Wake up call for Software professionals in India

Analyze the following scenarios:

1. A friend's brother(say his name AB) sent me his CV for opening in IT few months back. AB had completed his MCA with 70% in year 2010. He had mentioned 5 programming languages in his CV including Java, C++ ; Oracle and MS SQL as well. I asked any one language or technology he was proficient, he told he had completed a course in ORACLE in some institute in Hyderabad. I spoke to him in 2012, so for around 2 years(after passing out in 2010) he had achieved this apart from his 3 years of study including 6 months of mandatory project work. I gave him couple of websites where he can find job as intern like let's intern . I needed a personal website, so I told him to develop a website for me and I'll pay for that and he could even have it in his CV , as his project. I received few more follow ups as mail or SMS from him for any opening in my company for his position. But yet to get an update on the website I asked for, its more than 6 months now. Last month I went to my native, his father came my home and requested to get him just any job with my reference in the IT companies.

2. B is working in a software product giant, a MNC with more than ten thousand employees in India. Three years back, his(B) company acquired few of their consultants as full time employees. One of the consultant turned full time employee became B's manager who had around 12 years of experience in IT in some 9 companies at that time. He could not reply a single mail with the excuse of  "new to the product" for 1 year; till now he could not gather courage to reply as the different modules are handled by the team members and they only take care of it. They were twelve members at that time, now they are three and he still continues to be the manager. His team didn't get good hike or bonus as he(the manager) was not getting anything. His team members who were competent enough quit the company or changed their team as they could not get any opportunity for their own career growth.

3. A super cool manager,named M, working for a large product based organization. M had joined the company as application engineer with a MS from some unknown university in US. He got promotions in almost every promotion cycle,i.e. around 1.5 to 2 years. In nine years his current designation is "Director". M was very close to his boss then manager and now VP,named G, they have the same mother tongue. They were so proud of their mother tongue that they couldn't help speaking even in some of the conference calls.

4. D, an Engineering graduate from NIT, joined a product company few months back. Their hierarchy in office : Staff > Senior > Lead > Principal > Manager. There is not much distinction between the experience or expertise level in the job requirement of Senior,lead and Principal. He negotiated hard to get the senior designation. Within few months they have openings for lead and principal, their company recruited resources from out side with similar experience but didn't give promotion to their own resources in the team who are well qualified as per the job description. D's team mates who are also Senior Engineer only took the interview for Lead and Principal positions. Now they have hired principal engineers, who are more experienced and competent than the current manager in the team.

5. XYZ was working in a large software company in a technical support role in a lower job band with less compensation package. XYZ has an engineering degree but could not secure a placement in campus, so joined in that profile thinking to switch to a better role in internal transfers. She did a course in some institute outside and with self study she learned a programming language. Then applied for jobs within company to move to a developer role. She was through and joined the new team. After 1 year in the new role, she had the most tasks in the team as she was new and highly enthusiastic to try hand in the new job role and technology. In the appraisal cycle she got the lowest rating as she is the junior most member in the team, and just doing what was expected from her, i.e. just meets the expectation. She had not arranged any birth day celebrations, she didn't go to project parties (as she is married and have a small kid), she had not taken any initiatives, she had not trained any new resources, rest of other team mates had accomplished most of these extra curricular activities. So her name was not familiar with the 2nd and 3rd line managers, so her manager could not fight for a better rating. But she had got appreciation mail from the client for resolving a very critical production issue working till late in the night. But that was just her project work so no extra points. She got a laptop only after working for close to a year in the team. Her other team mates had laptops and they hardly come to office unless there was some celebrations or meeting where face to face attendance was mandatory. As she had still the lower job band(as per company policy they could not change the job band or salary for internal transfer), her salary was peanuts compared to her team mates. After lots of negotiations,begging and fighting with her managers she got highest hike in the team. But as her salary was very less her net hike in salary was less than the net hike her team mates got with lower hike percentage. So this year she had been given few more extra initiatives in addition to her project work. If she accomplishes all with flying colors, she might get promotion to next job band and salary correction next year. Now she is thinking whether to stick to the company or change with showing experience in the new technology she has worked. However,as she has total five years experience and just little over 1 year in the new technology (even though she is well versed and competent in that), she is sceptical about what she will mention in the CV.

6. R joined a pharmaceutical MNC(will refer MNC hence forth),they were outsourcing their IT needs to an India based service provider(will refer SP hence forth), where R was working before. SP was billing very high for its resources deployed at the MNC. The rates were even higher for the leads,managers, onsite resources however majority of the work was done by offshore team. The experience and expertise level of the actual resources working were not matching with the profiles provided to the MNC. In last few years, there were few Indians joined the MNC at their headquarters at top management level. They first distributed the projects to multiple vendors instead of one, that also didn't work out, they want to cut their IT budget. Finally they decided to open their own development center in India. Hence they started hiring most of the good resources from SP(like R) for their India development center. Initially some of the top IT managers from their HQ stayed back in India to manage. Slowly MNC hired new managers locally and transitioned all the projects from SP and other vendors to their in house development center. All the resources are paid well but that was much less than the billing rate of SP(and other vendors) to the MNC. Now the current India development center manages the IT needs of the MNC at much lower cost with higher employee satisfaction.

