Despite corporate affairs minister Salman Khursheed's assurance on Monday that the government ''would not be a silent bystander'' to layoffs at Satyam Computer Services, its new owner Tech Mahindra has already started the much-anticipated layoff process, according to reports.
''The first phase of layoffs has started. In the second phase, employees who have been on the bench for less than three months would go,'' The Financial Express reported an official source as saying.
''Some senior executives on the bench are being offered almost 50 per cent of their annual salary or an option to go on a sabbatical. Several benched senior executives have moved out,'' the source said.
Though Tech Mahindra hasn't yet drawn a clear picture on how many of the 10,000 employees on the bench would be asked to leave and how many would go on the sabbatical, the initial targets are, as expected, non-engineers in non-IT departments. Employees from human resource, training and sales and marketing departments are the hardest hit.
Tech Mahindra is expected to take a final call on the matter by 21 June. In a recent communication to employees, Hari T, global marketing head, Satyam Computer Services, had said, ''By the 21st of this month, 80-85 per cent of your questions will be answered.'' He was referring to questions raised by employees on lay-offs, sabbaticals, reforms and HR restructuring.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India has cleared the open offer for Satyam Computer Services by Tech Mahindra. However, the regulatory body has asked Tech Mahindra to share with the company's stakeholders the information Satyam had provided to the bidders.
This comes as a precursor to Tech Mahindra's open offer for acquiring 20 per cent of Satyam at a price of Rs58 per share. The total cost will be Rs1,154.66 crore. The open offer commences on 12 June and closes on 1 July, 2009.