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!