Larsen & Toubro, India’s biggest engineering firm, has shed 14,000 employees, or 11.2% of its total workforce, in one of the biggest corporate retrenchment exercises in recent times. The $16-billion diversified conglomerate said on Tuesday the step was an attempt to “right size” its strength in the face of business slowdown. Digitisation of operations also caused redundancies that led to downsizing. “The company has taken a lot of initiative to right size staffing in various businesses. The digitisation and productivity enhancement initiatives taken by us boiled down to redundancies of roles and we have been able to shed as a group 14,000 in the six months to September,” Chief Financial Officer R Shankar Raman said. L&T expects the economic environment to remain challenging in coming months though a pickup in government orders is making up for private sector slack. Raman said that retrenchment exercise is a “correction”.
L&T launched a five-year strategic plan this year aiming to scale up revenue to Rs 2 lakh crore. The plan identifies some non-performing businesses that have been put under scanner and call on them will be taken in 18-24 months.