7. Few months back P was attending the all hands meet of her company, i.e. an open meeting with top management with employees. At the end, they had a Q&A session. P asked a question, which summarizes as follows: "What is the criteria for getting work from home option for the employees. Is there any well defined policy? More often the decision is based the managers discretion and genuine people with right reason don't get it however people with close proximity with their manager enjoy the benefits more frequently." There was no specific answer and they meant manager had to take the call and give the option of working from home. In the background, in her team, a group of team members and the manager having common mother tongue were actually using the benefits. After that she went through public comment, taunt and mental harassment by them in office. She complained to the 2nd line manager who promised to talk to the team. But nothing happened for weeks and they still continued their harassment in different ways. She talked to the HR as well who also told to look in to the matter. After few weeks and following ups the same HR suggested to change the team instead of following up on the issue and she did that actually.

8. RT, after few years of experience in IT, did his MBA from a top B-school and joined in the business development/ consulting team of a top IT company in Bangalore. His dream was to work in the sales team of their company and pursued his goal for few months with his upper management. After a year finally,RT got a chance to present few slides in a prospective client presentation. He spent few sleepless nights to give his best, as it was an extra initiative in addition to his normal project assignments.He gave his best shot in the meeting. After 3 hours of presentation , the Mexican IT manager of the client told let's go over the billing portion(in the presentation) again. Ultimately a part of the project was awarded to them based on the discount and other incentives they could offer on the billing. He spent few more weeks when the project started till the technical team took over. He transitioned his responsibility to an expert senior project manager, who had a very good reputation of handling the tough clients. The IT manager awarded more projects to their company(there were multiple vendors) in next quarters. It seems the IT manager was getting a cut of the quarterly budget he was approving for them in billing. Now RT has joined a product start up as program manager.

9. PR has a IT consulting(say SC) farm. They have top MNCs as clients who hire their contract staff in their(SC) payroll. He has a two room rented office and just eight employees, some of them also work at their client place. They have a very simple business model, one contractor salary for every three contractor hired, is shared with the HR,hiring manager and some unknown top management in the MNC. PR was working till few months ago as HR Manager in another IT service provider, his wife is the MD of the company(SC). Except them(husband & wife), rest all are also billed to the client as support staff. They are earning quite a good amount after all the operational expenditures. He also gets a month's salary from candidates who don't have genuine experience and get recruited in their payroll for some MNC.

10. TK was working as .Net developer for last 5 years. He got his H1 visa last year, but he was not getting any onsite opportunity for months. There was an onsite requirement in another project but for a Java resource. He made all the arrangements and went to the client location as Java architect. Few months back that project got over and he was asked to return back to offshore. He pleaded his onsite manager to retain him there as he has taken a huge home loan. Now he is in testing team for another client in a different location in US. 

 All the above scenarios are just my dreams in my last few years of working in IT, If you find any of the characters mentioned above sounds familiar, make sure you pass this post to him or her. I won't claim any copy rights on my dreams. But every time I saw them, I just woke up and could not sleep for few nights, so I call them wake up calls ;)

You may have your own inference from them(read the respective points below for the above incidents), but the followings are mine and I strictly claim these are my own personal opinion:

1. The days are gone to get a job in IT industry with an Engineering or MCA degree and appearing some English/Aptitude test as fresher or even without a degree and attending some course in unknown institute with reference.

2. There was a time people with any kind of experience, only count the number of years, became manager. If you are not lucky till now, you need to try hard as those managers are not going to let you go up the ladder even If you are more competent than them.

3. To have a rewarding career you need more than the skills that you have or your your manager is asking to develop.

4. Everyone wants to be a manager, then who is going to work hands on?

5. If you are not lucky enough to enter at the right place at right time, you need to try really hard.

6. There is a serious threat to the service industry when it just boils down to cost effectiveness.

7. What you get from the top is just lip service, behind the door they are all together. 

8. You do what ever you want, ultimately what matters is budget and billing.

9. Don't get frustrated with the quality of contract staff you are getting in your team ,there are reasons beyond what you see. 

10. You can not buy a decent house unless you have a onsite trip, else you can keep working for the bank(to pay the loan) for rest of your career.

Still I am working in this industry and many of my friends who could not get through(and working in core sectors) envy my job because either they think they can not go abroad as they are not in IT or some girl's parent in a matrimonial site rejected their candidature for their inability to earn in dollars.

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