Having spent more than a decade, in software industry, this question always comes to my mind. I was in search of answers? Don’t know what I am putting down is right or left — but let me;
Why youngsters lands in IT industry in India?
In the late 90s there was really an IT boom in India; The companies in the west started exploring the possibilities of computer technology and they realized that the skills set in their own land is costly when compared to that in India. Indian organizations (with very strong support from the govt.) fished that plentifulness big time to build their fortune. In order to work in IT all you need is logical thinking (which most of us have) and aptitude. Even if I have done Mechanical or Civil engineering, I will land in IT as there are a plenty if high paying jobs and less of people having those skills. It is a status symbol back home. ‘My son works in IT’ has become a feeling. Initially many said it is GOLF (Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden) game; over the period of time that is also proven otherwise. The strong affinity for IT is not seen these days with youngsters, though it is not fully died out. It is a universal behavior that everyone wants their children to excel in the same profession like the parents. I don’t think that this is true for IT folks.
Contribution from Society
I believe an Individual’s shape up happens through 3 major influences, ‘Inherited Genetically’, ‘Family and Brought up’ and lastly ‘Society’. Our echo system looks at school drop-out as bad guy image. India’s emphasis on engineering, medical schools, and studies makes it difficult for a teenager to pursue a business venture which is his/her passion; It takes extreme guts to go against the grain and societal pressures to pursue a business opportunity without a steady income;
If Bill Gates was born in India, he would not have become owner of Microsoft. On 8th grade he bunked his maths class to visit computer lab to learn BASIC programming and he ended up in writing his first game of tic-tac-toe in Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal. Even if this happens today in India, our system would be concentrating more on the calling his parents questioning about his bunking of Maths class and he would have given a warning of expelling from school — a literal ‘nip in bud’; whereas Gates has done this in late 60s.
So called IT Giants in India
With all due respect to all the IT services organizations in India, Yes — you are doing a wonderful job by consuming all the lacks and lacks of software (or non-software) engineers produced by Indian engineering colleges’ year on year. You are helping India Inc. in a BIG way in reducing un-employment in the country. Thank you for that. You are adding some contributions towards killing innovation in young minds.
Mind set for services organizations is to bill maximum head count to their customers in the west. They do create a frame work or ‘a confined environment of abstraction’ to perform computer programming. The services mindset does not care about individual’s aspirations; rather they ask them to fulfill all their aspirations within the boundary set by their customers. Few yeas back while I was talking to a support person in my outsourced team about how did he landed there; ‘Sir I wanted to do computer programming and hence I joined XYZ, but because I am from commerce background they put me in support’; this could be one of a case — but I am sure there are many cases like this. All these organizations take fresher’s in a bulk quantity to support their on-bench methodology, and spoiling their aspirations. They end up as a well-trained lion to do only ‘dance and drive’ within the boundary of the Circus ring.
Our brain design
When we talk about logical thinking — we are talking about ‘left brain usage’ and when we talk about creative arts or sports we are talking about ‘right brain usage’. Historically, we Indians had evolved as a left brained creatures. Take a simple example of ‘angry birds’, we all know the logic behind this is simple projectile motion physics; we all knew this so many years ago. But India does not own Angry Birds. Take another example ‘Talking Tom’ — logic very simple. Record and replay; for some reason we don’t get it to cash it. West does.
Off late, I was talking to one of my friend who does coaching on the human behaviors across the globe and she told me one classic example; they have an exercise where participants needs to perform a role play of three locations (USA, AUS and India). While they conducted this in Mumbai what participants has done is — took 3 sheets of paper and wrote ‘New Jersey’, ‘Sydney and ‘Mumbai’ on the paper and paste on the wall to represent three places. This exactly the ‘left brained thinking’.
When they did this in Netherlands, what the participants have done is — instead of writing the place names — they drew picture of 3 clocks which they set 3 different time zones — more right brained.
When they did this in Brazil, what the participants have done is — instead of writing the place names or clocks — they drew picture of 3 monuments in the three countries to represent the locations. ‘Christ the Redeemer of Rio De Janeiro’, ‘Opera house in Sydney’ and ‘ Agra’s Taj Mahal’ to be exact. That is more and more right brained thinking.
By now (over a period of time) most of us become left brained; we can only think logically and hence we end up in programming and calculation related profession.
India Inc. is seeing lots of entrepreneurship mushrooming all around in the recent past. This is a very good sign; you can read many of such stories if you subscribe to ‘yourstory.in’. I think environment is changing and it is supporting youngsters for creating our own apples and oranges. I really hope we outsource work to west in near future.
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Yours truly — Anu Sadasivan
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