Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Shedding off that spurious Flab

The shameful ouster of the Indian cricket team from the world cup has the entire nation running for cover – a classic case of Indians and Indianness. Die-hard fans now satiate themselves with shoddy family soaps, the wayward discussions in pan shops are irrelevant, and advertisers have disappeared in a whiff. And just when I thought the euphoria was over, I found myself inundated in superficial and irritating media bickering -- allegations and counter-allegations, cricketers’ analysis, Chappell versus Tendulkar. Add to it the audacity of the BCCI and hoards of publicity-hungry ex-cricketers who spared no efforts in analyzing this and that. Indians just won’t give up. Today the enigma applies to almost all fields of Indians' endeavour.

A similar rut thrives in e-learning, the Indian software industry and almost all Indian ventures. Forget the generous picture of a resurgent India (as portrayed by the media and soothsayers). A closer look and most Indian IT and e-learning companies appear to be wading through a virtual ocean of issues – mismanagement, lack of employee welfare, unethical claims – some true some false – and the over-zealous media that faces a severe dearth of intellectual food. For a global Indian (thanks to the Internet), the dramatics is far too boring and I find fail to consume it with a sense of extreme optimism.

India’s much-hyped teamwork — like our infamous cricket team – has always been shaky and questionable by all standards. Stories of differences are far too common than stories of concerted accomplishments, of teamwork — Infosys' are an exception while Reliances' are the norm. Our value system and traits, it appears, is being carried over in far too many areas. Consider the facts that cry for attention. Barring the few top leaders most Indian companies have an attrition rates ranging from 40% to 75%, although they claim otherwise. In places like Delhi small groups of unsuccessful professionals have got together in decrepit South Delhi locations claiming to be the next big leaders in e-learning. All the while the government machinery, the infrastructure, the police, the law and order, and the social system remain entangled in the quagmire of deficiency. Yet we proclaim ourselves as emerging power in the world — our inflated egos overriding our shabby performance. Rationality and logic are words that we Indians can do without.

Our exit from the world cup carries symbolic connotations for the larger issues that confront us today. So while the Sehwags and Yuvrajs have been forced by circumstances to shed off their now infamous and intolerable boisterous flab, the Indian software industry should follow suit. Its time the offshoring and outsourcing industry wake up and arrest its unprofessional flab — the unethical promises, the shady under-table deals, the overstatements, and the dubious commitments that are announced before international clients. For now Indian cricket appears to be a dead animal or so — as it appears. And its pretty much possible that the 'overhyped' outsourcing industry too face a similar shameful exit from the global IT arena. And once it happens we naive Indians can help little but witness another bout of ‘Indian’ dramatics featuring allegations, counter-allegations and opprobrium. Isn't it time we shed our infamous “Indianness” — traits that have done us no good so far.

8 comments:

A Nag said...

That's a good comparison between cricket and the IT industry.

Keep writing.

Aswin Kini said...

A very well written post indeed! It really surprises me of how we project ourselves as a rapidly growing nation in IT and Elearning when most of our companies provide pathetic work environments and bad work culture.

Furthermore, the so-called elearning companies seldom realise that they recruit people to do Instructional Writing rather than Instructional Designing.

Let me be frank, Instructional Designing is just in a nascent stage here. Most of our people are yet to know about Elearning.
Let me give an example, whenever some person asks me what i do, i say that i work as an "Instructional Designer". Their immediate response would be," Is it something like Fashion Designing".(My face turns red with embarassment)
It takes me a few minutes before i can even convince the concerned person about the existence of a field called Elearning. It really embarasses me when i realize that even highly educated people are unaware of Elearning in India.

Jagjeet Kalra said...

Surely a though-provoking writeup....pls write regularly.

Cheers!

Prateeksha said...

You are the true guru...

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Naveen said...

Great work...keep it up...its really inspiring

Surekha said...

Well written.

http://e-learning-surekha.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I hope, it's OK