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Mindtree to hire more, offer hikes



Despite the pandemic, Mindtree managed to take on more than 3,400 people in the quarter ending June 2021. With lucrative deals in the pipeline, the prospects look bright and the Company is in a position to offer a second round of increments and also increase hiring. While there will be lateral hiring too, the Company plans to increase the hiring of freshers significantly.

The hikes will benefit employees up to the mid-management level of its over 27,000 strong workforce. The Bengaluru-based IT major posted a revenue of $310.5 million, which is up 22.6 per cent YOY for the quarter. Its net profits also increased to $46.5 million, up 64.7 per cent YOY.

While attrition increased to 13.7 per cent from 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, the Company signed deals worth a record $500 million for the quarter. It managed to bag three five million dollar projects and five new ten-million dollar projects in the first quarter. Therefore, despite the pandemic-induced challenges and attrition, the Company has been managing rather well.

Debashis Chatterjee, CEO, Mindtree, has revealed the Company’s plans to get back its employees to the office, as soon as it becomes safe for them to commute. Mindtree is keeping its clients informed of everything and is also inviting their suggestions for the return to work phase.

With talk of a third wave, the Company is not taking any chances at all, and has been getting its employees vaccinated through drives.

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Starting from scratch? An expert guide to starting a business with no savings



There has been a significant upturn in the number of start-up business ventures since pandemic restrictions set in across the UK last year.  

A recent study from The University of Law Business School 1 found that 854,948 independent businesses have been set up since 23rd March 2020, a significant 43% increase compared to the same period a year before (594,957).  

Although some budding entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to be able to fund their projects with their own savings, some have no option but to start completely from scratch. With this in mind, experts at ULaw Business School have put together a guide to starting a business with no savings whatsoever.  

  1. Start small and simple 

There are a number of potential upfront costs when starting a business which can put you in the red before you even get going. Paying for things such as designs, premises and services are nice to have but not always necessary at the start, so simplifying your operation from the get-go is important.  

By conducting your business predominantly online, using services such as the Cloud to store your information, free tools such as Canva to build your brand identity, and free conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom for any meetings and networking, you’ll be able to build a support base for your company at virtually no cost. This will allow you to scale up and put more complex structures in place moving forward. 

  • Build around what you already have 

If you have a set of skills or can provide a service people want, you can start to monetise with little to no financial investment. If you’re willing to put in your own time and effort, you can adapt an idea to work around the resources you already have.  

There are many services you can provide as a business that might align with your current hobbies, such as photography or writing and editing. There is always demand and you can use the equipment you already have to expand these into paid services. Promoting your service or products on social media is a useful and free way to get your name out there, build a reputation and start building a loyal customer base. 

  • Calculate your costs and stick to a budget 

If you’re starting a new business project with no savings to fall back on, it’s important to properly plan and outline your expected costs before you do anything else.  

Having a breakdown of your potential outgoings from day one will help you set a clear budget to ensure you don’t spend beyond initially modest means. Forecasting any potential spend each month will allow you to set a target of sales you’ll need as a minimum. Doing this weekly will ensure you can keep track of your progress, which you can start to build on, and increase your spend as your product or service starts to gain traction.    

  • Run it as a side project (initially) 

There is an element of risk when starting a new business, particularly if your base level of finance is zero. One way to easily minimise this risk is to keep hold of any full or part time job you have as a means of slowly funding the project. This will likely mean more working hours to balance both projects but could pay off in the long run. 

If you can keep any non-essential costs to a minimum to begin with, any money you do put into any project will help you expand and grow once that becomes necessary. Finally, be sure to seek advice or speak to an accountant to manage any tax implications that come with self-employment alongside full-time work. 

  • Explore government support 

You don’t always have to take a leap of faith financially when starting a business. If you have no notable funds to launch your venture, there’s an array of government support schemes to help you get things off the ground.  

The government’s Business Finance Support Finder can offer entrepreneurs different methods of financial aid, whether that’s a business grant or a flexible loan you can pay back in your own time. The options can be tailored to your own circumstances to ensure you get the right amount of support to help you. Make sure you have a solid business plan in place if this is something you choose to apply for, as it will most likely be an integral part of the application. 

Marco Mongiello, Pro Vice-Chancellor, The University of Law Business School, commented: “There is no doubt that more and more people are gaining the confidence to start out on their own, with the additional time at home due to pandemic restrictions inspiring Brits to get creative and try to monetise their skills. 

“However, whilst there are plenty of success stories of businesses born in lockdown, the challenges facing new start-ups are significant, particularly for those starting out on a modest or non-existent financial foundation. 

“In an increasingly digitised world, running a business remotely at very low cost is now more common than ever and we are confident these tips will help inspire entrepreneurs that may have been apprehensive about starting a business venture with no savings to fund it.” 

To find out more about The University of Law Business School, please visit:  ; 

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30% of young workers in the UK want travel vaccinations included in their benefits packages



Data from a recent study reveals that the UK’s company benefit schemes are ignoring younger employees, despite a huge majority placing great value on benefits. Just 16% of UK employees under 25 (Gen Z) feel that their current benefits package is suitable for them. This figure increases to 24% for aged 25-34.

