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18,000 People On The Bench At Infosys

Posted on Sunday, Jul 26th 2009

“[The] problem is, all of these initiatives are expensive. If the global economy doesn’t bounce back in a year or so, India’s outsourcers could find themselves saddled with legions of employees who have little to do. Infosys offered jobs to 18,000 college graduates last year and plans to hire more this year. But with scant work to give them, the company is doubling the length of their training to six months and assigning them mock projects to hone their skills. Though that’s not cheap, Infosys says it’s worth the investment.”

Read the full article here from Business Week: India’s Outsourcers: Using the Slump to Get Bigger.

I can’t help but wonder what these 18,000 people are doing! Are any of you out there who can enlighten us?

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Sramana,

Hope you know about this kind of initiative started last month in Pune. Check this
http://groups.google.com/group/techstart-in/web/techstart-overview

Anand Deshpande, CEO of Persistent, is the main driving force behind this effort.

We were able to get 2 candidates for our start up.

But still I would maintain , students need to be motivated and advised in a better way.

They are ready to spend lakhs on wasteful degrees awarded by Pvt Colleges but they are not ready to work for free even if they get mentorship and real industrial experience.

I sincerely request you to reach to the college youth if you can

Anshul Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 9:10 AM PT

I don’t see any issues in spending lakhs on degrees awarded in Pvt Colleges. There is a huge gap of teachers who are also mentors and counselors who work with these Pvt colleges. I still believe India has the right education structure as long as we start recognizing the importance of mentoring and counseling. We probably need to create the framework of professional mentorship and counseling in the country to complement the Pvt colleges.
Creating YATP (Yet Another Training Program) doesn’t help much. Though, through this kind of program we may find out those 5 people out of 200+ people who thinks differently and has passion to do good work. That doesn’t solve the 195+ bench guys not ‘doing’ anything.

Santanu Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 9:33 AM PT

Santanu,

Please go through that link once again. Its not any kind of training program.

I have seen toppers of various colleges who can’t write a 4 line of code which a passionate , intelligent kid in class 10th can write.

They are ready to spend lakhs on the degrees where syllabus is out-dated and has no relevance with today’s industrial needs but they are not ready to work for pea-nuts to gain real work experience. I was trying to crack on precious time they are losing. Their mindset needs to be changed.

And, I feel even if we are able to find out 5 out of 200 who think differently, I would consider this a great success. We are not doing job of Education or HRD minister.

I would like to end with a quote from GB Shaw.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

So, 5 out of 200 will be a great success.

Anshul Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 10:55 AM PT

How many class 10 students you have in that cloud computing training program?
How it successfully changes the mindset of 200 people who didn’t get job or thinks that they are on ‘bench’?
Why they need to work without pay or minimum pay?
How is cloud computing learning is different than whatever they learned so far?
We are trying to address the problem of ‘bench’ in the industry and discussing two different approaches here.

[1] How to use this mind boggling amount of hours ‘not doing anything’.
[2] Remove the whole concept of ‘bench’ from the mind of people as they can do actually more than what the ‘non-bench’ guys can do using the infrastructure provided by the companies.

Santanu Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 12:11 PM PT

Santanu,

If you clearly read my post, I was talking about normal coding. I am not sure whether you have interacted with fresh pass-outs from various colleges or not but that is my experience.

Cloud computing and all are specialised areas and even a experienced programmer in big companies would know nothing about it.

Yes, we are trying to solve the problem of bench but the link which I posted but you didn’t gp through was the answer to Sramana’s this question ”

“Can I request readers here to start recruiting young people like this, and plugging them into the right resources?”

Does a solution exist by which you can motivate all 18000 people on bench and if it exists, does anyone has the bandwidth to reach to 18000 people?? For me answer is NO.

So, even if we are able to motivate 5 out of 200, I would consider it a success.

Its not wise to not do anything untill we have a solution to utilise the time of all 18000 guys.

Anshul Monday, August 24, 2009 at 1:19 AM PT

Inspiration right at home!
http://sramanamitra.com/2009/08/26/lakshya-institute/

Nalini Kumar Muppala Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 10:38 AM PT

US and Indian corporations have exploited the H1B immigration laws for years now at the expense of the American worker and the American way of life. Its time to put a stop to it. Your turning this country into a third world nation. US corporations have already started pulling back on moving operations offshore. The Administration will close the corporate tax loopholes this Fall after finally realizing that hi-tech is America’s only chance to stand *our* economy back up. Its time America took back its hi-tech industry from India. It time India figured out how to re-invent itself and not at the expense of Americans and the American way of life!

larkin Friday, August 28, 2009 at 6:53 AM PT

they are not supposed to sit idle and kill time. I think it is a blessing instead. You have all the time in the world to learn new things and do some creative projects. Google has 20% of time to do your own project, but here you have 100% of your time.

srikanth Friday, August 28, 2009 at 3:33 PM PT

I have been on the bench from the past 5 months and this is my routine …..

