Friday, November 16, 2007

IT doesnt benefit its own people

The latest in a series of accusations that keep getting levelled against the Indian IT industry. (via, where the points below are listed...) Unfortunately, this comes from the top boss of a company I admire, L&T, but what has to be dissed has to be dissed.

Does L&T do all its projects in India? Clearly not. Is Infosys the only Indian IT company? Clearly not. TCS, Wipro are doing good work in India. So why pick on Infosys? That way, all EOUs export hundred percent of their output. Is that wrong?

Talent drain is a problem, or is it the people typically go to the place which offers them a better salary? Whether that is abroad or within India, unless it is a socialist economy (god forbid) where a bureaucrat in his limited wisdom allocates people to different industry, this sort of disparity will remain.

India gets only 17% of its GDP from manufacturing. Why? How easy is it to set up a factory in India? Hire people? Fire people? All this is easy in IT. Nobody knows till when a job will last. The IT industry flourished because the government was out of it. If the government got out of manufacturing, manufacturing will surge. But they wont, not with the leftists tail wagging the dog.

Why do IT companies sign up civil engineers? How do they do it? At gun point? No. Then the civil engineers sign up for slaughter? No. Clearly it is an opportunity they have, which they believe is better than what the manufacturing companies give them. And to your point, L&T has some very strict guidelines for engineering applicants - as a (non) participant in their recruiting process many years ago, I myself know that.

Why do they (IT companies) pay better? They make more money, simple. Their economic model (based on labour arbitrage for all I care) allows them to. Also, why is it a crime to pay better salaries to people? IT companies changed this perception in India - till which point employees did not get half decent salaries. If you like your engineers so much, L&T, please pay them well so they will stay with you. Give them stock options. Create a good work environment. (Again, L&T is a good place to work, but many other manufacturing industries suck.)

"The least that the politicians can do is stop cutting ribbons in the outsourcing industry." No, they least they can do is cut some ribbons for the manufacturing industry as well. Lets not talk about limiting opportunities for others, let us talk about creating.

A word to churumuri and the good professor here,

Wise heads like Prof CNR Rao have bravely spoken out against the long-term damage that we could be causing to our society if all our best and brightest end up doing the same thing—writing code or answering phone calls because the money is good. What happens to linguistics, sociology, geology, history, philosophy, etc?

Please read this...

At the end of the day, I need money first, then job satisfaction. What makes anyone think that a job in an assembly line is satisfying? Job satisfaction comes, as per Maslow's theory, a little higher, once the basic needs have been met. A job is a basic need. First I need to make a living, then I will worry about changing the world.


Anonymous said...


I think the point Mr Naik was trying to make was different. For example, we need good civil engineers to build roads. But if most of our civil engineers are going to sit behind a pc terminal then the companies who employ them cannot complain that there are no/bad roads. The only civil engineers not sitting behind a pc terminal are those who are "unemployable" by the services sector. These guys then take the govt. jobs on offer and since they were unemployable for one section of industry, its hardly likely they'll be good enough for another but since the other has little option it employs them ...and then you get bad roads.

And Infy needs a PRO quickly. I think the way they announced their india strategy was something that could have been expressed better. I'm a huge fan of the company but what i heard was a bit distasteful.
Companies need to watch their words with care.

Anonymous said...

I think their problem is too much publicity...