The study was conducted by one of the UK’s leading wet wipe brands, Wet Ones, as part of the 2021 Employee Benefits, Health and Wellbeing Survey. It asked employees at 133 workplaces across the UK how their health and wellbeing needs and habits have changed, and whether updated benefits packages from their employers would help to support their wellbeing.

The ‘wants’ of Gen Z employees, who feel least satisfied with their benefits packages, are found to be evolving with shifting societal priorities faster than other age groups.

30% of under-25s in the UK want travel vaccinations included in their benefits packages, helping them to embrace their pent-up wanderlust as overseas travel gradually becomes easier

25% would like additional ‘health days’ holiday packages to support mental health

21% want greater flexibility on working hours, hoping that pandemic-enforced changes would lead to a working hours revolution

Many employee benefits schemes remain unchanged after the global shift to home working and a more flexible hybrid system. This has led to many company perks being unused and failing to encourage employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.

Have companies adapted to fit changing lifestyles?

The study reveals that companies are lagging behind lifestyle trends, with four out of five (81%) employees (of all ages) stating that their benefits packages are out of sync with their lifestyle.

When asked how their employers could support their physical, mental and personal wellbeing, these were the results:

70% feel the need for more flexible working hours

61% want private healthcare and dental care, and financial support with staying healthy (such as glasses, physio sessions or ergonomic office equipment)

53% would like additional ‘health days’ for personal wellbeing

How can companies better align to employee lifestyles?

To effectively support employee wellbeing, it is essential that companies realise how their employees’ lifestyles have permanently shifted. 

The way we exercise

Rather than ‘binge exercising’ at weekends, the UK workforce has enjoyed regular exercise throughout the working week since widespread working from home began. 84% say they are more physically active since moving the office to home.

The UK has become a nation of walkers: nearly three in five (56%) employees now walk more during the working week, instead of exclusively at weekends

Two in five (39%) feel their diet has improved, with people ditching takeaways and pre-packaged food in favour of healthy, home-cooked meals

A quarter (25%) of UK employees are participating in more wellness activities, such as gardening and engaging with nature

Changing exercise routines should cause companies to consider more flexible funding of equipment, instead of just offering a standard gym membership. While an increased focus on healthy diets could point towards more of an appetite for fruit and vegetable box deliveries, rather than a monthly takeaway. Wellness activities should also be incorporated to ensure both physical and mental health support is covered.

Gurinder Sagoo, HR Director for North Europe and Oceania at Wet Ones, says:

“We’re aware of the importance of ensuring people have the support and resources they need to lead both active and healthy lifestyles. The findings from this study show that an urgency to adapt employee wellbeing packages has emerged during the last year. 

“Significantly, they also demonstrate how essential it is for benefits packages to cater for everyone in the workplace, by taking into account each individual’s age, lifestyle and personal circumstances. An inclusive benefits package contributes to the whole team feeling supported in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is crucial that companies digest these findings and take action to improve how they nurture employee wellbeing.”

Kris Ambler, Workforce Lead at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), says:

“Lockdown loneliness and digital fatigue are among the phrases that have entered our lexicon and many employees are contending with bereavement and grief, redundancy, restructuring and job insecurity. This means that employee benefit programmes will need to be more personalised; managers will have to be more intuitive when assessing the mental wellbeing of remote workers; and financial wellbeing support will need to play a larger role within the employee benefits and occupational health mix.

“Investing in employee benefit schemes makes good economic sense and demonstrates a genuine commitment to an employer’s duty of care to their staff. Support services, including counselling, can help to identify and address problems early. They can alleviate the psychological impact of negative work situations and keep employees working effectively and productively.”

Dawn Morris, HR Adviser at Cluer HR, says:

“The right workplace support can have a hugely positive impact on employee wellbeing and mental health and is fundamental to every employer’s reward and benefits programme. It will show understanding and appreciation of current and future employees, and help to build an engaged, supported and productive workforce. Having the right benefits package can also attract new talent to the business.”

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79% of UK workers want compassionate leave (miscarriage, bereavement) laws tightened



When it comes to taking leave to deal with a bereavement, vague legal guidelines around pay, time and situation are making a difficult time even worse, causing stress and confusion for millions of working people in the UK.

Currently, UK workers have no legal entitlement to paid leave if their spouse, parent or best friend dies. More than this, the law simply states that any time off given should be ‘reasonable’. An overwhelming 79% of respondents agreed these guidelines should be more definitive.

The vagueness of these guidelines leaves many workers facing problems in taking time off to deal with a death. 61% of those who had taken compassionate or bereavement leave said they’d found requesting the time off a stressful experience. The most common reasons for this included:

  1. Having no idea what their company policy was.
  2. Feeling too overwhelmed by grief to properly consider how much time was needed.
  3. Feeling that they needed more time than they were given.
  4. Worrying that colleagues would think they were taking too much time off.

