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Old 4th December 2009, 13:39   #106
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Guys

Simple maths

if you are in a Product sales job if your costs can be max 2% of the sales.
if you are in a services sales job then this is even lower

if you are in a manufacturing job, cost of manufacturing is a 3-5% game.
that is what the company would make, so you can imagin the salaries

if you are in a Product R&D job then total R&D expenses are 5-10% of the overall sales is a healthy situation, any thing more is insane and can not sustainable. the salary would be directly proportionate to the specialization and differentiation you bring to the product.

in pure play Research (Technology, Fundamental, Applied) the costs are purely on funding basis, if the funding is over, then job stops, so the salaries are structured to ensure that the funding is utilized for a longer time.

In a Financial World, the cost of people/salaries/operations is also in commensurate with the revenues / returns. to earn high bucks, one need to earn / create very very high revenues/returns. once again above formulas hold true here as well.

Only work, No play makes Jack a dull boy.
Balance is necessary.


I used to work 18 hours a day for about 6+ years (2002-2008)
i grew from being an engineer to a director, I used to travel 25 days a month for over 2-3 years, it resulted in me missing several important family events/milestones. But eventually i decided that i need to take things slower, thanks to the downturn it helped me to re-coup.

trust me, it took more than 18 months to re-gain my creative side from the mundane stressful day to day running arround.

please just do not run after the money only, learning, togetherness, team work, work-life balance, sustainability are key.
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Old 6th December 2009, 10:09   #107
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Ever wonder why India has an "IT industry" and China has manufacturing and Japan, USA and Israel have the inventions, the innovations etc?
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Old 6th December 2009, 13:18   #108
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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
Ever wonder why India has an "IT industry" and China has manufacturing and Japan, USA and Israel have the inventions, the innovations etc?
The Indian education system is geared to-wards teaching you bunch of things. They don't worry about making you a thinker, innovator, creator, inventor, etc. Also, the system is geared to-wards making nerds with no concept of building all-round personality.

In fact, you are punished if you try to think. I have a really screwed up academic record because I was trying to be an innovator. Thanks to that I ended up having a very unconventional career within a conventional field.

I used to build all kind of stuff right from primary school. I used to make my own toys. I remember making a microscope in 6th grade by myself, although some things I got fabricated by a local carpenter by giving him my schematics. Later I used to participate in science modeling competitions, which used to be held in VITM-Bangalore.

Now you know how I got the skills for this: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shift...-totalled.html

When I joined National college (NCJ) for my PUC (11th-12th grade) in 1984, it was one of the super-nerd colleges in the city. They abhorred any deviation from conformance, and their single point agenda was to make you an Engineer or Doctor. They even had an excellent Arts department which aimed for IAS and other civil services careers. The most ignored set of students were the B.Sc students, who had missed out on becoming Engineers or Doctors, and looked only towards an unexciting and uncertain future.

However, I enrolled into NCC, and this decision was constantly berated by parents, well-wishers and lecturers as a distraction that would cost my career. The NCC unit I joined had some top-rated senior cadets who were just awesome. Those guys did something nobody had done before, they inspired us. Two years later I had something that most of my non-NCC nerdy classmates didn't have, an all-round personality. My interest in martial arts and fitness training was kindled during this time. My academic learning/record in this college is not even worth talking about. I never even tried to apply for IIT-JEE. However, I did manage to bag a free engineering seat via CET.

The engineering college (BIT-Bangalore) was no different, but we had lot less nerds thanks to a good infusion of students from the north. But the college staff were local and believed in the same mantra of conformity to the syllabus. And I was getting really suffocated and slowly found my creative ability dimming eventhough learning about electronics was really interesting. Only my interest in non-academic stuff like martial arts/fitness kept me sane.

In the 3rd year, something changed. We had couple of new lecturers from Andhra who took over our lab activities. They didn't care much about syllabus, instead they forced us to think, innovate, experiment. Not surprisingly they confused the hell out of most of the students. They gave us problems to solve, whose solutions were not found in any prescribed books. Even the University level rank students in our class poured through all the senior notes (sic) to figure out the solutions, to no avail. But I was liberated, I started buying technical books of my choice pouring through Gangarams and Higginbottom book shops. I would dare say that I was rarely taught anything useful by the college, but these two lecturers challenged me to learn via unconventional means of independent research. Their names were Satyaprasad Lanka and Pratap Reddy. The former was the primary motivator, not only he inspired, but he also made sure that other lecturers and even HOD couldn't interfere with this non-conformance method of learning. Suddenly engineering became fun.

