How fast can a career move in India?

Interesting read, this article on rediff. Good examples of how busineess is reacting to the changing changing face of careerist youth in India. The article does note an important point:

Still, there are plenty of tensions between companies and young employees. Many Indian engineers are fascinated with cutting-edge technologies, yet much of the work for clients calls for tried-and-true techniques.

And while young people are eager to get promotions and overseas assignments, there are practical limits to how quickly they can advance. “They have to learn to adjust,” says T.V. Mohandas Pai, director of human resources at Infosys. “It’s almost like growing up.”

Given the fact that most of the IT industry in India is IT services, there isn’t enough for a really hungry professional. Also, growth means promotion for most Indian IT professionals, which can’t (and shouldn’t) happen too fast. Many companies succumb to this pressure from their employee base however and start promoting very young engineers into management roles, often with disasterous consequences for the individual. Product companies provide refreshingly new approach to career planning and management, but they are very few and not really sold well in job market (where brand name still sells).

4 Replies to “How fast can a career move in India?”

  1. Well written article. Career growth is what people look for in this age rather than just sticking to a stable simple job. I would like to read more of your articles. Keep writing

  2. You have not expanded on why getting into a management role early in one’s career will be a disaster.
    One of the reasons I can think of is that a newbie (comparatively) has not seen and experienced the varied kinds of environments and situations, from which an experienced manager learns and becomes successful.
    Also, when regularly compared with his/her more experienced and often successful peers a feeling of inadequacy , low confidence can creep in. This I believe is the nail in the coffin.

    Another question I have is how come having newbies as managers works for the companies ?

  3. Sanjana: thanks for your note, keep reading!
    Manu, thanks. Your hypothesis about why moving early into management cadre is disasterous is right, but I more details will overflow this comment box so I will try and comment in more detail via a post because it is important to share my thoughts on this.
    About your question on why this works for companies, I have seen newbies work in such cadre mostly in services companies, and as I described in a previous post on Cube Rules (http://cuberules.com/2008/02/14/career-management-in-india-part-two/), those companies need conformity more than creativity, and hence managers’ primarily role is to get the simple jobs done and act as extended hands for original manager (project managers) than anything else, and definitely not a people manager by any stretch of imagination. So it works, esp if the new person is technically better than the people he needs to ‘manage’ (going back to manufacturing analogy: a supervisor on an assembly line needs to be smarter than workers on the line to ensure he can literally supervise).

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