August 26, 2006
When I got my first job in that big MNC, I was happy. When I joined the company, I was excited. When I compared it with other Indian companies (especially those I hate), I was pretty much happy that I was in a good place. Of course, that's a good company, in its own ways. But a few things I noticed there were not very much different from a match factory in my native town (Management concept No. 1: வேலை பார்க்கிறவனுக்கு வேலையைக் கொடு, வேலை பார்க்காதவனுக்கு சம்பளத்தைக் கொடு). Those who "knows" how to work have to work day and night and make sure that schedules don't slip. Those who don't know how to code or don't care about the schedules can just come to office, relax, and get back to home earning their salary. Believe me, there are people who don't know how to code (I'm not talking about managers). (Once I had to work with a function that takes more than 135 arguments. True, ladies and gentlemen, people are getting paid to write such code; and it's happening in one of the monster MNCs). If the management believes that they need people in their team, they will recruit whoever is available. All they need is head count. Why bother about quality of the human resource, as long as they can be used to get money from the client. After all, they have few loyal team members who sacrifice their personal life and make sure that project schedules don't slip. Now, when I sit at my home and relax during the weekend, I see my old teammates being online. The whole "responsible" team is online 24 x 7. A few people in the team get paid well according to the company's standards (it's one of the stingy companies in India). Other employees still work for peanuts. (I got 1?00 rupees as my performance bonus for the first year.) Last week when I pinged a good friend of me on a Sunday, he said he was busy. He was there the whole day. For what? There was some project slipping schedules. 4 or 5 memebers of the team were in the office for the whole Sunday. You know what they will get for that? Ugh... let us not talk about that.. they might kill me if they happen to read it. What would happen if it just keeps going? Like me, everyone will quit, but the company's management won't bother. All they need is head count. Quality is something the management has no idea about. They do not know how to conduct interviews; they do not know how to find good people; they do not know how to retain good people. But for sure, they are doing good in the business; and they will continue to do well. It's just that their business model is different; they don't need to worry about quality at all.