Verizon said that the market reality is marked by fierce competition, increasing customer demand and evolving technology. "As Verizon consolidates its strategy so we can scale, compete and continue to be successful, Verizon's IT, including Verizon Data Services India, is transforming into an engineering-centric, technology organisation. The transformation entails rationalisation of roles which has an impact on headcount," the company said in a statement, without sharing details about how many employees were impacted. "We are doing role rationalisation not to meet a specific number but to match the talent with the requirements of the business for its future," it said.
A Facebook post of the IT employees union Forum of IT Employees (FITE) said Verizon Data Services India "has fired over 1,000 employees across India, we are receiving a number of calls across the country for help." A FITE spokesperson, when contacted by TOI, declined to say how it arrived at its layoff figure.
VDS India has around 7,000 employees in India spread across Chennai and Hyderabad. It was set up in 2011 to support Verizon's domestic and wireless business in the US alongside its global enterprise solutions business. VDS India was focused on application development and support to enable operating support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS) and ERP and customer operations. The company spokesperson said it is repositioning as an engineering-centric organisation focused on newer engines of growth. Its parent organisation Verizon is betting big on 5G broadband services like its competitors in the US. In India, the company offers IP services, managed networks, IT and security solutions.
Verizon acquired Yahoo's core internet business last year. Four years ago, Verizon started an initiative called Verizon Labs to develop platforms and applications - on top of its networks - in areas like internet-of-things (IoT), internet services, big data and analytics. This has a significant presence in India.
"When we started it (labs), we thought of India as a key part of our strategy. We always felt India had the best talent anywhere in the world," Guru Pai, chief product officer of Verizon, told TOI on a visit to Bengaluru last year. At that time, this facility had 200 engineers and computer science experts, out of the 2,000 that Verizon Labs has globally. This centre is likely to have grown since then.