Employee Retention at Infosys


    Infosys announced its latest quarterly earnings. Aside from the fact that revenues are up-up-up, that it expects to exceed the $2 billion mark in the coming fiscal year and that the company will be issuing a one-time "Silver Jubilee" special dividend of about 67 cents per share, what struck me about the press release on financial results was the personnel count.

    According to this document, Infosys hired 5,170 employees in 4Q06. It hired 22,868 for the year. Yet the net for the year was only 15,965. (As of the end of March, it had 52,715 employees.)

    That means, net, the company only retained 7 out of 10 people hired in FY06.

    Here’s what struck me. The turnover looks to be massive. Now, don’t come back to me and say, "Where have you been? Employee retention is a major problem for Indian companies."

    Somehow, I thought the situation wasn’t as extreme in the big-three companies — Tata, Wipro or Infosys. I assumed those firms were large enough to have employee retention programs in place that could address this — greater opportunities for people to do different kinds of work, heftier benefits, more interesting projects to work on, a wider degree of community service, higher allure for new graduates and so on.

    What gives? Any Infosys folks — current or past — out there care to comment? Would appreciate your take.