explain to my parents why there is such a delay,” he said.

He got his first offer letter in November last year, and almost a year later, there’s still no sign of him being absorbed into the elusive job.

When he tries for other jobs, the training programme he did with Wipro doesn’t count because he needs a certification from the company that he can only get once he is onboarded.

“I am considered a fresher without any prior experience, and because of the slowdown it’s very hard to even get a callback from companies we apply to,” he says.

A desperate wait

Hundreds of desperate job aspirants stuck in a limbo have formed Telegram groups, looking for any shred of information for a sense of clarity.

“HR doesn’t receive our calls. Wipro just tells us it is going to happen soon. We don’t know if it’s going to be this year or in 2023. You shouldn’t have hired us if you didn’t need as many people,” said *Shyam.

Among these candidates is a sense of helplessness about losing out on the job experience they could have gained during the wasted months.

There’s also concern that the placement process for the next set of graduates is set to begin soon and that more people will be vying for the same jobs while they still await absorption.

“I want to support my family, but I can’t,” Shyam said.

There are also a few candidates whose job offers have been revoked either for alleged non-compliance during hiring processes or on grounds that they did not meet assessment guidelines.

The Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), a union representing IT workers, has written to the central Labour Minister over Wipro’s onboarding delays and sought intervention. “The livelihood of 1000s of students & employees is now jeopardized,” the letter read.

In response to queries from Moneycontrol, Wipro said: “Wipro can confirm that it will honour all offer letters that have been made to deserving candidates, in a phased manner.”

The future is a blur

At Tech Mahindra, candidates who graduated in 2020 and 2021 are awaiting onboarding.

Shrey*, who graduated in 2021, received confirmation at the end of May this year that he had cleared all rounds of the hiring process, but he has not received an offer letter.

“We have no idea if our candidature is on hold. There are several students who are awaiting information. It’s been a while since we completed BTech. My future is a blur to me,” he saids.

“This year that I have been waiting could have counted towards my IT experience but it’s become a complete waste,” he added.

Tech Mahindra had not replied to queries from Moneycontrol at the time this story was published. The article will be updated if the company responds.

IT companies have slashed variable pay amid pressure on their profit margins as demand for their services cools in their major markets. A significant portion of IT companies’ revenue is spent on wages, and impact their operating margins.

Indian IT companies, which hired in record numbers during the pandemic as demand soared and talent was in short supply, are now slowing down on hiring. These companies saw high levels of attrition, which is now beginning to stabilise and is expected to start coming down.

The net addition of employees at Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra in the first quarter of financial year 2023 was down to 59, 704 from 85,720 in the last quarter of FY22*

Names changed on request

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