Rishad Premji, President of Wipro said the company had discovered that its 300 employees were working with one of its competitors at the same time, and added that action was taken in such cases by terminating their services. Premji claimed he stands by his recent comments on moonlighting as a complete breach of integrity “in its deepest form”.
“The reality is that there are people working today for Wipro and working directly for one of our competitors and we have actually discovered 300 people in the last few months doing exactly that,” Premji said at the All India Management Association (AIMA) National Management Convention.
Asked about the action taken against employees who worked concurrently for the company as well as competitors, Premji, on the sidelines of the event, said their jobs had been terminated for “acting against the integrity”.
The definition of moonlighting itself is having another job in secret. As part of the transparency, individuals can have candid and open conversations about playing in a band or “working on a project over the weekend,” he explained.
“It’s an open conversation that both the organization and the individual can make a concerted choice about, whether it works for them or not,” he said.
Separating these cases from those where employees were secretly working for competitors, the Wipro boss made it clear “there is no place for anyone to work for Wipro and competitor XYZ and they would feel exactly the same thing if they found out about the same situation.”
“That’s what I meant…so I stand by what I said…I think it’s a violation of integrity if you moonlight in this form,” he said. he declares.
The issue of “moonlighting” (techies taking side gigs to work on more than one job at a time) became a hot topic of discussion after the president of Wipro flagged the issue. Premji had recently taken to Twitter to highlight the issue, saying, “There’s a lot of talk about people moonlighting in the tech industry. It’s cheating – plain and simple.”
The issue of moonlighting by tech professionals has sparked a new debate polarizing opinions within the industry. Tech Mahindra’s CEO, CP Gurnani, recently tweeted that it was necessary to continue to evolve with the times and added “I welcome the disruptions in our ways of working”.
Many, however, have taken a strong stance on moonlighting. Earlier this month, Infosys had sent a missive to its employees, saying that duplication or “moonlighting” was not allowed, and warned that any breach of contract terms would trigger disciplinary action “which could even lead to dismissal”.
“No couple time – no moonlighting!” India’s second largest IT services company said last week in a strong and firm message to employees.
Infosys’ internal communication entitled “no double life” clearly stated that “duplication is not permitted in accordance with the … employee handbook and code of conduct”.
He also cited the relevant clause of the letter of offer to drive the point home.
“Any violation of these clauses will result in disciplinary measures which may even lead to dismissal,” the Infosys letter had indicated.