How Did Wipro Catch 300 “Moonlighters”? Stock Market Investor Has A Viral Theory


Moonlighters: How did Wipro, which recently sacked 300 of its employees for working with other IT companies at the same time, come to know about this work-from-home infidelity? The company hasn’t explained it — only calling these “moonlights” “fraudulent” — but one Twitter user’s theory is now viral.

These IT professionals joined other companies in their “work from home avatar” who were also in WFH mode, tweeted stock market investor Rajeev Mehta, who has over 20,000 followers and posts mostly share-trading tips.

“Same aptitude, dual delivery,” he wrote of Moonlight, “two different laptops, same WiFi, catering to two different customers – all from the comfort of their own homes, in their hometowns.”

Moonlighters Theory

“It was impossible to catch the Moonlighters. Then who caught them?” He has written.

And then he answered his own question, claiming, “The most innocent looking, wacky, always in the background – provident fund contribution.”

PF is a retirement fund scheme of the government under which companies deduct a part of it from the salary of the employee and make a mandatorily contribution.

“PF contribution is to be deposited regularly (by the company) and its violation is a serious offence,” said Mr. Mehta.

This is where digital linking of documents comes in, he said. “As all Aadhaar, PAN numbers are taken by banks for opening salary account, the same are used for depositing PF… The systems are so beautifully integrated on the backend that it was next to impossible. To create two identities both economically and demographically for these moonlights,” according to Mr. Mehta.

He claimed that double employment was caught as PF officers “run daily de-duplication algorithms to check whether someone has paid double by mistake”. “They found that there are accounts of individuals where the contributors are many.”

PF officials have not confirmed this.

But Mr Mehta said that “the entire Pandora’s clan crashed” after this repetition was “informed to the companies”.

While he hasn’t shared how he got the theory and if he has proof, the tweet that started the thread got over 10,000 responses within an hour of being posted noon on October 10th .

Mr Mehta credited the Government’s Digital India initiative and interconnected infrastructure for “working at the grassroots level to root out corruption”.

Wipro boss Rishad Premji said last month that he was getting ‘hate mail’ about the firing. But, he insisted, playing in a band over the weekend is different than working in secret for rivals. He described it as “cheating, plain and simple”. Other tech companies such as IBM and Infosys have also declared moonlighting “an unethical practice”.

The viral Twitter thread gave another spark to the big debate today.

A user named Abhishek More described Moonlighters saying, “300 employees working twice as much… trying to earn extra income to better provide for their families”.

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