Friday, 1 May 2009

Outsourcing and All That...

outsourcing mainly means cheap labor. When you can't keep enough gus in your office, because your business stinks, you can't rent enough office space or buy enough number of laptops for your employees or even giving them salary is beyond your reach you outsource the jobs.

These jobs come to India (or the likes of it) where man power is limitless and renewable( as every second we generate a new source of energy - Human energy). And htere are millions of millions of buggars who will do your job (be it cleaning your dirty linen) almost for free.

So basically money is what keeps Outsourcing alive. As long as you do it cheap you are there. Once u ask for a hike in the contract, oh sir, you see, you do not fit strategically into our company's vision. hence Bubbye. - is hwat most client companies would say to the suppliers. They know there is no dearth of another outsourcer.

Being an insider I have thought about this situation a lot. And I have no doubt that outsourcing works only because of this cheap labor stuff.

We suck at understanding the job or the operations or the business of our clients. We suck at understanding why they do things or how they do things. We more importantly are never bothered about what should ideally be our role in helping hte customer achieving its goal. We do what we are told to do by the customer. And wash our hands with that.

But hten haven't we brought a lot of good things to the european large companies along with us? I happen to be working for a european giant ( a mammoth i would say) company. My job is to provide consultancy and functional designing. before we the wretched contractors came in, it was handled by the company's own ppl.

with us around, the company can now achieve more htan what it could ever do before. know why?

Because, now you can put in a requirement only 3 days before release and expect to bully the contractors to get it done. Now you can never respond to an email clarificaiton which was sought during design or development and later on calmly point your finger to someone and say it was always an implicit requirement. You can now actually look at an individual and expect him to cancel his vacation and come to work on all days.

has europe ever seen a more committed workforce than these outsourced workers? Has europe ever seen a more easily bullied software giants? Has europe ever seen ppl who can effortlessly put in 14 hours a day and get back home and tell his wife how he solved one issue and is so much proud of it? Has europe ever seen a guy to archive an email from a client with a "Thank You" which probably the guy didn't even have to write rather was a part of his standard signature!!

Outsourcing is reducing the whole world to a global village. I wonder whether it will do good for anyone. At one side there are these large corporate houses who are happy to give away jobs that could have been easily done by locals to a far away country. Increasing profit of hte company along with joblessness, insecurity and reduction of spending power in its own country where it sells its products! At the other end it sends money to a country where a few of the blokes earns a tiny share of the large pie (which eventually goes to the company balancesheets or fat paycheques for the executives) and are happy to buy a levis every other month or a pulsar to ride with his girlfriend to a local pub selling very ordinary drought Kingfisher.

The definition of life goes a sea change in different places. I have seen europeans who work only stipulated hours and have taken pride in myself that I can work for 72 hours at a stretch. But then I do take the awe that how these ppl can leave the so called "urgent" or "very important" work behind and go for a fishing trip or a camping session in norhtern highlands! I cant help but wonder, are we wrong or they are?

How this sort of different working culture affecting the world working sceanrios? The europeans(or the americans or those who employ regional bias here...jsut to point out someone) now want more out of hte money they are putting in. With recession knocking at the door, they want 5 guys to be replaced by 3 and 3 to be replaced by 1. work remains the same. deliverable output remains the same. but the workhorses reduce. and we to keep our business alilve, to keep our roti rozi coming, agree to every unreasonable timescales, cancel our vacations, run around the country or the globe for the sake of it.our girlfriends wait at home. our mothers forget how we look and our fathers wary of the future of his bloodline. such is life.

P.S: I know this is one of the most incoherent posts I have ever written. But then an incoherent post is better than no post. ;-)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

I have been thinking lately. I have been thinking hard. Not that I seldom practice it and hence I have to blog (read brag) about it, but then there is something unique about this particular thought.

I have thought about this since long time. When I was a child, still this thing kept me worried. And that worrying thing is nothing but a question: “What is the purpose of life?”

When I was a kid, one fine morning, while playing with my friends, I fell, and I was crying. Suddenly I realized, I was crying for myself. As I had a feeling that my “self” was not in the so called happy mode. I wanted to see if I could do away with the crying part, and I could laugh. I tried and I succeeded. Of course for a brief stint though. I hadn’t paid much heed to it. And my parents and the others around me, found me to be very brave and courageous.

That was not the least true. I am a coward and everyone who knows me a well, knows this about me. I am scared of everything around of me. Not necessarily I cry though in every situation. But I do.

I remember I was scared of lying to my mom when I was a kid. So after flunking a number of math problems in class IV exam, I came back home and lied. I knew I had got a couple wrong, and my upbringing told me that was an unforgivable sin. My parents never would beat me, but still, I feared the very worst, and lied. I am afraid of failures. In games, or in exams. That’s why I was pretty much a studious student till my fourth grade. I feared coming second and studied even harder. All these fears were allayed off one day.

When one by one they came true. I was no longer the best player among my friends (not in cricket, not in football not in TT), neither I remained the best student in the class (came second in fourth). All these slowly ragged the fear a bit down. Things I could do so well, when I was afraid of them, were not my forte any longer since I faced those very fears. In a way, I won over them.

Coming back to the topic, crying and laughing became an experiment for me. I have laughed at strange circumstances where none would have thought of, though never actually tried crying when I should be laughing. Probably it was because a moment of laughter is too dear a thing to be wasted in meaningless tears. The thought that these experiments gave rise to, was of profound importance and gave me a belief which made me what I am today.

I started believing a human being is who he wants to be. The circumstances do play their part in shaping you. I am no master at human psychology to deny or to trifle at that. But I believe I am who I wanted to be. And of course you are who you wanted to become. These played a part in going forward in my thought process and ask a few more questions.

I wanted to know if I am who I wanted to become, then in reality, who I am or rather who I wanted to become. I hope I am not perplexing the reader with too many complex sentences. Then I started asking, why I wanted to become what I have become. What was the purpose that led me to it?

While growing up, slowly trifle things took over my mind. Trifle things like, studies, career, job, onsite, dollar, rupees, pound starlings, and girls and many more. I never took care of thinking about these things anymore. The other day, I was talking to my mom over the phone. And we were joking about my aunt’s devoted faith in Shri Ravi Shankar ji’s “Art of Living” gyans. My mom had a confused state of mind whether to pursue what others are so devotedly pursuing. She said, at her age, people should be devoted to God. She should be now, thinking about religious matters and should be set free from all the trifle things of life. She thought, all her life was spent in trifle things anyway. And now as she nears that ninth gate towards eternity, she should remember the One who sent her here on earth to fulfill her duties. I could not help but laugh. And at the same time, my questions which always had bothered my subconscious came back to me at once.

What was the purpose of human beings life? I, at once, realized that it’s not fulfillment of duties that people think they should be doing. Rather, it’s a pursuit of happiness that human beings are here for. That pursuit of happiness makes what you are. And being happy is the goal of life.