Cognizant's CEO reveals strong graduate hiring plans in India

14 February 2020 3 min. read
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Cognizant global CEO Brian Humphries has signaled a hiring drive in India for the global tech solutions firm over the course of 2020. In an interview with Livemint, Humphries revealed the firm’s plans to add as many as 20,000 professionals to its workforce this year, all through campus placements.

The drive comes despite a period of relative austerity in recent months, when Cognizant laid off around 12,000 employees worldwide to cut costs. The firm’s Indian operations, however, remain unaffected by this scenario, primarily due to the importance of the country’s market for Cognizant’s future aspirations.

The global tech firm surpassed 200,000 employees in India towards the end of last year, at which point Humphries described Cognizant’s Indian operation as a “jewel” and a “hub of our global delivery, solutions and innovation.” He has now shed light on the reasons behind this assessment, and future plans for the country.

Cognizant’s plans to hire substantially from campus is, according to Humphries, the result of an increasing share of university students in India becoming “digitally ready.” The drive to hire 20,000 graduates this year represents a 30% spike in the firm’s standard graduate recruitment rate in India.

Brian Humphries, CEO - Cognizant

Cognizant is not the only firm to be looking to the university talent pool to ramp up their digital workforce, with tech services competitors such as Wipro announcing the doubling of its campus hiring early last year. Big Four accounting and advisory firms KPMG and Deloitte have also recently announced plans to ramp up their hiring of fresh digital talent, and these firms have a long-standing track campus recruiting record.

Humphries explains that India’s vibrant entrepreneurial and digital environment are among the reasons for Cognizant’s focus on the market. This is also a perspective held by other tech and consulting firms, with global leaders at Deloitte and Accenture announcing similarly grand plans for the Indian market.

“There is a palpable initiative among Indian enterprises to attain and in some cases even define global benchmarks in digital adoption. They are increasingly focusing on the imperative to ‘think fast’ and ‘think forward’ to strengthen their relevance for the future,” said Humphries to Livemint.

“We have built a very strong position in India with our digital solutions, as well as end-to-end transformational engagements in sectors such as financial services, insurance, retail, life sciences, manufacturing, and education. We currently have approximately 80 clients in India across these industries,” he concluded.