The headcount in the top ten Indian IT businesses declined by 51,744 persons to 2.06 million at the end of the July-September quarter.

Despite expenditure cuts by Western nations and geopolitical dangers, employment by nine out of ten Indian IT firms declined in the July-September period, according to Mint. It is the first time in over 25 years that hiring in this sector, which is critical to the country’s economic growth, has decreased.

According to the Mint study, the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, may be the first in which IT businesses had fewer employees than at the start of the fiscal year. The top ten corporations’ headcount declined to 2.06 million at the conclusion of the July-September quarter. These firms employed 2.11 million workers at the start of the quarter.

Only L&T Technology Services has witnessed an increase in staff. The firm recruited 32 employees during the quarter, bringing the total employment to an all-time high of 22,265. All of the other firms, including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, and Persistent, reported a decrease in personnel. The overall number of employment losses is 51,744.  TCS rethinks 25/25 plan, stops WFH amid one of the greatest workforce decreases

“This is not correct that we are not hiring,” an Infosys official was cited in the newspaper as saying. “However, we are not hiring in sufficient numbers to offset the number of people who leave the company due to natural attrition.” 

Sunil Chemmankotil, CEO of hiring business TeamLease Digital, was reported as stating, “These are testing times for IT behemoths.”

“Changing deal types, margin pressure, and looming uncertainty leave them with few options for talent strategy.” It will undoubtedly be a smaller headcount (at the end of the year) than where we began this year. “Perhaps it’s time to think about newer talent options like staffing and gigs, as well as the latest productivity-boosting technologies,” Chemmakotil added.

Most businesses have also reduced their revenue projections for the next quarters. 

According to data aggregator platform Statista, the employee headcount of the top nine IT firms—including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, HCLTech, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant, Mphasis, Persistent Systems, and LTIMindtree (erstwhile LTI and Mindtree)—has dropped for the first time in over 25 years.

According to the quarterly reports of India’s main IT businesses, their headcount peaked in FY 2021-23. TCS (6,16,171), Wipro (2,62,626), Tech Mahindra (1,63,912), and LTIMindtree (86,936) reached their peak headcounts in September 2022. The highest headcount for Cognizant (3,55,300) and Infosys (3,46,845) was in December 2022. The staff headcount for HCLTech (2,25,944) and Persistent Systems (22,889) peaked in March 2023. The headcount for Mphasis (36,899) peaked in June 2022.