Sunday, January 28, 2007

Salaries in India- the bosses get the best raises!!

The latest issue of the Business world carries the BW-Gallup Salary Survey 2006

Conducted among 800 employees and HR managers across the top 20 per cent paymasters in the country, the survey throws up many insights that go against the general wind of a booming economy.

1. Compensation doesnt ensure increased stickiness of employees!

The sector that gave the highest raises (financial sector) and the one that gave the lowest pay hikes(BPO)witnessed the highest attrition rates!
Career growth is the key-for details do visit th article

2.Bosses Get The Best Raises!
In the manufacturing sector, the lower ranks got 4-11 per cent increments. But the top management took home a 43 per cent raise. In pharma, senior management increments (47 per cent), outstripped those of the junior (40 per cent) and the middle managements’ (5.55 per cent). This was true for every industry, except BPO.

3. In a bid to prevent 'rising salaries' impacting corporate competitivenes, there is an increasing trend to look at variable pay!

Companies are now giving out 14-21 per cent of total compensation through performance awards and other forms of variable pay.

There are a lot of details. For those wanting to keep track of 'what to look out for' and to know 'what their market worth is'- the survey is indeed an eye-opener!
The year 2006 was a boon for all those in the IT and financial services sectors-with the salaries simply astonishingly higher than all others...ranging from 50 % to 130% (!!!) hikes.
The good news..2007 augurs well-according to this survey-for all others -who could not join the party in 2006!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Party time at Davos for India Inc..but time for a wake up call?

As one reads the various business headlines about India-and Indians-across different parts of the world, one is indeed intrigued by the comments!!

Making a case for freer movement of skilled professionals, President George Bush hints that he wants smart Indians to solve America’s problems !

And elsewhere Steve Hamm cautions while there is a lot of happy talk about India and its prospects, which is appropriate, but not much talk about its challenges.

In yet another post, he quotes a customer of his travails of outsourcing to India !

As a recruiter, who has been having a ringside view of the growth of Indian IT industry in the past decade, it is perhaps just a perception issue. A stronger middle management could easily harness the latent talent of the Indian software professional- and address these customer issues more efficiently.

For all those desiring to return to India, especially those with experience in working with MNCs in a global environment-here is a great USP you can add!!

High-tech science city to come up in Andhra?

A master planned edge city come up in Andhra Pradesh's drought-prone Anantapur district with an investment of $25 billion over 10 years by a consortium of four Australian and Singaporean companies.

The highlights -

- The Odyssey Science City would come up on 65,000 acres of land Anantapur, about 400 km from Hyderabad-and interestingly-just 200 km away from Bangalore!

-The consortium will invest about $3 billion in the next three years to build the ultra-modern integrated township on 10,000 acres. The project envisages a self-contained, hi-tech complex with its own comprehensive infrastructure, including power, expressways, telecom networks, desalination plants, biotech parks, special economic zones, IT/biotech parks, industrial parks, hospitals, educational institutions, hotels and amusement parks.

-It will become a national centre for IT and supercomputing, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, high-tech manufacturing industries, export oriented centres, media and telecommunications, tourism and entertainment, medical and health and finance and banking. .

- the project would provide direct employment to 1.5 million people and indirect employment to another million.

It is a tall order-considering there arent many industries in the area-and it would have to entirely depend on the willingness and motivation for top notch professionals to relocate away from metros to a tierIII town!

However, the fact that Andhra and Karnatake states have together a very significant portion of engineering colleges in the region-could be boon for building the talent pool in the coming decade.

Politically is a welcome move for those in the Rayalseema region of the state..which was hitherto playing second fiddle to the rich 'coastal Andhra' and 'controversial Telengana regions ' in the state that has been hogging the limelight in the recent past!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Innovation..only way ahead for Indian Semiconductor Industry

Last evening, I was fortunate to attend a meeting where the “father of the Pentium” Mr Vinod Dham addressed a bunch of enthusiastic entrepreneurs at Hyderabad. Organised by the Semiconductor Special Interest group ( SIG) of the TiE Hyderabad chapter, it was a freewheeling 2 hour discussion –very ably moderated by Mr J A Chowdary, Mr Dham elaborated a lot of issues with a lot of clarity.

