Social Review

Labor Practices and Decent Work

As of March 31, 2014, there are 1782 employees in our organization, who are on various rolls. Around 10% of our work force consists of women employees. As our operations are concentrated in India, almost 99% of the work force is located in India across 11 locations and the balance in UK, US and Switzerland.

The region-wise breakup of the employees is mentioned below:

S. No Location Total No’s
1 India 1,766
2 Other Countries 16
  Total 1,782

The composition of our work force is strong and divergent, with employees from various age groups, diverse educational backgrounds and states. Our recruitment policy is purely based on merits and is beyond caste, creed, religion, sex or any other such criteria. While recruiting, we also ensure that we employ personnel from the local area of operations to generate economic value around our area of operations. As most of our operations are concentrated within India, almost 99% of the employees belonging to the senior management category are hired from within India.

Generally, all our employees are on full- time basis and are permanent. As per our recruitment policy, there is a probation period of 6 months for new employees and they are confirmed on roles after the mentioned period, based on their performance. After the probation period of 6 months, they come on to the rolls of the company.

The following tables provide the details of age-gender wise classification of employees based on their roles.

Designation No of Female employees No of Male employees Total
Trainee 14 74 88
Executive/ Sr. Executive 99 33 1132
Asst Mgr/ Manager 31 324 355
Sr. Mgr/GM 18 156 174
VP & Above 03 33 33
Total 162 1620 1782

Around 36% of our work force comprises employees who are less than 30 years of age, 53% consists of those between 31 to 40 years of age and the balance of 12% are more than 40 years. The work force is primarily dominated by a younger group, who is brimming with innovative thoughts and is guided by experienced employees.

The age-wise composition of our work force as of March 31, 2014 is represented as follows:

Designation <25 25-30 30-40 40-50 > 50 Total
Trainee 60 25 3 - - 88
Exe./Sr. Exe 77 457 565 32 1 1132
Asst Mgr /Mgr 0 15 284 5 3 355
Sr. Mgr/GM 0 0 90 81 3 174
VP & Above 0 0 6 21 6 33
Total 137 497 948 187 13 1782

Fresh Talents:

As our organization is on the continuous journey of growth, we are always in search of new talents for contributing to the effective growth of the organization. Recruitment drive is always on the go with posting of the job vacancies over the internet and our internal portal. To encourage the absorption of talents, we also have a referral scheme; existing associates are rewarded for referring new employees to the organization. All new hires mentioned below are within India.

The following is the data of new hires during the year that ended on March 31, 2014:

  Under 30 30-50 Grand Total
Male 28 123 8519
Female 37 7 44
Total 318 245 563

Towards end of the year 2013 and first half of the year 2014, the company underwent a major reorganization process, the result of which entailed in a significant churn in the work force. The general attrition rate of our organization is around 20% where the year 2013-14 saw an attrition of 25%.

The attrition during the year 2013-14 is presented as follows:

Exits Under 30 30-50 Above50 Grand Total
Male 170 217 1 388
Female 42 237 - 65
Total 212 240 1 453

Percentage of Local Hires:

As already mentioned, our area of operations is primarily concentrated in India and hence, our workforce is concentrated in India. We have 11 administrative data offices across the country where the employees are spread. Our head office is located in Chennai where the major portion of our work force is present.

While recruiting for the local offices and our data centre locations, we search for talents available locally and generate employment opportunities around the location. As we continue to expand our operations, we would invest in human capital and provide opportunities for the best of talents. The geographic distribution of the employees across the country is presented below. The following table describes the benefits provided to full-time employees, which are not provided to temporary or part-time employees, in significant locations of our operation:

  • Group life insurance & Group mediclaim
  • Group accidental coverage
  • Group life insurance
  • Maternity leaves
  • Gratuity benefits
  • Provident fund
  • Employee state insurance
  • Employee stock option plans
  • Performance bonuses
  • Casual/sick/earned leave
  • Long term retention incentives
  • Sales incentives

Innovative Hiring Mechanisms

Associate Referrals:

Sify considers its associates as its brand ambassador to spread Sify's brand value and culture among prospective and potential job seekers. The associate referral program has been widely promoted by the HR to enhance the company's brand value, not only amongst job seekers but also within its own employees.

Job Fairs

Job fairs help in showcasing the company’s image among prospective job seekers and in building a huge database of candidates for various positions. Participation in these fairs helps Sify achieve the twin objective of:

  • Brand value promotion in the recruitment market
  • Large scale hiring in a cost effective and timely manner

Training and Education

One of the major tools to enhance the skills of employees is training and education on a continuous basis. Training happens at various stages of an employee's life cycle. Through continuous training process, we ensure that all employees stay updated in their field of operations and carry the knowledge attained through such trainings to their day-to-day work life.

