Friday, May 04, 2007

In Delhi, it’s the Dead End for E-Learning

Delhi, India’s capital, never ceases to baffle me. For the sheer amount of grandeur and ostentation the city has emerged to offer a delusive contentment for professionals -– the latest in e-learning. The industry that once trumpeted a revolution or sorts is now beset with myriad issues – skeptic clients, dwindling market-space, and disenchanted resources. Professionals with several years of experience can be seen running from pillar to post -- trying to locate that honest employer, the workplace of their dreams.

E-learning companies in Delhi and NCR have hit a dead end, or so it appears. Jobs that were once clamoring for attention have suddenly disappeared forcing professionals to get stuck in the rut of their current assignments, in companies that once promised them the world. Amidst stories of disenchantment and dream-shattered there are many who are now seriously pensive about continuing a career in e-learning. Websites like www.naukri.com and www.jobsahead.com now carry ads of small e-learning players positioned in disheveled locales offering paltry remuneration packages. While many smart clients have backed off from outsourcing e-learning projects to North-Indian observers believe many more will follow suit. Amidst this shaky situation some players continue to function with an unusual calm -– the lull before the storm!

Strangely for a city of its size a slight shrugging-off and the impact can be seen everywhere. Towards mid-2006 Brainvisa, a Pune-based e-learning company suddenly called off its development center in Noida. This resulted in a sudden overflow of Instructional Designers all over the region. Like a flock of aliens they crowded other e-learning companies only to be despised, or worse, employed at a lower salary than what they were drawing at Brainvisa. For many it was lesson learnt hard – they should have resisted the allurement of the fat package offered by Brainvisa. Quick come quick go.

Given the shape of e-learning in Delhi and the NCR region one cannot help but wonder whether we have over-sung the outsourcing song. Its time we learnt a few lessons. A better idea for e-learning professionals is to hone their skills beyond e-learning -– in technical writing, journalism and related areas. And if you are employed in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad it makes tremendous sense to ward-off offers from e-learning companies in the North. Its time we prepared for the worst!

24 comments:

Ashish said...

Good one dear...

Geetika Sharma said...

You have achieved perfection in blending enticing images with your ideas. They make for power reading.

Do update the blog regularly..

Bye!

Geeta Bose said...

Asim, very interesting observation… Your article got me thinking into what should instructional designers do to make themselves valuable in the industry. Especially in the face of such a paradox – so many eLearning professionals yet NOT one fit our bill! It also prompted me to blog about this!

Five things that eLearning professionals must do to hone their skills.
http://geetabose.blogspot.com/

Cheers,
Geeta
www.kern-comm.com

hot spot said...

While you put ideas in the mind of the readers falling in the categories of employees, You also kill the competitive spirit of the industry. Do you actually intend to say that either the biggies do it or it is not possible. Don't kill the spirit man! I would love to read your response to this.

AC said...

Dear Hot Spot!

Thanks for your response. I believe in responsible journalism. My observations are derived from my conversations with about 10 key people in the e-learning industry here in Delhi.

I surely do not want to spoil the competitive sprit of the industry but would like to ready e-learning professionals for the fast-changing job scenario. I have met about a dozen e-learning professionals in this part of the country who have been victimized by their employees. Believe me there nothing more agonizing than to see people with considerable expertise without jobs. Their only fault was that they were too obsessed with e-learning and had not acquired skills to function in other areas like journalism or technical writing. I simply have attempted to drive home a point. To believe it or not is individual choice.

Debu Chakraborty, Kolkata said...

Thanks for getting me the latest on the industry trends.

Will look for more articles.

Pramit Singh said...

Good article.

High time people started writing about what's actually happening out there, behind all that talk of India shining.
- Pramit Singh

Manish said...

Asim, you clearly have a bias agains North-India, and particularly Delhi. If people earn well, and live well you call them ostentatious!

And you seem to have completely missed out the fact that the largest training/e-learning companies of India are based out of Delhi/NCR, which are NIIT, Educomp, and Genpact and not to forget other growing companies, such as Liqvid, FCS, Magic Software etc.

I myself work with an e-learning company, and I can tell you that business is better than ever, and our HR is under constant pressure to recruit more and more experienced professionals.

Please be responsible, and please do conduct some basic research (friends cribbing about salaries, and complaining about victimization when they are leaving a company is definitely Not limited to e-learning industry I believe) before publishing something like this for public consumption.

AC said...

Dear Manish!

Thanks for your response. I am glad that you have shared your concern here.

