Rishad Premji, Wipro’s executive chairman, said the company terminated the services of 300 staff who worked for its competitors as they remained on its payroll.
“It is very simple. It is an act of integrity violation. We terminated the services of those people,” Premji responded to a question from ET during the sidelines of the 49th All India Management Association convention.
Remote working has allowed employees to pursue more than one job at a time, which is known as moonlighting. There is disagreement among technology and software companies in India over whether employees can moonlight for other companies while still on their payrolls.
While food delivery companies such as Swiggy have announced an “industry-first” policy of allowing on-payroll employees to take up work or projects apart from their regular employment, others such as Tech Mahindra’s chief executive officer C P Gurnani said he had no objection to employees taking up secondary jobs.
On Wednesday, Premji also said that though he had received brickbats for his comments on moonlighting, he stood by his comments and views on the issue. Premji was one of the first top IT executives to have raised the issue of moonlighting.
“If you look at the definition of moonlighting, it is having a second job secretively. As a part of transparency, individuals and organisations can have very candid conversations about whether they want to play a band at night, or work on a project over the weekend. That is an open conversation that two adults, the organisation and the individual can make a choice about whether it works or does not work for them,” Premji said.
The reality, he said, was that employees working for Wipro were also working directly for the competitors of the company, and that was a “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”.
“There is no space for someone to work for Wipro and its competitor x, y or z. They (the competitor companies) would feel exactly the same way if they discovered it. So, I stand by what I said that it is a violation of integrity if any employee is moonlighting in any way, shape or form,” Premji said.