Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Winter is coming to Indian IT! : Blog # 271

Winter is coming to Indian IT

It was a pleasant evening on the banks of the river. They all sat down for tea. It had been a good year. They made about 1000 pots. Chief was happy although he did not forget to remind them that their rival potter had made about double of what they made. The veterans shared their pearls of wisdom which they had mined over their years of experience. Chief told everyone that he is extremely happy with what they were doing and he is proud to have such talented craftsmen with him.

Game of Thrones, GoT, GoT7, Series, Sitcoms, Star WorldA couple of days later, one of the craftsmen approached the chief and told him that one of their customers is not happy. Some of the larger pots which they made are not fitting his stove. They are falling short by small dimensions. Chief thought about it and the next day, he asked the craftsman to send the best of his men to the customer’s kitchen. They can sit there and work along with the customer. They started doing it for more customers. The craftsmen were also happy. Only the more talented ones were sent to the customer and they were paid more too. Business thrived. More and more people from the town got in to pottery. Teachers who knew pottery were in demand.

The chief asked everyone to come to the banks of the river. He told them “Winter is coming our way. We are falling short of wood and fire. It will become worse in the days to come. We won’t be able to dry the pots. We should find new ways to make pots”. The craftsmen looked at each other. They wondered as to what the chief is talking about. The senior craftsmen told the younger ones “Keep your heads down and do your job. We need to make dozens of pots by the end of the week. Focus!”

A few days later, Chief asked his men to gather again. He told them “You might be best in your field. But the world now needs a different talent. Your customers will ask different skills of you. Start preparing yourself. Winter is coming our way, faster and sooner than you think.” It was the craftsmen who were at the kitchens who felt the heat more. They kept telling their friends “Winter is coming”. The craftsmen continued making pots. The kitchens cannot work without pots. We have lived all our lives with pots. Let us keep our head down and keep working. May be we should make our pots stronger and more resistant to fire. That should silence everyone.

One day in the kitchen, the craftsmen saw a gleaming vessel. It looked like mirror. They asked the customer as to what that was. “It is Steel; stronger, harder and unbreakable. It will help us in the winter. We are buying more of these”, the customer said. The craftsmen told his friends about this. “Oh! It‘s too fancy and expensive. They can’t replace pots with steel”, they said.

“I think we should start learning to make steel”, one of the youngest craftsmen said. The entire crowd laughed at him. “You have just started your work. We have been doing this for years. Keep your head down and work.” There was one teacher who taught working with steel. He went to him and started mastering steel work. The others continued working with clay and the teachers continued teaching them clay craft.

That morning had a distinct chill to it. The sun refused to come out. A large customer said that they did not need pots anymore. They will use only steel. And then a second customer and then a third. The craftsmen were asked to go home. The fire was put out. The one who learned steel work could keep himself warm in the winter.

#Winteriscoming to the IT Industry.Business model is changing, skill set required is changing too like in the above story!Brace yourself.

Arun babu

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Be Like Me : Blog # 270

Be Like Me!

When we were kids, we all wanted to be like someone, isn’t it? For some of us, it was our father, mother for some and an elder brother or sister for some others. We tried hard to imitate and be like them. When we were in high school, we wanted to be like someone in XIIth grade. While in college, we looked outside. Many a time we wanted to be like a rock star, an actor or rarely, an accomplished professional.

When we were about to finish college, we slowly realized that we want to be unique. We no more wanted to be like someone else. Any comparison made to someone else started annoying us. We wanted to carve out our own identity .May be this is why we did not want to do what our parents were asking us to do. The parents want you to be like them. They have carved out a path for themselves and they have been fairly successful in that. In their mind, so why don’t you just be like me? Isn’t that a logical option? Now if the parents were not successful in whatever path they took, they would still want their children to choose the path that they chose. Again, Be like me and be what I wanted to be is the reasoning here!

Now, let us look at the work scenario. Somehow the person fights all the societal pressures and have chooses a profession which he/she likes. One thinks one is free to do whatever one wants to do and appears, the Manager! Their thinking is that they have endured many difficulties during their career and they would want you to go through the same difficulties. It doesn’t stop there. Whatever your idea of work is, it doesn’t matter. Your manager will have his/her way of working and you are expected to work like them! Of course, Be like them!

So we criticize all the people above and what do we do? In the early years of work, all of us are still open about life. Let a couple of years of experience enrich you (or should I say burden you). You want your juniors to be like you! The moment, someone comes to us for advice, we tell them the things which we have done and ask them to be like us! You start asking your younger siblings to choose the path that you chose. Wait for yourself to reach parenthood and you will see yourself telling your children to be like you.

