Friday, June 24, 2005

Jobs boom in India

The real estate boom in Bangalore is still on. Alongside, there's a boom of a different kind that has kept pace with the real estate boom. The jobs boom. Bangalore (along with Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, NCR) is in the centre of a jobs boom. Jobs are not there for everyone, but for the qualified engineers, Computer application grads. With the growth in IT services operations out of India, technology jobs are up for grabs. They have been so for a while, but the boom shows no signs of flagging.
Sample this:
Among the big 3 of Indian IT, an excerpt from Infosys annual report:
"FY2005 saw us build 2.9 million sq.ft in 6 locations, equipped with 10,400 seats. In the next 12 months, we will complete 3.2 million sq ftin7 locations with 16 600 seats. Hence in 24 months, we would have constructed 6.1 million sq ft with 27000 seats.The company added (net) 8801 employees during the last FY as compared to 8021 in the year before that."

Another of the big 3, Wipro grew from 29 odd thousand employees to 39 thousand odd (Todays Economic times puts that number at 45000) employees which is an addition of almost 10,000 employees.

Between the big 3 or 4, the addition seems to be about 10,000 a year each.Apart from this, there are many medium sized players whose combined appetitite is almost similar. With newer and newer companies (774 new companies set up shop in India in 2004; source, an older issue of Businessworld India) setting up shop in India the computer engineer (and anything similar) is highly sought after. India, produces a lot of engineers and now even the big companies are looking beyond the IITs, NITs, locally reknowned colleges (Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Pune, Bangalore etc have a fine crop of those) and at technically trained people from places like NIITs. Some, like Wipro have their own in house job linked Masters programme equivalent for graduates.

If, 30 years ago, graduates did not have a job to look up to and looked to line up in front of the employment exchange, today, if you can talk reasonably well, call center jobs are available. If talking is not your forte, you can handle simple processes (clerical work), BPO jobs are
available
. One can argue that it is a McJob, but I would rather have a McJob than be unemployed . BPOs usually have their own internal training programmes that can scale up almost anybody with a reasonable aptitude and attitude. For computer qualified professionalls ( and networking, hardware and related) its a gold rush. As a spillover effect, relatively unskilled work like catering at offices, cooks at home, drivers, gardeners, baby sitters are finding work like never before. Agencies offer temp services too for almost every position!

Newspapers (and others) hold job fairs where multiple firms put up stalls, candidates walk in, apply, appear for a test and interview and walk out of the fair with a job offer in hand(not everybody does). It is also routine for people to accept a job offer, resign and then scout the market for "better" (paying) jobs. Switching jobs is now almost an end in itself, though beyond a point it is counter productive on the resumes. Companies have tried every trick in the book (and some of them work very well) to keep their best employees. Shining campuses, flexible work hours, free transport, the works!

The old concept of joining a firm to retirement has been thrown out of the window. The average number of years spent in a firm is now more in single digits. How long will this boom last ? Watch this space.

Update June 27: Temping on the rise
Todays EconomicTimes, paper edition has a piece on how IBM will hire more than Infosys and TCS. (couldn't find the link, but heres a snip)

...the company will hier 14,000 more workers in India this year...(this) is 500 more than the 13500 announced recently by the countrys largest services provider TCS...Infosys this fiscal will add 12,600 to its payrolls...

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