Training and Education (T&E) plays a pivotal role in the development of our employees, both functionally and personally. Our T&E programs start right from the first day of an employee's stint in our organization. Induction of employees happens for about three days, during which employees are educated about the organization, vision, mission, values and business.

The employees, as part of their biannual goal setting process, are also allowed to choose from a list of training modules (both Functional and Non functional skills). These modules focus on the areas in which he/she requires to be trained, for the following six months. Based on the training requirements, trainings are organized on a monthly basis. Our organization spends around 80 hours in a year, per employee, towards such training and development. These 80 hours of training include induction, sales, product, behavioral and functional training.

The Learning & Development team fosters a learning culture across the organization and plays a crucial role in associate development through structured training programs and learning forums across locations. A positive growth medium is created, in which self-managed learning as well as coaching, mentoring and training flourishes. The focus is on both organizational and individual learning and on providing learning opportunities to share knowledge in a systematic way.

Every associate is required to take up the following types of training:

Corporate Induction

The primary objective of this Induction program is to create an overall awareness about Sify—its business divisions, support functions, and future plans. Through this induction, associates get:

  • An insight on the 3 P's of Sify - Products, Processes, and People.
  • An overview of the whole range of Sify's diversified businesses.

Function Specific Induction

This program orients new associates to their area of work or function and familiarizes them on the engagement,
client, specific tools used, reporting and process compliances.

Quality and Process Orientation Program

Training programs on QMS and ISMS are organized on a monthly basis to educate the employee on the importance of process adherence and information security.

Technical Skill Development Programs

Technical training programs are organized regularly and on-need basis, to cater to the changing technical delivery needs of the organization. The training is administered by in-house SME's and business partners.

Workshops, Seminars and MDP

Based on business needs, associates are nominated to external workshops and management development programmes.

Technical Reimbursements

To encourage the learning process through training, Sify provides reimbursement of specific technical courses. A list of technical courses that Sify recommends is hosted on t he company's internal website http://sifynet.sify.net.

Soft skill Programs

Soft skill programs for skills such as negotiation, personal effectiveness, customer orientation and so on are organized at regular intervals to enhance employee skills.

Transition Assistance Programs

Transition assistance programs are provided to facilitate continued employability and the management of career endings, which results from retirement or termination of employment. Associates whose services come to an end on account of retirement are offered Consultant/SME positions, on contract or on freelance basis, if they possess the required competency in a specific subject matter. This offers them an interim job and also helps Sify utilize the wisdom and experience of such competent professionals, even after their retirement.

Employee Communication and Engagement

Sify believes in the potential of its associates and provides several communication and engagement forums, which enable associates across various functions and business units to congregate and share ideas, thoughts and best practices. Sify strives to create an environment that encourages creativity, leadership, learning and self-development amongst its associates.

Town Hall Meetings

Town hall meetings presided by the Chairman are organized on a quarterly basis to communicate Sify's financial performance and business plans.

Sales Conference

Sales conferences are organized annually wherein the entire sales force congregates on a single common platform. The agenda includes sharing the organizational vision and plans, individual business and sales strategies; they also focus on the importance of collaborative efforts, amongst various business units, to accomplish a common goal.

Learning Sessions

Learning forums are organized on a monthly basis to enhance awareness on the existing business processes, teams and market trends. Speakers are identified in- house and sessions covering important essentials are delivered.

Fun at Work

When fun is integrated with work, the resulting fusion creates energy, cements relationships between associates and fosters sense of belonging and togetherness. Sify's HR team strives to create an environment that promotes the right balance of fun and work and thereby facilitates creating a very engaging work - force. Events are organized on a quarterly basis to ensure that the fun quotient is present in the work place. Sify encourages associates to participate in organizational events and interact with the company in myriad ways. Associates are also encouraged to participate in corporate cultural and sports events.

Suggestion Scheme/Soch Site

Sify encourages associates to come forward with their ideas and views; this practice will help in implementing new cost effective processes and thereby contribute to the bottom line. There is a link provided in Sify Intranet - 'My Soch'; this enables associates to contribute such ideas.

Rewards and Recognition

Employee recognition is an important engagement tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes that our associates create for our business. Sify believes that when we recognize people effectively, we reinforce, with our chosen means of recognition, the actions and behaviors that we most want to see our team repeat.

Annual Awards

The HR team institutionalizes this belief and recognizes associates for their significant contribution and relentless service to the organization. Individual associates and respective regions who meet the qualifying criteria are honored by the chairman during the annual sales conference.

