Aegis Ltd, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) company, has asked its 230 employees 'to look for other options' as the company has decided to wind up its Srinagar operations.
Aegis BPO was established in 2010 in Srinagar and touted as the highest employment generating multi-national company in Kashmir started with mere 40 employees and with the help of subsidies and other state benefits, it grew to 500 employees at one time. Currently the BPO has 230 employees on rolls in Srinagar centre.
However the BPO's decision to wind up operation has come as a bolt from the blue for the employees currently working there.
"We were verbally told by the management to look for other jobs as the BPO is closing its operation," said an employee, wishing not to be named.
"Despite this BPO getting government subsidies, and other privileges it has now ditched local youth who invested their time and energy," said another employee, who was told by the higher ups to look for other options.
Aggrieved staffers of the BPO have also shot a letter to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti seeking her intervention in the matter.
Lead human resource development executive of Aegis, Imaad Ahmad confirmed to Greater Kashmir that the company is winding up its operation following less business and losses incurred by it.
"There are various factors which led to this decision. First introduction of Jio free calls hit our business, and then there is no government support. Besides, the government's decision to hike minimum wages from around Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 increased cost of operations," he said.
"We have around 230 employees who have been asked to look for alternatives as the top management has conveyed their decision to wind up its operations in Srinagar," he added.
Aegis was one of the few companies, which have implemented minimum wage revision done in November 2017. Due to minimum wage increase in J&K, the BPO center has gone on verge of getting closed as profitability with current wages has taken hit.
Moreover, as other states have lesser minimum wages, it has become almost impossible to get business from outside the state, considering the nature of business only relates to manpower.
Aegis Limited is a renowned BPO player in the market handling telecom, banking, E-com etc. It has nearly 27 centers all over India and presence in Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Africa, UK, Malaysia and Argentina.
In Srinagar, it is located in SIDCO Electronic Complex Rangreth and was expected to grow to nearly 1500-2000 plus employees.
The closure of the center would not only have an impact on directly employed persons but indirectly employed (housekeeping, security personals as well as transport vendors etc) staff would get impacted as well.
"Closing of the center will send very bad messages to the corporate world and limit the investments in the sector which currently has very huge potential of employment in the state. While the government is working towards changing the image from a disturbed state, the closure of the company will send a bad signal," an employee said.