Tuesday, November 21, 2006

IT industry in Kolkata, India

With sky rise building and blue glasses, glowing lights and nice cubicles in AC, client meeting and con calls, onshore and offshore support, the IT industry is undoubtedly the main haunting job for the young graduate engineers. The revolution in technology and the ever-growing demand of resources worldwide, IT industry in India is growing intrinsically, especially in Bengal. I can very well remember the days 6 or 7 years back, when small IT companies are slowing expending their wings in Calcutta, starting the outsourcing and support projects in sector V, Salt Lake. It has changed quite rapidly during last few years, and taking a shape of a stable industry, maturing and stabilizing with the warmth of globalization.

It’s very different from the normal core industries, the hardcore job and doing the repetitive work by managing stuffs. However the real life challenge and understanding the business, gaining industry knowledge is always there in core industry. Some of the Business Functional Consultants in IT industry has valuable domain experience in core industry. But still I think the nature of job and growth is quite different in IT industry as of now. The Growth is not position wise, rather to know the bigger world, to know how different industry works in various countries, automate them through IT and harvesting different knowledge in SAP, JAVA, Oracle, Microsoft Tech and thousands of different of new products and packages and languages. The growth in terms of designing a Interface for particular customer, programming in a modular and efficient way, and supporting them to meet ever changing customer need to automate their business. Obviously one can feel that he is living in a global village, by providing solution to customer to enhance their business through his consulting skills. So in IT one is directly connected to the rest of the world, contributing to the Global Information Technology revolution "To leverage information, knowledge and technology to enhance human endeavor."

Thus for an Engineer with good aptitude and a sense of computer programming is quite suitable candidate in today’s IT industry, good communication skills being an additional advantage. To be an onshore client facing consultant, one should have very basic knowledge of the technology and obviously be a good communication skill to make better relationship with the customer, to understand their needs and fulfill the demands accordingly to provide highest client satisfaction. One can leverage his skills with his growth in the industry and be a better communicator once the opportunities come. So, all together this is a good learning curve for a freshers as well as for the lateral entries.

Another better aspect is to know the world, crossing the boundaries, working together with people from different countries, in different languages and technologies. This obviously gives a better idea about the work culture, work environment of different society and form a broader mindset for the Consultants. IT has made the World a Global Village and design-support IT from remote location makes us feeling locally global.

Once I was going thorough an article on reverse colonization. In past the western invaders had made their colony across the world, especially in the third world countries, ruled for the centuries. It’s their Power and aggression led them to rule other part of the world including India. But with the innovation of IT Industry, now it’s a reverse colonization, Indians are moving across the Globe to implement and design the IT infrastructure of different industry across the Globe, including fortune 500 companies.
Slowly the centre of gravity of the Silicon Valley is moving from US to India and this is not only because of low cost, but also for the high efficiency of Indian IT professionals enriched with updated skill set. It is a slow revolution in our country, including China. Our knowledgebase, awareness and availability of resources can make potential growth in near future.

The improving points :

Product Industry: In big Indian firm, we usually do package oriented work and hardly few of them are working to develop new software products. In fact looking into the current market all the products are either US or Europe based, and Indian IT consultants are learning it, using it, and implementing it by configurations or customizations (writing some additional programs). So, even though we are working, the main profit share is going to the companies who have product copy write.

Long term vision: Most of the small and mediem IT firms and IT consyltants do not have long term vision for growth. Even though we plan for it, there is not much of execution and tracking for meeting our deadlines. Its now a responsibility of every IT consultants to plan for themselves as well as for their organization to excel Indian IT industry.

Current market share: May be we are earning good amount of money for "IT outsourcing to India", our country is much behind in terms of Global Market Share. This is not even 5% of todays IT World. This needs improvement, so that huge resource pool and skilled labour in India is properly utilized to earn more global market profit.

The Government policy: Some of our politicians have opposed the growth of IT industry in different way, be it calling Bandh, or being indifferent to the future growth. Even now current govt is encouraging the controversial 50% reservation in leading engineering and IT colleges. But politicians hardly have any time to think of policies regarding IT growth.


Debashree said...

