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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

CTS employees sing iTune(s)

This looks like big news, but I didn’t hear / read much about it ever since the news broke out. Few years ago, it was big news when Infy gave USD 1,000 cash to celebrate their entry into the Billion-dollar club. It looks like CTS is celebrating in style by gifting 30 GB iPOD Videos to all its associates.

Cognizant Technology Solution’s annualised revenue run rate of $1bn, during the quarter ended December 31, ‘05, was music to its employees’ ears. All employees on the rolls of the IT company as on June 30, ‘05, got a fifth-generation 30GB Apple iPod each.

The iPods, which the Cognizant associates received on Wednesday, are capable of packing in close to 75 hours of video, 7,500 songs and 12,500 photos. This should let techies put their music in their pockets and still have room for reading with audiobooks, browsing photo slideshows, watching podcasts and TV shows, looking up an email address and they can even check the time in another city or time their fastest lap.

The market price of a 30GB video iPod is $299 or about Rs 14,000, according to Apple’s online store. However, observers say, the company would have spent Rs 3,000-4,000 additionally on import duties and fringe benefit tax, which means an investment of Rs 30-32 crore on this initiative.

Although the market price has been mentioned as US$299, CTS would have got it at a steep discount considering the huge volumes that we are talking about.

While some of the employees might feel that a cash incentive would have been better than an iPOD, employers generally prefer to give in the form of a product, as it tends to remain longer in the employee’s mind. These kind of novel initiatives put enormous pressure on competitors to do similar stuff and grab the mindshare of current and potential employees. It is natural for people to comment that the employer is too generous in giving out such gifts, but one should remember that they are not doing this out of public money but using internal accruals to do it.

For those who can read Tamil, do read this detailed post by Pradeep on the same topic. (via Gilli)

(Pic Courtesy: Shankar Narayanan)


  • Honestly, it dosent make any difference to the employees working in the companies as to what gift they receive and most people prefer cash(even though it gets taxed) as the item is pretty useless and cannot even be gifted to someone who finds it useful as the company's logo and name will very prominently be featured on the item. And CTS is not going to put competition on anybody...it is responding to competition from Infosys which started it all...When I was there at the time of the billion dollar celebrations, Infy gave a Rs 43000 bonus(US$1000) at my level(the amount varied depending on the position of the person in the hierarchy..my PM got the equivalent of USD1500), a custom made digital Titan watch(I still dont know how to set the time on it...there was no instruction book given...a CD was given containing the instructions and I never went through it...there was no need though as the time was pre set and the watch was running when it was given)and a T-shirt. Compared to that which was two years back, what CTS is giving is nothing.

    By Blogger redrajesh, at 10:27 PM  

  • This would have worked only for the selected few with lot of interest in gadgets and music etc.
    Paavam CTE folks. I guess, cash award would have been a better idea.
    And RedRajesh, ask me if you want to know how to set the watch. We found it verrry useful when we were travelling. :) And I guess K makes the most use of it, moving between time zones.

    By Blogger Saranya Kishore, at 10:36 PM  

  • Oops thats *CTS* . Darn my typing skills.

    By Blogger Saranya Kishore, at 10:38 PM  

  • Me being a ex-CTS guy....I am really happy to hear that it crossed the $1B mark....ppl...you just have to learn to celeberate with the company...I agree cribbing is a part of s/w prof's life...but I feel this is too much...when there is a gift...accept it and enjoy it before commenting bad about the gesture....


    By Blogger An Idiot..., at 2:14 AM  

  • Yeah isn't it cool... I have one 30 GB iPod lying at home... advantage of having someone in the family working in CTS ;o)

    By Blogger Somu, at 1:24 PM  

  • @Red Rajesh,
    Even gifts in kind would get taxed. as u said, it can't be gifted bcoz it has CTS logo embossed on it. You are right in saying that Infy's USD 1K gift was much better / bigger than that of CTS.

    For reasons mentioned in my post, cash may not necessarily be preferred by corporate. as u said, giving 1 gift to suit all may not work as some people may already possess a MP3 player and some may not necessarily need it.

    Point taken......people need to look at the good intention behind the gift rather than cribbing about it.

    welcome back! are u planning to use the iPOD?

    By Blogger Kaps, at 5:04 PM  

  • Hi Saranya...actually I have stopped using watches altogether since getting a laptop. When I want to know the time at a place, I am invariably connected to the net and so I just log on to worldtimeserver.com when I want to know the local time:)

    By Blogger redrajesh, at 12:25 PM  

  • there are limits to cribbing. its a bloody gift, thats all. dont tell me that the ideal gift would be an ipod and a training course on how to use the ipod. ;)

    btw, wipro employees got an email from premji which said 'we are all proud to be wiproites'.

    By Blogger krishna kumar, at 8:13 PM  

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