Cognizant plans to hire sales staff with specialised digital skill sets

Topics Cognizant

The IT services firm is also rationalising its employee pyramid by hiring more fresh graduates
Cognizant is aggressively hiring sales people proficient in digital technologies in its bid to win more deals in the new technology space.

The company, which is in the process of hiring around 500-strong sales team, has already taken staffers with specialist knowledge of working with SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) players. “Out of the 500 sales people (the company is hiring), a large proportion has digital skill set. So, we have sales specialist, who work with leading SaaS players like Amazon’s AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure,” said Malcolm Frank, president of Cognizant Digital Business. “We also have sales specialists with specific knowledge in IoT (Internet of Things).”

Frank also said deals coming in the digital space are not large ones, but are more project-based which grow with time. The Teaneck, New Jersey-based firm currently draws more than 35 per cent of its revenues from digital technologies and is witnessing a year-on-year growth of around 20 per cent in this segment. “We will definitely have a larger proportion of digital revenues, but we will still be doing a lot of systems (core revenue) work,” said Frank.

He also said the firm plans to hire or re-skill around 25,000 employees for cashing in the opportunities arising in the digital technology segment without divulging specific numbers.  

Currently, Cognizant is pursuing its ‘fit for growth’ plan under which it is taking various cost-optimisation measures through which the company hopes to save around $150-$200 million by the end of 2020. The IT services firm is also rationalising its employee pyramid by hiring more fresh graduates. It had earlier said the company would remove 10,000-12,000 mid- to senior-level employees and redeploy about 5,000 of those impacted.

On Cognizant’s decision to exit the content moderation business, Frank said though it was a difficult decision, it was a step in the right direction. “While there are a handful of clients in the content (moderation) business, every firm is looking for digital solutions. So, the opportunity is quite big in digital (space).” 

The IT firm last year decided to exit the content moderation business, which has an overall revenue impact of $240-270 million per annum. Cognizant, which beat street estimates with its fourth quarter performance, has projected that its revenues will grow by 2-4 per cent in the current year. Though this is the lowest growth projection among its peers, investors believe that the firm’s performance may improve.

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