Definitely a great piece of work, I enjoyed reading the articles.
But what do you think about the long term effect of IT boom in India? I mean with the young graduates opting mostly for IT jobs irrespective of their specialization/departments, will it not have a long term effect on the other fields which require bright minds to develop newer machines for our rising Industrial needs? What about the people like us opting to join foreign firms and settle in the States given the first opportunity. Don't you think India is grower poorer in specialized work force that way? And last but not the least we often tend to forget the farmers and their insufferable conditions who sooner or later are forced to choose death or change of occupation as their last resort.

Pijush Ranjan Ghosh said...

Thanks Debashree for your valuable comment and here goes some explanations.

Regarding the talent flow coming to IT from different streams, whether it is science or engineering - in my opinion, only about 5% are actually brilliant - and by brilliant i mean creative, not gaatu (studious) brilliant. It varies in percentage, may be more in IITs and less in social science, but we must have to admit that not everybody is genius and JEE rank never proves it. Brilliant 5% never comes in this industry - they used to go for masters in US, or do research in their streams.
IPCL / BPCL / L&T / TATA / ITC - whatever, by doing a traditional job - where average non Computer Sc engineers actually doing normal repetitive jobs, how much scope did he have to think independently to design something new? Our Engineers do not have the scope in India to help our farmers directly as I think it is purely a political issue. If govt is not helping them with latest tech, water supply and necessary ingredients probably no one can help them. In fact IT boom in India making our economy strong which in term helping India to fight with poverty.
Most importantly, IT and ITES industry is helping thousands of normal engg/plane graduates to get good jobs; has it not been done, I guess it could have resulted in civil war in India with vast educated unemployed youths.

Debashree said...

Do you really think only the brilliant go for Masters in US? Is it only their brilliant minds which lead them there..sorry i would have to disagree on this point.I know atleast 10 people from my class and college years who have opted for MS in US and i cannot brand all of them as brilliant.I guess it's become more of a trend now, than the urge to be a researcher or a scientist. And i feel some of the real brilliant people could never even think of higher studies and not in US ever due to their financial constraints. Getting into a job and the responsibility of the family has been a barrier in the life of many brilliant students.And the main thing i do not like about Indian education system and job market at this point is we actually choose our careers not based on our aptitude but the trends in our society and the future prospects of an easy job opportunity. Science students in particular first opt to go for Engineering or Medical entrance and then they think of other fields. Our IT boom has also aggravated this trend more than ever and the private engineering colleges have pushed them forward. I am not saying landing into an IT job with high salary is bad, but that our potentials are often overlooked due to this. I know of people who are actually doing Phds and are very good in their respective fields, yet they are often compared with their friends who have landed into some IT jobs soon enough and have now successfully placed themselves in their dream country..the US. Isn't it a hypocrisy that we actually start to love our country only when we are successfully been branded as NRI's?? Well...i will not call myself an exception ... ;)

Pijush Ranjan Ghosh said...

Yes, nice argument Debashree. But I have never told all who goes to US for higher studies are exceptional. Students opts higher studies because of two reasons, either they want to do research or they don’t have good job (basically average students). And doing MS is not research; it’s just like added qualification.
Coming back to your point about most of the talented students can not do research because of money constraints, but it was before IT also. We come from third world developing countries and do not have economic stability. I agree the IT boom aggravated this trend more. But the words of Swami Vivekananda “Khali pete Dhormo (Biddye) hoy na” is applicable here .
But still top students have the options for stipends and scholarships, and if you see the trends of few toppers of JU IIT RECs, they keep doing docs and post docs. One knows his own potentials, and not every one can do innovative research, rather sometime performs few Google Search.
I guess we are deviating from the main topics; IT boom is not at all stopping innovation. In last century there was no IT in India, but how many scientists did some innovation in India, how many of them got Nobel, whether they contributed to Indian society? Did they able to solve the basic problems of India? At least IT created one global identity for India, able to give better salaries, boosting our economy. May be its only 5% of our today’s economy and only affects 3% of Indian populations. But in few years of time it has explored potentials of millions of Indian students and still growing.

Debashree said...

