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Stock markets in Asia are higher today, helped by optimism about earnings and US tax reforms. The Nikkei 225 is up 0.86% while the Hang Seng is up 0.28%. The Shanghai Composite is trading slightly lower by 0.04%. The US stocks rallied on Thursday, with the Nasdaq closing at a record high, as a round of solid earnings led by American Express pushed equities higher.
Meanwhile, share markets in India have opened the day on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading up by 109 points while the NSE Nifty is trading up by 37 points. The BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index have opened the day up by 0.5% & 0.6% respectively.
Information technology stocks opened the day on a mixed note with NIIT Ltd and Tech Mahindra witnessing maximum buying interest. As per an article in Business Standard, Wipro has decided to let go 350-400 employees as part of the appraisal process, which the company termed as a part of plan to align its workforce with business objectives. At a time when the IT sector is facing several headwinds, Indian tech major Wipro is trimming its workforce.
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Reportedly, the layoffs are part of an annual process of the company, which involves finding non-performers and people who are on the bench, and clearing them out. At the end of December 2016, the company had over 0.18 million employees.
Wipro has faced growth challenges in the last two quarters of FY17 recording flattish growth and is also expected to end the current fiscal with a revenue rise in single digits, the reports noted.
The pace of employee addition for the Indian IT industry has in fact slowed down over the last couple of years driven primarily by two factors: a slowing growth rate which has come down to single digits and an increased pace of automation which has reduced the dependence on employees.
Talking about the job scenario, the IT industry is facing several challenges. The most important is automation. According to a study by Horses for Sources, India is likely to lose 640,000 low-skilled IT positions to automation by 2021. In this regard, it is important to look at what Vivek Kaul has to say about demographic dividend.
The move also comes at a time when the IT sector is facing several headwinds, both high technology adoption like artificial intelligence and machine learning and proposed curbs on worker visa norms by countries like the US, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Further, a focus on automation in the sector and US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies have greatly affected the Indian IT sector over the last few months.
Wipro share price began trading flat.
Moving on to the news from stocks in FMCG sector. As per an article in a leading financial daily, ITC Limited is ready to take aggressive steps to surpass its peers, Nestle and Britannia and become one of the leading players in the FMCG industry (subscription required).
The company aims to become the leading player in India's packaged foods industry in next two to three years. To achieve this aim, the company needs to add new products and new product categories into its food business segment.
ITC plans to introduce about 40 new food products in the next year and sell premium chocolates and coffee through retail chains and online stores. These 40 new differentiated products will not only be variants, but also new products. For instance, ITC is evaluating staples and edible oil, health foods, and value-added dairy products as categories it might enter.
ITC's foods business is expected to be the majority contributor to its goal of achieving a turnover of Rs 1 trillion from its non-cigarette FMCG businesses by 2030. The company is expecting Rs 600 billion to Rs 650 billion will be generated from the foods business by then.
A strategic push toward foods and other daily needs began around the beginning of the new millennium, reflecting ITC's evolution into a diversified conglomerate. The company is now the third-largest player in the packaged foods market, with Rs 70.97 billion sales in 2015-16.
Recently, the company had planned to increase its market share in fruit juice market. After Dabur, ITC is the third largest in the fruit juice market. It can be seen that the company is trying to change itself from the largest tobacco player to the largest diversified company in the country.
ITC share price opened the day up by 0.5%
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