Cognizant in India:
Over Two Decades of Growth and Nation Building
Cognizant (NASDAQ-100: CTSH) is one of the world’s leading professional services companies, transforming clients’ business, operating and technology models for the digital era. The company’s unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build and run more innovative and efficient businesses. Headquartered in New Jersey, Cognizant is ranked 230 on the Fortune 500 and is consistently listed among the most admired companies in the world.
With a presence in 11 cities across the North, East, West and South of India, Cognizant directly employs over 185,000 professionals in India, which is approximately 75 percent of its global headcount. The company’s growth has largely been possible because of the unique advantages India offers—high quality talent, professional work ethic, good investment climate and support from different government and quasi-government bodies and global connectivity. During the past two decades, Cognizant has seen robust growth in its global operations.
- Revenue growth: From approximately $2 million in 1994 to $13.49 billion in calendar 2016.
- Employee growth: From 75 employees in 1994 to over 260,000 globally in 2016. Today, Cognizant is arguably amongst the Top 3 multinational employers in India and enjoys the distinction of creating well over 400,000 direct jobs and over 1 million indirect jobs in India during this period.
- Market cap growth: From under $100 million in 1998 when the company went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange to approximately $36 billion as of March 2017, enjoying great credibility among investors.
- Infrastructure investment: Invested over $2 billion in India since its founding in 1994 in both physical and technology infrastructure.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Cognizant has a two-pronged approach towards its CSR programs in India—Cognizant Foundation (CF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Cognizant, and Outreach, the employee-led, grassroots social initiatives program. To date, Cognizant Foundation has partnered with over 200 NGOs and has supported over 290 projects in the areas of education, healthcare and livelihood. Over 100,000 Cognizant employees have clocked an excess of 1,750,000 volunteering hours and positively impacted over 400,000 lives in the country. Outreach has been recognized among the world’s largest corporate employee volunteering programs.
Committed to Building Communities
Cognizant Foundation focuses on improving the lives of underprivileged sections of the society, through focused activities in the areas of education, skill development, healthcare and livelihood.
Cognizant Foundation has impacted the lives of:
- Over 500,000 people annually in the past five years, across India.
- Over 130,000 underprivileged students annually, in the past five years, through education projects that address key issues such as inequitable access, quality of teaching input and poor infrastructure. Cognizant Foundation has set up infrastructure such as computer laboratories, science laboratories/galleries, smart classrooms, learning resource centres, teacher training and other educational infrastructure support.
- Over 390,000 people annually, in the past five years, through healthcare projects that provide medical equipment for hospitals catering to the underprivileged, with special focus in the areas of Ophthalmic Care, Maternal & Child Health and Critical Care.
- Over 7,800 underprivileged youth and women through livelihood programs that provide short-term skill training combined with job placements.
The project locations are spread across India, mostly in states where Cognizant has offices.
Outreach: Cognizant’s employee-driven social volunteering program offers a framework and support network to its employees to channel their volunteering efforts and improve the quality of life in India, primarily in the area of education. What makes this program unique is that it is driven entirely by the voluntary efforts of Cognizant’s socially responsive workforce.
- Since inception, over 100,000 volunteers have clocked an excess of 1,750,000 volunteering hours to impact over 400,000 lives.
- Over the past six years, 165,000 children in eight cities and two villages have been trained by 14,000 Cognizant volunteers for extra-curricular activities.
- Several hundred students are now in college as a direct result of the Outreach Scholarship program, in which over 90 percent are first generation graduates.
Education: Coaching and tutoring: In this program, employees volunteer to take classes in English, Mathematics and Sciences in schools in their neighbourhoods, aptly titled ‘Be A Teacher’ (BAT). Outreach has seen a substantial increase in weekday and regular volunteering hours, and has been quick to adopt volunteering teams across India. Every week, more than 93 classroom sessions are in progress across India. These regular sessions have led to a noticeable increase in the academic scores of the children.
- Volunteers in Chennai helped a government-run school in Kadapakkam record a 100% pass rate in Computer Science and 98% pass rate in English in Class 12 board exams. The school did not have full-time staff for these subjects.
- Outreach Coimbatore’s Project C helped nine schools record an average 98.8% pass percentage in Class 12 Computer Science board exams.
- The Fisheries school in Thevara, near Kochi, where our associates regularly teach, has been recording 100% pass percentage for the last two years.
TalHunt is an annual inter-school competition for schools supported by Outreach. TalHunt was envisioned as a platform for school children from underprivileged backgrounds to showcase their talent. Over the years, more than 14,000 Cognizant volunteers have trained children in dance, drawing, chess, carom, story-telling, quiz, and so on. In the last eight editions, more than 165,000 children across eight cities and two villages across India participated in regional TalHunt events.
Creating or improving the infrastructure of schools: From setting up computer labs, to refurbishing classrooms and science labs, providing continuous drinking water supply to schools, and constructing toilets, outreach volunteers constantly work to improve infrastructure at schools supported by Outreach.
Outreach’s Project Irumbai
The marginalized tribal community in the village of Irumbai (near Puducherry) was not exposed to any opportunity to earn a living. Outreach women volunteers travelled every weekend to teach the women of the community to make handicrafts such as making flowers and bouquets using nylon and paper; earrings and key chains from quilled paper. This vocational training has now helped the women of Irumbai village earn a livelihood by selling their products.
Cognizant Foundation’s Skill Training Programs
Obtaining gainful employment is a major challenge for youth from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, both in urban and rural settings. To improve the lives of this segment, Cognizant Foundation has adopted “Skill Training for Disadvantaged Youth” as its flagship program under its “Livelihood” initiatives. Cognizant Foundation supports short-term skill training programs that offer skill building, life skills training and job placement.
The skill-training courses supported include Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS), desktop publishing (DTP), high-tech welding, CNC machine operation, automobile technician skills, Tally, electrician skills, domestic BPOs, home nursing, customer relations and sales, customer relationship management (CRM) and hospitality.
Cognizant Foundation’s Partnership with ANEW
CF has partnered with ANEW (Association for Non-traditional Employment for Women) to train 150 underprivileged women in the home nursing trade. The six-month training program encompasses basic skills in patient care, geriatric and paediatric care. Apart from classroom training, the program also has a three-month internship, where the trainees get practical training in hospitals in Chennai. On completion of training, ANEW also helps the trainees find employment in hospitals or as home nurses. On an average, these women earn Rs. 10,000 per month.