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Updated: February 18, 2011 16:31 IST

Towards a global workforce model

D. Murali
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Ask Prabakaran Murugaiah, Founder and CEO of the US-based Corp-Corp.com (http://bit.ly/F4TPraba), what his plans are for his native place, Tirunelveli, and his answer is, ‘Jobs.’ For, with IT (information technology) becoming a global service without restriction of any boundaries, Praba looks at creating opportunity in rural areas as his lifetime ambition. “My goal is to develop a world-class, next generation technical training and development centre in Tiruneveli,” he adds, during the course of a recent interaction with Business Line.

“Our trainers will be highly experienced core technologists from the US who will be training these resources via video-conferencing. We plan to incubate thousands of professionals in the high-demand areas like mobile development, cyber security, specialised software tools, and cloud computing,” explains Praba.

To him, creating ITES (IT enabled service) opportunities is a second priority. Once we create high-paying jobs in the rural areas, the spending power will rise and create locally several associated opportunities, he reasons. “We want our next generation to be closer to where they were born and raised and take care of their parents when they really need help.” Our conversation continues over the email.

Excerpts from the interview.

First, your take on the IT market globally, in the US, and in India.

Technology market is experiencing tremendous growth globally, and the Indian market is stepping into a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. I would say the IT industry is recession-proof to a certain extent. It may not see a big growth during the peak of recession, nor see a big downturn globally.

US unemployment rate is over 9 per cent in the generic market; but, for IT, it is between 5 and 6 per cent. This is the same as the generic unemployment rate during the non-recession period. Companies tend to optimise more systems to reduce the cost all the time and continue to improve the technology solution for the ever-changing business needs.

There are many major IT projects which are on hold for the last couple of years because of the downturn. Once the market shows strong stability, these projects will see the light of the day and will create a number of jobs.

In which areas do you see a faster growth than the industry trends?

Mobile and cloud computing are growing exponentially compared to any other technologies. These enable the users to access data anywhere in real time. Every company will begin to use the mobile-enabled platform to engage the users and this opens up a huge opportunity for many small players as well as big players. We are also seeing significant growth in crowd sourcing and integrating with social media.

How relevant will Indian talent be to the next generation of growth in IT?

In the last 15 years, Indian tech companies have incubated tens of thousands of IT and ITES professionals and have made India as one of the best destinations for experienced developers in all different technologies. Thousands of highly experienced technologists, combined with fresh graduates, create the world’s biggest technology workforce in India. These resources are attracting multinational companies to set up not only in the service sector but also in the research and product development divisions in India.

How can we improve the employability of our IT generation?

Every person who is coming out of college is employable. The question is, ‘When?’ The graduates who are completing the degree lack the understanding of the business and how the solution they are developing is actually solving the problem.

So, providing an opportunity to solve the real-time business problems as part of the curriculum will make them more capable and reduce the time of training by corporates. Training need not to be on complete coding or software; instead, a logical design of creating a solution will be a big help.

Every software professional should mentor one person and make him or her employable. This is tough to execute, but this will help create another 1.5 million young employable software professionals in the matter of a few years.

Where do you see opportunities emerging for the young Indian population?

The biggest opportunity for Indians comes from India itself. There are many projects involving implementation of technology solutions by emerging countries in the private and public sectors. Indian Government is allocating several hundred millions of dollars for e-governance and other technology-enabled platforms for public service. Indian population growth was a problem decades ago but that is an opportunity now. Over 65 per cent of Indian population will be less than 30-years-old by 2020. In order to service this massive demand, every part of day-to-day activity requires technology-supported solution.

Where is the gap between the supply and demand?

The biggest demand is in the area of the latest technologies; and the next one is the subject-matter expertise. Learning new technologies before they grow very big with lot of demand will reduce the gap. Many candidates keep jumping the ships without experiencing the full lifecycle of the project or mastering their core competencies. Finding a person with 5 years of solid experience in one technology is becoming very rare nowadays. Also, elevating the career from programmer to management position too soon before obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the skills also reduces the candidates’ chance of becoming subject-matter experts.

On the other hand, the US professionals are extremely knowledgeable; and most of them are subject experts because they stick with the same technology and continue to improve their knowledge in the respective skills. Over a period of time, they become solution architects with the highest problem-solving skills than any other professional in the world.

I anticipate the global workforce model where highly-skilled architects from the US combined with mid-level and junior-level developers from India will execute projects worldwide. That’s why we are expanding our site from being a US-based technology portal to a global workforce portal where any software professional can seek potential opportunities in any part of the world.

Would you like to talk about your plans for the India market?

Our major focus is the US. We are planning to launch a portal for returning Indians, most of whom are US citizens. We would like to help these highly-qualified professionals to land the best opportunities in India.

Demand in other countries too is growing significantly. Our technology will help connect between available talent and opportunities in less than 30 seconds. We offer this service free of cost to candidates. All they need to do is upload their resumes!

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