What it does: Cognizant India provides business consulting, digital business and technology, digital business operations, and outsourcing services to clients across 16 industries.
Best known for Cognizant India ranks as the second-largest IT company in the country based on employee headcount.
Staff stats: approximately 200,000 employees
Financials: US$16.70 billion in revenue for 2020
The good bits: Cognizant India knows how to prioritize the welfare of employees during a crisis (eg. COVID-19). For instance, the company increased the number of annual paid leaves for workforce retention.
The not-so-good bits: Selected candidates must do well in annual reviews, as Cognizant India is known in the industry for performance-related layoffs.
Founded in 1994, Cognizant India serves a key role in the global IT company’s operations. Global delivery centers in nine cities allow the company to operate on a business model partly based on outsourced software research and development.
India represents more than half of Cognizant’s global employees. They deliver business consulting, digital, and IT services to clients across 16 industries.
In 2019, the company became the largest multinational employer in the country with approximately 200,000 people. Cognizant India has over 40 offices in more than 10 locations
Cognizant India redefined its work culture into one that prioritizes a sense of inclusion among employees, even if they’re far apart. The company cited the importance of an inclusive environment in a post-COVID-19 world.
The health and safety of employees have been first and foremost for Cognizant India during the pandemic. While fully remote work isn’t possible for certain roles, the company offers a hybrid work arrangement. Employees split their time between working from home and at the office.
They also enjoyed more annual paid leaves for a better work-life balance (from 26 days to 36 days). These efforts align with the company’s employment retention plan during the pandemic.
Cognizant India’s two biggest competitors are Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Infosys has approximately 190,000 employees in India, while TCS employs more than 400,000 people in the country.
The company is rumored to be notorious when it comes to layoffs. In 2017, Cognizant India fired more than 6,000 employees following an annual performance review.
An estimated 200 senior executives also lost their jobs in 2018 after failing to keep up with the latest technologies.
In 2021, the company announced a plan to spend US$250 million within five years for global corporate social responsibility initiatives. The budget will focus on expanding grant funding in India and the U.S. into Australia, Canada, Germany, and the U.K.
New hires can expect a supportive work environment at Cognizant India with its thoughtful policies. In exchange, the company expects them to meet performance metrics every year.
Failure to do so will most likely lead to termination, as evidenced by low performers who lost their jobs
Cognizant India allows freshers to apply for multiple roles simultaneously, but they should pick jobs that best reflect their qualifications. In general, applicants must pass three rounds to get a job offer.
The first round screens candidates by testing their general aptitude and verbal abilities. The aptitude section includes questions about logic and math. Insiders said that the test follows the AMCAT pattern.
Candidates for tech roles will then need to answer questions from a panel interview. While the questions may vary, it’s good to brush up on topics about algorithms, networking, and operating systems.
If it’s a non-tech role, the candidate will meet with the hiring manager for a personal interview. Previous applicants said that the written test is relatively more difficult.
As the final step of the hiring process, the interviewer will ask random questions. These include a candidate’s hobbies, interests, and familiarity with the target role at Cognizant India—most probably trick questions.
The company takes 30 days on average to select the right candidates.
Freshers can expect three general learning programs at Cognizant India: leadership development, online courses, and specialized training. They shouldn’t also be surprised about the corporate hierarchy at the company, especially for tech jobs:
Trainees become analysts once they complete a year of service. Analysts need at least three years of experience to become associates. The company has a unique term for its rating system:
1st Bucket - Exceeds All Expectations
2nd Bucket - Exceeds Most Expectations
3rd Bucket - Meets Expectations
4th Bucket - Meets Some Expectations
Take note that the actual timeline for promotions at Cognizant India depends on performance. Analysts with at least one 1st Bucket rating can expect a promotion in less than three years.
The average salary at Cognizant India amounts to INR770,000 per year. This rate usually applies to associate positions.
Trainees earn an average of INR400,000 every year with annual increments ranging from 7% to 15%, depending on performance.
Insiders said that the company pays a yearly bonus every March. Other benefits include:
Child care assistance
Employee assistance program
Flexible or reduced work hours
Health and life insurance
Maternity and paternity leave
Stock options or equity
Unpaid extended leave; and
Vacation and sick leave.