Friday, November 14, 2008

IT and Autos

Bangalores auto drivers are not exactly not angels. But every now and then you find someone with a heart of gold. This happened a few days back as I got into a rickshaw. As the rickshaw pulled into a signal, he started off, "The software industry is going down no?"
I concurred and said, yes, possibly, not wanting to go into details.

He said, "If the software industry goes down, we will be affected."
Now that was saying something. And guess what, he is right. Each one of those who cribs about old Bangalore and new Bangalore misses the whole point that software has benefited Bangalore and Bangaloreans immensely. He continued. "Earlier, I used to get people so easily. Now, not too many people take autos. I hope it picks up soon."

Of course, thats partly because of many unscrupulous drivers, I told him. He agreed. He went onto sharing his story about he was from a nearby village, earning for himself and his family in Bangalore by driving a rickshaw. He has saved enough to purchase a site in Bangalore too. His kid goes to school here, he said and he sends earnings back to his village where they tend their farmland. He is grateful for the opportunities he has got in this city, unlike a few idiots who claim that the (ex) boom is bad for the city while they are happy with all the money that software gives them.

And that is the point of a boom like this, however it will go in the future. When you talk to people, talk to people like him who have benefitted from it, instead to talking to hypocrites. Otherwise with their small land holdings, they would have had barely anything to do in their villages. The countless drivers, restaurant workers, gardeners have benefited out of this boom miss the point. Not to mention software engineers from far off places, landlords and vehicle owners and many many others...

His final recommendation, "Companies should only reduce salaries. They should not layoff people..."

More power to people like you!