I remember this particular incident. Pratap Reddy gave us an assignment to design a very complex logical circuit. A week later I was the only person who solved the problem, using a method unknown to Pratap Reddy. Any normal lecturer those days would just throw it away as garbage. But he spent half a day understanding the circuit, often checking with me, and in the next class declared it to be correct and very innovative. Now consider this, I have solved a problem that nobody else in the class could. Guess how many classmates borrowed my solution to understand and learn it after the lecturer's wholehearted praise. Just one. Rest shrugged and focused on the syllabus and GRE/TOEFL exams that was the real ticket to career then. Later that year, when they were writing GRE/TOEFL exams, I ended up joining a C programming course and fell in love with programming.

In the final year Lanka became our class/lab in-charge and therefore I could continue learning real stuff from books of my choice in class and especially lab, while mostly ignoring the syllabus. Even my final year project was so far from the syllabus, I had to spend 1 hour explaining the technology to the bewildered lecturer/professors during the project presentation. It was about electronic telephony (new in India then courtesy of C-DOT), and transmission of voice using time division multiplexing over E1/T1 lines.

Couple of years back I paid a small tribute to him here: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shift...ifference.html

Meanwhile, my academic marks took a real beating. When I passed out in 1990, I was ineligible to even apply for most companies including the PSUs. In a way it was a blessing in disguise. I joined the same college as TA and continue my unconventional studies in the college computer lab. Lanka made sure I am well-protected from department politics and free from classroom duties. Based on the things I learned here, I joined a small company which rarely paid even the peanut salary I had, but let me work with lots of creative freedom. Large companies would have put me through the cookie cutter training process without giving me any freedom. But I developed some special set of skills there eventhough I was hardly paid most of the time. Conversations like these were common:

Me: Boss, I can't come to work tomorrow.
Boss/CEO: Why?
Me: Don't have money for petrol, bus ticket or meals. I am ashamed to ask my dad anymore.
Boss/CEO: Ok, here is 100 bucks, you are good for a week.

Since I lived with parents, I didn't have to worry about food and shelter. Anyway, for need of a real salary, a year later I joined TCS and found that my special set of skills/experiences make me stand apart from the rest. A year later TCS sends me to AT&T Bell Labs in NJ, to work on telephony switch, thanks to the word E1/T1 in my resume.

AT&T Bell Labs then was a different world, we had lots of free time. So I used that time competing in AT&T POTM (Programmer Of The Month) brushing shoulders with giants like Doug McIlroy (he was too good), David Korn, Palith Balakrishnabati, etc. This contest was open to all AT&T staff, and we could use C, C++, ksh, awk, etc. BTW, Doug McIlroy was then the manager of certain Bjarne Stroustrup. And David Korn competed using C rather than the ksh he created. When my friend (and fellow competitor) met him and asked about it, he said he created ksh using C and there are many who could kick his butt in ksh.

TCS in the 90s was not a place for creativity, total emphasis was on process. Therefore, they used to be eternally confused about where to place me. So they kept lending me out to Hewlett Packard where I could work with latest technology. But large company is no place for you if you want to be creative. So after 6 years of TCS, I joined a tiny software product company with only 2 people, still in the same job after 11+ years. I started programming in 1989, I still do it and love doing it.

Moral of the Story: If you are creative, and want to pursue that interest, you can succeed despite your Indian education and IT industry. Just don't let them stop you.

Last edited by Samurai : 6th December 2009 at 20:38. Reason: typo
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Old 6th December 2009, 14:18   #109
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Moral of the Story: If you are creative, and want to pursue that interest, you can succeed despite your Indian education and IT industry. Just don't let them stop you.
+ 1 Mn to this

Hey Sharath

Your personal story is very inspiring

After i visited your office during pre-dussera days, and witnessing what you have created (or creating), i had one word .. WoW

keep it up friend,
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Old 6th December 2009, 17:24   #110
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I run a small software firm in Hyd and have done well despite the downturn. I was looking to expand for more than 6 months now and have been trying to recruit both freshers and experienced programmers.

