Thomson-Reuters India: Excess staff?
By Gurukant Desai
You may call it problem of plenty for Thomson-Reuters, the union of two MNC media giants who have outsourced their services to India. While Reuters provides financial news and data services, the other KPO had only recently introduced its editorial team in India with a plan to cater to financial reporting worldwide. For the uninitiated, both the KPOs have their centres located at Bangalore and Mumbai.
Now, with the integration process of both the agencies already on, around 200 data and market analysts currently sitting at Reuters Building on Old Madras Road in Bangalore are a confused lot as the Company Estimate department of Reuters might be closed sooner or later. An internal email by Tom Glocer, CEO of Reuters, which was circulated among employees recently is said to have caused the heartburn, confirms a source with a condition of anonymity. Here is an excerpt from the email:
“It is anticipated that there will be some job losses. Precise numbers are not yet known and will not be known until we have worked through the implications of combining the two organisations. It will also however, give us the opportunity for long term growth in some areas for example, Editorial. In the event of potential job losses we are committed to consulting in line with local legal requirements.”
It further adds, “The aim will be to retain and develop talented people from both organisations to ensure the success of the combined company. We will endeavour to adopt as open and transparent a process as possible in support of this. We expect there will be some variation dependent on circumstances and local legal requirements.”
According to analysts, both the KPOs have a number of common departments as part of their very similar kind of operations (read outsourced jobs). As a result, the managements have to choose only the strongest side, i.e. market share, of the each department in either of the companies.
For example, explains our source, the UK-based Reuters’ editorial team is superior than Thomson, where as Thomson’s data team is believed to be stronger than Reuters. In such a scenario, if Reuter’s editorial team will eat the cake, the data team of the company may have to lose it to the Canadian agency.
And that is what is going to happen with the Company Estimate department of Reuters in India. With Thomson’s data team having a stronger market share, the combined entity may shut down the Company Estimate department of Reuters, and instead go ahead with the Thomson’s data team alone. As the integration process may continue till Q1 of 2008, analysts of Company Estimate department of Reuters prefer to wait and watch instead of doing anything in a hurry. However, smarter ones are said to be already toying with other options in case of such an eventuality.
On the other hand, the atmosphere at the Thomson’s newsroom in Mumbai is said to be pretty cool. More freshers have been recruited recently sans the eye-popping package that Thomson was once famous for. Above all, the integration is not likely to affect Thomson journalists anyway, thanks to the small set-up for its editorial team in India.
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