Recruiting like crazy

As Indian software companies continue to recruit like there’s no tomorrow, salaries are rising (Ref: Satyam hikes salaries), job sites and job sections in newspapers are flooded with IT job ads. So is all this good news for India and its IT talent or is there a darker side to it??

Most believe that these are good days for IT in India and almost all companies are recruiting on a massive scale. Recruitments are happening across the board for all kinds of skill sets, including J2EE.

Only yesterday, a friend told me that his company is having a Diwali Dhamaka recruitment drive so that those who refer new employees at the time of the Diwali festival get some additional gifts apart from the standard amount one gets when a referral actually joins the company and stays with it for a few months.

I then had a look at the current Business World magazine and say these amazing statistics. Infosys, TCS and Wipro together added a whopping 14,530 new employees in just 3 months (July-Sep 04) !!! These three together have 110,960 employees! And these are just three of the many IT companies in India. So if you consider the recruitments happening at IBM, Oracle, HSBC, Cognizant, i-flex…..the figures would be startling to say the least!

Source: Business World

Sounds good ??? I am not so sure.Â

What worries me are the conclusions one can draw from these figures:

The idea of “knowledge workers” is a big sham. IT professionals are glorified in India and elsewhere as smart people doing highly intellectual tasks. I think that is very far away from the truth. I refuse to believe that TCS, Infosys and Wipro have intellectual work for 110,960 people.

  • So obviously most work happening here is mundane and repetitive. Companies seem to think that the solution for every problem comes when you throw more employees at it. So you are essentially paying smart men and women big salaries to handle stupid tasks. BPO is the best example of this. Have a look at Brain Paralysing Outfits by Mahesh Murthy.
  • The mantra today is “The more the employees, the bigger and better the company” when it actually should be the “The more innovation, the more the creation of intellectual property, the bigger the international presence, the better the company”. When was the last time you heard of a ingenious new software coming from any of these giant Indian companies?
  • Perhaps the most worrying factor is that, as with all good things, this phase will not last forever. A few years back some companies laid off 50-100 employees and there was a major hue and cry about it. However this time round the layoff would not be in the single or double digits. It would be on a scale that India has never seen before. There are no employee bodies to protect employee interests and so I wonder who can possibly stop this day from coming. Having said that, IT employees don’t even seem willing to recognize this possibility. Consumerism has swept India and most IT professionals are between 20-40 and are carrying loans of a million rupees and more!
  • The value of an individual is negligible or zero. You are no more than an EmployeeId. So if you are a fresh graduate with dreams of changing the world, a small 10 person company might be a better option than being just Another Brick in The Wall!

Although I risk being termed a pessimist, I hope I have at least provided a different point of view and some food for thought. I am looking forward to reading your comments on the subject.

A few months back, The President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had suggested in his speeches that India should look more at open source software like Linux than the expensive proprietary ones.

It of course makes great sense as the costs of most proprietary software is well beyond the means of majority Indians.

Even when many of India’s politicians wouldn’t know the difference between a calculator and a computer, we are fortunate to have a scholarly president who understands technology very well.

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The IndicThreads Content Team posts news about the latest and greatest in software development as well as content from IndicThreads' conferences and events. Track us social media @IndicThreads. Stay tuned!

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