Friday, January 19, 2007

IT : Sona Badhano Nordoma


This is an article in leading Bengali news paper Anandabazar patrika regarding IT industry in kolkata.

Its says : IT industry is not for good students. May be, the average salary and abroad scope is better, but not good enough to consume the talent pool of Bengal. Its not like a rocket science or hify technology, just a white colour consulting job. Body shopping is nothing but playing with a person, selling him to customers. IT as a whole brought some equality in educated society.

My Comments: I don't agree with all points, rather disagree major points. May be general people do not have enough idea about our industry and nature of job. Its not that easy like a call center job, neither monotonous like govt jobs(like officers or teachers). Regarding value addition, I must say IT consultants are the ambassador of today's India to the World, contributing hugely in economic growth, creating more job and is playing an important role for the betterment of the society.

I have a discussion with Ananda Niyogi and here is our common understanding :

Before writing this idealistic stuff, the writer should have known the reality. We agree that some of the operating jobs in service industry is so simple that it can be done by a 12 pass student, but there are some developments, which probably can no one do, not even the IITians in general.

Regarding the talent flow coming to IT from different streams, whether it is science or engineering - in our 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. Average engineer finally lands a job, mainly in IT irrespective of departments.

We agree that IT is more of a service industry now and even companies like IBM, SAP, Accenture are trying to do service works to different clients along with the Indian giants TCS, Wipro, Infy. now let me take you back 10 years. Average JU Engineers used to try for a job in IPCL / BPCL and govt sector or like L&T or something like that in private sector, with hardcore industry ; whereas, a simple graduate, 10 yrs ago - what does he do? Sit in rock for gossips and try for miscellaneous job...like salesman, medical representative / govt clerk (if he gets lucky). Now, JU engineer also in IBM...BA pass also in IBM (if not at least in IBM Daksh). So this is what people call - value for merit.

IPCL / BPCL / L&T / TATA / ITC - whatever, by doing a traditional job - where average JU engineers actually adding a lot of value to society? Where they doing normal repetitive jobs, how much scope did he have to think independently? After few years they became manager, same as in IT. We became manager and handle our teams. So where is the difference? Is it a brain drain!! We don’t think so, as in IT there is at least some innovating brain storming work.

So, if now a simple graduate works for call centre, what is our problem? Society is improving as there are more jobs, people are getting richer, the average expenditure has gone up and industry is growing with the market. Eventually our economy is going up. India had 3.5% GDP growth rate in 1990, whereas today it has 10% GDP growth rate. With the growing economy more jobs will be created. It’s a cycle. So it is definitely a value addition to society.

Now, let’s discuss personal growth. Barring 5% (`appx) brilliant talent pool, the existing resources have many more things to achieve, which we can not do in hardcore jobs or in govt sectors. At the age of 28 you are sitting in a foreign location where people respect you for your skill & knowledge, and you are giving presentation, selling ideas, negotiating and so on. We are quite mature as because we had that exposure at a young age. We may not be doing rocket science - but we r not sitting in a IPCL Plant control room and monitoring the control screen as well, however there are scopes for doing more complex works in different technologies of computer science.

At this age, one is leading 10/20/30 people (all of them are consultants) - which other industry can give me that scope. May be the social status is not like teachers or doctors, but satisfaction level is very high if you are good performer, so talent matters. It’s not like all small boxes looking like same :-)

We may not have people touching my feet at like doctors, but we feel proud when we stand in front of 50 people from 10 countries and deliver a presentation. When they listen to us, when we connect with them, when we can convince them - that gives us a kick. we are ambassador of today's India.
Regarding the body shopping, if Beckham,Ronaldo can be hired and rented to some clubs from the original one, what is the problem with us? If we are selling our knowledge and gaining more knowledge by a contract of body shopping, then I must say that it’s good learning opportunity for young IT consultants as well as a golden opportunity to make money.

The writer must have to realize that computer is not a mechanical device with gives output just by pressing some keys; neither is it a robot that instructs us. For a normal engineer, definitely it is a dream job as the salary is high, onsite opportunity is better, one can use his innovative skills, the value for talent and knowledge is there, the challenge is there, the growth is immense what more do we expect from an Industry? The final proof is that in kolkata lot more people have jobs and that is the bottom-line.
Kuntal(Dey) , Amritava(Bubai), Aritra(Santu) thanks for your comment. Appreciate your thoughts.
What do you think, please put a comment.

Monday, January 1, 2007

10 External events in 2006 which made me thinking

External events mean incidents out of my personal life (like Getting married, Visiting Acropolis, Highway accident, Stuck in a water bogged road in sector V, watching phantom in Samshan). The following 10 events are those, which either I liked or disliked, but I couldn't stop thinking in 2006.

1. Indian Movies in 2006:

This is an excellent year of Indian movies. Starting from Rang de Basanti to Kabul Express it’s a golden journey of Indian films. The quality-theme-story-representation-cinematography-music-acting were really praiseworthy. Probably the film industry has reinvigorated by the moral and public boost. Let’s take top 5 one by one which I liked most. I like Kris (first Superman of Indian film) and Omkara, especially their songs-music.

