Friday, November 21, 2008

Slowdown - An environment of mistrust

It was just one year back that we were looking at an Industry where attrition was the biggest concern. Even the top Indian 5 giants like TCS,Infosys,Wipro, Satyam and HCL were hit badly and all struggling to comprehend the reason behind this cause.
Industry was not able to figure out what the employees actually want from them. Why the employees were jumping the ship at the drop of a hat. It was difficult for them to understand as "What the youth want?".
The HR honchos from all over India were hunting for answers even less than six months back. Employers were finding it very difficult to trust an employee. The question was - "Will he stay with me long enough to complete this project?"

And suddenly, the situation has taken a u-turn. Companies are laying off their "talent bank" for which they fought so ferociously. The guy who walks out of office today is not sure, if his job is here to stay when he reaches office the next day. The morale is at all time low. Employees are finding it difficult to trust an employer. The question is - "Will he sack me today?"

This is an environment of extremes and uncertainty. This is an environment of relationship without trust. And, this is going to worsen with every cycle on up-and-down.

So, Who is to be blame? And more importantly, how this cycle can be broken? OR, Can this be at all checked?
In my opinion,This environment is a result of a number of social-commercial factors, like:

  • Employee side:
  1. Desire for overnight riches and i-want-to-retire-young mindset.
  2. Career objective not properly defined. (Corollary: Objective=money)
  3. Peer pressure. Comparison of lifestyle. Increase in jealousy.
  4. Spending more than the earning!
  5. Gaining experience without gaining competence (i.e. 12 years of experience looked like 1 year of real experience repeated 12 times over! - which eventually remains 1 year of experience).
  • Employer Side:
  1. Inexperienced and poor management
  2. Unavailability of proper HR professionals (Hint: NOT those people who think HR = headhunting)
  3. Treating employees as commodities .
  4. Not sticking to the basics .
  5. Lack of strategic insight into one’s business .
  6. Lack of strategic leadership which think about employee satisfaction comprehensively.

Currently this problem has reached a transitory end until the market recession.

However, this problem needs to be quickly addressed. Otherwise, it will result in more bankruptcies, more stress, disturbed lives, social crime and poor results. To resolve this, both sides need to take imperative corrective actions(i will be soon posting and play with your jussive mood).

-Bhaskar Tripathi
"It is our wits that make us men"


  1. I would also like to add to it that :
    1)companies should dispense from doing shrewd business.When they even sense the prospective losses (which may actually not happen if they re-engineer properly), they fire people.
    2)Businesses must realize that Layoff is not a culture.Many families are dependent for their food and living.It must not create ripples effects.

  2. In India we do not have any social security insurance unlike USA.In Us if a person is fired in mass layoff,people are given 6 month salary by the US govt.Indian govt does not provide any such insurance.So similar layoff like US should not be done in India.


  3. Companies are firing more in Us than in India.

  4. I agree with you.Nice and very witty insight!

  5. You mean to say that during the upswing of an economy, employees ditch their employers and during the downward ride employers ditch employees? A very cynical point-of-view, but I am afraid quite true.
    But what are companies to do when they face huge losses? Sometimes it is very crucial to cut costs even if it means laying off people. But yes, it can be done in a more sensitive manner and approach

  6. Poor regulations mechanism, be it US, India or elsewhere is to be blamed for it. At times there are too many regulations (e.g. FDI in Retail in India) at others there is none at all.(Sub prime lending in US is a case in point.) World’s best mind work in I-banking and it’s not for nothing that I-Banking has failed, the greed to capitalize on a certain loophole was its reason. Don’t know much about macro and micro economic factors but I know the problem lies some where there. Mixed Economy is like a double edged sword and in absence of continuous, impartial and expedite monitoring it can surely wound, like it has this time. Employee-employer factor to me is minor especially when I know both do follow herd mentality.

  7. @Nikita/
    @A.Jack.Ass.Yelling (A.J.A.Y) :
    True character of a person,state,business or even country is reflected when they are pecunity stricken.My point was that being a poor country the newly rich young class should not forget their origins.
    They must realise that this is very transitory phase of improving the quality of life.We still do not have a solid doemestic market.First we must invest in our strengths only then start spending on big-tickets.
    In crux,we youngsters should keep our feet well grounded and realize our potential and limitations.
    We realize our potential but forget the pragmatic limitations that the international world imposes.
    Build assets,build India is the keyword.

  8. ^
    a)Your response is irrelevant to your post and the two comments.
    b.)I liked the first statement very much.
    C.)That we dont have a solid domestic market I would say read "Fortune at the bottom of Pyramid."
    d.)That we should keep our feet well grounded (though I hate to preach, still its an instant itch)I would say Dream, Dream ,Dream. Yes, there will be chaos, there will be uncertainty, failures but whatever success comes out of it would be a new world-dreamt, tried, struglled,but ultimately prevailed..

