On Wednesday, multinational tech giant IBM, which has over lakh employees in India, referred to moonlighting as an immoral practice. The practice of moonlighting, which involves taking on additional duties after regular business hours, has recently received a lot of attention from the IT industry.

Sandip Patel, managing director of IBM for India and South Asia, stated that when new employees sign on with the organisation, they pledge to solely work for IBM.

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“Regardless of what people can do in their spare time, it is not ethically right to do that,” Patel said on the sidelines of a company event.

In India, tech players have differing views on moonlighting or side hustles, which are jobs that an employee does for extra money. Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji called such employee behaviour “cheating.”

When asked about the company’s hiring plans for India, which is important to the company both as a source of talent and as a market, Patel said that because the pandemic’s effect on employee migration back to their hometowns has not completely reversed, the IT sector has adopted the hybrid model of working.

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According to Patel, the corporation has aspirations to expand its footprint in the nation and refers to tier-2 and tier-3 cities as “developing clusters.”

IBM India has opened a delivery centre in Mysuru and also maintains operations in Kolkata and the National Capital Region. The business also disclosed that it has partnered with Airtel to provide the telco with its secured edge cloud services.

According to a statement from IBM, Maruti Suzuki’s endeavours to improve manufacturing productivity and quality operations will be supported by the Airtel platform, which is supported by an IBM cloud satellite.

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Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a minister of state for electronics and information technology, also addressed at the occasion. He informed the audience that from the beginning of the Digital India programme, the nation has advanced and revised its goals for the post-COVID era.

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What is moonlighting?

Simply put, moonlighting refers to employees who work on multiple jobs at the same time. Some startups and unicorns, such as Swiggy, have announced an industry-first ‘Moonlighting policy,’ under which employees can take on external projects for free or for a small fee, subject to internal approval.

“This could include activity outside of office hours or on weekends that has no impact on their productivity on the full-time job or has any conflict of interest with Swiggy’s business,” according to a company release.