The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Snoop scan on infotech army
- Wipro hires detectives

Thought you are smarter than the tech titans' Don't be too sure.

Software giant Wipro has engaged a multinational detective agency to verify the academic qualification as well as the experience certificate of its employees.

This was revealed by the chairman and managing director of Wipro, Azim Premji, during an interactive session with the students of Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur on Sunday evening.

The Wipro chief was responding to a question asked by one of the B-school students on the need for ethical practices on the part of the government, corporate houses and management students.

'Our company has come across a startling fact after a multinational detective agency recruited by us found that about one per cent of the employees had submitted false documents at the time of interview,' Premji told the students.

The agency hired by the company found that some of the employees had submitted false experience, reference and even fake academic certificates at the time of interview.

'The one per cent figure may look to be very small but when compared to the total employee strength of 10,000 of Wipro, it becomes very big and disturbing for the management,' he said.

'The Wipro management will randomly select some of the employees and hand over all the documents to the detective agency for verification. If the investigative agency raises questions on the credibility of the certificates, the employee will be removed from service,' Premji added.

The company has also decided to permanently engage the services of a professional group to verify the authenticity of documents submitted by the employees.

Premji pointed out that the practice of submitting false documents is not restricted to Indians. 'But it is definitely very high when compared with other countries.' However, he declined to name the agency that has been hired or other countries where a large number of prospective employees furnishes false certificates.

Industry observers in Bangalore said they are not aware whether other companies also depend on professional detectives to verify the claims of recruits.

Premji, who was in Jamshedpur to receive the Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial Peace ' named after the former chairman of Tata Steel ' at the 49th annual convocation of XLRI, also touched on Wipro's expansion plans.

He said the company has plans to start centres at Rajarhat in Calcutta and Goa.

'We are very much satisfied with the progress of work at the Salt Lake centre and intend to increase the employee strength from 1,500 to about 4,000. The proposal for the Rajarhat centre has been prepared and we have applied for 40 acres in that area. However, the operation from Rajarhat will start only after the Bengal government gives it special economic zone status,' Premji said.

The Wipro chief also stressed the need for change in the curriculum of B-schools in the country to make it more market-oriented.

'One of the most important thing in my opinion is that the learning process in management institutes should be made more work-intensive and students should frequently go for field work,' he added.

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