“We’d love to see the government do much more to help workers and employers deal with compassionate leave in a way that’s fair for everyone” says Dan Garrett, CEO of Farewill. “The current lack of guidance means that the amount of time and support someone is given to deal with a death is a lottery based on where they work. It’s time for fundamental change.”

Taking time off to grieve can be particularly tough for those just starting out in their careers. A staggering 98% of those aged 18-24 said they found asking for time off stressful with worries around career progression and office presenteeism highest in this age group.

Alarmingly, the time people are able to take varies wildly based on their industry sector. Those working in social care took on average 2.8 days off work, just a third of the time taken by those working in marketing and PR.

Most time off (days)                                                                       Least time off (days)

1. Marketing and PR (8)                                                 1. Social care (2.8)

2. Science and pharmaceuticals (6.4)                       2. Information research (3.3)

3. Journalism and publishing (6)                                 3. Insurance and pensions (3.4)

= 4. Property and construction (5.9)                         4. Media and internet (3.5)

= 4. Leisure and sport (5.9)                                           5. Law enforcement and security (3.6)

Dan Garret, CEO of Farewill: “Every day we’re talking to people experiencing a bereavement, and we understand how death can impact someone’s life and their ability to work. We’ve updated our own policy to ensure team members have the time they need to grieve. Our company mission is to change the way the world deals with death, that’s why we’ve decided to make our policy and guidelines available to all; our hope is this will lead to positive change in other businesses.”

When respondents were asked what they thought was a fair amount of time to take off, 6.5 days was the average response, a 35% increase over the 4.8 days people typically take.

The Farewill policy suggests the following:

  • 10 days of additional paid leave so team members can grieve and get the support they need.
  • Death can be unpredictable, so team members can take up to 10 days of paid leave for each situation, rather than each year.
  • Do not define “closeness” or ask team members about their relationship to the person or what they meant to them. Many companies prescribe when people can take compassionate leave depending on the official relationship to the person who’s died. That’s not how life works, and different relationships have different meanings for all of us.
  • Situations compassionate leave will cover include:

·         Someone you love dies or is terminally ill 

·         Someone around you, like your partner, is experiencing grief or terminal illness 

·         Taking time off for particular occasions (like a funeral, or the birthday or anniversary of someone who’s died)

·         Pregnancy loss such as miscarriage, abortion and stillbirth (including for partners and surrogate mothers)

Read the full guidelines at:

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Speak up and listen actively



~ Considering different perspectives is important to keep employees happy ~

Employees are what keeps a business running, but without customers there wouldn’t be a business to run. So, what happens when you need to make a decision that boosts customer satisfaction at the expense of employee happiness? Here Yashmi Pujara, Chief Human Resources Officer at Cactus Communications, a technology company accelerating scientific advancement, discusses the importance of listening to your employees when creating customer-first policies.

CACTUS is based in India, which has four public holidays requiring all offices, schools and banks to close. However, these holidays were stopping the company from being available to support its international customers. The solution was to keep the office open on public holidays, but to do this the local government must grant permission. One of the prerequisites of securing this permission was to get at least 70 per cent of the staff to agree to working over the holidays.

CACTUS prides itself on putting the customer first, and it was this rationale it presented to the employees. The team knew that CACTUS customers were some of the busiest people working on critical research, some of it potentially lifesaving. India’s national holidays were of no consequence to these researchers and CACTUS needed to be available to them.

However, not all the employees were happy and this proposal was met with some resistance. Some felt that the organisation had become too customer and growth orientated while disregarding the happiness of its employees. One employee even refused to sign off on the proposal. She, like most of us, looked forward to the holidays as welcome breaks where one can spend time with family, and felt that CACTUS was trying to take away this personal time.

CACTUS tried to explain the rationale behind this decision but failed to reach a mutual agreement with the employee. At a simplistic level, it was a choice between the customers’ need and employees’ happiness, and CACTUS chose the former. Although some thought this unfair, many understood the reasoning behind the decision and gave their consent.

The scale of operations was smaller at this time, so keeping the office open meant the entire team had to be at work. But since then, the company has grown and 70 per cent of the team are able to take these holidays off whilst the remaining 30 per cent get a compensatory holiday on another day. CACTUS also communicates this arrangement to new recruits so that they are prepared and can understand the rationale for keeping the office open.

Now that it has grown in size, CACTUS is in a position to draft policies that consider both the customers’ needs and employees’ requirements. If the employee had not openly challenged the company on its decision, CACTUS may not have developed some of the people-friendly policies it has today.

Having strong, passionate voices in the workplace keeps a company in check and forces it to look at things from other perspectives. There may not always be a satisfactory solution in the moment, but having different views helps to shape the way a company progresses. If the employee had not shared her opinion as passionately as she did, CACTUS would have implemented its solutions believing it to be best. Voicing your opinion and listening to others is important. You never know how it could shape the future for you and many around you.

To learn more about CACTUS, visit the website at

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