Monday, August 31, 2009

Wimax auction in India -and opportunities!

I was in a time warp at the "6th International Wimax conference' in Delhi on Aug 21st!!
For a person who grew up in an age where telephone (read landlines) were a rarity in the neighbourhood, and one had to wait for hours to get connected 'via trunk calls' to make long distance calls, the convenience of STD booths in the eighties at every corner was in itself a major lifestyle change. And as I became a professional, I wondered how one lived without the pager and a mobile phone for major part of the nineties: and so I have always been aware that 'globalisation' along with ' cell phones and internet' have significantly changed the way I ever thought I will live!

More so, as a recruiter today-the ability to 'catch almost everyone on the move' from anywhere-is a far cry from the time of telegrams, 'pp numbers', the challenges were entirely different!! (this would be another story another day...)-

The ecosystem of telecom operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, system integrators were electric;, presentations made by representatives of the respective fraternities -harped on 'what could be' if the policy makers could just bite the bullet and announce the 'auction' for 3G and wimax- without delaying.

Here is what I learnt that day :
-Wimax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and telecommunications technology and aims at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways-offering downloads of upto 70mbps!!
-Wimax is to broadband, the way cell phones penetrated India thru GSM/CDMA!-India, with a population of 1.2 billion has a little over 5 million broadband ( compared to about 300 million mobile users)
-Widespread access to broadband will increase the 'inclusive' economic productivity significantly ( eg, long distance education, tele-medicine, and e-governance). Hopefully, the digital divide will reduce the heavy pressure on urban sector to provide employment and infrastructure to rural migrants.
-Indian telecom services yield a low (lowest in the world) average revenue per user (ARPU)-and hence WIMAX is cheaper to deploy compared to a fixed line infrastructure!
-A senior Railtel official mentioned that soon one could use internet on the train-at a 20mbps speed!! Imagine the effect it can have on the online entertainment industry! Or the gaming, banking commerce, travel industry…
-(And boy, if these industries grew, well..well, what about the demands of the recruiter community :)!) The future looks exciting!! Already I have some clients in the telecom space, waiting and watching the regulatory bodies-to announce their plans!

So, it was a sense of déjà vu when the announcement came last Thursday. While the responses of the experts and their reactions are diverse, one thing is for sure, we can see a sea change before the end of 2009!!
PS Regards the job opportunities being thrown up, please feel free to reach out to me! We are already getting enquiries from software companies deploying telecom projects, apart from sales professionals from ‘tower companies’, apart from leadership positions in the Wimax industry. RSVP [email protected] for specific details….
Cheers!! Rock on!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hustling while waiting

Wolf! Wolf!! Would have been more appropriate :-)!
India Inc ups hiring amid revival signs -says an Economic Times headline. "IT thinks out-of box to beat slump' says another. The latter article, highlights that smarter companies are 'working overtime, identifying new niches, new markets, creating new systems to get the bucks in this tough environment and prepare for the better times.
The examples quoted :
-Infosys will hire 150 people in France and Germany as it sees these markets open up
-Wipro is betting on seven new focus areas, eg cloud computing, collaboration technology and social computing, as the big businesses of tomorrow.
-Cognizant is tripling is top end consultants to 1800 ( high level business expertise combined with deep technical experience)
However, I would like to believe the above statements in media -are more 'feel good' factors, that one hopes -and have a long way to go on, before being self fulfilling in time!! To me, the thickness of the job supplements in the print media' is a better indicator of the business sentiments-than all the headlines -or the sensex-to feel the pulse of the hiring market. It doesn't take a genius to note that the 'appointment pages'-which at the peak -seemed to be 12-16 pages in the leading dailies, now seem to be lost in between the editorial and the sports section!
Even, if one were to look at the above statements, these numbers are very insignificant-compared to the size of the company-and really wouldn't be impacting the job market-as much. It merely re-aligns some of the professionals already employed-into another department, and rightly so, think of ' hustling while waiting' for the dawn!
One thing is for sure- the kind of frenzy and activity that one saw from 2004 to 2008 -is surely history!!
As a recruiter-who is constantly being exposed to the anxiety of both the 'hiring manager' and the 'aspirants', I notice though-that there is a sense of purpose all around.
-Companies -have perhaps shed the excesses, and more cautious now; definitely more quality conscious than ever before! With increasing availability of better talent, companies are now getting pampered with the riches-often getting paralysed in the process, unable to find a compelling reason to hire, and getting consumed by cherry picking.
-If one were to go by the activity on the social networking sites, where most 'passive job seekers' are busy building their brand equity, there is a sense of expectation. eg Linkedin profiles being constantly tracked with 'status updates', subtle changes of the profile, increasing endorsements and testimonials by the day, not to mention the Q&A buzz :-)!
-The job portals too are in the thick of the action. Naukri has announced a new service paycheck, and is probably beefing up its act on the social media scene too!!
It's all happening...right?
Guess, the recruitment firms have to change their act too, no? I will be glad to have your suggestions offline, (RSVP [email protected]), on how some of us in the fraternity could add value to the eco-system! Are there avenues for some revenue models-that could be explored? Just as the financial services have a 'wealth management' niche-'tailormade' to 'handle the class' to differentiate from the retail and corporate banking there a segment waiting to explode?? After all, isn't career another asset like land, realty, stocks, ....?? And more in our control??

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A resume tsunami expected??

A recent headline caught my fancy!!

The Deloitte report is an interesting one, (you may visit here for a glimpse of the details!) expects HR professionals to have concerns about building up of a resume tsunami-which may hit once the economy turns and employees begin to consider new opportunities, even as most are struggling with downsizing decisions amid the downturn!

Elsewhere -there is another critic Suzy Welch who is sure that "something fundamental in our society has changed, and it will show in how people choose their next jobs."
"We're talking about a serious trend. This recession has left a deep scar on the psyche of working people. Previous recessions came on more slowly, their layoffs occurred more gradually. And previous recessions didn't leave most people blaming business, especially Big Business, for what went wrong."

Personally, I guess it was to be expected.

“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” And especially when the chips are down, it is very simple for most to bend the rules 'slightly', right? So, it was rather surprising to see short sighted reactions of most Indian companies in the recent 12-18 months, even as the global recession hit the rest of the world more adversely than us. Cost cutting, rightsizing,layoffs, postponing on boarding...and more -have been very common -if one were to look back. And at a scale which really wasn't warranted, at least in India. I feel-it was more a knee jerk reaction..ape-ing the western world, so alien to our 'ability to adjust' traditionally! Ironically, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the 'human capital' being the most valuable asset- was at best a lip service :-)!

But then -everything isn't as gloomy.

There are some companies who are thinking differently-even as most of us are waiting for the unwanted guest (economic slowdown) who has been overstaying, to leave,perhaps by denying the lesser courtesies-not realising that it is even affecting our own domestic pleasures in our daily life :-)!

Please visit my other blog to have an idea of some of the opportunities presently HOT!!