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.?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. 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.?

Related:

>> IT Survivors – Staying Alive In A Software Job

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  • RAJ

    BULL SHIT

    • Justin

      are you from IT sector? thats why you are posting comment like this…………………..

  • Sandip Matte

    Once you start digging deeper and deeper into the so called knowledge world, like the kernel internals, scheduling, process mgmt on different OSes, you would realise how little you know about the world. There is so much to learn and so little time. Thats when you realise you have to stop thinking about innovations at some point of time. Its only our super-ego that says we are doing great innovative job, but it is no better than the maintenance job. So called ‘intellectual’ jobs in start-ups become equivalent to their ‘services industry’ counterparts.

    Innovation in most cases doesnt depend on superiority of technology/product, but depends on demand/supply theory. Windows is the best example. On the other hand Apple’s macintosh is supposed to be the gem in the computing world in terms of technologies, but it is deemed to be a failure.

    There are few examples where innovation has won; like google’s search engine, apple’s iPod but its rare. Some of the technologies survive not on merit, but just because they are driven by big players in the market.

    If you really want to innovate, there are ways you can make social impact… like study different aspects of enviroment, interact with an expert who is working on the weather report, build some model which can correctly(probability ~1) predict rain patterns across India or build something which have larger social implications… We can make a big difference if only we innovate right things.

    Rgs,
    Sandip

  • ‘Guest’

    I agree that everyone doesnt have to be an innovator – but then the expectation that people should sacrifice their health, happiness and personal lives at the altar of the software companies – is sick !!! These employees would have been more productive and happier, if they had better control over their personal lives and not felt like puppets remote-controlled from US.

  • Abhishek

    Except for broad generalizations, the article seems very very correct to me. Of course there will be people who would disagree becoz they have seen otherwise, but still the article, in my opinion, reflects the general state of Indian IT industry very well.

  • ‘Guest’

    Lets see what is going to happen tomorrow ?, is this the rethorical questian the author wants to comment, I really don’t understand the point, one thing is for sure, atitude bundled with aptitude is going to stay, whether it is services or product based IT or say any otehr domain. Being realistic is appreciative,however being pessimistic and commenting about layoffs and job loses is subjective to an inividuals marketablility. One final note for all pessimist, don’t become complacent for the reason that you got a job in a Major IT organization, accept learnign as part of your job and continually improve your Knowledge capital, this is the key for success in good and bad times……

  • ‘Guest’

    Umm… True that the condition in the software industry is getting worse as the day progresses!
    Now its like people have started saying that Night outs at office is a way of life! How pathetic! Not many people in the IT field can boast about a sound personal life! Infact many people are like zombies from hollywood pictures!
    Plus there are no associations in India that cater to the health and well being of the IT people!
    India is happy with these ‘law abiding’citizens.. these people pay income tax , sweat it out at their work places with little botheration.
    Really really pathetic..
    Lets hope this situation changes for the betterment of all!!!

  • ‘Guest’

    I 100% agree its a flesh trade kind off. Go to US and see the IT companies run by indians. They just treat us as bodies and still guys are crazy of going to US and live like guys in gulf countries – the labours.

    Unfortunately most of so called BIG Indian companies do the same.

  • Guest

    I think IT is more of an fantasy industry luring young people for a very high salary at a very tender age.

    i hardly see any IT person talking of any work except the Sal Package he or she is getting.
    I think IT is just about making money very quickly without much of the work.

    It is all about crazy and lazy people.

  • Noname

    Hi all, I truely agree with Harshad. I feel ppl in software firms done feel worthy enough for bein paid those hefty amounts. Thats the start of the guilt of every IT Professional.They want to give back the favour the comany is doing by payin them the unbelievable cheques.And those favours are returned by working day n night for the company. The day Indians realise that they are just being paid to work for the stipulated time and they are WORTH IT that day the exploitation would come to an end.

  • Noname

    I agree, the current scenario is that freshers are attracted to company name. There starts the big lie. They are trained in one tech and put in some legacy maintainence project. I should know, as I am working for 2 years. This company boasts of innovation but a mere change of tech request is immediately rejected.[B] I believe we do need IT union in India.[/B]

  • Noname

    I totally agree with Harshad.. not only with this article of his.. but another ont too.. ‘IT Survivors – Staying Alive In A Software Job’. No job is clerical or experimental, but the Peron is….!!

  • Noname

    This article is just a simple truth. I would like to stress on one more point to the article and that is Job security. Almost all companies have zero percent job security, except for some well established organizations. Infact all companies should include one more point apart from ‘Customer Satisfaction’ in their mission and that should be ‘Employee Satisfaction’. I have seen very few compainies, having this in their website as one of their highlights. I bet rest all are exploiting Indians, just taking advantage of our economy.