Some of the key issues I could take away from the session were as below:

-The semiconductor industry –since its inception about 4 decades ago-is going thru some fundamental changes. The migration of the wafer size from 8 inches to 12 inches-and the reduction is die sizes from 130 nanometer to 90 nm- and an increasing possibility of it going down to 65 nm soon-the economies of cost to scale is drastically changing.

-With the increasing capacity of chip production globally, the challenge is to shift the mindset from selling chips to selling applications. A different approach is needed to create the perceived value in the consumer business, where the customer pays for value and not technology!

-Indian industry would do well to invest its capacities in innovatively solutions-rather than trying to recreate manufacturing capacity in semiconductors! Mr Dham is of the opinion that instead of setting up factories @ 4billion dollars, it would be more fruitful in building alliances with the Intels and IBMs of the world to help them set up shops here –and concentrate on creating more talent in designing –which Indians are known for globally!

-there is a tremendous shortage of chip design engineers – the present crop just accounting for less than one sixth the demand likely ! There are opportunities in creating institutions a la NIIT for training and inducting fresh talent.

-India has a fantastic talent pool of intellect –what it lacks is the middle management and the leadership to harness the same. While Mr Dham felt that ‘ the returning Indians’ could easily fill this gap of the necessary mentoring and handholding, he was very skeptical about the increasing cost of life in India( real estate, education, and the aspiration of a returned India to try to recreate the ‘comfort zone of a US lifestyle”)- negating the cost efficiencies. He quoted instances of his needing to pay almost US dollar to dollar salaries for relocating top professionals to India!!

-Mr Dhams new venture fund – where he is joined by Ms Vani Kola and Mr Kumar Shiralgi –NEA Indo US fund will be to “manage strategic equity investments in early and mid-stage companies in the IT and BPO/KPO segment in the Indian and Indo-US corridors.” He hinted some very interesting tie ups with some premier institutes like IIT Kharagpur and ISB Hyderabad- which would spawn a lot of future creative hotshops- and startups –which would be the future success stories that would shake the Indian psyche of ‘security’ and inspire entrepreneurship as a chosen path!

I guess I could go on and on! The interaction threw a lot more pointers

-India Inc would do better to provide the 527 million of youth (below 25yrs today) in India-a better future if more jobs were created by the creation of a “global manufacturing hub” rather than focussing on IT also..which allows only a miniscule single digit millions improve their quality of life!

-the causes of attrition in IT industry ( opportunities, mismatch of aspiration & ability , the bench phenomenon of IT services organisations)

-existence of little known “ not for profit VCs” who would be perhaps content with 1.3x returns –on “socially improvement businesses’ rather than the highly visible VCs hungry for 10x returns and looking at only globally scaleable out and out commercial projects!

-the IT companies would do well providing more internships to students – and help train a better workforce than the present practice of Indian students doing ‘dummy projects’ and being inadequate to ‘hit the ground running’!

TiE Hyderabad chapter must be commended to arrange such sessions –which I am positive..will help create the right ecosystem !

Friday, January 19, 2007

Competing for global talent??

I was flattered to read Joe Neitham quoting an earlier post of mine, regarding global migration of talent, in his latest post!!

Joe analyses the latest Hudson report on the hiring expecations in Asia-and then, in his own style, exhorts the IT&T and banking companies in Singapore to pro-actively look into their existing salary standards and make necessary changes and sacrifices to remain competitive in the fight for quality talents !!

In another interesting blog listing out the challenges of recruiting in Asia, the author Kevin Wheeler invites HR professionals for an Australasian Talent conference to enable them improve their firm's ability to successfully compete for talent in any Asian country!!

Wow..thats what globalisation is all about!!A free market for the best in offer!

PS: Elsewhere Business Week's Steve Hamm thinks aloud -would 'Americans be forced to pick up and move to another country in search of opportunities, just as Indians have in the past'!?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mr Kishore Biyani is "International Retailer of the Year"

Mr Kishore Biyani,who heads India's largest retail group, Pantaloon Retail, was honored with the International Retailer of the Year Award by the American retail industry . (The US National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, representing an American industry with annual sales of USD 4.5 trillion.) This year, for the first time, the group picked an Indian company, for the International Retailer of the Year award at its annual convention in New York.

