[First written on Monday, December 26, 2005]
On Dec 24, the VC of Jadavpur University said the mushrooming of call-centers and BPO outfits representing big transnational companies do not augur well for aspiring candidates in the long run. Speaking at the 50th convocation of the university, he cautioned that in return for handsome salary and associated perks, these transnational companies are virtually turning the young minds into what he termed ‘back-office coolies’. Harsh words may be, but there is a ring of truth in what he said.
It’s common knowledge that in nearly 5 decades of last century, India lost much of its brain-power to the west, where these minds flourished to the benefit of host countries. The logic that India didn’t offer hope held ground.
Of late, things have started to change. Advent of internet and the like has dramatically bolstered job prospects of millions of English-speaking Indians, who are no less capable than their counterparts in rich countries, available all the same at fraction of cost. Soon followed a mad rush to locate back-offices in India, first in large cities, and now even in smaller cities. Lure of fat income and ‘western’ office environ have been able to draw droves of just pass-outs to work for them.
Reports emanate now and then that many companies are misusing Indian talents in the name of research activities, which in effect are nothing but dull repetitive works disguised in technical jargons. This is worrisome, and seen in this backdrop, the VC’s remarks must be paid due attention, else India’s skilled workforce would rapidly degenerate into vast pool of mediocrity, capable only of aping masters.