Anand Mahindra, Tech Mahindra CEO apologise to sacked employee

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra has apologised to the treatment meted out to a former employee of Tech Mahindra, the group's IT services arm when he was sacked by the company saying the firm's core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual.

"I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual and we'll ensure this does not happen in future" Mahindra tweeted on Friday after an unnamed sacked employee shared the recording of how he was treated when he was let go by Tech Mahindra.

I want to add my personal apology. Our core value is to preserve the dignity of the individual & we'll ensure this does not happen in future

— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) July 7, 2017

The audio clip that went viral on the internet, had a human resources executive threatening the employee that he would be fired if he did not resign the same day.


"This is a corporate decision. Beyond company CEO or CTO is there anybody? Who will you approach? If you can just read your offer letter, the company reserves the right to talk to associates to leave the company at any moment by paying them the basic salary. I can ask you to leave the company today end of day as per your offer letter which you have accepted when you joined Tech Mahindra. Why did you sign the offer letter if it (termination clause) was clearly mentioned in there?," an HR executive is heard as saying on the clip.

It is not just Mahindra. Top executives of Tech Mahindra have regretted the incident which they say does not reflect the Rise philosophy.

Tech Mahindra Vice Chairman Vineet Nayyar and chief executive officer C P Gurnani also regretted the incident and pointed that the company had taken corrective steps that such incidents do not repeat in future.

"We have become aware of the incident involving a conversation between an employee and a Company HR representative. We deeply regret the manner in which the discussion took place and have taken corrective steps to ensure that this does not happen again in future" Nayyar said.  Gurnani echoed the similar sentiment on Twitter.

I deeply regret the way the HR rep & employee discussion was done. We have taken the right steps to ensure it doesn’t repeat in the future.

— CP Gurnani (@C_P_Gurnani) July 7, 2017

Tech Mahindra has been the slowest growth among top five Indian firms with operating margins — an indication of how profitable the business is — at 12 per cent for the quarter ending March. 

This has forced the company to resort to reducing its workforce -  often citing performance to cut costs and improve profitability.

Indian IT services have tightened performance evaluation for their employees, weeding out those who do not match the metrics. They have also reduced people on the bench — who do not have projects on hand and look at improving their efficiency.

Several employees of Tech Mahindra have petitioned labour departments in Maharashtra seeking relief from what they call arbitrary sacking by the company.  Besides Tech Mahindra, aggrieved from employees from other IT majors like Cognizant, Wipro and Syntel across the country have been alleging unfair and illegal termination on a very short notice following "cost optimization" and "restructuring".

At the Pune Labour Commission hearing last month, many mid-level former Tech Mahindra professionals who lost their jobs alleged that even their medical benefits had been held back following their removal from the company despite having paid the medical premium. "I was called for a meeting with the HR. Once inside, I was asked to switch off my phone and write a resignation on my HR's system. I wasn't even given time to collect my documents from my own corporate account," said a former employee who did not wish to be named. 

Maharashtra Labour Commissioner Yeshawant Kerure had pointed out during a previous discussion with Business Standard that while IT companies have not changed their policies overnight, the employees have finally woken up to the damaging consequences of the same.

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