Employees of Wipro Limited outside the company's headquarters in Bangalore. Photo: AFP

After pausing on salary hikes and promotions because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian software majors are now loosening their purse strings on the back of strong order books. The latest to do so is Wipro, which has announced that it will be rolling out salary hikes for its employees from January 1.

The Bangalore-based software major said employees in the junior band (B3 and below), which comprise 80% of its 180,000 workforce, will benefit from this move. All eligible employees at the mid-level (C1 band and above) will get their hikes from June 1, 2021. The company didn’t comment on the quantum of hikes, Times of India reports.

The pandemic has upset Wipro’s appraisal cycles, which normally announces increments effective in June and those in the C1 band and above have missed one cycle. Wipro employees are categorized in five bands starting from A to E with sub-rankings in each band based on their work experience.

Wipro’s rival Infosys had announced in October that it will roll out salary hikes and promotions across all levels effective January 1. It will also pay a one-time special incentive for its junior employees in the third quarter.

Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software company, rolled out salary hikes from October for its 450,000-strong workforce. It promoted staff early this year but deferred hikes due to the Covid-19 impact on its business in the first quarter.

HCL Technologies, the country’s third-largest software firm, also announced pay hikes for its employees across all bands. While the junior employees got their hikes in October, the seniors will be getting them from January, 2021.

Mindtree has also announced pay hikes effective from January 1, 2021. The company said it had already completed its promotion cycle in the quarter ended September 30.

After the initial setback caused by the pandemic in the April-June quarter, Indian software companies had a better run in the July-September quarter as global clients increased their technology spends to deal with the economic crisis.