Infosys & Wipro see sharp decline in number of employees earning over Rs 1 crore

Number of crorepati employees at Indian IT companies dips! The number of employees earning over Rs 1 crore at India’s leading IT companies, Infosys and Wipro, has significantly decreased over the past two fiscal years. This decline is attributed to the slowdown in demand for technology services following the pandemic.

The post-pandemic surge in demand for digital services had initially led to a fierce talent war, with companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, and HCLTech offering substantial salary increases to attract the best talent.

However, this talent war quickly subsided due to global macroeconomic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions. Infosys experienced a nearly 16% reduction in crorepati employees, with the number dropping from 123 in FY22 to 103 at the end of FY24. Similarly, Wipro saw a 12% decrease, with the number of crorepati employees falling from 92 in FY22 to 81 in FY24.

Industry experts believe that this decline in high-earning employees at top IT exporters is a result of the reset across the $250 billion IT industry, which is currently facing one of the most challenging demand environments in recent years.

In the financial year 2024, Infosys witnessed an addition of 12 employees earning over Rs 1 crore annually. Notably, these high earners were among the 1,400 IT staff transferred from Danske Bank to the Bengaluru-based firm following an outsourcing agreement in September of the previous year. Interestingly, Infosys itself did not directly hire any employees with a yearly compensation exceeding Rs 1 crore in fiscal 2024, marking the first such instance since FY17.

On the other hand, Wipro onboarded eight employees with salaries of Rs 1 crore or more throughout the fiscal year 2024. The company’s annual report, released on Monday, revealed that more than 60% of its workforce had been hired in the past three years. This highlights the significant talent turnover experienced during the tenure of former CEO Thierry Delaporte, which came to an unexpected end in April 2024, a year before his five-year term was set to conclude.

Among the senior executives who departed from Wipro during FY24 were former CFO Jatin Dalal and former chief growth officer Stephanie Trautman, along with other key personnel.

It is important to note that the number of crorepati employees listed in the annual reports of Infosys and Wipro only includes those who were posted in India during FY24 and have drawn their salary for the full fiscal year. This number does not account for employees who joined or resigned mid-year and were employed by these companies for only a portion of the year.
Additionally, experts highlight the impact of the rapid growth in global capability centres (GCCs) on the talent profile of India’s leading software exporters.
The Indian IT industry is witnessing a significant shift in leadership talent, with many executives moving to midcap companies and Global Capability Centers (GCCs) in pursuit of top leadership positions, particularly CEO roles. Munira Loliwala, vice president for business strategy and growth at Team Lease Digital, a staffing firm, highlighted this trend, stating, “A lot of leadership talent has, of late, switched to midcaps (IT companies) and GCCs in India, largely to become CEOs or as part of the top leadership.”

However, the industry is also facing challenges due to a slowdown in demand, which has forced companies to reduce hiring as they grapple with pressure on both margins and growth. Loliwala noted, “Due to the continuing softness in demand, companies which are pressured on both margins and growth front have put brakes on hiring.” Consequently, five out of the six largest Indian IT services firms have experienced a decrease in their headcounts during the fiscal year 2024.

The combined headcount reduction for these top six companies amounts to nearly 75,000 employees, a situation that is unprecedented for an industry that was once considered a bellwether. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the industry leader, saw its headcount decline by 13,249 in FY24, while Infosys and Wipro recorded drops of 25,994 and 24,516, respectively, during the same period. HCLTech stood out as the only exception, with a modest increase of 1,537 in its headcount.

Resource: GWFM Research & Study