Technology giant Microsoft, which has a global employee headcount of 1.21 lakh, is looking to release thousands of employees worldwide. This is likely to impact the company’s Indian operations to some extent, cutting across functions like sales, engineering and support services. It is estimated that Microsoft will lay off 3,000-4,000 employees globally, primarily outside United States. In India, Microsoft employs around 8,000 people, but there are no indications whether there will be any large-scale job losses in India. It had recently restructured its operations by combining various functions which made certain categories of employees redundant. Though there are reports that the downsizing would primarily target sales personnel, sources said in India it would also be extended to engineering and support functions.
Microsoft forayed into India in 1990 and has a large R&D centre in Hyderabad employing around 2,500 people. Besides it also has a technical support centre in Bengaluru. The company’s sales and marketing team is located in Gurugram. In total, it has presence across 11 locations. Multiple calls made to Microsoft’s leadership team in India, remained unanswered. A global statement from Microsoft said, “Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others.”
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As part of its restructuring efforts, Microsoft wants to rationalize its sales operations in order to focus much more on selling cloud services. The company under CEO Satya Nadella has already articulated strategy of “Mobile First, Cloud First” and these restructuring measures are aimed at expanding Microsoft’s cloud offerings in areas such as data analysis and artificial intelligence.
Microsoft has also made big bets on the India market and it has also announced setting up of three data centres in the country – Chennai, Pune and Mumbai. These data centres will be offering a range of cloud capabilities including Microsoft’s Azure cloud, and will add Office 365. The company has also announced a closer integration with the key initiatives of the government such as digital India and Aadhaar.