Policy & Process Engineering

HR revisits and works towards reengineering key policies and processes, which can yield organizational gain on a regular basis. New policies to meet the changing needs of the organization are introduced from time to time.

The On-boarding Process

A well structured on-boarding process has been established, wherein a new joinee is indoctrinated to Sify's pre-joining and post- joining process, in a seamless manner. Dipstick surveys are conducted at regular intervals to assess employees' understanding of the work process and environment.

Succession Planning

Associates who have the required level of competency and expertise are proactively identified and groomed to take on the larger responsibilities in case of any unplanned attrition. These associates are extended opportunities on the job to help them scale up to required levels of efficiencies.

Retention

Associates who are critical to Internal and Client projects are identified and covered under a retention scheme which provides them with attractive monetary and non - monetary benefits depending on their longevity in the organization. The scheme is designed such that associates realize the value they generate through their uninterrupted service.

Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category

Appraisal Covered April 2014 %
Male 1175 91.95
Female 117 9.05
Grand Total 1292 100.00

Occupational Health and Safety

Among the different areas of business in which we are operating, the occupational hazards are likely to be high in data centre operations. We strive for the safety of associates, vendors, customers and third parties who are closely associated in data centre operations. We ensure that the safety standards are adopted while entering the data centres and all related safety gears are compulsorily worn while at the data centres.

With regard to the communication towers, personnel are involved to climb up the towers and install subscriber units at various locations. We ensure that the following safety equipment are made available to the concerned persons who climb up the towers so that accidents are avoided.

  • Full body safety harness with double lanyard and scaffold hook
  • Foot Protection (Safety Shoes)
  • Hard Hat (Helmet)
  • Goggles
  • Hand Protection (hand Gloves) etc.
  • Medical Insurance (Doctor Certificate)

Standard health and operational safety procedures are carried through-out all our premises, every month. Medical camps are organized once in every quarter, to enable employees to undergo various medical tests free of cost.

The safety measures followed by the employees are also extended to the customers, when they enter data centres or other work premises requiring stringent safety measures. Also, mock drills for fire and other exigencies are conducted once in every six months, to ensure that employees are well informed of the steps to be taken during times of emergencies.

Emergency alarms have been installed across the work area and these are activated during times of emergencies.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity

Equal opportunity and diversity is an integral part of Sify's culture, which we imbibe through our core values. Sify is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment on grounds of physical disability. All employment related decisions are based on business/job need and individual competencies and not driven by race, color, caste, creed, religion, nationality, sex, and age. No cases of harassment have been reported so far.

We have established the following committees to ensure diversity and equal opportunity.

  • Compensation committee
  • Employee grievance committee
  • Sexual harassment internal complaints committee
  • Non disclosure committee
  • Whistle blower committee
  • Sify way award panel

Equal Remuneration for Women and Men

Compensation is based on the individual potential and the current worth in the market, irrespective of whether the candidate is male or female. There has been no grievance about labor practices filed during the year 2013-14.

Human Rights

Non Discrimination

We are operating in a country that is popular for its diversified culture, customs and traditions. As a secular country practicing different religions, India is best known for its non-discriminatory policies. The spirit of the nation extends and reflects in our day-to-day operations; we celebrate the functions of all states, religions and sects, regardless of caste, creed etc. The spirit of 'Unity in Diversity' is instilled in all our employees, with the core focus on human values. Our values are not only internal but also mirrors in our relationship with all the external stakeholders.

The nature of our industry is such that we invest substantially in the human capital and the intellectual property, which is work force intense. Therefore, the essence of non discrimination is imbibed in our principles, right from the recruitment stage.

The practice of non discrimination is followed in recruitment, selection of vendors, and all other areas where human values are involved. There are no instances of discrimination or violation of human rights reported so far.

Say "No" to Child/Forced Labor

Sify has aligned its organizational goals to our national goals; abolition of child labor is one such goal. Our recruitment policy makes it clear not to engage or encourage child labor and the recruitment process is so stringent that employing children is strictly prohibited.

The same policy is also being followed while employing vendors, especially through contractors. The details of those employed through contractors are verified and it is ensured that there is no child/forced labor.

Anti Corruption Practices

Having been listed in Nasdaq for the fifteenth year, and also, being a proud member of NASDAQ GLOBAL SELECT, we are bound to maintain absolute transparency and adhere to anti-bribery policies listed in the Securities Exchange Act, 1934. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 1977 is a United States Federal law primarily addressing transparency requirements and bribery of foreign officials.

