header photo

Held by my prejudice

The other day we were travelling down to the old part of the city when we came across an injured exotic parrot near a traffic signal. It was amazing how everybody around got so concerned that it bought the traffic to a virtual halt.

Without any sign of discomfort about the traffic jam, everybody was concerned about the beautiful parrot. Few of us rushed through the chaos and held the bird in hand and tried to put it at an safer place in a park, tried to tend it’s wounds, also took it to a veterinarian who was specialist in birds. Made few friends whilst trying to save its live. It was almost like saving Blu from Rio.

And I was wondering if it was a big fat chicken, Nigel, who has escaped a poultry-farm van, would the story go as above?

No, I am prejudiced to beauty, an ugly looking chicken wouldn’t have got much of my attention. I would pity the guys whose food was lying on the road. And mind you we breed these filthy colorless fat creatures on a scale of 50 billion+ annually to slaughter them. Their life is not as important as one of the pretty looking parakeet that met with an accident and flung over my car.


I am held by my prejudice!

Fostering a Bird Sanctuary

I was once given a task of building a bird sanctuary for 10 birds. So went about building a habitat for about 10 birds and a journey to find them. After careful consideration and personal choices we got the first ten.

Within a week we noticed that only three birds liked the habitat and rest of them flew off. We did some research and based on that optimized our habitat. We got another 10 birds anticipating some would leave. This time only five birds left.

We kept on optimizing our habitat to best be able to contain 10 birds however we realized that no matter what or how we improved some would always leave. There is no optimum habitat at one place for 10 different birds and as time goes by may be the requirements of the bird would change and they would migrate to better grounds for mating or to give birth.

Now compare this with your team. Does it happen so that no matter how hard you try somebody would find new opportunity or be not happy with what you have provided and move on. There’s nothing wrong in it, as time changes people change, their priority changes and so they move on. The best we can do is keep you habitat’s condition at optimum level to attract birds. Weather they stay, and how long, only time will tell.

                So the task at hand continues, to optimize the work place with changing time and to find right people to build the team

More volatile than Fluorine

Yes it is more volatile than fluorine, and it’s the Indian job market.

Let’s take a look at the facts surrounding the ever so lucrative Indian job market as prospective candidates are willing to hop jobs within a year, sometimes in six months and the only option weighed while decision making is money. Everybody is talking about package,when a job is offered and the most common questions are…

  • How much are you offering?
  • Are there long-term onsite opportunities?

Not to mention there is a wish list of the countries as well. Importantly nobody asks how much did the last salary appraisal cycle yield on an average. Why, because they don’t wish to stay long enough for the company to raise it, they know that hopping a job would give them more salary than any appraisal on this planet can.

Was it always like this always?

When I joined ‘IT’ it was more of a talent pool attraction and the questions where a little different…

  • What projects do you have?
  • Is the work challenging enough?
  • Is there ample room to learn and improvise skills?
  • What are the training facilities and opportunities to move cross functions?

And lot of such questions related more towards career sculpting and not just the financial aspect of it. But the thought process has changed dramatically post recession, and more so in India than any other country.

The 3 Month Notice Period Monster

Companies’ think that they were smart in implementing notice period of 3 months. And this has proved to be in favor of the candidate seeking job. Obvious question, How’s that?

  • Whilst resigning, candidate gets his first offer and resigns
  • In remaining three months period they keep looking and try to get as many offers as possible.
  • Each time they get a new offer, they get an increment. and the increment is not on the CTC, but the highest offer in hand.
  • This strategy works well, and the candidate can easily score about 50% raise on the current CTC. I have also seen figure much higher than just 50% but that totally depends upon your skills to sell yourself.

Why did this happen?

Well one reason I think is that recession left a bad scar in everybody’s memories. The insecurity that came with the bad times has left that bitter taste and not to mention the mishandling of recession by most of the companies left their employees to believe that companies don’t care. So yes some guys at those corporate seats got it wrong in understanding the human emotion. Why did they not get it? Well that’s my second point. Most of the companies operating in India are multinationals and the decisions are always taken at a global level. What this means is if in Europe an average 4-5% hike would be celebrated such a hike in India would be a matter of worry. In recession when all the companies were booking losses, all their Indian counter parts were in green. But yet in view of the global decision layoffs were done none the less. Indian demography is not well-considered when the decisions are taken at global level and the effects are out in the open

