Class of 2009
Indian Institute of Management | Kozhikode | Kerala | India - 673570
“Placements?! It’s just a two day affair in my college bhaiya, a total of nearly 500 undergraduates from all the discipline get recruited in 5 to 6 IT companies”, my brother who is studying Computer Science Engineering from a leading engineering institute announced emphatically. “Hmm...”,I took my time to let the statistics sink in; 5 to 6 IT companies taking 500 students, easy mathematics revealed some 100 hundred odd in each company. “What about the core sector companies?, aren’t there students from all branches of engineering in your institute?” I inquired gingerly, knowing very well what his answer would be, “Kahan Bhaiya, you are a mechanical engineer yourself remember”, “with nearly three years of IT experience” I added.
The conversation took me back in time. Now, as then, there were hordes of IT companies vying to get the ‘prime’ slot during the placements. The placement office gladly cooperated with the companies hoping to show good numbers on the final report. The famed SWITCH companies (Satyam, Wipro, Infosys, TCS, CTS and HCL), one of which has been rechristened following a shocking scandal, were the leading head or herd hunters. The core companies were allocated a slot only after the mass exodus to IT companies concluded, which meant that there was hardly any good candidate for them to pick from. Among a few motivators for joining the IT companies were work culture, dynamic workplace and a chance to go abroad; moreover, the peer pressure of getting recruited at the earliest tipped the scale even further in favour of the IT sector.
The IT sector, a major component of the services industry in India, has shown tremendous growth in the last decade. The services industry contributes nearly half of the country’s total GDP and employs a third of workforce which in engaged in agriculture. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, a part of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) became the blue eyed baby of the nation as big international businesses started improving their bottom line through outsourcing. What it meant for our country was a never-before employment opportunity for the youth (for a never-before salary package), and chance to be a global hub for outsourcing opportunity. Time zones notwithstanding, the BPOs started a cult of sorts by creating a biologically different species of people. Those who sleep during the day, work during the night, speak in a funny accent and have ghost identities.
While the rise and success of the IT sector in India cannot be put to question or be discounted. There are a few pointers which an undergraduate must keep in mind while appearing for final placements. One must be very clear in his/her mind about the sector he/she wants to work in. A slight introspection during the time of placements must be done, and some of the questions which one must put before oneself should be:
1.Why do I want to work in a particular sector?
2.Where do I see myself in the short and the long term?
3.What are my areas of expertise and interest?
4.Will my choice of sector help me in exploiting my true potential and apply my learnings?
5.What value addition am I expecting in the company of my choice?
6.What are my higher education goals, in which case how will the company help me?
7.What are the exit options in the sector?
8.What lateral opportunities can I expect after a few years?
9.What will be my exact role and responsibilities and the detailed job description?
The above checklist is not exhaustive, but can help a great deal if followed with honest appraisal of oneself. Any sector may be good or bad depending upon what your priorities and interest lie. It might be worthwhile to wait for the core sector companies than merely following your peers.
“Hey Bhaiya, the Nano is super cool, wonder how Tata came up with such remarkable idea”, my brother looked up from the newspaper. Core sector not good enough? I don’t think so.