  9. @A.Jack.Ass.Yelling (A.J.A.Y) :

    Apologize for the vague post.However,it is no way irrelevant to my earlier post and suceeding comments.
    I was trying to point out a few more reasons for "Mistrust created by Slowdown".
    The changed life style of youngsters is causing a worry.They want high salaries with fewer skills.The employers these days are becoming increasingly proactive to weed out these type of people.
    The Indian IT industry was built by people who had a "slogger" lifestyle, not a lavish one.So I would stand by my motto "Build assets,build India".Spend less, save more and invest the saving in building useful assets rather than spending in casinos,discotheques and anonymous shopping.
    This habit will automatically improve the productivity of your life,your employer,your business and your country.

  10. @"Fortune at the bottom of Pyramid."

    I do not completely agree if this theory holds true in context of India.It may hold true but only upto a certain extent.Even though I am not an economist,however there is a gut feel that in India people are not too much inclined towards developing new business models.They still seek and aspire to be service men.Perhaps because of being rules for 800 odd years.

    BTW I am myself at the bottom of te pyramid building on something like this :

  11. I am still confused if you are trying to state the reason for Mistrust or pepping up youth of the nation or trying both but I am afraid yet falling short on both front, at least to this youth. I went there but does not it say that fortune does lie at the bottom.Yes, you may not agree with its relevance in India. you doubt that 'in India people are not too much inclined towards developing new business models' yet you say 'Build Assets Build India'. I would say one can espace the power of choice but not its implications. India is not built in banks.India is an econmic power because it was dreamt-dreamt in an Infosys, Reliance, in a Bharti. What would have happened if Narayan Murthy have thought of buliding asset and at around retirement tried to replicate his Infosys dream. He didnt park his money in bank to build long term assets, instead he even borrowed from his wife and created it in an eternal success just by following his dream and the less I say about Ambani and Mittal the better it would be. By the way no body is bothered about country or the company.Everyone thinks of his own survival first and I see nothing wrong in it. Do you think Ambani, Mittal or Murthy are patriotic, to me they are selfish souls driven by desire to make a mark. Patrotism is just a natural fall out in a continuing quest to stay at the top. And I think thats how it should be...

  12. First thing first (to make you less confused):
    I am trying to pin-point a few reasons for the "Mistrust created in the recession".

    there is not a single reason for Mistrust in the recession is a multifolded problem.there are a few others reasons which i had already discussed in the main post.

    People are pecunity stricken.Small amount of "net exposure" means more work,fewer rewards for employees. Now add the extravagant lifestyle of the lesser skilled youth in India to the total problem.It starts a chain reaction of other problem.

    If I summarize my views in crux, then we have the following problems associated by youths today :

    1) Most Indian youth want extravagant lifestyle with lesser skills.
    2) Dream to be rich overnight.(which is possible only in dreams...not in recession times.Even if you keep gurgling about theories like "follow you dreams...become murthy,ambani etc").
    3)Lack of entrepreneurial skills which add multifolds to your talent.

    if you carefully go through, it actually refers to the same theory.It is even officially listed on wikipedia's article on Bottom of the pyramid.So I surmise its is beyond debate.
    If I am not wrong you are referring to this :

    @"By the way no body is bothered about country or the company" : There are some people who are bothered and they are the one's who make the difference.

    @"Patrotism is just a natural fall out in a continuing quest to stay at the top" :
    If you are at the top, only then you get a holistic view of the things.Patrotism is a feeling which automatically comes within you when you have some sense of belongingness.
    This feeling has different levels of circle.
    Personal,your family, you group/team,your brand,your country.
    But first you have to rise in thinking to reach that level and get a holistic view.

  13. "There are some people who are bothered and they are the one's who make the difference."

    And who they are??(wink)

    "But first you have to rise in thinking to reach that level and get a holistic view."

    But why?

    By the way- "You have your own way, I have mine. As for the right way, correct way and the only way-does it matter?"

    You know what happens when your day job becomes an existential compulsion. Suddenly, you start telling people why don't you go suck yourselves. And sometimes you don't even spare your best friend..ha ha(Carry on the good work, man. I was just taking a dig at you, just to pester you and your last line does indicate you are off balance...

  14. Dude,
    you caught the wrong meaning of :
    "But first you have to rise in thinking to reach that level and get a holistic view."

    I referred "you" as "all those who think that Patrotism is just a natural fallout.

    @ "But why?"
    Because, to get a birds eye view of any problem you must be looking from the top.

    BTW , I was never badgered by your witticism.

  15. Gaining experience more than learning is very true.
    you have put this up very bluntly..."12 years of experience looked like 1 year of real experience repeated 12 times over! - which eventually remains 1 year of experience)."

    I have so many colleagues of mine who have more than 10years of experience in the industry but all repetitive and actual experience is just one or two years.


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