IBM is a 104 year company, having 4.35 lakh employees all over the world, with a very substantial presence in India. They have their offices in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Gurgaon, Noida, Chandigarh, Indore, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad and provide employment to around 1.3 Lakh Indians.
By some estimates, IBM is the biggest IT company inside India, but, it seems that the company’s heart has shrunk lately.
In a move which has been described as slaughtering and bloodbath, IBM India has axed a number of employees from its Systems Technology Group located in Bangalore office. All that they sent was a notice to a union representing IBM workers:
“Job cuts in India STG. .Announced today including managers. Asked to return laptops with in 2 hrs and leave premises.”
As per reports coming in, employees were asked to leave on the spot, their laptops confiscated by guards. Employees were seen crying and exiting the buildings with their personal belongings in hand.
The axed employees broke down on receiving such treatment, from an organization they claimed to be their own.
This sudden and completely unexpected move by IBM has created ripples across the IT industry, as such behavior by the management is only expected by a B-grade company, having no morals or ethical responsibility towards it’s employees. Being an ex-IBMer, I still cannot relate and accept this situation.
It is being speculated that Systems Technology Group located in Bangalore is no longer required as IBM has sold off its low-end x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion. And it seems that Lenovo is preferring its Chinese workforce to carry on the operations. But still, even this logic doesn’t justify the evil treatment meted out to its existing employees.
Some analysts are predicting that this year, IBM is all set to axe 13,000 employees all over the world, and out of which, 2000 employees would be axed in India. And the current incident is just the beginning.
Financial health of IBM is not doing good, as in the 4th Quarter of 2013, they posted revenue loss of 5.5%. This was their 7th straight quarterly loss, and the company aims to boost its profit by doing a ‘workforce rebalancing’ act which will cost them $1 billion. Such similar rebalancing act was performed by them last year as well, when they axed some 3300 employees in North America, mainly from sales and marketing division.
Financial jargons aside, there is a humane element to every business transaction. And the manner in which IBM has started its axing inside India is barbaric to say the least. I hope IBM Management understands that businesses all over the world exist to serve human beings, and not vice versa.
Big thumbs down to IBM for this one!