Most fresh 'engineers' nowadays do not know their own syllabus. I mean Comps guys don't know the function of OS (thankfully they know what it stands for) or normalisation. Mech engineers do not know much about thermodynamics or IC engines, electronics guys do not the cut-off/threshold voltage of diodes....it is extremely frustrating to interview janata. 98% of them do not know basics present in every text book. I have no idea how they managed to pass much less score 1st class.

After getting frustrated, I went ahead and hired 2 people only to let them go after 8-12 months of trying to train them. I have resorted to outsouricing work rather than hire the criminally ignorant.
Propbably the IT industry is to blame which is encouraging laziness by offering jobs right in 3rd year or beginning of 4th year.

'Experienced' is an euphism for 'I fooled around for a few of years, did a course in java in Ameerpet, and now am ready for a team lead role.'. I find that about 50% of resumes of 'experienced' people have ~ 3 yrs fake experience in 5 yrs of experience i.e. he probably as only 1-2 yrs of experience but claims 5.

Maybe most colleges, students and lecturers do not focus on learning at all. I would not mind if somebody just memorised everything and was able to recite it on demand. Even this is not to be found.
There was a memorable(?) interview when the fresh CompSci candidate told me that he forgot OS as he had studied it in 2nd/3rd year and didn't know about normalisation. I gave up and decided to ask him only from his final yr stuff. He didn't even recall what his 4 final year subjects are. He recalled 3 - OR, mkting, final-proj and he actually could not tell me what was the 4th paper in the final year. i.e. apart from the proj, he could only recall 2 of 3 subjects he studied.

I am sure that even our IT industry will face tough times and we will loose our edge to China, Russia and Brazil in less than 8 yrs. i hate to think about the rest of the jobs where the 2nd level of students go. I don't even want to think about the future of pure science in India.
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Old 6th December 2009, 17:52   #111
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For people who are worried about the future of India, i suggest to read the book Competitiveness of the Nations by Michael E Porter.

At the below link one can find several publications about the nations.

Harvard Business School - Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness


In my view the competitveness of the nations can not be lost or gained in a jiffy, it needs sustained efforts/mis-management for centuries to really change the situation

e.g.

1. India was the top economy in the world till 1500 AD. Two centruies of invation and wars brought it down to no 3 position.

2. Another 250 years of occupation by Europeans (English, French, Portugese, Dutch etc) and fights among our own kings took it to the position of the poorest countries in the world.

3. It took another 40+ years of failed socialism to realize that economic liberalization and unleashing industry and services is key for growth of India.

4. With just efforts of us from 1991 till 2009 (<20 years) have once again brought us into Top 10 Economy (=countries) in the world.

5. In next 25 years we would move to Top 3 position once again.

this example shows that a really capable country can re-gain the (lost) glory (=compettiveness) over the 500 years in just less than 100 years.

China also has tremendous capabilities, Manufacturing is a very recent trend, i would say post 1990s. Their real abilities is the Heritage, Culture, Innovation, Discipline, Hardwork, Education mostly similar to that of India.

India is very strong internally due to our values, culture, diversity, tolerance, forward thinking, ability to adapt / change, Imagination, Parallel and Multiple levels of thinking abilities etc, etc.

For thousands of years, we had the best architects, planners, engineers, mathematicians, surgens, medicine paractitioners, Traders, etc.

The next 50-100 years would see the resurgence of us to our past glory

Only critical factor is we should not take any self defeating measures and continue to build on what we are good at.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 6th December 2009 at 17:56.
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Old 6th December 2009, 20:24   #112
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@Samurai
Your personal story is really amazing!

I can share some of my experience in hiring fresh graduates, being part of a product company. We have tried in vain to hire some good candidates. I was amazed to see the kind of answers some of these guys give.

The thing is, there is a huge difference in quality between the top, average and rest. The cream of each batch is taken up by the big companies. Companies which depend on hiring outside the campus have real hard time recruiting.

