Larsen & Toubro laid off 14,000 employees during April-September
In one of India’s biggest ever layoffs, Larsen & Toubro, India’s biggest engineering firm, laid off 14,000 employees or 11.20% of its total workforce during April-September period this year.
The company on Tuesday announced that the decision was an attempt to “right size” its strength in the face of business slowdown. L&T’s Chief Financial Officer R Shankar Raman said, “The company has taken a lot of initiative to right size staffing in various businesses. The digitisation and productivity enhancement initiatives taken by us boiled down to redundancies of roles and we have been able to shed as a group 14,000 in the six months to September.”
He further said that the company has tried to look at its businesses in a different way to remain competitive.
“We have adopted various initiatives to be competitive. We have tried to introduce digitisation whenever necessary, so in case if we needed 10 people for a job we tried to bring it down to five. The layoffs have been done in businesses which are moving slow due to various reasons including delayed execution, among others,” Raman said.
The company’s decision to sack a large number of employees is seen as a ‘surprising move’ as L&T’s total assets as on March, 2016 was $34 billion, and it churned out revenues worth $15 billion in last financial year. And it generated quite a handsome profit as well. During the first half of FY-2017, L&T generated revenues worth Rs 46,885 crore, which is 8.6% more compared to last year.
L&T has 1.2 lakh employees across various businesses. The company has said that the move to terminate employees should not be viewed as a sequential event. The company claimed that this was one-time decision and not a target that it has set for laying off people.