My opinion on people opting for MS or Phd was in reference to the point mentioned in your previous comment "Brilliant 5% never comes in this industry - they used to go for masters in US, or do research in their streams." wherein I thought i had seen more of non brilliant engineers opting for masters in US than the real brilliant ones.
Of course IT boom is very good for our country and i do agree with it, the only issue that might arise is quite long term. The number of students taking up a real mechanical engineering or electrical engineering post after completion of their studies have reduced quite a bit. And i dare say things are not irreversible in matter of change of jobs from IT to mechanical or electrical, whereas people from all fields do get into IT. The other point which might be pointed is our once healthy industries have also died out in many places and I am quite familiar with once such place which is Durgapur. In the last few years we have seen IT boom coming to West Bengal while revival of sick industries has not been noticiable enough.Hence i would say it's only normal that students are most likely to opt for engineering as their first preference for career which will soon provide a good job in IT with high salary. And it is true that IT jobs have also made opportunities for more people of our generation to get into other countries especially US many of whom opt for citizenships too. Hence it is a fact that we are actully losing out on some of our best minds and young work force due to the IT boom. Of course this IT growth is not bad at all, yet it is a thing we should be cautious of and be aware of it's impact in the long term.

Pijush Ranjan Ghosh said...

I fully agree with your comments on engineers opting for masters in US.
Regarding Industry, it’s always dependent on Market, Demand and Profits. More the profit, the industry will grow more, the salaries will be better. The bad part of it is, once the demand from the market will go down, Industrialists keep closing their doors. And it may very well happen in IT as well. No one knows the future.
And because of this uncertainty issue, IT consultants keep earning as much as possible. They have the options and scope for the time being. Who knows future!! Since most of the IT work in India is service oriented, it can be shifted anytime and for sure govt will not help us to revive, as you have stated for core industries. Then the people from IT will shift to core – as industry always follows the demand and supply curve.
IT boom may have some long term effect, like every other move. Let’s say English medium teaching; it helped us to be competitive in Global market, but we, two Bengalis are talking in English – bad for our culture, isn’t it? It also has a long term effect and already affecting our heritage and culture.

Debashree said...

Hmm samna samni alochona hole nischoy eii dui bangali banglatei eii alochona korto, tai noy ki?
But unfortunately we don't have many of bengali sites and are not that used to type in bengali through this medium.
Hey whatever..but it was real fun holding this discussion with u. Kind of a tiny little debate, what say? Debate is quite fun sometimes..and we can actually bring out enough points for both sides.We can do it again sometimes
[hoping u didn't take anything personally... lol ;)]

Pijush Ranjan Ghosh said...

It was really nice, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Most importantly I got to know other viewpoints. Debating is good as it explores many pros and cons of a subject and also reflects the attitudes. If anyone is not criticizing and accepting everything, means he is as good as dead. At the same time the attitude of accepting the valid anti logic is also important … Thanks for a nice discussion.. Hope we can find out some more topics soon :-)

Anonymous said...

People join IT for going US boss... "no exception to u Pijush". Lets see how long one has been in his/her carrier in kolkata and how long abroad. and if in kolkata how many junior carrier u have screwed?

Hunger drives... true... but the system where incompetents gets favored is bound to fail.

Pijush said...

Huh.. Finally some serious criticism. Thanks for your comment.

But be bold boss. Come out of the Anonymous cell; otherwise you will never be able grow up in any sphere of your life.

So, you are generalizing the fact that all doctors come to the medical profession for money and school teachers are inclined to private tuitions for extra bucks. May be this is true for our socio economic situation, but that’s not preventing anyone to do better job.

Not sure whether was it your agenda, at least it was not mine initially. But yes I spent considerable time in Abroad, which is due to various reasons. Its not only for hunger drive, you got to know me better. I am sure you don’t know me well as I came to US last year only, discarded my first two offers to US and went to Europe.

You need to seriously investigate on my junior feedback dude. Lets get the fact before having those perceptions. But what’s wrong to call “a Spade a Spade”. That’s the leadership skill, which we all have to certain extent, but some are exceptional. Think beyond the box, I am sure you are a bong, who is jealous of his seniors and colleagues.

