Independence Day message from an IT Professional
Posted in Linkedin on 15th Aug 2017
Those who don't have time may skim through the bold lines.
To India, to Indians in India and around the world, to those who believe in the potential of India, to those who care for India, to those who want to bring positive changes in India and the world, I wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day from Germany. Here is a message (please consider more like a collection of related thoughts, request or appeal) from a common man, an IT Professional. I think this message is not only applicable for India but also for all of the emerging countries, but I just couldn't stop myself from sharing it on India's 71st Independence day. This message is based on own thoughts, based on reflection, based on careful observations, based on my interactions with people around the world, understanding how others see India and Indian IT Professionals, and how Indians see India and Indian IT Professionals.
Before the invasions, Indian subcontinent was like a flower garden, happy in its own way. Its richness, peacefulness, sweetness and fragrance reached various parts of the world. People around the world were attracted to this garden and started visiting this garden. Unfortunately it also attracted some not so nice people, who came, looted, divided, damaged, killed, exploited to the maximum they could and turned some parts of the garden into garbage and left after it reached a point where the garden couldn't take it anymore. Some of the current generation (people and media) who don't understand the damage their forefathers have caused take every single opportunity to highlight the stinking garbage side of India intentionally to put the garden side of India down, they just don't want to know about the garden side of India. I request them not to do this. Have patience, The garden side will surely turn the garbage side also to a garden. It needs time. Damage was systematically done to the roots and it is not easy to clean this up and transform it in a short time. Those of us in IT have better opportunity to showcase the good side, the garden side of India to the world. Let's remind ourselves about that and Let's do it.
If we are forced to compete, Let's compete on the basis of quality and not on the basis of quantity. How many times have we not heard? "We can replace 1 person of X nationality with 3 of my guys for lesser cost and they will work 24/7/365 in shifts". Instead we should reach a position where we can say we can do what X does in 8 hours in 4-6 hours because of our efficiency, competence or automation or something in that direction and definitely not on the basis of quantity. This is as applicable to a company as applicable to an Individual.
Let's understand that all great ideas doesn't have to come from economically rich nations or from citizens of those nations. Let's understand that all great things doesn't have to be built in the economically rich nations. Look at the number of things we use on daily basis, the social networking sites (F, T, I, and of course L and more) , the search engines (G, B, Y), the video streaming sites (Y, N and more), the online retail sites (A, E and more) , the multi national fast food and Pizza chains ( M, B, S, P, D and more), where have all of these come from ? None from India or from any of the emerging countries right? Why? One of the reasons is, Unfortunately there is a tendency in many of us to blindly welcome and support ideas coming from economically rich nations or from citizens of those nations and to condemn even good/great ideas coming from emerging nations or from citizens of those nations. This has to really stop. It already has began to stop. I am sure it will fully stop eventually when people see the results but it would take longer to stop if we don't voluntarily stop it. Even for one of the greatest technology for human well-being, Yoga, we (current generation Indians) were waiting for the world to approve it before we took to it in a big way. Some of us still don't take it. Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we should buy only local products, ban foreign products, subsidize local products, reduce taxes for local companies or donate money to local companies or anything like that. All that I am saying is let's give a fair chance to local ideas, local people, to local companies to compete fairly. Let the fate of the ideas, businesses etc be decided based on the market economy. When 1000's of startups are created, 100's may fail financially, but it is never a failure from a learning or experience point of view. Let's reduce the unnecessary fear of failure that entrepreneurs have to go through. Let's give them the freedom. Unless it is life threatening for themselves and/or others let's allow and support them to try, to experiment with their lives, with their ideas and with their plans and visions. Let's build great things where we want to build. Let's become creators and not remain only as consumers throughout our lives.
Let's understand that people with just half or less than half of the technical skills are able to sell more, market more, create more because of the command in the English language. Of course we should focus on improving this aspect but in the meantime let's not forget to focus more on the ideas, more on the passion, more on the vision, more on the content and communication and less on the language and the accent.
Let's understand that people with good marketing and sales skills from economically rich nations are able package shit and sell it to us and play with our minds to make us aspire for that shit. Look at the example of cola drinks. We all know it is bad for health. For some of us, Our parents and people who care about us, they try to stop us from drinking a beer but they don't stop us from drinking a cola because of the way it is marketed, the impression it has created in the minds of people. It is the marketing and sales strategy used by multi national companies that makes us drink that, isn't it? Let's not take shit.
Let's only pay for those that we need. A cab driver who earns 30000 Rupees (approx 470 USD ) per month buys a mobile phone that costs around 52000 Rupees (approx 810 USD) with his one year savings. He is pushed to do this by social pressure, by a fake sense of happiness that mostly we IT Professionals display. Do we or does he really use the full features of that phone? No, not even 10% of its features. But because someone else has it we should also have it. Think about it. We could spend such money on training and increasing our competence or building something.
