India's second-largest IT services exporter Infosys could lower its revenue guidance in constant currency terms for FY2017, second time in about three months. In Picture: An employee is seen behind an Infosys logo at the company's campus in the southern Indian city of Bangalore September 23, 2014 (representational image).Reuters file

Infosys has developed a new internal application to enable its employees to apply for various projects that match their skill set, a model similar to that of a mobile app used by Uber cab drivers to pick up passengers.

The new programme named 'Zero Bench' is aimed at better utilisation of resources, as India's second largest IT firm tries to keep its structure "leaner and more disciplined."

"The idea is to use existing resources better and eliminating the need to hire in thousands, like in the past. It is similar to the Uber concept — which is all about utilising resources to the maximum and effectively," a source familiar with the development told The Economic Times.

The initiative will help the company to hire people based on the need and keep a check on attrition rates by allowing employees to work on projects they opt.

The Bengaluru-based firm's step could lead to a "new trend" in the country's $150 billion IT sector where top companies have kept a robust bench strength and lower utilisation rates for years.

"Zero Bench is a next-generation people initiative that aims to maximise the potential of our talent who are currently trained and in between projects or on bench. We want to ensure that every individual is actively contributing towards organisation goals by opening up opportunities for short-duration projects," said Ravi Kumar S, the company's global head of delivery.

When the demand for outsourcing projects was at peak, India's top companies kept a "strong bench" in order to acquire projects.

However, with the emergence of automation technologies and slowing growth rates, the country's top IT firms such as Infosys, TCS and Wipro are not recruiting people in large numbers as they used to do in the boom period. The companies are now focusing on keeping their bench size leaner.

"The zero bench programme would create opportunities for employees that did not exist in abundance in the past," Infosys's global head of talent Binod Hampapur Rangadore had said earlier this month.

Infosys aims to improve employee productivity by 50% in the next five years. The software major estimates employee productivity to increase to $80,000 by 2020, compared to the current $52,500.

Infosys reported a sharp decline in attrition rate to 14.2% in the June quarter against 23.4% in the same period a year ago, indicating that the employee-friendly measures initiated by its CEO Vishal Sikka are paying off.

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