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The year you were born … (Part Two)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

Starting again from where I left off in Part-1 of this article, 1999 was my turn to be churned out as an engineer. Except that it wasn’t exactly a budding engineer! Of the 20 companies due to intense competition, I could get in to a firm only at the fag end and the firm was into Y2K maintenance work and not much to my liking as well. And they deferred my appointment by six months to add fuel to the fire. So then began the hard search for a job where me and my friend (who was not so lucky to even have these 20 companies, but only 2) roamed the famous streets of Bangalore literally flooding our resumes to whichever company we bumped into on the way.

One day very early in the morning, I heard a loud knock on my door and it was the same friend of mine who I had gone out with earlier, who shook me and woke me up.  There was a walk-in interview schedule in Wipro, one of the top companies in Bangalore. I was nowhere near prepared with anything to take this up, but still my friend thought I should give a try. There were only 15 minutes left to report and I rushed there without anything in my hand but a pen. A huge crowd of nearly 1200 people were in the waiting. They needed a copy of my marksheets, my photos and some other details. I had none of them. Thanks to my friend again he had a copy of all those! (Friends in need are friends indeed). After the first round of this walk-in, 630 people were selected, after the second round 310, after the third round 200 and after the last round only a mere 56 people were on the rolls of Wipro - I WAS THERE! This was for a trainee position, wherein I underwent two months of rigorous (7am-8pm) training and then two more rounds of interview of which a mere 36 people were actually offered a job. I WAS AGAIN THERE! The same Wipro which I could not get into while in college (my first company on campus), I got into now. Thanking my stars was the only thing I could do in these difficult times.

My juniors had more worse times in the waiting. Post Y2k was the dot com bust, which rendered thousands of people jobless, and more of the potential new entrants’ hopes were crashed too. These were for the people of graduating batch 2000 and 2001. Come 2002 & 2003 and they had a much more difficult challenge - the World Trade Towers had just collapsed and this sent the American and subsequently the largely dependent Indian economy reeling. Thousands of layoffs only worsened the matters for new joinees. Their appointments were deferred by almost one year! Call it a curse or whatever. Most Indian companies learnt to reorganize their dependencies on America alone so that no one will be caught unawares in such a situation were it to happen again anytime in the future.

The last three years 2004 - 2007 has seen a strong oursourcing wave in India, making it possible for thousands of people to land jobs quite easily as companies are on the recruiting spree even now. With a host of benefits and large pay packets, and add to it geographical expansions all over the country has made it easy for youngsters to land good jobs. This obviously has to have a caveat and the people who still suffer are those who have been academically incapable (though not intellectually) - (read) people who have scored less in their graduating degree. Companies now want only the cream of people which has still left most others in the lurch. And this is a challenge which is not so easily conquerable as you cannot reverse your adademic scores! The only way then is to study higher and hope that a dual degree would solve your employment problems to some extent. The students are onto it, and companies are also taking note of this progress.

Wh

at the coming years would have as challenges are yet to be seen. But if there are any indicators, its wise to take note of them - Reverse outsourcing by companies, Mergers and Acquisitions, Emergence of non traditional sectors of engineering in a big way, Rising rupee costs, the pointers are many. And needless to say only the smartest in the human race will survive. When the going gets tough, everyone gets going is the motto for the Indian IT industry. The only difference is some people scale higher altitudes, the rest go home.

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