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India Shining – Explained

By on Oct 8, 2007 | 1 comment

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First of all, I’m very glad to write a sequel to my post on ‘India Shining’. I’d like to thank all of the readers who commented on the post & also to those who wrote flamed emails to me saying I should stop complaining about India & Indians. I’d like to clarify the things & put my thoughts in a better way. Of course, I’ll look forward to your comments.

To begin with, I’m not against India or Indians. The fact is that I love this country so much that I think I will somehow create rebels who will build a better India. Probably that is the reason why I point out the things in my blogs which, in my opinion, are obstacles in India’s progress. Of course, you are free to interpret the text in this blog in your own way; I can’t have control over that. I’ll begin explaining the points I want to make. Grab a cup of coffee as I don’t know how long this post will be.

The first question that I asked was “Why is India still a developing country?” I want each one of you to think about it. Don’t you agree that once upon a time, we were the world leaders in almost everything? Have we forgotten our scholars who wrote the Vedas? Have we forgotten our contribution to the world of Mathematics? Or don’t you find the mention of ‘atoms’ and ‘universe & its vastness’ in our ancient books? The point is, if we had been so brilliant in past, what’s wrong now? How can a country of scholars be a ‘developing country’ in the modern world? Think about it.

Of course, I do know what India has gone through during past 3 centuries. The trouble with us is that we are typically into ‘Services’ than ‘Manufacturing Products’. Let me explain this by telling you about a simple rule. As a service provider, we’ll always end up getting paid lesser than what the actual value of service is. As a product manufacturer, one will always end up getting paid more than the actual cost of the product! I guess you will clearly get my point if you give it a little thought.

When I say name ONE product that is internationally known, don’t take me by my words. Of course there are FEW Indian brands which are known all over the world. But we should benchmark us against others to see where we stand. Is Tata Motors known all over the world, just like Honda? Is Bajaj known all over the world like Yamaha? Are INFOSYS/WIPRO/TCS as popular as MICROSOFT/GOOGLE/YAHOO? No, that’s not a fair comparison, you might say. I agree. But then, I do not have any other company in India which I could compare with MS/GOOG/Yahoo. I have issues with this.

I take example of IT companies because I’ve worked in the software business for about 3 years. I’m aware of the kind of work that is done in most of the techie companies. Most of the engineers in Indian IT companies will agree that the work that they do does not necessarily need ‘Engineers’ or any ‘engineering’ knowledge as such. I’m so confident while writing this because I’ve talked to a large number of people who work in Indian Software companies. You know, it is one thing to develop the JAVA/.NET technology & it is another thing to program using JAVA/.NET. The later does not involve much of ‘Engineering’ and most of the things are directed by the clients in US/UK. Coding is not a brainy job, neither is testing it. It hurts, but the fact is that the work that US/UK companies don’t want to do is outsourced to India. Here, we feel immensely proud to tell our friends/relatives that we work on ‘Java’ technology. Believe me, all we end up doing is the work that others don’t want to do. We don’t mind doing it because we get heavily paid to do that. Thanks to the difference between the value of Dollar & Indian Rupee. Now comes the part that will hurt you the most. Try converting your salary in Dollars & you will understand why I, in my posts, say that we are Cheap English Speaking Software Labors. Let’s say, a fresh graduate earns about 24,000 Rupees/Month; with say 40Rs/Dollar rate, that converts to $600/-. So our talented engineers work for about $600/- per month. Compared to that, a fresh IT engineer in US would demand at least $4k/- per month. Need I tell you again that we work @ cheapest rate? Does that hurt you?

So, are we at least getting work because we are intelligent? I doubt. There are few big advantages that India has that make the whole world outsource to India. First, we have a good bunch of English Speaking Engineers and other Graduates. Second we are available at very very cheap rate. Third, the time-advantage that other countries get. For example, we work when they sleep. That is, when they come to work, they’ll have their unimportant tasks done & delivered to them. Makes sense, right? Well, many of you might want to argue with me on this. To some extent, yes, we are talented. But then, I want you to do some soul-trotting and come up with your own answer.

I completely disagree that our customer services are world-class. Might be true in case of the companies that server foreign clients. But when it comes to serving our own people, we totally suck! If you have free time, go through this link (http://crazyengineers.com/me/?p=88) .

Few comments popped up about Indians celebrating success of Sunita Williams. I still fail to understand why Indians are so happy that someone who has an Indian name stayed in Space & came back. Look at the way media is going crazy on Sunita’s trip to India. Sunita was born & brought up in USA and India has no share in her success.

Or is it that we do not have anything else to celebrate or brag about?

The first step of improvement is identifying the problems & issues. I’m sure there will be few among you who will share my concerns. This blog is primarily for those.

The world is, anyways, full of debate champions.

-The Big K-



1 Comment

  1. Mayank

    October 31, 2007

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    Dear BigK
    I believe so much in you that I can’t agree more on your veiws. You ve got vision and ways to express that. lets put it this way – AT ALL STAGES ONE SHOULD REINVENT HIMSELF TO CONTINOUSLY MAINTAIN THE GROWTH MOMENTUM – let us suppose thousands years back I initiated the invention of wheel and subsequently bullock cart. Everybody praised me and my country. But could I have basked in glory forever. I need to upgrade my vehicle make it more sturdier, at the same time lighter, be able to acrry more load and yet travel faster with the same animals. Then I can upgrade my choice of animals. Can I keep smiling on my invention unless me or my country doesnt keep improvizing the pathways. The one day the cuntry makes pukka roads – wow why should I not invent even faster vehicles – let me invent mechanical device to my vehicle (you may call it engine) and vrooom it goes faster
    Now I need to change the face of my roads from just pukka to Concrete/hotmix
    AND SO THE SAGA KEEPS EVOLVING (Upgrading, refining, improvizing must never stop — remeber IF YOU ARE NOT GROWING – YOU ARENT STATIONARY – YOU ARE DEGROWING) – My only concern is let us be fuel to the humungous revolution called India and not just be content with handful of initial success – DONT JUST BE SANTUSHT – THODA AUR WISH KARO.

    I already wrote a lot in Sequel I of India Shining that I limit myself here.

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