We hear a lot about the looming global recession, with Google and Microsoft laying off thousands of employees, but employees in the Indian tech industry aren’t as worried as Westerners seem to be. I work as an IT Manager for a US-based global organisation in India. People are still changing jobs frequently and market demand is high. If you’re a high performer with the right skills, like Python, and a company offers to double or triple your salary, then why not?
Yes, factors like job satisfaction, benefits, stability and workplace are important, but if a company can offer all these, and a salary hike, people are jumping. The job market in India’s still hot!
Of course, this changes according to what level you are in an organisation. As I’m a manager, there are less positions available, and I wouldn’t want to drop a level. If I was a junior there are so, so many companies that would hire me, but as I’m looking to go from manager to senior manager or leadership director, job safety is a priority.
This is where the recession becomes a factor. Working in a large organisation means they’re more likely to weather the financial storm. Smaller companies are likely to remove the top management, people on higher salaries, not for the lower level. They expect people at the level below to step into the newly vacant roles. That’s why I believe it’s better as a manager to stay with a huge giant firm, where my position is safer. Also, smaller companies could have 50% of their revenue coming from Europe, 50% from America, then suddenly something bad happens in America, they will struggle from the loss in revenue. But giant companies don’t have that trouble because they have very diversified business all over the world, not only in Europe or America. For instance, 10% from Europe, 10% from America 10% and the rest across Asia, the Middle East, and so on.
For this reason, I wouldn’t move to a smaller sized company because if something were to happen, my level is too high, and I’d be vulnerable if they start removing people from the top leadership.
Also, I’m happy living here in India. I was offered a role recently in the UK, on triple salary, but the cost of living is so high there, I’d end up with a poorer quality of life. The salary’s triple, but on the ground, I’m not getting that.
The global recession does have an impact in India, though. People at a higher level are a bit scared because their high salaries make them a target for cuts. At lower levels, if you’re good at your work, you don’t need to worry so much, but people who are not getting good performance reviews are getting nervous.
Senior level people are worried because they think they’ll be the first to go. There’s always a hierarchy, from Manager to Senior Manager then Associate Director to Director. So, if I’m removing the Director, then all their responsibility is taken over by the Associate Director. The people in the position below are capable. People are always trying to do the work of the next level up. I’m a Manager now and I’m always trying to act like a Senior Manager. So, the company sees the Associate Director is already working like the next level up, so why do they need the Director? They remove them! That’s how people are thinking.
The staffing chart is like a pyramid, so there’s always someone at your toes. There are lots in the middle part in the same position, so it’s important to extend your portfolio to different kinds of work so you’re more valuable to the company. That’s also why higher-level people are a little bit worried, because they know people on the level below are capable.
In India, we see the recession as a temporary thing; six months to a year, max. People in India look towards to the future. They save more money. It’s not like in Europe or other countries where after one month, they won’t have anything to eat. I’ve heard from my relatives in the UK that they’re running their lives around paying the mortgage. That’s the culture there. They’re not thinking about saving for the future. Here in India, people who work in IT have enough to live comfortably for, say six months on their saving, without having to worry about anything. My children will be able to go to school, I can handle all the expenses.
If senior people are removed from their companies, they can do other things like consultancy. They have relationships with many clients across the world who they can approach to hire them for projects. Many of my clients know me face to face, they know how I work. I could tell them I lost my job, and as I know them face to face, you know that emotion will come. Maybe they will offer me some project, without the same high commission if they went through my company. So, there are many options, and that’s why people are not that worried. We’re connected globally.
Even in India many places are cutting jobs, but if you’re a strong performer, you don’t need to worry. People are talking about Microsoft removing people, but it’s the under-performing level. That’s how it’s viewed here. If you’ve got good skills, in Tech language, like Angular, and a lot of certificates you don’t need to worry about any scenarios, because the companies will come and find you.
The whole world is like a huge family. We talk to and work with so many people across the world that if something bad happens somewhere, it makes everyone nervous. How much people are actually affected changes from country to country. In India, we’ll weather the storm.