Problem with our education system is that there is no real control on quality. There is no point in mass producing engineers if the quality is not guaranteed.
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Old 6th December 2009, 20:33   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
After i visited your office during pre-dussera days, and witnessing what you have created (or creating), i had one word .. WoW
Thanks Aravind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcnetid View Post
Propbably the IT industry is to blame which is encouraging laziness by offering jobs right in 3rd year or beginning of 4th year.
May be you are on to something here. In the absence of campus hiring, the candidates actually have to make an effort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcnetid View Post
'Experienced' is an euphism for 'I fooled around for a few of years, did a course in java in Ameerpet, and now am ready for a team lead role.'. I find that about 50% of resumes of 'experienced' people have ~ 3 yrs fake experience in 5 yrs of experience i.e. he probably as only 1-2 yrs of experience but claims 5.
I faced the same situation back in 2004 when I started off, so I resorted to hiring only freshers since then. No point paying for fictional or irrelavant experience.
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Old 6th December 2009, 21:28   #114
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
India is very strong internally due to our values, culture, diversity, tolerance, forward thinking, ability to adapt / change, Imagination, Parallel and Multiple levels of thinking abilities etc, etc.
LOL. Tolerance, forward thinking? You sure have delusions of grandeur! India is rising so rapidly because of cheap labor(both white and blue collar) who can read and write english much better than Orientals. Thats the actual reason. The other(tolerance, culture blah blah) is the "official" reason
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Old 6th December 2009, 22:03   #115
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
LOL. Tolerance, forward thinking? You sure have delusions of grandeur! India is rising so rapidly because of cheap labor(both white and blue collar) who can read and write english much better than Orientals. Thats the actual reason. The other(tolerance, culture blah blah) is the "official" reason
Hey Tsk1979

the way you are entitled for your beliefs, i deserve mine.
I will continue to work with my beliefs, so.. peace


Last edited by StarVegabond : 6th December 2009 at 22:18.
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Old 6th December 2009, 22:33   #116
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This is something I have seen in my company as well. The entire top tier is now full of people from one ethnic background, and they are filling people with similar background, whether they are capable of delivering or not, just because they are from their region and not on merit.


For ex., if you have people in Infrastructure Support, they will have 10-15 freshers headed by 1 Senior having about 5-7 yrs of actual experience. This guy mentoring the team will almost hate to come to work because the only work he will do is providing OJT to the freshers so as to manage enterprise servers. Guys who don't know debugging tools, don't know the basics of system engineering or networks or O/S, don't know how to google, or just don't want to learn how to Google. They are just too happy coming to office, pocketing the money and having lunch and going home. And this is just one field I'm talking about. It is the same with other teams as well. People are taking their jobs too easily just like their college studies and not really putting any efforts in real learning. At the same time, regional favoritism is dragging this particular industry down further. I wish this stops soon enough.

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Originally Posted by coolfyre View Post
Networking is good. But I have seen it in practice the other way.
The networking what I am talking about is regional, caste, community based networking.
Most Indian interviews that I have attended, the interviewers were interested to know if I belonged to their region / caste / community etc.

A few months back, we were recruiting and we had shortlisted 2 guys to be hired. My manager hired one guy even though for us interviewers he was a second choice for the only reason that the guy was from Chennai. My manager is also from Chennai.

This is the ground reality.
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Old 7th December 2009, 01:32   #117
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@Samurai - I couldn't have asked for a better response to my question. It is exactly what I had in mind. I haven't worked long enough to enlighten anyone else but after 3 years and 2 months in one of India's premier IT companies, I realized what a total loss of time this was turning out to be.

My undergraduate college was one of those smaller colleges that wasn't old enough to have very strict conventions, that along with the fact that it had some brilliant people running the college meant that it was a really good avenue for students who liked to think different.

While I might not have been very innovative but I was lucky to be included in a group with a bunch of guys for whom the cliched "thinking out of the box" came naturally. Our final year project was something that was totally out of the realm of most students and Professor's there. Our director was not only supportive of such a project, he pitched in with funds and tried to motivate us to come out with a project that could be turned into a product. That didn't happen because we were young and not professional enough, but that sowed the seeds for future endeavors.


Unfortunately, then the IT industry happened. All of my friends (including me) were gobbled up and it took us more than 3 years to realize that this wasn't going to lead anywhere. All of us left and went back to school.

Perhaps the onus is on us to come up with an education model that mimics the best of the west. The curiosity, the D.I.Y. mindset and the encouragement to cobble things together and making them work is in my opinion the greatest thing we can learn from the west. I have often wondered, that the IIT's are not being effective enough merely because the process of getting into one squeezes out the last bit of childhood and curiosity from our youngsters. Sure, there are some who manage to excel inspite of the systemic decay.