Lage Raho MunnaBhai – One exquisite representation of Gandhigiri (the concept of Gandhi). How effective the concept in today’s world? For the answer one must has to see this film. Currently, the draft is being done in UN and probably no film can be better than this for Oscar in today’s world.
Its not only me, who has been impacted by this movie; but also a huge Indian population has voted Munnabhai as their hero. Today NDTV declared Munnabhai (Sanjay Dutt) as the Indian of the year 2006 for his acting in this movie. Sanjay also claimed that this movie has changed his life. Thus one can estimate how much impact this movie has made to the World.

Rang de Basanti – India’s nomination for Oscar. The best movie I have ever seen in terms of the enthusiasm and idolism. The concept of taking ownership for changing the society has shown beautifully. I like the music and acting, especially Amir.

Corporate – Concept wise the best movie for Corporate World. Being a corporate I liked it very much, specially acting of Bipasa and obviously the story.

Fanna – The delicate touch of anti terrorism, slow but bold. Straight message to the audience and people of Kashmir, but turned out bit controversial after release.

Gangstar – Mumbai under world story, but nice representation.

These movies made me thinking because of their uniqueness. Undoubtedly the Indian society is rejuvenated by some of the concepts like Corporate and Rang de. The Pepsi-Cola scandal and reservation protest issue in 2006 have happened after Corporate and Rang de’s release. The rapidly changing and diversity of Indian society is truly captured in some of the movies like Fir herapheri, 36 Chaina Town, GoalMall, Khosla se Khosla. Some more movies I could not see are Kavi Albida Na Kahena, Don, Dhum2, Umraojan, Guru, O lamhe, Sikhar, Apna Swapna Money Money, Jane Man, Bibaha etc (sorry if I forgot any good one).

2006 was a Golden year for MMORPG software developments. The concept of Massively Multiuser Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG) has influenced me a lot in this year. I don’t like playing computer games, but what I found amazing is the concept of virtual world. Lets be more precise, in a innovation training I got this concept through one game, Second life.
Ø Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents.

Ø It gives me an idea that the GOD of this world is nothing but another person or a character of a game, who created the Universe in the Time space, and loaded a code in the DNA of living organism so that the game is self evolving and always changeable. The God is also not real, somebody is also playing with him not in Time space, not in broadband world, may be in some other medium. Basically it gives me a concept of Nth life and Second life is N+1th life.

This concept made me thinking like nothing. I was in that state for more than 2 months and every thinking and actions were driven by it. The World seems virtual to me.

3. Terrorism:
Series of terrorist attacks have been taken place in this year. I am listing down some of them so far I can remember -
· Mumbai(India) train blast by Pakistan terrorist group – 209 died in 7 continuous blasts, which hampered the Indo-Pak relationship
· Iraq – continuous ethnic violence is probably the worst of this year. Saddam executed, thousands of common people died every month and the situation is going worse day by day.
· Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Palestine is shameful. Being a responsible nation they act as terrorist and US interference in Iraq is also of the same category.
· Terror of Tamil Guerrillas in Lanka is again started this year after 2 years of cease fire.
· Kashmir – a land of terror has witnessed many militant attacks.
· Al-Qaeda’s threat to US and air-strike planning in UK has been handled extremely well by the British Intelligence Burro.
· Comment of pope to Muslim community, Danish Cartoons of Prophet Mohammad and world wide protests of Muslims is also extreme examples of religious conflicts

Terrorism has taken a different shape in 2006. It had created its global identity in 9/11/2001, but during these years it has grown drastically due to some political mistakes of countries like US-UK-Israel-Pakistan. The sporadic conflicts in Kashmir, brutal genocide in Lebanon-Afghanistan-Iraq-Palestine, ethnic violence in Iraq between Sea and Sunnis and finally the execution of Saddam, religious fanaticism of Muslims-Pope have made this year a dark year in our civilization. That made me thinking more deeply about the mentality of militants and created a quest for roots of terrorism.

4. Polarization of Global Political Scenario in 2006:
The ever-changing political situation of the World, the hanker for power of US, the vested interested for oil, North Korea’s empowerment by Nukes and threats from countries like Iran have made the scenario worse. Bipolar power, US Ally and Muslim World has made me thinking because the world is more unsafe now and we can smell the beginning of third world war if things keep moving in same way. Nuclear power in unsafe hands (be it Iran-Pak or Israel) can turn off the global civilization anytime.

5. Global Warming:

This year, The Earth's temperature has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, warming that has begun to affect plants and animals, researchers report in 26Sep issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.36 degree Fahrenheit (0.2 Celsius) per decade for the last 30 years, according to the research team led by James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

In fact we all can feel the weather of Earth is changing drastically, the concept of wet Christmas in Greece is now in memories, and the average temperature of Kolkata (India) has gone up. There is no specific rainy season. This is because of Global pollution, deforestation and taking nature in human hand, shaping it with our wish. I am more concern because of ``If further global warming reaches 2 or 3 degrees Celsius, we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know. The last time it was that warm was in the middle Pliocene, about three million years ago, when sea level was estimated to have been about 25 meters (80 feet) higher than today,'' Hansen said.