Its effects

Evidently the Indian job market has changed so much that recruiters are finding it hard to match the resource cost with available vacancies they might have. The skilled resource crunch is well over 30% and when global companies are utilizing every bit to move the jobs offshore to reduce cost, the operating cost gap is closing day by day. How long before it lasts? For individual, well as it turns out you can only stretch that far and at some point you will again get on track of self-development and look forward for a career where you feel passionate about the work, anything that excites you. So don’t look at the company only from a perspective of how much it would pay you, also see if there is a value addition on both sides. For Companies, where ever possible, hire fresher and groom them to be absorbed in the system. Once the skill-set crunch reduces the market demand can automatically come down and also the operating cost is reduced quite

So Happy hunting guys, and though money has to be the first thing, make sure it is not the last one while taking a decision on career move, it is an important step in your career and also on your resume, so make it count.

New Take on Resume

I have been struggling with resumes quite a lot and no matter how many times I read it before taking an interview, whilst it is ongoing, I endlessly shift between the pages to make sense of the discussion. After many of these struggles I asked these questions to myself before putting it forth to you.
  • How many times have you flipped through a resume to understand if the candidate is eligible for a job Posting
  • How many times during an interview have you tried to go to a page or section of which candidate is talking about
  • Do you think resumes that ends in several pages leads to frustration just to figure out what’s in it
  • Is there an opportunity to improve that

In some of the primary discussions with my friends who take numerous interviews, this was a common problem we face. I asked around to more colleague  who agreed to having the same problem

While writing one of the project plan and using the grouping functionality of Excel I thought of how it could improve the overall design of a resume. This has given me sufficient reasons to think that this can be a very easy way of reviewing any resume and get a conclusion quicker than the normal way of doing it via Word.

Note: - There is an Excel attached at this Link. It is using Group and Outline function, hence on the top left side corner you will see [1][2][3]. clicking these button opens up that level of group. There also is a [+] sign on the rows which expands and collapses as required, and each row is formated in a way to give summary level overview.

Though it is at a very initial stage and would require further refining, I wanted some inputs from all of you to help me make it more relevant and user-friendly.

After the final version we wish to put it on Microsoft’s office template sections so that anybody can use it.

Expecting your frank opinion…

Project Plan Template [Excel]

It’s just a simple project plan document created in excel that can help you manage

  • Work Break Down structure
  • Allocation at activity level in WBS. Can assign in four areas,
    • Onsite-Functional
    • Onsite-Technical
    • Offshore Functional
    • Offshore-Technical
  • Availability Sheet enables
    • Workload overview
    • Resource leveling
  • Scheduling at each WBS sheet level
  • Summary page would display
    • Total work estimate per WBS element
    • Off shoring percentage
    • Readiness index

Kindly download the PPT [2007].

Ideas on improvement are welcome,  if supported by excel, would be implemented weekly in new versions.

Though use of template requires fair knowledge of Excel, if in doubt, kindly ask. We have left the formula open if you wish to understand the working of it and also to improvise as required

#2003 Format - PPT [2003]

Hope it helps!


Salary calculation Template – SAP

Another attempt at Templatization, this time it’s Salary.

The template helps you in arriving at a particular salary from a given standard, keep a check on your budget and gives the flexibility to over reach if the candidate is good enough.

Download 2007 version Salary Template.

Operation and functionality basics

  1. Put in the CTC of a candidate
  2. If the last appraisal is within last six months, if so then the percentage of hike that can be offered is less
  3. Offer in hand, If yes than the percentage hike is calculated on the offer in hand and not the CTC
  4. Experience in SAP – Years
  5. Education – just for information purpose, not considered in calculation at this time.
  6. Criticality/Rare technology – just for information purpose, not considered in calculation at this time.
  7. Rating in interview – Depending upon the interview rating the template decided what kind of variation from standard can be allowed.
  8. Module – Salary matrix is Module dependent
  9. Certification – just for information purpose, not considered in calculation at this time.

Note – The salaries in compensation matrix is just for illustration purpose only and the actual need to be taken from Comp and benefit team. Factors behind the salaries can be module and demand in market, years of experience. For first five years the salaries are incrementing at a rate of 30% and obviously this is how market behaves and not companies. After five years the salaries are rising at a rate of 20% considering purely technical expertise.

Kindly let us know if there are any other factors that needs to be considered and how that should affect the salary hikes.