Kordesandeep
Hr Generalist

Cite.Co is a repository of information and resources created by industry seniors and experts sharing their real world insights. Join Network
Speaking to Manu A B in an exclusive interview, the Nasscom president laments that India has a zero-product base.

"Indians are merely going for software programming: it is like a car mechanic repairing cars, which is a tremendous ability. But while we can repair cars, we cannot design them! We are merely roadside mechanics," says Karnik.

'We are merely roadside mechanics'

February 15, 2005

"Indians are merely going for software programming: it is like a car mechanic repairing cars, which is a tremendous ability. But while we can repair cars, we cannot design them! We are merely roadside mechanics," says Karnik.

Do you think that the President's call to capture 15 per cent of the IT market by 2008 is a realistic goal?

Well, I think a vision is very different from reality. A vision should be large. The President's underlying message was to dream big as he rightly pointed out that a 'small aim is a crime.' We have to think big, dream big and work hard at it.

One way to look at it positively would be to brainstorm on what can be done to achieve the President's vision.

Where would you rank India the IT sector? When do you think will it emerge as an IT superpower?

India is a leading global player in the IT market. In the outsourcing business, India has emerged to be No 1. It is global in terms of services in the United States and the United Kingdom where it has a significant presence but if you take Japan, there is absolutely no service presence.

When it comes to IT products, India has a zero-product base. Indians are merely going for software programming: it is like a car mechanic repairing cars, which is a tremendous ability. But though we can repair cars we cannot design them! We are merely roadside mechanics!

[http://tech2transfer.com]

Industry leaders have debated and deliberated about possible stumbling blocks in this growth path, and the factors that dominate are 'skills' and 'quality' of the workforce, which needs to be improved significantly. As of today, only 25 percent of technical graduates and 10-15 percent of general college graduates are suitable for immediate employment in the offshore IT and BPO industries respectively, as per industry estimates. The skill-sets required by industry are just not there in a majority of the young graduates. This is causing serious concerns of a skills shortage of paucity amidst abundance.

While on one side, India has the world's largest stock of scientists, engineers and technicians; we have been unable to derive full economic benefit from this talent base because of the mismatch between industry needs and university output. So where and what is it that we need to do to correct the situation? One thing that does seem necessary is a radical change in the policies and mindset with regard to education.

While on one side, India has the world's largest stock of scientists, engineers and technicians; we have been unable to derive full economic benefit from this talent base because of the mismatch between industry needs and university output. So where and what is it that we need to do to correct the situation? One thing that does seem necessary is a radical change in the policies and mindset with regard to education.

Over-centralization, and the resultant lack of autonomy and accountability is another key concern. Resource constraints and wastage; heavy subsidies; lack of resource sharing among institutions; high drop out rates; poor quality and relevance of content leading to skills shortage for the industry; difficulties in attracting and retaining high quality faculty; low technology and infrastructure support and limited access and regional disparity are some of the other key concern areas.

India had a head start in education and in terms of possessing the largest available talent pool, however the inadequate measures being taken to address the issues which will come up, exhibit a sense of complacency. In comparison, the large investments being made by nations like China, Singapore and Australia in education, and allowing freedom to their institutions, is a sign of the awareness these nations have of the looming challenge (and opportunity) that lies ahead. Starting with a far-smaller tertiary education system, today China is way ahead of India and will double and treble its output of professional graduates in a very short time.

What the industry needs is two things-one short term, for addressing the problem at hand; the other, long term solutions so that we create a self sustaining system.

In the long term, radical reforms are essential if we are to compete globally. Today only 10 percent of the graduates are employable in the IT industry. We need to reform the education system, and free it from the stifling control of governments and other regulating bodies, so that institutions have flexibility on fees, salaries and curriculum, among other things. They need to be detached from any political influences and control.

It is necessary to make teaching an attractive career option. We need to experiment with adapting the Special Economic Zone concept (deregulation and removal of restrictions) for education, and create Special Education Zones. As an experimental measure, an institute could be permitted to run on a model where there is no ceiling on the fee charged, as long as free education and adequate support is offered to a fixed percentage of students who meet the entry requirements.

NASSCOM, with the support of the IT industry, has been working on an IT Workforce Development initiative, to engage academia on a sustained basis through faculty development programs, mentorship of colleges, curriculum updates and regular industry-academia interface. Faculty members are invited by companies to understand the industry's outlook, needs and technologies so that they could, in turn, sensitize the students to these developments. Another important area that industry aims to address through such initiatives is the development of soft skills -especially in communication and presentation. NASSCOM has signed MoUs with UGC and AICTE to take forward these initiatives.

In the short term, we have to think of ways to groom the qualified students in an effort to make them 'employable' in the industry. NASSCOM has been exploring the possibility of 2-3 month courses in a "finishing school" for IT professionals. This will add 20-25 percent people to the 'employable' pool. Meanwhile, there is already BPO certification available for entry-level employees (NASSCOM Assessment of Competence). The objective of this is to test candidates on seven identified basic skills required of BPO employees. These include keyboard, communication, articulation and presentation, in addition to teamwork. The NAC pilot has been rolled out. The test will shorten the recruitment process. More importantly, it will provide feedback and thus enable candidates to improve in areas where their score indicates inadequacies. It will also enable aspirants from all over the country to appear for the test, thereby enlarging opportunities for individuals, and the recruitment-universe for companies.

From India, Pune
Hey Friend,

Never look with the comments we get for the work we do,if your boss says that today you didnot do well then is that you leave the job and go away,you still continue the job because you know its correct.

He had quoted that "Indians are roadside mechanics",so what we should take it positively as if he is on highway and his car gets any trouble,then we road side mechnics will only help him out not the showroom mechanic or the car built company mechanic.At any situation he has to take help of the INDIANS.

Look,we indian are very big asset to the world,so they make such a comments to supress our demands and make us work for their constrains.As they know that Britisher ruled us for hundreds of years with the policy "Divide and rule".We indian don't get united easily that make all the difference.

We have great people who had shown their metal in the world market.People in IBM,NASA,MICROSOFT,STEEL INDUSRTY and even in FINANCIAL SECTOR(CITI BANK) all are indians in big positions.Don't feel bad for the comment but feel happy that they make these statements by seeing our progress.

WE INDIANS ARE THE WORLDS BEST ASSETS.BE HAPPY FOR THAT.

Bye

sandeep

9848123095

From India, Warangal
i know sandy ....... that we indians are top assessts in d world ........ but try to look at the other side of the story.........what Karnik wants to say.....
The indian IT industry is full of testing, Maintenance and support job .... with no R&D and cutting edge jobs ..............
There is huge huge gap between ...."what a company requires"
and what professional college produces"
huge gap ....WHAT CHINA IS PRODUCING AND WHAT INDIA IS PRODUCING....
and thus Karnik has highlighted that India require a SPECIAL EDUCATION ZONES rather than SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES .......
and A.K Karnik is itself an INDIAN sandeep.............so doesnt this email call all of us to do something.........
Manish

From India, Pune
but my context is not to share this information....... read it again and see where we are heading in future.... and thnx for ur contribution.......... Manish
From India, Pune
This discussion thread is closed. If you want to continue this discussion or have a follow up question, please post it on the network.
Add the url of this thread if you want to cite this discussion.






About Us Advertise Contact Us
Privacy Policy Disclaimer Terms Of Service



All rights reserved @ 2020 Cite.Co™