"They're interesting to us because they are very agile. They are focused on giving the customer exactly what they want. They will sell in whatever format is needed, from food to electronics to high fashion apparel. And they really are a good example to all the other retailers who come here to learn."

The Indian retail industry is just about hotting up -with a lot of contenders getting their act together. And in different shapes and sizes :

-Reliance Retail has hired almost 6000 professionals in the last one year-at a unenviable pace!

-ITCs choupal fresh initiative is hovering around 'contact farming ' and not involved in 'contract farming '

-Bharti group and Walmart are entering into the wholesale cash n carry format!

-The most experienced player Shoppers Stop feels the challenges are going to revolve around property prices (real estate valuation) and the people ( war for talent!)

- And we are just beginning to read about Costco Wholesale Corp's foray into India!!

Yes, 2007 is the Year to watch out for... all those returning Indians who have substantial expertise in the retail sector -supply chain, sourcing, buying, merchandising warehousing domains.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

World economic Forum-Infosys CEO predicts power shift

At the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Infosys CEO & MD Mr Nandan Nilekani predicts the power shift to emerging economies as they start to integrate into the global trading system.

His points :

1.Globalization- through which global markets for products and services are getting more integrated.

2.Rebalancing of the global labour force.

3. The arrival of internet protocol, the electronification of global transactions, an increasingly stringent compliance and regulatory environment for clients, pressure of the capital market and the increasing granularity of data are all mega trends of change that are hugely impacting most global industries.

He predicts a propelled global growth this year:

- Increased convergence between telecom, media and IT

- The increased competition for hiring talent, particularly in emerging economies·

-The wider adoption of global sourcing as the means to create greater value for all

I personally can see all this leading to a great opportunity for India Inc!! As the fastest growing telecom market in the world, India-with its 'now accepted' talent of IT professionals-should be driving this power shift globally.

With the increasing demand for 'global managers', I feel the Indian professional is poised to attain escape velocity!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Celebrate rising executive pay in India!!

Mr T T Ram Mohan , an IIM professor comments on the soaring packages at the IIMs being pretty much part of the India growth story!
There are good reasons to celebrate rising executive pay in India.
-It shows that companies are doing well enough to be able to pay more.

-It is bound to lift wages in the economy in general.

-There are signs that it has stemmed and even reversed the flight of talent from India.
Above all, it marks the coming of age of the knowledge worker in the Indian economy. When an IIM graduate can command a crore of rupees, it means that the returns to intellectual capital today can be as great as those to physical capital.

In the first wave after liberalisation, entrepreneurs in the Indian economy made huge fortunes on the strength of their intellectual capital and overtook the titans of manufacturing.
This is the second wave where risk-averse employees can hope to have incomes one had associated only with owners of physical capital.
For those of while still deciding to make the plunge, it is the time now for returning to India!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Engineering (Design & Process) outsourcing -the next wave in India ?

A recent article headed 'Pune beats Bangalore in hosting design centres ' hints an increasing demand for Indians abroad-especially those not restricted to IT!!
While Bangalore still hosts most 1,000 strong centers of companies, in terms of engineering design companies, perhaps Pune has a lead. The city plays host to roughly over a dozen of dedicated engineering design companies, excluding the application engineering centers of older MNCs and out-sourced software engineering design centers.
The engineering design that is being talked of here is for global products, and not just the application engineering or homologation of an existing product being "Indianised", reported the Economic Times today.A case in point is that of German automotive major Volkswagen (VW) rather that just waiting for its 230 acre, euro 415 million Chakan manufacturing plant to be ready by '09, is already in the process of setting up a procurement and design engineering presence in anticipation of its assembly operations.
The prominent among the numerous dedicated design centers in Pune include
- Emerson Design Engineering Center (EDEC), a part of the $17 billion conglomerate Emerson, -
- tractor major John Deere's global technology center,
-the engineering design center of the $11.1 billion industrial major Eaton Corporation,
- the $1 billion Carraro group, Italian manufacturer of driveline systems for agricultural tractors and other segments in the automotive market,
-or the Spanish auto component manufacturer Groupo Antolin,valued at euro 1. 4 billion.
Dana Corporation, Magna Steyr, Cummins Research and Technology India, Honeywell Automation, International Trucks and Engines and NACCO Materials Handling Group Inc (NMHG), a lift truck manufacturer that does not sell its products in India are among the others present in the city.
Mahindra and Mahindra has restructured its business on its way to reaching a billion USD enterprise by 2010- by offering a bouquet of services- engineering, strategic sourcing and manufacturing of auto components at a global scale!

