Chinese ZTE cuts down 30% jobs in India

New Delhi: Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has slashed its workforce by almost 30% to nearly 600 amid mounting financial stress owing to declining India business as telecom operators have cut down on expenditure.

“Resources aligned by ZTE to manage Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel networks are now cut down to more than half due to financial pressure and falling business,” an industry executive told ET on condition of anonymity.

The headcount has now come down from more than 1,000 employees a year ago, with the majority of job cuts in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak that forced shutdowns in the February-April period.

The headcount comprises staff on the company’s rolls as well as those on contract and outsourced manpower.

ET’s query to ZTE India in this regard did not elicit any response.

“The main reason behind the lay-offs was ZTE not having enough projects in India, with its traditional customers including Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Bharat Sanchar Nigam too being financially troubled,” said a second executive.

Among the network teams dedicated to the three incumbent operators, 70-80% staff was asked to leave since the lockdown started and given two months’ salary as part of the severance package.

The Chinese telecom gear maker’s India business has gradually shrunk. It is currently maintaining networks in three circles for Vodafone Idea, two circles for Bharti Airtel and six service areas for state-run BSNL.

The development comes even as the BSNL board approved giving a contract to ZTE and Nokia for upgrading its 2G and 3G networks under the phase-IX expansion programme.

Source Article