6. Kiran Desai’s Booker and Dr. Muhammad Yunus Nobel

Some individual achievements have inspired me a lot in 2006.
Kiran Desai’s novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize
I have not gone through the book “The Inheritance of Loss”, but the tenacity and perseverance the writer has shown while writing the classic is really encouraging. She took long 7 years to come up with an excellent book. I like this approach of writing a good book, rather writing 100 ordinary books.

In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." What I like is the vision and long term contribution of him. That’s why it made me thinking.

7. Zidane’s Headbutt

It was World Cup final between France and Italy. My favorite Zidane was excellent throughout the tournament. He was just looking for a breakthrough and trying hard, but was not able to crack Italian defense. Finally he broke down by one irritating comment of Materazzi (Italian defender) and openly headed him down off the ball, in field. He have been shown red card in his last International match and France lost. This incident is really unfortunate and made me thinking because this gives an idea that no one is perfect in this World, not even the creator, the Almighty. However Zidane won the best footballer award in World Cup.

8. Return of Sourav Ganguly in Indian Cricket Team

This is a dream for me. Being a die-heart fan of Sourav dada, I burst into tears when he called back in Indian Team. I truly admire our Maharaja. He is an emblem of will power, a pioneer of Indian Cricket, a god gifted personality. When the biggest Sourav’s fan stopped thinking about his return and future, he kept faith on himself, kept on doing his job and proved himself. It’s a strenuous and long battle which he has own and I respect him for this. He made unbeaten half century in his return and contributed in India’s historic test winning in South Africa.
I enjoyed one 434 run chaise by SA against Aus in one day International match in march 2006.
Leander Paes and Jaspal Rana each won couple of Gold medals in Doha Asian games 2006. Its may be inspiration to sporting individuals. Paes being the most successful player of India in terms of medal haunting, Rana again proved rowing is best sport of India in terms of global success. But I am sorry to say we are lagging behind in collective team games and national sport procedure is degrading day by day. Cricket and Hokey is prime example. This is a dark year for Indian hokey, as they failed poorly in World Cup as well as in Asian games (first time in the history they failed to qualify for semis).

9. Indian Politics in 2006:

Indian Political leaders – a shame on democracy? – But definitely an imprint for Global Peace. Indian Politics either I like or hate; I can’t ignore it being an Indian. 2006 Indian political scenario made me thinking because of my concern on future India. The list of events so far I can remember is jotting down.

Immature death of Promod Mahajon and Anil Biswas – two unfortunate incidents
Mamata’s 25 day hunger-strike for industrialization in Singur and Poor handling of CPM – a worst possible show of West Bengal’s image
CPM’s stand in Indian politics is unfortunate. Being in the centre they oppose issues, but can not take any responsibilities by joining the ministry.
Life time imprisonment of central minister Sibu Soren in the charge of killing his political opposition
Manu Sharma – the son of state minister – the killer of Jesika Lal, finally proved guilty and going to face life time imprisonment.
Lalu escaped from chara ghotala again – but the most positive thing amidst the corruption and hankering after power is, Lalu has proved his leadership after resulting in a massive profit in Indian Railways. Being a Central Minister of Rail, Laluji has unequivocally brought a new era in Railways by implementing some strategies. He is My Political Hero of this year along with Mr. Pranab Mukherjee.
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee – the foreign minister of India has represented India in UN and explicitly stated India’s stand. He handled the delicate issue with Chaina is much better way.
Corruption and Charges is increasing in Indian Democracy. Natawar charged for Oil corruption - Jaswant Sing’s baseless comment – different alligations and cases have taken faith from Democracy
Most importantly the sanction of 50% reservation is highly debating. Our political leader should understand the only way to bring justice and make equal right to the minority can never be done by reservations to higher educations and jobs. The true benefit that can be done by providing free education for them, supporting the poor and not the casts. If reservation can not turn India in 50 years, probably it can never result in positive way.
At the same time the feelings of the general students and majorities should be taken into consideration. The Muslim politics not only hurting Hindus, but also not helping the Muslims in India. All policies and strategies for Vote bank and to retain power. Probably democracy can not solve all the problems and these are the shortfalls of democracy.
But irrespective of all these dirty political games in India, all parties are united to global peace and solidarity. They keep same stand on Kashmir, Iraq, against US and Pak. That’s why India is responsible Global Power.

10. Nuke Deal and Boosting Indian Economy in 2006

India’s greatest political achievement of 2006 is the Nuclear Deal with US and obviously the rapidly growing GDP and Industry is helping Indian Economy. The sky rising indexes in share market and unbelievable growth of Indian firms are creating their global identities. It made me thinking because I am a part of it. I feel happy to be a part of Indian IT Industry and hope in next few years it will take a major Global Market.