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Home > Business > Special

India's IT biggies are playing Cupid

Meghana Biwalkar | April 26, 2006

Nisha Khatri does not complain if her husband spends long hours in office - after all, he is just a few cubicles away. The Khatris work for the same employer, a large Indian IT firm.

The 28-year-old software engineer met her husband at the workplace and the company didn't frown on the budding relationship. In fact, when they married last year, their employer gifted them a cheque for Rs 15,000 - not that it's company policy to be so generous to all employees.

But as more and more companies increasingly find themselves playing Cupid to intra-office romances, a change in policy may be round the corner. NIIT, of course, was famously the first off the block - among its many perks was a dating allowance for its employees who were single and eager to mingle.

The IT firm the Khatris work for is yet to make any formal announcement on the issue, but another infotech biggie, Infosys Technologies, says it is open to fine tuning its HR manual, if the trend continues.

That will be a welcome change for most employees across Corporate India. As Soumen Basu, executive chairman, Manpower Services, an HR consultancy, says, "A decade ago companies would frown on such alliances. But in the present, employee-centric environment, most organisations are open to the concept of an office spouse."

Mind you, this is the real thing and not the "office spouse" that's become an intrinsic part of the corporate lexicon lately - a colleague with whom you share a close, personal relationship, although with no romantic or sexual undertones to cloud the issue.

It's easy to see why office romances are popular - most of us spend the larger share of our waking hours at work. Apart from the logistics of taking time out to meet people outside of work, there's another consideration.

"Many young professionals prefer to marry someone from the same profession, as they can empathise better with the work culture of their partner," observes Lata Rajan, head, research, Ma Foi Consultancy.

Even the organisation benefits. Typically, marriage takes a toll on women employees - they switch jobs to be closer to their husbands, and so on. When both partners are in the same organisation, it's easier to control the brain drain.

For instance, Infosys offers employees an option of leave without pay - sometimes, for up to a year - if they want to join partners who are on overseas projects. Motorola, on the other hand, tries to make provision for the spouse as well on overseas locations, wherever possible.

Of course, there are caveats. Most companies, including Wipro, ensure that couples don't work on the same team, and are not in a reporting relationship. That doesn't matter to most couples. The Khatris, for instance, are happy just to get to spend time together.

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Number of User Comments: 8

Sub: Cupid play

My fiance and myself are working in the same company and he is my lead... both of us, working in the same place helps us ...

Posted by jae

Sub: No wonder - the reporter along with the report stinks

'professional' - my foot!

Posted by sudip majmder


This is a positive note.. and brings 2 our mind that v r globalizing... Couples in the same comapany would mean re-invigorated energy towards the ...

Posted by Bharat Jhurani

Sub: Office spouse

This move of encouraging collegues to marry is really short sighted. What happens if there is trouble in the marriage? It will have a spill ...

Posted by Kiran Bindu

Sub: spouse and workplace !

If we consider advantage and disadvantage ratio of spouse from same workplace, one will get surprised it is 80:20. Advantages are well described in news ...

Posted by Medha



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