Indian Software Professional Abroad
all know that many Indians abroad have made it big. Names like
Sabeer Bhatia of Hotmail and Gururaj Deshpande of Sycamore Networks
are familiar to almost everyone. And it is equally well known
that almost every reputed software organisation in the USA has
its fair share of Indians. So what makes the Indian techie abroad
asked an expert in the IT field, Mr. Pankaj Ved, Senior Director
- HR, CBSI, why the Indian IT professional abroad was more
likely to make the headlines than his counterpart in India. Here
are excerpts from a freewheeling interview with Mr. Ved.
is it that makes the IT professional in the USA different from
a similarly qualified professional in say, India?
today's world, the people who really make it big are those who
not only have the training and talent, but those who have the
ability to take risks. A technologically strong computer professional
will not really be able to move to a higher plane without the
ability to take risks, coupled with good people skills.
Indians are unwilling to take those risks. It is likely that they
are more concerned about job security and a regular pay packet.
Whatever the reasons for this mindset, it does not make for a
true success story!
are the qualities required for a software professional to make
it in the US?
technical skills are, of course, essential. But being a good techie
alone will not get a candidate a job. There are likely to be 10
other people with the same qualifications who have applied for
the same job! There is an increasing focus on people skills.
have come across a number of candidates who are very knowledgeable
technically but fail in terms of selling them selves to us as
must be able to convince the employer that they can handle any
likely situation. Ideal candidates must be able to prove to the
employer that they are able to not only fill the present job but
also can grow in the job, and will be able to handle future responsibilities
that may be very different from the job at hand.
give you an example, when the Y2K panic died down, there were
a number of software professionals in the US who faced the possibility
of losing their jobs. Some of them managed to find other jobs,
while the others had to return home.
like the ability and willingness to learn and acclimatise a to
a new work culture need to be projected.
you think Indians will continue to stand a chance in the job market
for the next few years?
are in demand in the West not only for their undoubtedly high
technical skills but also for their fluency and command over English.
This is likely to change drastically as more Chinese and other
East Asians are catching on and training their professionals to
be fluent in English.
Fluency and technical soundness are not the only requirements
of potential employers. The ability to `think beyond the box'
is what is prized. It is the creative individual who is most likely
to succeed and stay in the job.
to deliver beyond the job is another key factor.
all these factors, it is heartening to note that Indian software
professionals are still in demand by multinational and US software
What are the jobs that are likely to be hot in the software
my mind, the hot jobs of the future will be those that require
a certain degree of creativity. Graphic designers, Web designers
and the like will probably be most in demand. Of course, e-commerce
will remain a hot career option.
are the factors that handicap Indian software professionals abroad,
especially in the US?
are talented and quick learners. However, it is unfortunate that
most Indians are highly insular. It is very rare to see an Indian
leave his/her cultural inhibitions behind, and socialise with
people other than their own countrymen.
a person is not able to adapt to a different culture, it will
be very difficult for that person to be comfortable in the workplace.
Creative thinking could be constrained.
have noticed that if there are two or more Indians in an organisation,
they talk in any language but English! They make no effort to
make friends other than other Indians, and tend to feel uncomfortable
in a crowd of Americans.
advice to the young software professional bound for the US is
this: Travel, meet different people, be open-minded. This is the
time for you to make new friends, to explore a new land. Adapt
to the culture in the US while maintaining your unique identity.