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By | Rik Myslewski 13th April 2009 21:06

Infosys fires 2,100

Layoffs are so passé

Indian IT giant Infosys has discovered a new way to cut costs during the ongoing global financial Meltdown: fire thousands of employees for "non-performance." And then insult them.

Mohandas Pai, the HR chief of the 105,000-employee company who moved over from finance in 2006, explained that the 2,100 firings were the result of an annual performance review conducted in March.

"The tolerance for non-performance has come down to zero," said Pai.

Pai is catching flak for his seeming ruthlessness. One blogger on the Indian IT-insider webite Techgoss, for example, wrote: "No other country has this system of publicly humiliating ex employees. No other industry in India follows such blatant heartlessness."

Quite possibly, Pai's "heartlessness" has has a cold, hard financial component. As the blogger pointed out, "Firing is always cheaper than redundancy."

According to Pai, however, it could have been worse. "The appraisal was conducted for 60,000 of our employees," he said. "At the bottom, some 3.5 per cent of the people were either outplaced or left the company. It's an annual scenario after every performance assessment. In fact, normally the bottom size is 5 per cent."

One can only wonder about Pai's HR skills if the training program that he supervises results in a five per cent annual firing rate for "non-performance." ®

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