IT Sector job losses – Opportunity not crisis

Newspapers and online media are awash with the impending doom of IT Industry primarily in India. Automation, protectionism, unionism and the poor quality of graduates that add to the woes of untrainable resources. All of this is true, and the picture can be even grimmer. But wait! Did we all not see such changes earlier?
Every hundred meters a PCO greeted the caller a decade back. Slowly the PCOs gave way to mobile recharge when everyone started having their personal cell phones and did not need to walk down to a PCO to make a call. Then came ‘online recharge’ and the shops started selling mobile phone accessories. Is this not sounding familiar to what we have been witnessing all along in our lives “CHANGE.”

Choices exit now

Change hurts the most to those who are ill prepared to accept it. It is never the change that is painful, but the resistance to accepting it is. Zeroing down to Indian IT market, we all have started experiencing the impact of change. The positive side of change has been far more impactful than the negative. We have shopping on our fingertips, taxi is just a click away and that too far cheaper. Choices we have of shopping, doctor consultation, communication, home services, learning options and so much more are overwhelming. The list of such individual empowerment is only growing by every passing day and are making our lives far easier than we ever thought. The yellow hailing cabs are getting replaced by app-based taxi services rapidly. It impacted the drivers, but they adopted the new form. The shops who had PCOs adapted to become mobile sellers and the pace of change managed to modify the thinking and resistance of those who wanted to remain fixed in the position they thought is a permanent safety.

IT Jobs of yesteryear had served their purpose well over three decades similar to what typewriters did since 1874 till 2011. Long years of comparatively easy money even for an undeserving person, has done a lot of harm already to the abilities of hard work and sense of learning of large section of graduates. It is time to come out of the mindset of entitlement and demand. The reset button has been pressed for Indian IT sector, and it is not the government or the IT companies who are responsible for protecting the jobs, but everyone has to find value in the new era of technology. It is probably the best time to start new ventures and generate jobs rather than seeking one. I did that when I started SRKay Consulting Group a year back and now have created more than a hundred jobs. My ventures are going to generate thousands of more opportunities. One has to remember; change is the only constant, and every moment somewhere, someone in this world is working very hard to replace your job. Look forward to a positive change and be part of the change.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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