So you think if a Phd guy go back to teach in Primary school will help the education model work? No, the right candidate has to be in right place and best guy has to be client facing for any IT org. Its more about your caliber and skills than opportunity.

But anyway thanks for your feedback again, which reflects your mindset too.

Chaitree said...

Pijush - Why dont u ignore these back bone less Creature - they are always maintain their mask - and thats their problem and these kinda Creature can not open up their carrier in front of the world because of that mask :( and Jealousy and back biting their habit now... lol ... Be a Man folks ;) or try to come up with ur skill ... not jealousy !!!

Anonymous said...

dude... pijush, it was nothing personal, nither it was for me being backboneless or incompetant ... ( i rather enjoy being anonymous and will continue to do so... and am confident of my competency anyway) regarding the socio economic and bla bla stuff...isn't it too large for you to generalize too (see how u reacted when you got generalized? - wonder how much generalied u r) it seemed u know soo much but mine was just a comment. And i dont need to ask your jouniors for how good a technical or managerial leader u are - it wasn't personal anyway.

is it due to good things that we should ignore the wrong side of it (true we should appreciate wats right though), my point was there is a lack of profesionalism, both in terms of the money paid and work acknowledgement and carrier growth (it was a against ur titled article - IT industry in kolkata). If u have not been in the other side of it, u r fortunate ignorant. I am noone to judge the competency of anyone, my point was putting people at wrong places is incorrect business intelligence.Then again the (dada's) business owners gets to deceide on it... no complaints ...its their business.. its their decision - industry here (and i guess throughout) is purely hierarchical and highly politically active.

In your words "... generalizing the fact that all doctors come to the medical profession for money ..." - there is nothing wrong with it... provided he gives the proper value of it, in terms of his/her skills. but please mind ... not everyone gets to become a doctor - and not a good doctor that easily even u are one. Hope they start a quota or reservation system here too... . My Advice, quit classifying or quit industry, i would.

I see you have highlighted you reply in bold, that is so special for me. thank you. Dear - come out of that cozy corner and at least try to appreciate the real problems.

Goodbye and Thanks for Allowing anonymous comments

Pijush said...

Thanks for the clarification. Yes if it was personal I had to reply on that fashion. But I can understand your point. You tried to point on the hierarchical structure of IT industry which sometime works in govt org model. More senior you are the better position (promotion) you will get. In fact it is everywhere in India, be it political arena or work culture, but still I think IT is better compared to other industries in this aspect. There are many examples where young people got exceptional growth in all forms. But I can understand the agony of being on the other side (as I worked in offshore quite sometime) where you get limited opportunity even after you are quite competent.

But every company has their own structure which helps to evaluate and promote resources. Now those structures are more stringent and rigid. One can not bypass those to become a robust figure overnight unless you have exceptional presence thorough out the organization. One thing for sure that you will grow and get the opportunity someday. So considering the facts its always good to be little patient and keep your focus clear. The other option is to climb the ladder without organizations as most Telegu people do, make H1 and plan your career in US. But bongs (including me) are too scare to try something beyond their comfort zone (in your terms Cozy Corner), but never leave any stone unturned to criticize others.

You can not compare IT industry 10 years back with the current situation, where there was huge money, growth and opportunity. Now the industry got matured and taking a steady shape. In future the opportunities will be less and will be a steady offshore job. We have to consider the fact that with time every shape changes and evolves to a different state which is most suited-fitted for contemporary business. We cant go beyond that, rather we have to find out a method which is best suited for our career. So when everyone starts the same thinking, things bound to get political. No matter how good people are conflicts are bound to happen as not everyone’s goal can’t be fulfilled.

The Comment Highlight is not for you buddy, I incorporated it in my blog last year, but the earlier comment was before that, so those are not in Green Box. My post was not to on IT resources or offshore model or career, but mostly on how we can improve the industry with some broad steps. But your comments are highly appreciated and concerns are very real. Thanks again, TC Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

If you are in need of high paying job just search jobs in India, since in India more companies are emerging with more job openings

Soumyajit said...

it is a nice presentation over the it industry in kolkata. thanks to u. soumyajit.