  • Noname

    I am not sure if anyone has experienced this but I would still write this because I feel it is related.

    My job involves frequent travel for short or long durations. Though such a jet-set lifestyle might seem attractive, there are some effects in the long term –

    Eating habits suffer.

    Sleeping habits are lost.

    Financially too, you might start spending more than what you would like to (especially if you are abroad).

    apart from the obvious loss of family life and all that has been mentioned in this article.

    But no one forced you to do it… You are here by CHOICE.

    People who crib would find a reason to crib anywhere.

    My only advise to young IT professionals is that like all things in life, this field too has good and bad sides. It is up to you to make the best of it. To expect a company to take care of you is asking for a little too much in today’s world. Everyone in the company (sales persons, managers) is under their own pressures. It is because they convince customers that your company gets work and you get your salary.

    But Life is not just career itself. If the youngsters joining IT today understand it and implement it (you might not be allowed to, but keep the fight alive), by the time they take charge of companies, they will treat people much better than they are getting treated today. The culture will shift slowly.

    Keep feeding your brain with knowledge (can you name the trees you see on the road?).

    Follow your hobbies and don’t skip on vacations.

    Love your family and friends.

    Above all, everyone, take care of your health….sometimes it is irreversible (anybody who has had a tooth removed will agree with me)….Believe me, the money you earned will not bring it back.

  • Noname

    Anybody working in IT, especially in India, can NOT refuse the sad state of ‘an IT employee’ as explained by Harshad. Infact i have been in such environment myself, i always used to think, its not the fault of a single IT Company, but its a failure of bodies like NASSCOM / CII etc., The image of an Indian IT Employee is made to be like a SLAVE by these IT companies though designated as PROGRAM MANGERS etc., Its come to such a state that even when an indian IT employee travels abroad, the client expects the employee to work on a weekend, even without an intimation. Mind you, an european project colleague at the same time would be enjoying his weekend with his family. As mentioned by Harshad, the problem needs to be tackled more at an industry level rather an individual company..but then..somebody has to start somewhere and going by the current trend i am sure no Indian IT company would like to stop involuntarily the current exploitation of an IT employee that they are doing.

    You go to a lift lobby of any huge building where an IT company is located at 12 in the midnight, you would find a lift boy there. You know why ? he is asked to stay late as the IT company located in that building is having employees working overnight and they need a boy to address any issues that they might face. So, the slogging an IT employee does effect just not his immediate family..but also the society at large…..and their lifestyles..cause more frustration across the strate of society..which might even cause increase in crime..in general….

    If these so called IT Icons in the indian IT industry has any conscience for social responsibility which they boast of, then they should do something about this.

  • Noname

    Today Only few people in the big software outsourcing companies really do software while all the other have got adpated/trained to certain routine rather than developing.I hope Some ingenious inventions should come in future.

  • Noname

    I started my career in Manufacturing Industry but few years back switched my field. Now I am a s/w engineer myself…and I dont worry about where will the Indian IT industry be say 5 or 10 years down the line.
    As long as IT is booming, I am here.
    If companies start layoff, I dont mind switching lanes to something else thats booming at that point of time. Maybe manufacturing again. As long as I have the skills to adjust in any career, who cares.

  • Noname

    what said in article is absolutely correct…

  • Noname

    U guessed it right, I think that the whole concept of IT being a boon is just a piece of myth purported by mass recruiters and associations with vested interests. Unfortunately people here tend to accept anything as long as it shows that they are intellectually superior and are at an advantage over the others. The party is going to last for another 10 years at the most and then it’s just going to move on to Burma, Nepal, Phillipines or wherever it will be even more cheaper to source english speaking labour with a minimum of requisite skills. Of course IT companies will make a big killing in the meantime and reap millions without essentially contributing anything to society. They are of course not to blame because corporates are not meant for charity in the first place. They are meant for doing business. However we are going to see upheavels in a society which has been fooled into thinking that IT is India’s future. IT is definitely going to have an impact but I am not sure if this is going to be good in the long run…In the meantime we can already notice it’s drawbacks-consider the case of Bangalore which has been ruined as a city thanks to IT. Lastly I wish to say that I am not against technology or IT or for that matter IT companies but I am seriously concerned with the resulting social, economical and physiological effects that are a direct result of their policies.

  • Noname

    S/W Engineers who passed through fierce competetion to get to engineering level are treated as Labours( low level workers). They have no job security.
    It’s them who run the company but the managers take all the credits. It’s the managers who get all the recognition for the work done by the engineer just because he/she has higher visibility in the system. The s/w engg. just can’t do anything but to sit back and see the drama.