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This is the main point of contention in the poaching war between Cognizant and Infosys, Wipro, and other IT firms.

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Infosys

A “poaching war” has broken out between major Indian IT companies and US-based multinational Cognizant. Allegations of “unethical” employment practices are giving rise to legal notifications and lawsuits against former employees.

To Put It briefly,

  • The large departures from major Indian IT giants Wipro and Infosys starting in 2022 are the source of the ‘poaching war’.

  • When Wipro filed lawsuits against two former workers who joined Cognizant, tensions increased.
  • Additionally, Infosys has accused Cognizant of “unethical poaching” in an official notice.Not all is okay with the top Indian IT companies. There is a growing tension. The drama is intensifying. Businesses are serving one another with legal notices. Lawyers are suing former workers. Another IT company has been charged with “unethical” behavior. It’s known as a poaching war. And at the heart of it all is a multinational corporation with its headquarters in the US, Cognizant, which provides consulting and information technology services.

The History of the Poaching War

  • But let’s take a brief look back before we get any further information. Since 2022, a large number of employees have left Wipro and Infosys, two of the largest IT companies in India.
  • During this period, many senior executives from the two companies left their positions. Notable executives at Infosys that left the company were MD Ravi Kumar, President Mohit Joshi, CFO Nilanjan Roy, and EVP Rajeev Ranjan.
  • Similarly, Wipro lost a number of key personnel, including SVP Mohd Haque, CFO Jatin Dalal, Growth Officer Stephanie Trautman, and Ashish Saxena. Since then, a large number of these departing executives have joined competitors, with Cognizant being one of the most popular destinations.
  • In essence, the conflict has been building for several months now. However, the actual escalation of events occurred only this past week when Wipro sued two of its former workers after they joined Cognizant.
  • Wipro filed a lawsuit earlier this week against Mohd Haque, a high-ranking official, and Jatin Dalal, the company’s former CEO, after they joined Cognizant.
  • Haque’s alleged breach of his employment contract’s non-compete clause gave rise to the case. Haque is accused of violating this condition when he joined Cognizant to take a position as Senior Vice President and Head of the Life Sciences Business Unit.
  • It is noteworthy that Haque took this action prior to the non-compete agreement’s scheduled expiration on August 1, 2023.
  • Wipro’s IT staff discovered that Haque had seven files containing sensitive information when he left the company.
  • These files were allegedly sent via his personal Gmail account. Wipro also claims that other materials were uploaded to Haque’s personal email account and sent from Wipro.
  • According to the allegation, Haque misled Wipro about his intentions by covertly uploading several files just before he formally submitted his resignation.
  • A recent TOI story indicates that Haque has not updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new job status, despite Wipro’s allegations that he denied plans to join Cognizant.
  • After a decade of affiliation with Wipro, Haque started his career in Bengaluru in 2010 as the Vice President of Enterprise Application Services.
  • He worked his way up through the ranks and became the senior vice president and unit head in 2023. As such, he was in charge of a wide range of duties, such as managing a group of 21,000 workers and supervising P&L, sales, strategy, delivery, consulting, and account management.
  • Even while Wipro vs. Cognizant was already generating a lot of buzz, Infosys’ official warning to Cognizant this week added fuel to the rumors of a “poaching war.” Following Cognizant’s hiring of more than 20 people for senior management roles, Infosys claims unethical personnel poaching.
  • In a recent MoneyControl report, Infosys asserted that Cognizant has been using dubious methods of poaching. The notification was sent out immediately following Cognizant’s hiring of over 20 senior personnel, four of whom were allegedly Infosys executives.
  • “Non-compete rules might not hold water, but this message to Cognizant was more like a warning,” the note reads, characterizing it as a warning. This happened right away after Cognizant finished hiring more than 20 top individuals.
  • Within the organization, 20 people have been appointed as executive vice presidents and four as vice presidents by Cognizant CEO and former Infosys executive Ravi Kumar. A large number of these executives were once associated with Wipro and Infosys. As a result, Infosys and Wipro are taking legal action against Cognizant.

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