The FCPA applies to any person who has a certain degree of connection to the United States and engages in foreign corrupt practices. The Act also applies to any act by U.S. businesses, foreign corporations trading securities in the United States, American nationals, citizens, and residents acting in furtherance of a foreign corrupt practice irrespective their physical presence in the United States. In the case of foreign natural and legal persons, the Act covers their actions, if they are in the United States at the time of the corrupt conduct. Further, the Act governs not only payments to foreign officials, candidates, and parties, but any other recipient, if part of the bribe is ultimately attributable to a foreign official, candidate, or party. These payments are not restricted to just monetary forms and may include anything of value.

Adherence to the FCPA is a pre requisite under SEC act 1934. Apart from the FCPA, we also adhere to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 of India, with regards to anti-corruption. We have designed and hosted an Anti-corruption policy in our intranet; this portrays the anticorruption measures to be followed by the employees.

Political Contributions

We do not involve in any political activity, and therefore no contribution has been made by us during the reporting period.

Marketing Communications

The marketing team ensures that all our market-facing collaterals comply with the brand’s guidelines. Additionally, all promotional material of the company and third party advertisers comply with the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) guidelines for print media and Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) guidelines for online promotions. Overall, we ensure that any market related communication from our organization complies with the codes on ethical practices prescribed by the Advertising Standards Council of India.

The Corporate Communication team ensures that all approved-for-public documents are first uploaded on NASDAQ/SEC site, in accordance with the regulatory conditions, before these are made available to the public. All press- related communication is routed through the Agency-on-Record (AoR), which is registered and accredited by the Indian Newspapers Society

We do not involve in the sale of banned or disputed products or services. There are no incidents of non - compliance with regulations and voluntary codes concerning marketing communications; the secommunication materials include advertising material, promotional material, and sponsorship, by type of outcomes.

Consumer Privacy

Consumer privacy is the main tagline of our business and our services are directed towards providing utmost privacy to consumer data. Shouldering the responsibility of transferring customer data across the globe and hosting customer servers, it is important to protect data from being tampered with. Also, we have the privilege of connecting 36 data centres, including our competition from across the industry pan India, which adds to the importance of having to protect customer data.

Customer privacy is ensured at many stages and the relevant details are given as follows:

Non Disclosure Agreement

While signing contract with the customers, a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is signed through which we agree not to disclose customer data inside or outside the organization. The NDA also provides for penal clauses, in case of breach of the agreement. The NDA is signed with both the customers and our vendors.

Data Privacy

Data privacy and security is at the heart of our overall sustainability process. This is achieved by enforcing industry best standards, processes and practices to ensure adequate compliance. We are complying with the industry best standards and are certified for ISO 27001, ISO 9001:2008, SAS 70 Type B, SSAE 16.

We have a proper governance structure headed by CISO and the Organizational Security Council headed by the board members to ensure proper governance and senior management sponsorship for our overall compliance program consistency.

Customer data is protected with high levels of security control, by enforcing various latest technologies like access control, multi-level encryption, application control, identity protection etc. We continuously invest in latest technologies, processes and practices to protect our customer data which are in use, transit and rest. We also continuously monitor and apply any applicable counter measures for identified global threats.

As an ICT player we cater to various clients in industry verticals such as banking, insurance, manufacturing and retail. Thescope of privacy and data protection for end consumer personal data is limited to the contractual terms and agreements signed with the clients. Our clients convert the applicable data protection laws into contractual requirements during the signing of the contractual agreements.

Information Security

In the financial year 2013-14 there were no information security related instances that were reported. In case of any instances, we resolve them on an immediate basis. We have incurred no significant fines for non - compliance with laws and regulations regarding the provision and use of products and services, during the year 2013-14.

Anti-Competitive Behavior

Sify does not form cartels or involve in any anti-competitive behavior with other companies in the industry, to create monopoly. We believe in a free-trade environment and abide by the rules and regulations of the Competition Act, 2002. There has neither been any legal action taken against the company for anti competitive behavior, anti–trust and monopoly practices nor been fines or non- monetary sanctions for non-compliance with the subject laws and regulations.

Future plans to align our Business goals with sustainability goals:

Conclusion

How good is the money you make, if it does no good?

As a brand, we are at a critical juncture in our evolutionary cycle. Still in our profitable infancy, we deemed it the right time to put in place a discipline of sustainability. When the idea was first mooted, it was met with skepticism.

How does an ICT company that spans the entire eco-system of network, hosting and managed services audit and assure sustainability?

A secondary look opened up several places that we could revisit. Thus, began this journey of ensuring that all future endeavors align themselves to the basic tenants of sustainability.

That said, the overarching principle was and will always be the fact of sustainability in a continuous process. Hence, this is just a start on a steep learning curve.

So be it our network, data centres, cloud services or even our partnered services, sustainability is here to stay in Sify.

Our Client