India’s Young Talent Pool Needs to Change Their Mentality

As Founder and CEO of Gloscon, I feel so proud to be associated with extremely bright young Indian developers who have fire in their belly to excel and become tomorrow’s leaders. Today, the environment in India is lot different then what it used to be when I started out my career in IT field back in 1995. When I joined Bachelors of Computer Engineering course in 1991, not many people wanted to go in Computer Engineering Stream. Very few companies were there in Software Servers when I passed out in 1995 and Internet was not a commodity as it is today. You had no choice but to work in large enterprise to get best of the facilities and gain knowledge.

Today after 13 years, Technology has changed so much. The biggest shift I see in these 13 years is exponential growth of Open Source Software which has shaken up the entire software services sector globally. Software Services Sector today is not just controlled by large companies like TCS, IBM, Wipro and likes of that. Actually most large corporations revenues from Services Services sector are either staying flat or declining. On the contrary, early stage startups are springing up from different parts of the country and growing at an exponential rate. You will see hundreds of start-ups making a living from rentacoder, odesk, elance or getafreelancer sites.

It not just Open Source Software that is hitting the pockets of IT services sector, there is also a shift towards using Pay per Use Software (i.e SaaS – Software As A Service). SaaS seems to have matured now and companies now no longer have do hire hundreds of developers and spend millions of dollars to build complex solutions – at least not those that involve Internet.

I do a lot of speaking engagements in Indian Colleges and Universities especially in Gujarat in areas of Entrepreneurship, Web 2.0 and Open Source Software. Indian Student Mentality is a herd mentality. They just follow what their friends follow. I do get calls every now and then – “I want to work in .NET”. When I ask “Why?”, I do not get a convincing answer. I have to tell them that look at the postings on Gujjuchaps and other job boards, the job market in Open Source is growing much more rapidly then it is in proprietary software.

My company Gloscon Specializes in Drupal and Ruby on Rails Development. These technologies are like Aliens to the students. So when I give them the marketing talk of “Who Uses Drupal”, “Who Uses Ruby on Rails” and how small businesses who started in these frameworks have now become multi-million dollar enterprises, their eyes light up. The Faculty members and Head of Departments go dumbfounded when they see what all can be done with these technologies.

Last year we got about 6 interns to work in Drupal and 6 to work in Ruby on Rails at our Ahmedabad office. When they finished their graduation, they all got highest marks for their projects. While others in their classes could barely finish their projects in Java or .NET, the interns who worked in Drupal and Ruby on Rails did not only finish their projects but they also acquired very good business skills.

Today’s young generation does not like SEI CMM practices i.e spending 100s and 1000s of hours on documentation. They want to learn technology as fast as they can. In big companies this is not possible as the interns there are usually given low end tasks. Startups are the best place to work for these interns.

Young generation will struggle in coming days to land lucrative jobs in software services sector as the sector will continue to see a slowdown. But if they keep themselves educated, trained and groomed with product mentality, they should be very fine. Next decade belongs to Software as a Service industry where Product Mentality is key.

I do a lot of travelling between Canada (being a Canadian Citizen) and India. Lately, I am spending lot of my time with my team in India and from Drupal and Ruby on Rails Services company, I’m working with my brilliant young team to transform our company and come out with products that can scale.