Let me give you a point by point analysis:

You observe that Delhi has some of the largest e-learning companies in India. I agree it surely has. NIIT and Genpact are the only two big names. Rest all are companies that have a small workforce. I would have appreciated if you would have done some research on these small companies before 'blindly' hailing them as great ones. Some of these companies are ailing to the extent that attrition rates are very high. I would not take specific names here but would appreciate if you make some effort and try to find out the real facts.

As far as your suggestion about conducting basic research is concerned, I am a hard-core researcher myself. I am a PhD scholar and I am working on Techno-Psychology (A new research area in India). I have authored several books, been the lead researcher for India's first educational TV channel (DD-Gyan Darshan), been a consultant to the health ministry, been a visiting faculty for Business Communication in Jamia, and worked for the e-learning industry's top clients (NETg, HP, GM, Kodak, GE Cap, etc). I think that proves my credentials and my capacity to conduct basic research.

To call me biased towards Delhi and North India is fine but for your information I am biased when it comes to crime against women, when it comes to fradulent practices, when it comes to mediocrity and callousness, and when it comes to witness individuals suffering from a "diahorrea of arguments and a constipation of actions". On all these fronts I am glad that I am a North-Easterner.

AC said...

Just a point that I missed pointing out to Manish. My writing this blog is geared towards a cause, of realizing a professional e-learning industry. I want e-learning professionals to take enlightened decisions in their lives, not slog out there to wake up one fine morning to discover that they are OUT OF THE RACE, just because they were not informed of the various perspectives.

Cheers!

AC

Srinivas P. said...

Hey, I am not racial but I would like to point that racialism in its worst form emanates in North India. North India is one place that is like a cancer for the Indian nation -- rowdy people and filthy characters.

And there is a strange think about the denizens of the North Indian region. They just cannot take even a wee bit of criticism. The status of women is so bad in the region that its impossible for women to treat outside their homes after 7 pm.

What more to talk of a civilization that does not treat its women properly. Manish is one of those buggers who, I think does not have an iota of the element called "intelligence". Its not his fault but the culture he was born in. May God bless North Indians...

Sushil Patnaik said...

Great debate going on here. Just like to add that Asim is perhaps right when he points that the jobs in Delhi may be dying. Actually its got to do with this North Indian LALA Attitude. That just does not seem to die. And perhaps the worse is yet to come.

DK said...

Great debate here! I think I believe that you should keep on enlightening professional with such insights. Its easy to be optimistic but the real success lies pessimism. Pessimism teaches you to be sublime and cautious.

Anil P said...

Like they say, if something is too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.

PK said...

Well argued dear

Surekha Sridhar said...

A well written article!

ebackpack said...

Hi Asim,
Interesting observations here. I would be curious to understand with a little more depth of what part of elearning is dead in the NCR? and why you think that is the case?

KC
www.ebackpack.co.in

Anonymous said...

Why do we Indians keep fighting amongst ourselves? (Ref the N & S Indian debate). N Indians may have some shortcomings but S Indians aren't saints, are they? Is there someone who identifies himself/ herself as just an 'Indian'? U can go on pointing fingers at each other and it will never end..

Anonymous said...

I would like to respond to Srinivas P. and Asim's views on North India or North Indians. any kind of Bias is dangerous. Biased minds are always single track minds who dont see positives but only negatives. These people are given jobs by North. Srinivas P. and Asim are nothing but back stabbers. "Jis Thali mein Khaate hein Usi mein Hole kar dete hein"

I would like to add for You Biased shameless and thankless people that North India inka Pait Palta hai.

What is EAST.... Bloody Hunger and No Jobs.. for Jobs these people run with their families to North and then their famous Betrayal.

Anyway, I can only say God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

A strong debate is going on here. But, its obvious that its turning to negative. At the very outset, it has started with the future of e-learning industry in north. but, suddenly and abruptly it takes a bent towards racialism. Is it a healthy debate?

NaukriForWomen.com said...

Hi Asim,
How are you? It would be our pleasure to get a review on our site http://naukriforwomen.com (India's first women only job site) from a great blogger like you.

What do you think about this noble initiative?

Thanks,
Radhika

elearning guy said...

Asim, very interesting observation… Your article got me thinking into what should instructional designers do to make themselves valuable in the industry.


----- this is quite a nice idea and concept that you have here...

Anonymous said...

[... ] is other nice source on this subject[...]

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Nish. To add to the conversation on future of elearning industry, I would like to make it very clear to all the professionals working in this industry...BEWARE...I am working in one of the e-learning companies in Noida as a Project Manager. My work condition in the company was so worst that I had to resign without having a job in my hand. I have a family to take care. I am the only bread earner. I have been searching for a job from the past 6 months basids having a successful career in this industry.... Now I am not sure what to do next....