Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, who got a lot of flak for terming the practice of moonlighting as ‘cheating’, said on September 21 that the IT major found 300 people working directly for one of their competitors in the last few months.
“Certain employees found to be operating in circumstances that are in direct conflict with Wipro’s interests have been terminated," a Wipro spokesperson said in a statement.
Speaking at an event of the All India Management Association, Premji said that he got a lot of hate for the tweet, but that he meant it more sincerely.
“If you actually look at the definition of Moonlighting, it is having a second job secretively…I'm all about transparency. As a part of transparency, individuals in organisations can have very candid conversations,” he said, where someone may want to play in a band or work on a project over the weekend.
“That's an open conversation that the two adult individuals - the organisation and the individual - can make a concerted choice about whether that works for them or doesn't work for them as an organisation,” he added.
He added that the point he was alluding to was that Wipro employees are working directly for its competitors, which, he stressed, was a “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”.
He reiterated that there is no space in the company for an employee who also wants to work for a competitor, and said that the competitors may also feel exactly the same way if they discovered the same situation.
“I will stand by what I said. But I do think it's a violation of integrity if you're moonlighting in that shape and form,” he added.
Premji’s previous tweet on moonlighting led to a raging debate about the practice, especially in the IT industry, with top industry executives also divided in their opinion.
Previously, Tata Consultancy Services’ chief operating officer NG Subramaniam has termed it an ethical issue, but Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani had said he may be open to it if someone wants to make some extra money and is not committing fraud, and wanted employees to be open about the same.
Infosys too has signalled that it is not an acceptable practice. In an email it sent to employees called ‘No Double Lives’, the company warned employees that indulging in the practice could lead to termination and is a violation of their employment agreement. The email had said it “strictly discourages dual employment”.