@Samurai : Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?
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Old 7th December 2009, 10:45   #118
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Originally Posted by SilentEngine View Post
@Samurai
Your personal story is really amazing!
Thanks SE, when I look back, those were the most uncertain and confusing times of my life.

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Originally Posted by SilentEngine View Post
The cream of each batch is taken up by the big companies. Companies which depend on hiring outside the campus have real hard time recruiting.
What really bothers me is that they waste that cream. I recall hiring a very creative guy back in 2005, a month later he joined Infosys claiming his parents forced him to do it. They obviously felt his future was more secure in Infosys than in my tiny company. But his parents didn't realise the real truth, their son was already secure because of his brilliant creative mind. By pushing him into Infosys, they probably ensured his mind will be smothered and turned into a drone.

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@Samurai : Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?
Well, my first job was exactly that, I was a Teaching Assistant for 7 months. That is when I realised I like to teach, and love that look on the face when the student understands a difficult concept. Later in TCS I was a faculty-on-demand whenever they needed somebody to teach OOP and C++. I have undergone trainer's training in TCS. Even now I routinely get to teach as part of training my employees.
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Old 7th December 2009, 13:30   #119
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Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post

Harvard Business School - Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness

In my view the competitveness of the nations can not be lost or gained in a jiffy, it needs sustained efforts/mis-management for centuries to really change the situation
Not disputing the jiffy part. China under Mao went through such terrible famines that cannibalism was beginning to take hold. This is why Chinese cuisine includes all animals under the sun.
But after Mao, they embarked on capitalism (state controlled) in late 70s and if you contrast their conditions from 70s to now, they have grown multiple times more than India. They have their own major issues but they solved many over the years too.

My point is that our quality of graduates is falling. There are hundreds of more engineering colleges but even now, you find quality only in the state run IITs and RECs, pvt. BITS and a few other.... India needs to really work on improving quality in education - not to mention Diplomas in lots of allied fields like plumbing, metal works, masonry...IT services is the only source of employment. We need ITIs. There is a major shortage of skilled labour across all fields but this topic is for another thread.

Even in the pvt. engineering colleges, the syllabus is unstructured. My cousins studied in colleges affiliated to JNTU and I was aghast to see the syllabus. They had advanced stuff without introduction to basics. They are being sent out with a disadvantage. After looking at the syllabus and their level of knowledge, I have become very wary of freshers with 'B.Tech' from JNTU. I think JNTU has > 200 affiliated engineering colleges in AP.
Infy and Wipro have some program of extra courses for these students I think.

Even now, with a smart motivated fresher, it takes almost 4-5 months of classroom/on-the-job training before we see productivity. With not-so-smart or clueless freshers, as I mentioned before, I had fired people after trying to mentor them for > 8 months.

I would say that students/freshers need to put in a lot of hard work with the basics to get good jobs. Most cos. are short of people, willing to train but expect you to be good at the basics - stuff that's in your syllabus in college.

In response to the title of this thread, 'employab...' let me rephrase it to 'trainability of fresh B.Tech grads'. Of course, the requirements vary from cos. that need warm bodies to cos that require people to think and work.
If we look at BSc/MSc freshers, if its compSci, they require > 7-8 months of training and ramp-up period. If non Compsci, they require more tha 1 yr to be truly productive.

If we look at IT services firm (not ITES) If I base my statement on % of students..i.e. ratio of trainable/employable grads to junk, the % will be ~ 10%. Others need at least 1 yr of formal training for them to be achieve basic productivity.

Last edited by kcnetid : 7th December 2009 at 13:32.
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Old 7th December 2009, 15:37   #120
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I have a doubt. I sometimes think of this myself. The indian educational system is much maligned. Most of us, Like samurai has described above, and my own experience is no different, are just happy to have survived the whole ordeal.

But what are we doing about it? Most of us, once we've passed out, want nothing further to do with the field. While There are several accomplished educators out there, Bernard Shaw said it best - "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach'

Instead of moaning about the poor quality of graduates now, remember , the quality is poor because of our inaction. If they have to suffer from conformist and idiot lecturers, its because you and I were too busy doing something else. And denying that knowledge/skills, and then mocking them for the lack of it - we have only ourselves to blame.

I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here. I'm to be blamed, just as much as everyone else.
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