On average, employees leave Wipro every 3.5 years, although 35 percent of the company's staff has been there only one year, said Kumar.
Thanks to the turnover rate and the need to reach out to non-engineers, companies like Wipro are forced to handle a fair amount of training themselves. They also work proactively with often poor second- and third-tier schools from the primary level on up.
Seven months ago, Wipro started what it calls "Mission 10x." The company aims to train 10,000 engineers. It brings professors"-as many as 3,650 of them--to regular classes on its Bangalore campus and rotates Wipro managers through colleges for up to four months at a time.
Most--about 80 percent--of children in India can access primary school free. But for those who cannot Wipro has an outreach program at the primary level that pays in some cases as much as 75 percent of the costs of a child's education.
"We are working in a thousand schools," said Premji. "We aim to make primary education more creative so students can push back. This helps create a good cadre of science and engineering students," he added.
The boom times around towns like Bangalore are already helping to create such a cultural shift.
"The younger generation is a lot different than my generation," said a 40-something quality manager at Wipro. "They have a firm grip on their destiny they are more confident and willing to take risks than we were," he said.
"They are hungry to learn and we want to keep that appetite whetted. They want to be heard not just told what to doand they are hard to manage sometimes," he quipped.
The success of India's outsourcing firms has generated a backlash in places like the U.S., jealous of jobs they feel India has taken away. Premji argues it's just the latest turn in globalization on both sides that has been going on for years.
"Accenture has most of its people outside the U.S,--many in developing countries--and it is incorporated in Bermuda, so is it an American company?" he asks. "No, but it is positioned as one to win big public U.S. contracts," he said.
India's firms are taking a page from the playbook of Toyota and Honda after encountering a backlash against Japanese cars. They moved more assembly to America and hired local workers.
Wipro recently opened up design centers in Troy, Mich., and Atlanta, and plans to open two more in the next two years. The company already has design centers in Brazil, China, Germany, the Philippines, Romania and one coming soon to Poland.
TCS made an even bigger splash recently, opening a 1,000-person office outside Cincinnati in America's job-hungry heartland.
While it got big headlines around the world, the move is somewhat less stunning than it seems. The office in part will consolidate work in a number of existing 100-person offices around the U.S., acting as liaison with local customers and regulatory agencies.
For Wipro, growth in international employees is slightly higher than for India hires (20 versus 17.7 percent a year). Meanwhile the number of foreign nationals working at Wipro has risen from 12 to 20 percent in recent years.