8am:catch the company bus
8 45: reach company; flash in-time
9:00 leave for swimming
10:00 breakfast at a restaurant
10:30 reach office ; check mails; read the paper; check nifty
11-11:45 -> trading ; speculation & mostly profit transactions
12 -> do fundamental & technical research of my
stocks & future prospects
12:45 -> lunch
1:15-> smoke
1:30 -> read blogs; research & get literature on my hobbies (adventure sports)
current affairs ; military; geopolitics
2:00 – 3:00 -> idle mostly; look at my stocks or on the phone
3:00 -> sleep for half an hour
3:30 -> market closing time; final consolidation
4:00 -> smoke & juice time
4:15-> read NYtimes, time magazine & guardian uk
4:30 -> go to internet kiosk in the company canteen & check personal mails ; visit sites generally
5 -> meet our group friends in the canteen, order some evening snacks & tea; have a healthy & sometimes emotional debate over any topic under the sun; mostly bitching abt company 🙂
5:40-> leave canteen; pack from work; flash out
5:50-> smoke & wait for bus
6:10 -> bus starts for home; time to put on the headphones (tired after a hard days work, u see)

Any comments/suggestions/agree/disagree …….

vicky Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 2:10 AM PT

I am speechless!

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 3:09 PM PT

Sramana,
One Issue that I have seen with bootstrapping a new company while on payroll of another is that, most of the employment contracts that I have seen, give the employer rights to all works produced irrespective of whether it was done using personal or employers time/resources.

Some of the contracts that I have seen are sufficiently broad in their scope that If I produce the next Harry Potter using my ancient typewriter on weekends the rights still rest with the employer.

My contract with my previous employer even gives them the rights to use my Image( either still or video) taken at any time before/during/after my employment with them for anything (e.g. sell soap, software, services or sarees) without my permission or any additional compensation to me.

Here I am not referring to small bodyshoppers but the Indian operations of some of the top technology bellwether MNC’s that your guest authors have been covering in this blog.

Speaking from my own bootstrapping experience.
A few years back a group of colleagues and me decided to explore starting our own company. We brainstormed and came up with different product plans. Our plan was that one of us would resigned from the Org, start exploring the feasibility of the business opportunities we had identified and setup the required infrastructure while the rest would continue working and finance the enterprise from their salary and moonlight as and when required. When our company breaks even the rest would resign their jobs and join in. Somehow words got around, we were marched to the big Boss’es office, All sorts of clauses were pulled out of our employment contract. Legal threats made and the end result was that our enterprise closed down even before a single line of code was written. The one who had resigned moved on to a different job and 1 year down the line Big Boss resigned along with a bunch of “Stars” from his team to start his own company.
No I am not shitting you, everything above is true.

The above incident made me interested in the employment contracts of friends across the industry and conceptually they all have a similar set of clauses which boil down to “The employer owns every Idea you had while you were employed irrespective of where you had it and what you did with it”
Any comments(or maybe a detailed blog post) on the legality of bootstrapping, the employment contracts used in the Industry and methods of bootstrapping without getting into the issues faced by us.

vijay Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 1:49 PM PT

Would you like to give me a roadmap

More importantly , should i feel guilty ….

vicky Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3:58 AM PT

No, you should not feel guilty, but you need to try to use your time better.

Start by attending my roundtables every week: http://sramanamitra.comentrepreneurship-strategy-roundtables

Study Open Source projects and see what you can build on your own and get hooked up with that community.

Sramana Mitra Friday, April 16, 2010 at 8:47 AM PT

Vijay – I will have to get lawyers to weigh in on this issue. I am not an expert. I know that it happens very extensively here in Silicon Valley.

Sramana Mitra Friday, April 16, 2010 at 8:58 AM PT

I loved it with sarcasm when this guy from Infosys said "They will make us Mediocre"and even Sramana Said- "They will frame you in Mediocrity"

How can a company make you Mediocre, here you are having your monthly salary and no work-Hmm great opportunity to create something!!,but here is this guy btcng, whining,bawling.

Dear Sir, You are not Mediocre because the company makes you so, you are mediocre because there is safety in mediocrity, it is in the blood and culture to be safe but non achieving.

But then there is guilt associated with that nowadays, where it is great to be called innovators but even more greater to be talked as a GREAT POSSIBLE INNOVATOR BUT STOPPED BY THE SYSTEM-B***S**T.
Deep down we all know, if we want to take the risk we can do it,even without disturbng the app[le cart much……BUT we prefer the story of "WOH KAR SAKTHA THA MAGAR…"USME KYA TALENT HAI MAGAR USKE MAMA NE USKO ENCOURAGE ….."BLAH BLAH and yes very importantly BLAH!!!

mahadev Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:31 PM PT

Very, very true. No one can make you mediocre unless you let them.

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 4:05 PM PT

I and several others are on bench in Infosys from last 1.3 year. While they don't have any projects to offer, when I tried to inquire about the opportunities they can offer me. My HR and manager in return asked me " Why didn't you get any project till now?" . I said in spite of me asking for work again and again I wasn't offered any, at this my HR(who is supposed to encourage employees) told me " This means you are not competent enough". I told him that Infosys' training system only approved my competency, so how come now I am not competent. At this very ruthlessly he told me YOU CAN LEAVE NOW. I think EMPLOYEE HARASSMENT is the only policy left in Infosys.

Rohit Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 6:42 AM PT