Around 25 per cent of the three-lakh strong workforce that were employed by Indian telecom companies have moved out of the sector in the past 12 months alone, with more job cuts on the anvil, a media report citing employment agencies has said.
The dwindling of the workforce comes amid huge turbulence in the highly competitive sector, with most players looking to consolidate to survive.
Manpower accounts for 4-5 per cent of the cost for telecom firms and employees appear to have been the first casualty as companies move to cut expenses to stay afloat.
An Economic Times report citing a recruitment firm said that the telecom sector employed three lakh people 12 months ago and a fourth of these employees have moved out in the past year.
Most job losses have been through involuntary exits, meaning employees have been asked to leave after being offered three to six months’ salary as severance package, it said.
Things are only going to get worse from here, with more job losses on the anvil as consolidation in the sector progresses, experts pointed out.
The telecom sector is on a consolidation spree following the entry of Reliance Jio in September last year.
Merger of second and third ranked telcos Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is on the cards soon, while Bharti Airtel intends to acquire the wireless business of Tata Teleservices after having bought Telenor India.
Besides, Reliance Communications has decided to down the shutters on most of its wireless business by November end. Aircel too is believed to be concentrating on a few niche circles and winding up business in others.
Recruitment firms say the sector is set to face more turbulence in times to come and there has been a steep surge in employees looking to exit the sector. On the other hand, telecom firms too are in no shape to fill up these posts anytime soon.
According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, about 1.5 million jobs were lost in January-April 2017.