Any guess on the kind of talent needed for driving this growth??

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cisco to shift 20 percent of top brass to India

I just came across this note
The probable reasons for the move:
- Great Market for Mobiles and a growing Internet usage
- Cheap talent that can help Cisco compete with Juniper and Huawei technologies.
- Good technical talent - not just cheap!

The immediate future India plans:

-Cisco is setting up a new research and development campus in Bangalore, for which the company has allocated 50 million dollars and which is expected to be completed by June.

-The company already has a R&D center in Bangalore and it has previously announced plans to set up a manufacturing pilot facility in Chennai, which will initially manufacture specific voice technology products for the domestic Indian market.

- Unaffected by the reports about severe shortage of engineers in the country, Cisco is confident of achieving its target to triple its workforce to 6,000 in India in the next three years.

- Cisco has also earmarked 100 million dollar toward venture capital investments in high growth, early stage companies based in India
Those of whom still contemplating to return to India....heres a hint! India is among the top 5 fastest telecom markets and will be soon in the top 3. And just imagine the kind of opportunities that would be thrown up as a result??
Welcome aboard...:-)!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Tips for writing a good resume!!

Courtesy Desipundit I happened to come across a very interesting and detailed post- comment on ‘what constitutes a good resume!! . It is a must read blog-for it compares the practice of what an accepted resume is -in US visavis the Indian versions! It debates on the length of a resume, and the structure –the order of chronicling the education, work experience etc…

As a recruiter –whose life revolves around reading such documents for a living, I shall attempt trying to articulate my thoughts on the same.

Resume writing is as much as a science as it is an art!

1.While the words resume and curriculum vitae (CV) are used almost interchangingly these days, I am of the school that a CV is an in-depth record of the academic performance, credentials as well as accomplishments to date. And a resume is a convincing introduction and summary of one’s skills and experience with respect to a specific field, industry or job opening!

2 A resume is essentially a document that should help the ‘candidate’ advance to the interview. And so in this world of information explosion, it is essentially to get thru the clutter and appeal to the reader asap!

3. Just as one dresses differently for different occasions, a good resume should be tailor made for the position one is applying for! A decent format would cover :

-the objective, or the purpose of the application –essentially seen as a strategic part of one’s career plans;

-a brief background qualifying the applicant for vindicating the objective-it could dwell on why one is right in aspiring for the role-perhaps highlight those specific key result areas (KRAs) very critical for the success of the role;
-the education and work experience –that could emphasise why the applicant is the best suitor for the role! It is very essential for one to project the achievements on the various assignments rather than just list out the duties and responsibilities of the role. It is here that ‘the kill’ has to happen.. ;
-the personal attributes, contact details etc that allow the reader to invite the applicant over for a meeting!

4. The length, the fonts, the tables, the bullets etc are cosmetic changes one can design to attract the reader-please remember, the person is perhaps is screening hundreds of such claims to shortlist it to a reasonable and manageable sample to meet in person!
5. And yes, the style of writing a CV should try to bring out the personality of the applicant-as distinctly individualistic as possible! A crisp, no-nonsense, business like narration would help set expectations right -so that the reader can then quickly navigate through the subsequent interaction during the personal/telephonic interview.

Points to ponder:

I must confess though- often selection in itself is a misnomer..a la type II error in statistics; the way to selection –is often aided by rejection!! As a reader, one is broadly looking for reasons to reject the candidate- it could be due to spelling errors, poor presentation, looking out for those blatant claims. Any gaps in education or work experience must be substantiated in order that even the juniormost recruiter is enabled to use the resume as a tool to chose whom she/he should reject. If the resume isn’t rejected, the candidate is invited for a personal/telephonic round-where again the onus now shifts to the higher official whose key is to try to reject :-)!

Nowadays, technology is predominantly used to filter such responses…even before the naked eye takes over. And here comes the trump card –of key words! The filter often searches for some specific key words-which when present- helps in the resume being shortlisted! ( this perhaps explain why most Indian resumes list out an entire gamut of skillsets they have ever heard of- for your chances of being shortlisted is better that way :-)!