Let's understand that the same people who give us shit to handle, turnaround and announce that we stink because we handle shit. Some of the IT Professionals are forced to take jobs below their qualification. I fully understand that every job has its value and respect. But a Job that doesn't allow one to grow, that doesn't allow one to learn, that doesn't increase the competence is really not the right job for that person. This unfortunately is because of the cheap labour situation and joblessness. At this point I must highlight that, some of the Indian IT companies are doing great job by building advanced solutions, products, platforms, working on cutting-edge technologies and providing great job opportunities to tens of thousands of employees and solving Business challenges across the world and helping big corporations to provide better services and products, No doubt in that. But on the other side unfortunately some of the IT companies are also taking shitty work in wholesale from outside and distributing it in retail to its employees and damaging the whole reputation of the Indian IT Industry. This is really exploitation of cheap labour. My sincere request, please don't take shitty work to India or any of the emerging countries, don't just look at short term goals, look at long term goals, have a vision, build reputation, train people on latest technologies and provide high quality services. Relates to my earlier point, Compete on the basis of quality. I don't know the details of cos/price or quality etc, but as a layman when I look at the way Japanese car makers have penetrated the German car market, I am inspired when I think what they have done. Remember Germany is the land of the Audi's, BMW's, Benz, VW, OPEL and many more? And in this land we can find so many people driving Japanese cars. Isn't that a great achievement?
Let's continue to Excel in whatever we do. We need to spend time on matters that are important to us to excel in that, let's spend that time to excel. All those who think there is no time. Think about the time we have spent watching others play cricket or any other sports on TV or the time we have spent reading stranger's Facebook posts. There is always time for important things. We just need to prioritize it.
Let's continue to increase our competence and Let's help others to increase their competence. We need to proactively find out where we lack competence and then work on increasing competence in that area. If we are stuck in a manual job because of our financial situations or liabilities or borrowing habits we need to spend some extra hours on learning and increasing our competence so that we can learn automation and come out of the pit. The situation will not change on its own without us striving for it. When we are in the pit we have to push ourselves if we want to come out of it, when we are on the ground we can move forward.
Some of you may naturally question what is that I have done to improve the situation? As I mentioned in the beginning, I am just a common man, an IT Professional, with a family, with a full-time job playing dual role of BI Team Lead and Product Owner. I am trying my best to take time from my spare time ( nights, weekends and holidays) and learn and work on own BI initiatives. It may sound like I am advertising but I have no better way to neutrally convey the steps I have taken till now and the plans I have other than to just list it below.
OK, On the personal front
I really haven't done much, I need to do better.
One of my friend and colleague wanted to visit India but was scared to visit India because of the news she and her family has been hearing about India. Note - Most often negative news is spread more. Me and my family asked her to join us during our last visit to India, She stayed and traveled with us to various parts of India (Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Agra, Mathura, Kerala and some more nearby places), also attended a relative's wedding and then returned safely to Germany with lots of good memories and learning a little bit about our rich and diverse culture. Of course she also noticed some of the bad governance part and the traffic Jams. But then, every place has its own problems.
The second thing I remember I have done is to pass on the links to the videos that show Upa Yoga practices that I practice to my friends and colleagues who have asked me.
On the Professional front
I think I have done something but haven't achieved anything as yet, As I come from Business Intelligence (BI) background my effort has been mainly BI focused.
I started blogging to provide much needed unbiased information on BI topics, Started answering BI and Data Warehousing related questions on Quora, helping people with BI career topics through Quora and LinkedIn, In fact, just today, in between writing this article, conducted a mock interview and provided feedback for a candidate based in Hyderabad for free, He did not succeed in previous 5 interviews with German companies and has his next interview with another German company on 18th Aug.
Started sharing BI articles on LinkedIn, Created and published Individual Business Intelligence - concept of how an individual can collect and use data about himself/herself to improve themselves without any costs, Created Public Data Warehouse Project - with a Vision to build the biggest and the best Data Warehouse and provide information and insight to general public worldwide through reportpedia and also to challenge myself with the biggest challenge that I can imagine as of now.
Created JobsBI.com - a totally free Business Intelligence Job portal, Published an article about BI Jobs in Germany - Tips & Templates, And now I am in the final stage of PublicBI company formation to get more focus on the Public Data Warehouse project. Company's mission is to Improve lives with Business Intelligence and Vision is to empower general public worldwide with Information and Insight. PublicBI will try to redefine employment - where passion is given more importance than qualification. PublicBI will also serve as a BI Knowledge repository. As I don't have the money to fund the project and I don't want to involve investors at the moment and I am scared to take loans I plan to provide multiple services in BI to fund the project and grow slowly but steadily. Starting from September, I will work part-time at current company ( of course with a cut in my salary) and part-time at PublicBI building Public Data Warehouse with other self-motivated and passionate people. I am already in partnership discussions with couple of Indian companies specializing in Business Intelligence and already progressing on another company formation in my hometown Bengaluru (Bangalore). I am looking forward to learn new tools, concepts and face bigger challenges as we build Public Data Warehouse. When we start, I will provide Business Intelligence on-the-project training where people get real project experience building Public Data Warehouse. Vision is to have one team per Data Mart. This will be a project that they are able to showcase not only to potential employers but also to their families and friends. And if everything goes according to plan I will be able to even offer high quality jobs in the area of Business Intelligence to hundreds if not to thousands. I will end it now, I think the list is going too long and looks self-praising but as I said I am just proactively answering a question before it is asked :-) .
Note that all of the above that I have done is when I have been doing my full-time dual role as efficiently as two people would and I have been praised by my Managers with comments like "most organized person in an unorganized world".
Hope my sincere efforts and words directly from heart inspires or motivates at least one person. I would then consider my effort of publishing this article worthy. In short, Let's do it (9 points above) for a better us, Let's do it for a better India, Let's do it for a better world.
Happy Independence Day, Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.
Best Regards, Anoop