IT firm Accenture plans to reduce its global workforce by about 5 percent and thousands of Indians are likely to be impacted. The company is looking to downsize its workforce amid falling demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian Financial Review reported.
India, which is the IT company's largest base, accounts for nearly 2 lakh of its 5 lakh-strong workforce. Thousands of the company's employees in India are likely to lose their jobs as part of Accenture's latest round of layoffs.
The company is reportedly targeting the bottom 5 percent of employees by performance measures, who will be transitioned out.
According to the AFR report, in an internal staff meeting earlier this month, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet said, "In a normal year, we transition about 5 percent and we hire to replace them because we are in a demand scenario. Right now, we are not in a demand scenario, so if we manage out the same percentage of people and don't replace them, it allows us to continue to invest and preserve some people who have lower chargeability for when the market comes back."
The latest round of layoffs at the IT firm comes at a time when its revenue growth in the latest quarter dropped to a mere 1.3 percent amid the pandemic-led economic disruption. The company had last month reduced its UK staff strength by 8 percent, firing around 900 employees.
"At this time we are not planning extraordinary global workforce actions.
Every year, as part of our performance process, we have conversations with our people about how they are performing, areas for improvement, their potential to progress, and whether they are a long term fit for Accenture.
This year, across all parts of our business and all career levels, we will identify approximately 5% of our people as our lowest performers, and these individuals will transition out of Accenture. This is consistent with our actions each year," a company spokesperson said.
"We continue managing our business for the long term and critical to this is ensuring we have the right people with the right skills to best serve our clients. In India, we continue to hire, and as part of our ongoing compensation programs, we also recently recognized a number of our people with bonuses and promotions," the spokesperson added.
However, it is not the only IT firm that has found itself in the doldrums following the COVID-19 pandemic. IT companies -- globally and in India -- have been handing out pink slips to employees as the sector struggles with lack of projects and a comparatively excessive workforce during the current crisis.(This article has been updated with a statement from the company)