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.


Kuntal said...

I disagree with the newspaper. I hardly suppose the author of the article is even qualified enoug to understand what IT as a whole is. And in the same newspaper, I remember reading a news stating that Mercedez Benz had opened a showroom in Kolkata on one fine day. The reporter had gone ahead to say that now the Kolkata buyer is rich enough with the option to buy an E-class Merc and upgrade that to C and/or S class Merc. The reporter wasn't even qualified to realize that going from E class to C class of a Merc is a Downgrade and not an Upgrade. How do I even trust a newspaper whose reporters don't normally have an idea what they are talking about? I wonder how would they feel if someone compared Pornographic Literature with Rabindranath Tagore's writings - IT is broad enough to cover a range as wide as something similar to this. IT DOES cover rocket-science also - had there been no Computer Science and IT, I don't believe a rocket would go up in to space today, literally. This is the simplest proof that IT also covers rocket science (but of course isn't restricted to that). The author can, thus, be proved literally wrong.

Bubai said...

I also disagree with the thought of Anandabazar Patrika...Actually they used to think themselves as Bengali's "Cultural" mentor..that's why they used to publish such type of articles,nothing but the another example of Bengali 'CRABS'! I don't think we need to consider it as view of total West Bengal..We are getting what we deserve with our "CAN DO" attitude..That's why Bengal is changing...and this is the Value Addition to the whole society by us...the generation next

Aritra said...

The article seems to have been written by a person without any real vision of the present neither of the future......its really sad that newspapers are showing us what is not true..its just another comment from a dogmatic "Bengali" suffering from superiority complex who is not ready to accept changes and adapt them...the statement that "IT is not for good students and not sufficient for Bengal's talent pool" is really ridiculous..let me remind this person that we as bengalis are no doubt good but it doesnt in anyway imply that modern technology is too miniscule to be neglected to qoute an easy example the state education board after years of living in the dark has finally been enlihtened to update its pre-historic syallabus...and thanks that it was done else really talented guys were left out in the All India Entrances just because of the false pride tag of "Bengali Culture is the best"....come on its time tht we realize the truth and acknowledge the truth...IT is obiviously not just Consultancy...its a big misnomer and specially so because the way in Bengal people percieve Sector V Salt Lake to be....4 its just not abt call centres aur consultancy but there is R&d and production units coming up all over India....so better have a look around guys!!!!

sam said...

Sumit Chakravarty the reporter is definitely oblivious to teh true state of affairs.... And has chosen to study only a handful of companies!!
Body shopping - is a concept which somehow does not fit into the software industry!! Not really!! And whatever definitions that he has been using there, it is applicable to all other spheres of work too!! After all the "Client-Server" model is in place at each and every economic sphere of activity.. So should the "marjadaman" person stop working!!
And anywyz, I've always considered ABP as a non sense paper!!
It's more of crap than anything else!!

Pijush said...

Sam.. Thanks for visiting my Blog. I agree with you regarding the author and ABP :-)