Especially in India –where abundance is the reality- one is flooded with responses, there is an increasing tendency to shortlist on the basis of the age of the candidate-and qualification –and in most cases, the premier institutes, ability to travel abroad at shortnotice etc- which perhaps explains the reason why people mention passport numbers!!

Once the HR person screens the resume –it is then forwarded to a hiring manager-who perhaps-looks typically at a totally different set of parameters ( type of project, role played, competencies of skillsets that are complimentary etc!) –thus necessitating the need for a looong resume :-)!

Tips for a fresher : in order to mask the inexperience, the person should highlight the allrounded personality-by indicating the spectrum of competences she/he has been exposed to! So one must go beyond academics, into extracurricular activites –that encapsulate the persons ability to work in teams, and ability to learn and adapt fast to different stimuli!

To summarise I cant resist using a cliché- a good resume should be like a bikini- long enough to cover the essentials –but just that wee bit short too, to reveal enough to excite the reader to know more!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jobs in India-Chennai the place to be, in 2007?

The India story in the past decade has almost revolved around Bangalore. And while Hyderabad has got a decent share of the media glare, it was Chennai and Tamil Nadu that has outdone -not just the Southern states, but all the other states in India in the past decade!!

One just has to just travel an hour out of Chennai,in any direction-and you wd see the phenomenal growth- of the manufacturing industry-which to my mind, is a much more endearing and long lasting impact than what the service industry can boost. If Dupont has transformed Gummidipundi and the surroundings- Hyundai and Ford have created ancillaries for miles along the other important highways. And one really cant forget Volvo-in Hosur which is practically the neighbour of Bangalore in Karnataka. Traditionally too, in Salem, Madurai, Tiruchi, Namakkal, Coimbatore, Tiruppur- manufacturing industry has been the backbone Tamil Nadu must pride itself as a state ( Save Gujarat with almost a dozen airports) which probably has the most rounded growth in any state in India !

During the last few years, the BPO and ITEs industries too have emerged along the landscape. A senior management professional who manages 2 centres for a MNC –quipped that his operations in Chennai are anyday more profitable than Bangalore! His company has recorded a 20% attrition level in Chennai against 45% in Bangalore, while also having a lower wage bill by 30% in Chennai

Well..I am not even talking about the IT companies, or the financial service companies and the quiet and efficient old economy –predominantly Indian multinational companies, the infrastructure,...

What does the future hold? There are atleast 6 other giants opening up shop in Tamil Nadu in this year!!. The star cast this time around…Dell Computers, Motorola, Samsung, BMW, Komatsu and Apollo Tyres!!
Any guess on the kind of jobs that would be available soon ??

2007- the time to Change the way you are looking!!

Dony Kuriakose is a senior colleague and a very respected recruitment consultant in India. I can't resist using his quote..that I first saw this statement almost a decade ago. And now as we embark on a new year, more than ever before, I have found its a great pointer of advice to all professionals- if you are looking for a change, change the way you are looking!!

I did address this in an earlier post. The globalization has increasingly been propogating the shift from an ‘industrial economy’ ( where the employer was the provider of jobs) to an ‘intellectual economy’(where the employee and his/her skills are more marketable)–and if I were to borrow from the concept of an article I read a few years back ( Free Agent Nation) –one can see it slowly transforming the Indian job scene

1 the social contract of work in which employees traded loyalty for security is crumbling. Would you believe Teamlease – a temporary staffing company in India will soon become the largest Indian private sector employeer with over a lakh of employees –beating the present leader TCS?

2. the widespread, long-term prosperity allowed people to think of work as a way not simply to make money, but also to meaning;

3 the half-life of organizations has begun shrinking, (think M&As as a fashionable reality!) assuring that most individuals will outlive any organization for which they work.

Gautam Ghosh has capsulated it well and crisply- use the internet to let yourself be found !!
Change is the only constant-we can look forward to !! And change, we must, to make a difference to the world around us…

PS - Within an hour of my posting this, I see an article by Shally Steckerl on the "how to " part of internet networking!! I recommend you make the time to read it at leisure and internalise it asap!!