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TCS to shut Lucknow centre, consolidate UP operations in Noida

Virendra Singh Rawat/Lucknow 13 Aug 17 | 04:42 PM

In the backdrop of uncertainty looming over the continuation of its Lucknow development centre, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has conveyed to the Uttar Pradesh government that it was not retrenching any staff, but only consolidating its operations to a bigger centre in Noida.

The top brass of TCS helmed by CEO and managing director Rajesh Gopinathan had called upon Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath here on Friday evening after TCS Lucknow employees had made an appeal to the CM to intervene in the matter and prevail upon the company to keep the local unit alive.

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Yogi had assured the government would talk to TCS so that the company stayed put in Lucknow.

Meanwhile, the visiting TCS delegation gave a presentation before Yogi and top officials stating that as per business plan, it was consolidating its operations and discontinuing smaller units for the economy of scale, UP additional chief secretary (planning, programme implementation, IT & Engineering) Sanjiv Saran, who was present in the meeting, said.

He said the company was expanding its existing Noida operations, currently supporting 15,000 people, to accommodate between 25,000 to 40,000 work force in near future.

“The TCS officials said until the Noida capacity was enhanced, the Lucknow centre would continue to operate. Once the Noida integrated facility gets ready in another 1-2 years, the staff would be given the option to relocate," Saran informed.

The TCS delegation also comprised its COO N Ganapathy Subramaniam, vice president Alok Kumar and senior general manager SK Nair. They parried the queries of the media, which had gathered at the state secretariat to report on the matter.

Currently, the TCS operates out of rented premises in the posh Gomti Nagar area and there were some reports suggesting the company was planning to move out owing to the proposed steep hike in rentals.

However, the building owners have assured the state government they were willing to renegotiate rentals since they do not want to be blamed for the proposed shifting of the TCS operations from Lucknow, a senior government official told Business Standard.

Meanwhile, the state government has offered TCS land spanning 40 acres near the Lucknow Airport to set up its own development centre if it so wished. However, the company was not committal.

TCS Lucknow unit employs nearly 1,700 engineers and 300 support staff. Earlier, the employees had taken out a candle march and took to the social media to garner support to their cause.

Most of the staff members expressed problems in relocating, besides fearing job loss given the tough times the domestic IT sector has been facing over changing paradigms of the industry due to automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud etc. Besides, the majority of the employees, including women, are citing respective familial reasons against relocation.

TCS has been functioning in the state capital for the last almost 33 years and was among the first IT majors to set foot in UP.

Last month, TCS had rubbished suggestions of prospective job losses in view of the company closing down its Lucknow development centre, underlining it was merely consolidating into larger centres, including in Chennai. The company reiterated that it would continue to hire in UP.

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