Indian Growth story - 1: Finance Trading Times

Indian Growth story - 1

Following further from my previous article Investing in Indian Market and Indian Growth story - 1, let me focus something more on the Indian Growth Story.

Let me quote my own example. I belong to a town from North India. My city is big enough to have a government University, a government engineering college, a government Polytechnic college and a proposed government medical college which started this year.

My parents managed to build a nice and big independent house in my city (big in comparison to the metro standards). A typical 3 BHK flat in metros like Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore would measure 1200 sq. feet. My house is more than 2000 square feet. My father still runs a shop, and having spent my childhood days in attending to my shop in case of absence of my father, I’m pretty comfortable running the shop. I have the liberty of easily finding co-workers and labour in my hometown – economical and polite.

Despite having all the facilities at my home and my city, and being the only son to my parents, I still decided to leave my city for want of better education and earnings. With the best rank in my city in the engineering entrance exam, I could have easily taken up a seat at the government engineering college in my city in my preferred branch, but yet I decided to take up mechanical engineering at REC, Warangal, a city 1200 Kms. away from my hometown, and taking 26 hrs. to reach. Later, I was lucky to get a branch promotion to Electronics.

Why did I do that? Why did I leave my home despite having all the facilities at my home and all institutions in my city? People may have all kinds of great words to describe like “Career Aspirations”, “Self Motivation”, “Ambitions”, and all that crap. But today, I know that I left my home because I was GREEDY.

Did I go to REC Warangal for the benefit of that institute? Did I join the job at Hyderabad for the benefit of that job? Did I go to Netherlands and paid a heavy price for the studies for the benefit of the institute?

The answer to all the questions is NO. I did all the deeds for my own personal benefit. I did everything for my own, because I was greedy and I wanted more. I could have earned the same engineering degree from the college in my city – but I knew that the tagname of REC will be much more beneficial. I knew that I can earn good money by continuing my father’s business, but the so-called “emerging software market” in India can give me more salary. In greed of wanting more, I left my well-paid job, and went to an International business school with the greed that I will learn the tricks of stock market and make far more money.

Everyone does the above. Nothing wrong in it. Everyone has the right to earn the best salaries if opportunities exist and he/she is eligible for it.

However, the mistakes that we make in our assumptions can be very costly. When I left my hometown, I assumed that IT market will remain good even after 4 years of my engineering education and there will be ample jobs. It was a costly assumption, and I got a taste of that in 2000-2001.

We started campus interviews in mid-2000, the beginning of our final year. Almost 100 companies lined up for picking up the “Cream of the cream”. So called MNC’s brought foreigners to take interviews on campus, just to tell how good the company is, how much international exposure can a person get. Seniors who had joined these companies 2-3 years before, were asked to communicate with the final year students, telling them all the benefits – “International Travel within 3 months of joining”, “Great Take home salary”, “We get Pepsi and Coke FREE in office” and all such crap. One such Hyderabad based MNC brought a foreigner, who even went to the boys hostel to give a briefing, because he could not get a conference room as they were occupied by other companies. I cannot forget the scene where this gentlemen was standing in the corridor of boys hostel telling the benefits of working with his company and some of the students were standing wearing a towel and baniyan, some were coming out of the nearby toilets and the rest of us were feeling amused at listening to him and observing the ambience.

It was all about the forecast of requirements. It led to a huge hype being created for requirements of engineers. All based upon forecasts – which had no basis.

It was all going on well in August-September 2000. However, the bubble burst and in 2001, the same MNC’s started sending regret letters to the students, either delaying the joining date till further notice or informing about termination of job offer. Most of the fellow students managed 2 job offers on campus. Some smart alecs even applied for walk-ins and got more offers. Everyone was assured that this technology boom is here to stay. It somehow happened that the more offers a person had, the more regret letters he received. The hype that was going on just 8 months back, had came out with its reality.

One of the big 3 IT companies of India had hired 75 students of the total strength of 300 engineering students. The same company delayed the joining of these 75 students indefinitely. People say atleast Indian IT companies never lay off employees? Is it really true?

Continue to Part II of this article
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