The HighTea Industry

A few weeks ago, when inflation seemed to spiral out of control and home loan interest rates threatened to chase your income way beyond retirement, the RBI announced that the rupee was beginning to grow stronger against foreign currencies. Students and tourists heading west (including me) rejoiced, they could save lakhs of rupees thanks to a strong Indian rupee. Last week, I met a few of my friends who were angry at the appreciation of the rupee, naturally I asked them to explain their anti-"India Shinning" sentiment. The BSE was surging ahead like a bull with its tail on fire, industry was doing great, salaries were on the rise, economy was "booming", and they had all recently found jobs in the high paying IT industry. I couldn't fathom reasons for their discontent. Slowly, my friends spilt the beans, they were asked to put in more hours of work every week. Increased work hours meant manic deadlines (added to the already tough deadlines) and lesser peace of mind and even lesser time with family. The best I could do was sympathize with them. Here's a story I heard from a Project Manager in Infy. He had recently hired this guy, lets call him ramu for the standard 3,00,000 package, for a new pilot project. The project did not really take off and an unhappy ramu (it must be mentioned here that he was no extra-ordinary employee, nor did he handle a lot of responsibility in the pilot project) sent his resume to the HR at CTS. He told them that he had handled a "major" part of the pilot project at Infy and that it had crashed due to lack of finances. CTS wanted to set up a rival project and poach Infy's clients and who better to kick start their own pilot than ramu himself. They were more than happy to double his salary and entrusted him with the responsibility of kick starting the project. Ramu had only been a part of the team that started the project at Infy and struggled to figure out an action plan, get a team together and move forward with the project. Within a year, he was frustrated with his job and he wanted out. This time, he sent his resume back to the HR at Infy, told them of his "role" and "responsibilities" at CTS and was more than willing to settle back into his old seat, but at 9,00,000 a year. What is more bizzare is Infy hired him immediately and met all his demands. This is the story of an average employee who started his career at 3,00,000 and jumped to 9,00,000 in 2 years. Who do we blame for such idiosyncrasy? If the IT industry weren't paying such hefty salaries, I'm sure they would have been able to manage a sustained 30-40% growth, without the rupee being such a variable in their balance sheets. Are we living in fool's paradise where the IT industry will keep growing endlessly accomodating 70,000 employees every year? Even if a half of them enjoy a ramu like experience, can the industry survive by tripling (thanks to mindless business poaching and squabbling) the salaries of 35,000 employees? Are the companies ready to wake up from deep slumber and grasp ground realities? Too many questions and too little answers available, anyone care to contribute?

Bordering on the Borde

There was modern Indian cricket and then there was an endorsement spree! The 'Men in Blue' flew into Trinidad & Tobago, waiting to beat the living day lights out of the minnows. Not only were the men shamed to a blue but their pride too was tamed like Willy's shew. A fat politician with big glasses and an ugly look on his face promised to take India out of the dumps and put Indian cricket back where it belongs. It hadn't been months since the world cup ended and it began, the search for a firang who will set all desi problems right. The firangs came, ready to be interviewed to take on the challenge of changing the fortunes of a floundering team that believes largely in product endorsements rather than performance. The 'One' appointed by the BCCI shunned his post and shamed the richest board in the world. The BCCI, now lost for options, looked to 'The Man' for the job, Chandu Borde! 72 and still going strong with not a single fit muscle in his body, he took on the job of coaching the Indian team with glee and elan. Will grand dad turn the Indian endorsement trend around and help the team learn cricket?? Only England will tell...