Thursday, August 16, 2007

Is it a real race for talent?

Sadagopan points to an interesting Businessweek article stating that Indian professionals are dumping MNCs over Indian Majors. I am continuously surprised at the kind of articles that get generated in the press, and it seems BusinessWeek is no exception. Sample this:

- All organizations (yes all, including Indian Majors) are competing for talent. This battle, forget the war is not yet over.

- If someone says that only Indian Majors can give career growth, I beg to disagree. Career growth is not just when one "heads a 20-person group designing kitchen appliances and aerospace components" as per the BusinessWeek article. In India the sentiment is that one has grown when he has a large team reporting to him. This feudal mindset has no place in today's globalized economy, where skills and knowledge matter more over transaction management. Many people are lulled into the false sense of career growth provided by Indian majors who give promote them to lead/manager roles without enhancing and growing their technical skillsets. Over a period of time these people are warming the benches or filling management positions with absolutely no clue on what gets done how.

- India Majors lag majorly when it comes to technical prowess and expertise. In any of the Indian Majors, you will rarely find any expert who knows the technical stuff in and out. Throwing hands at a problem is not a substitute for technical finesse. I can bet you cannot find the best Java Designer, best Oracle RDBMS expert or the best .NET framework implementor working for any of the Indian majors. Infact their recruiting programs are designed for masses and *not* for netting class people. Go to any technical forum on the Internet. Let me know if you find an expert from the India Majors answering the "hard" questions.

Makes me wonder. Comments?

5 comments:

Sriram said...

Hi Nitin,
I totally agree with you on this. Well written article, reflects the reality.

Sriram.

Mohan said...

Nitin,
Thanks for commenting on my blog.

Though you make some good points, it is hard to completely agree with the assertion that

"India Majors lag majorly when it comes to technical prowess and expertise. In any of the Indian Majors, you will rarely find any expert who knows the technical stuff in and out."

Do ping me with any ‘technical problem’ that you are facing and I will have it solved for you… or your clients ;-)

Nitin said...

Mohan,

I speak with experience when I make the comment you quote. I observe that the attitude is to throw hands at the problem and bill the client, rather than make an elegant and scalable design and architecture. People come in and go out of projects and it is rare to find a person with hands on deep technical knowledge of technology.

Why do we have not many blogs or technical posts from employees of technical majors? As a sample go to http://blogs.oracle.com - I do not see even a single person from Indian Majors listed there. This may be a random sample, but if you can point me to instances where your company or other Indian Majors are at the cutting edge of technology, I would be happy to revise my position. I am talking of established old products like Linux, Oracle RDBMS, Weblogic, SQL Server etc which I am sure are being used since a long time by the Indian Majors.

Mohan said...

Nitin,
Right or wrong, our viewpoints are based on our observations and experiences. You raise a couple of points:

You say: “attitude is to throw hands at the problem and bill the client”

This is not really a new refrain or even restricted to offshorers… one hears about such viewpoints about consultants all the time… period! Whether a specific offshorer is guilty of such practice or is better/worse off than other consulting firms is a call for clients to take (by walking away…). Fact is that many/most clients send repeat business towards most large service firms (including Indian offshoring majors) … which says something about the model working; doesn’t it?

You say: “Why do we have not many blogs or technical posts from employees of technical majors?”

Just a small sampling of blogs that I follow:
http://www.infosysblogs.com/microsoft/
http://www.tcsinnovations.com/
http://123suds.blogspot.com/

Some of the viewpoints there are highly technical.. ;-) Now, why these folks do/don’t post on blogs.xxx.com is anyone’s guess, which could include the lack of Egoboo factor for folks from service firms. BTW, have you attended global technical conferences in the recent years? You will be surprised by the number of quality presentations/papers etc coming from the stables of service firms (including offshorers)

Now, you could also argue that of the 70K-plus people that large service firms employ, how many participate in such blogs? Well, the same argument could be made of ANY firm… including non-service software firms (I would be curious to read stats about percentage of employees from software firms blogging… vs. offshore service firms)

Bottomline: you have the right to your viewpoint...

Nitin said...

Thanks for the reply Mohan. Out of the three blogs you list, two are business blogs and only the first one is a technical blog. I am sure there are many business blogs around - the point I make is more related to the technical blogs.

I do not have an issue if people are not blogging. In today's times, they need to be either contributing to email lists or technical forums for enhancing their knowledge and learning from the community. Blogging is just another medium. From my experience and day to day observations, this is an area which can be improved by the Indian Majors.

Bottomline: We have our respective viewpoints and are entitled to them. I cannot defend the point that Indian Majors are at the cutting edge of technological awareness.