I think there is no doubt here that we all (at least most of us) are in love with our own image. We want others to be mirror images of ourselves. We overlook the fact that we are trying to replicate ourselves and thus making this world quite a monochromatic, boring place.

Let people be different. Let the world around be diverse. Let there be little conflicts. Let us try to find peace in those conflicts. Let us try to find richness in that diversity. Let us celebrate the differences. Let people BE!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Of Fireworks & IPL : Blog # 269

Of Fireworks & IPL

You might have read about the fireworks mishap which happened at Kollam in Kerala a couple of days before. The state has not witnessed a tragedy of that scale in a long long time. The loss of lives is on such a large scale that an entire village is affected by the accident. I can’t even imagine the grief that would have blanketed the small village on that fateful early morning. All one can do is to hope and pray for the families to find strength in this time of immense sadness.

The event has given rise to a debate in Kerala, whether or not to ban fireworks during festivals. People of my state are blessed with an abundance of education and awareness.Hence you might think that consensus can be arrived at easily. If you are not from Kerala, you might wonder if it isn’t a binary decision and an easy one at that. People are losing lives again and again. So why not ban the whole exercise? Let me help you with a bit of perspective. Most of you would have read about the ongoing drought in Maharashtra. Also, whether or not to allow IPL to be conducted in Maharashtra. For those of you who are from Bombay and who are passionate about cricket, this is not a binary decision, is it? When you decide to say no to IPL, passion for cricket comes in between. When you decide to say yes to IPL, you are faced with the extremely difficult life situation of the farmers. This is what a Keralite goes through in the situation of fireworks too.

I think complete prohibition of anything will only lead to resistance, resentment and attempts to bypass the law.  What needs to be done is to strengthen regulations. There are social media posts springing up everywhere linking the regulation of fireworks to religion. I feel the moment we do that, we are losing the perspective entirely. It is not a matter of faith or religion. It is a matter of regulations and adherence to it. It is common in our country these days to link anything and everything to religion. All this does is hinder a constructive debate.

It is time we take one hard look at the way we conduct festivals, many a time throwing caution to the wind. If we can’t do away with the fireworks, we should agree to stricter regulations and methods to ensure that they are adhered to.As far as IPL is concerned, it is a slightly easier choice.Imagine this. You go for the match, have a whale of a time and come back home thirsty as a crow.You reach for the tap and all it gives is air!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

I like my Work and my Company! : Blog #268

I like my Work and my Company!

The other day, I saw the Whatsapp status of one of my friends. It read “Happily Married and No, it is not an Oxymornon”. He was not being sarcastic. He is genuinely happy. Let me tell you another set of words – “I love my work”. Many of you might find it hard to believe. I agree with you for I have been in both situations – absolutely hating my work and absolutely liking it. The job that I took up after Engineering belonged to the former category and the one that I chose after my MBA course is from the latter lot.

Many of us have this tendency to criticize openly and admire secretly wherein it should be the other way around. Be it the schools that we have been to, be it the colleges that we have graduated from, be it the companies that we have worked for, there is always a tendency to criticize them. Constructive criticism is good and should be done but many a time, we forget to laud the goodness of those institutions. Many a time, the realization sets in after one leaves the organization. This is the reason why many people talk fondly of their colleges and companies years later. So let me begin with an earnest attempt. I work for Infosys and I love it. Does that mean my organization is flawless and is hovering around the pinnacle of perfection? Absolutely not. There are things which need improvement. What makes this company different is the fact that there are genuine attempts being made to move in the right direction.

I still remember my first day at the Bangalore campus, in awe of the infrastructure. But I distinctly remember being much more impressed by the people that I came across. Right from the security to senior leaders, there was something likeable about them and it continues to be. Let me tell you one instance. Around the time of my marriage, I was walking in to the office. At the gate, security checks are done. The lady checking my bag saw a bunch of invitation cards and asked me “When is the marriage? Is madam also working at Infosys? Ask her also to join our company”. I was delighted beyond words.

“Be More” is the philosophy which Infosys is following these days. The idea is to try and do more than what is expected from oneself; discover more abilities which one has and thus maximize one’s own horizons. That security lady checking my bag was doing exactly that. You wonder what is so great about what she did? About 27000 people work in that campus and she is in the morning shift where maximum people walk in. It is at that time she found time to have this quick chat with me!

Above is a video of Yours truly talking about Life at Infosys. At the cost of sounding immodest, I must tell you that I have worked really hard to get the opportunities that I have got. But I am not the only person who does that. Most of us work really hard. This is where Infosys stands apart. I would want to give credit to the organization for the fact that it provides me with the right ecosystem which is of prime importance for one to thrive.