Kerala is bad for your career?

Happened to read Silverine's post regarding the placement time in Kerala and about a relative being to unhappy that her daughter was placed only at a company in Technopark.
I was appalled after reading the comments predicting doomsday for those staying in Kerala. Granted there are not many companies as we can see in Bangalore or Hyderabad or Chennai, but it is totally unreasonable to say that there is no hope for the Kerala IT sector.
I work in a software product company in Technopark and I see a lot of things happening. To equate the political system with the IT sector in Kerala is total rubbish. The government can and should do a lot of things, but in spite of the minimal support the fact is that we are developing.
En route to office, travelling through the bypass, I see the sprawling lands taken up for the new Infosys campus. There are rumors of some dispute regarding the land allocation, but it will be coming up in the near future. There is a small bit of land taken up for the campus of a company called IVL and construction is going on for the same. The land acquired and being leveled for the expansion of Technopark.
As I enter the campus, I can see the construction for the new campus for IBS. The sign that points to the sprawling Thejaswini, the biggest building in the Technopark, getting ready to take in around 5000 professionals (I may be wrong on the number!).
I come to the office, hear about the new project that our company may get. A pretty big one and something the software service heavyweights cannot even dream of getting. Reading about the way we kicked the butt of industry heavyweights from abroad by securing some great deals.
Chatting with the fellow comrades. Bitching about our company and the pay. Listening to the rumors, interlaced with some truths regarding the deals others have landed. Going to the balcony for a cup of coffee around 11. I can see the 10 storeys of the new complex by Leela.
Traveling further from Kazhakootam. I can see the lands that will in due course of time, become the Technocity. Not much by the standards of the metros. But, its the small rivulets that builds a mighty river.
All these are happening in front of my eyes. I did not even mention the smart city. How many IT jobs can we see here? Atleast some 20-25K, probably much more. How many people indirectly benefiting? I cannot give an estimate on that.
Still...people say Kerala sucks!
About the frequent hartals and bandhs. IT sector is not affected and we work on those days too. Not very comfortable, still adjustustable.
The excuse they have given for such rash comments is that the government is doing nothing to stop the fever that has gone on to epidemic levels. So, is everything fine and dandy with the common people in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh? From what I gather, our people in Kerala live a better life. Government can act as a catalyst to the development. Even without it, development will take place, albeit at a slower pace.
There is a mass exodus of freshers to the various software service companies. For what? Majority of them are on benches enjoying the free pay package forsome time. Then they start working and at the end of one year they realise they haven't gone much further in terms of their skill. I for one would like to get paid for the work that I do and adequately so. I am not saying its entirely different in Kerala. But the fact is people leave the better jobs in Kerala based companies to go and sit in benches making new 7 wonders with pen and paper.
At the start of ones career I believe one has to find the best opportunity to do the best work. You are enthusiastic, does not have many distractions of a family life and can gain a lot of experience.
I chose a different career path from almost all my friends. In spite of being a decent coder I chose to become a technical writer. I have never regretted the decision to do so and have never regretted about the company I chose to work for. There are some issues, but all of that have been my own doing (for those of who know me personally). I can safely say that I have gained much better experience and has had better exposure than most of my peers. That has been through a company working at Trivandrum. Enough blah blah about me.
What the IT sector in Kerala lacks is the presence of global superstars. We don't have a Dell or HP or Oracle here. But we do have good companies with the prospects of many more coming in the near future.
At least the serene atmosphere of Technopark with a clean atmosphere is a pretty big reason to be happy working here. Seeing a mongoose run fearlessly through the bushes. Watching the mynas peck away. Hearing the sweet songs of the birds whose names yours truly is ignorant of. All these ease ones mind after a stressful period of work. Getting a really good and clean meal for as low 12 rupees. How many big metros can boast that?
As I said earlier, its not right to predict doom for the Kerala IT sector. Because the truth is otherwise.

13 comments:

Jiby said...

rockus...i am seeing the phenomenon of reverse exodus by many of my classmates in engg college who are returning back to work in technopark after 4-5 years of working in the big cities. they confide they couldnt make headway in their careers, couldnt save much money and were always sick of living in these big cities, missing home.

i feel miserable for myself that i cant take advantage of this and return bcoz i have reached a point of no-return with IT and am looking to quit the field...perhaps if i worked in india where i have heard working in IT, you develop the same sort of cameraderie in college, this situation wouldnt have developed.

the way technopark has taken off after the initial years of stagnation is an indication of how kerala is changing, now with smart city also coming, jobs wont be a problem...what remains to be seen is whether the malayali tendency/burning desire to expatriate will come down!

mathew said...

When we talk abous real facts and figures Kerala has ta long way to go..The kind off investment we see in technopark its no where in the league of Bangalore,Hyderabad or Chennai..considering that a chunk of IT workers are malayalees...
It is definetly not a doomsday scenario..things are getting better..the point is we can do even better!!!

secondly when we say that people go and work outside some go out of genuine interest just coz they like to work outside..Some folks like the metro life in blore or hyd...but some like more serene places like mysore..I seriously dont believe that people grudge about working outside the state..

for that matter how many grudge getting a onsite oppurtunity??

Praveen said...

its a sad fact that malayalis themselves say kerala sucks...if at all wat they say is reality, they too are responsible for that....blaming the government for reasons like spreading of fever is childish...

and kerala it sector doesn't suck at all....its actually getting ready to fly high as rockus pointed out with various examples...

The Overclocked Fragger said...

I tried to post this comment on Silverine's blog, but since it has comment moderation enabled and since my comment is rather strong, I am posting it here also for insurances' sake. ;)

Hope u dont mind. :)

Here is my viewpoint.

I work in an IT giant and I work out of Pune. When it comes to work, I say that having work to do in Trivandrum/Cochin is better than sitting on bench for 5 months in Pune which I had to, unfortunately. Since there are lesser people working in the same IT giant's offices in Kerala, the bench period is lesser compared to the metros.

Forget the bandhs and crap. People in Technopark are expected to and also turn up for work even on bandh and hartal days.

The people in the IT industry are smart and the politicians who haven't even passed 10th standard will have to do a lot of head scratching to figure out how to stand in our way.

"If there is a will, there is a way, otherwise, we simply use a bulldozer." :-)

I also totally agree with what rockus and chips said in their comments on Silverine's blog.

And I know many people (mallus) who joined Pune with me, but desperately tried and got transfer to Trivandrum, Mangalore, Mysore, etc.

With the better quality of air, water and food in God's own country, the lucky ones who get to work from their home town might live a few years more.

Of course, being in Kerala means no pubs, discos, no skin show PYT's, etc and of course, living at home means no weekend booze / hookah and , which sadly is what most young people seem to be interested in nowadays.

In the end, it depends on what people want. I do meet many mallus here who wanted to come here and live the "Pune life".

Unfortunately, the high rent and cost of living makes living "Pune life" the club/disco/booze/hookah way very very difficult. :-P

The current generation needs a lesson on how to live life without the rampant consumerism and apeing of what they see on MTV and Channel V.

My $2.00....

Rockus said...

@jiby: The desire to expatriate will remain with those seeking a faster lifestyle. But those who want a good life can find it in Kerala these days.

@mathew: serene place like mysore? :o
My friend in mysore says its a plain blank region, worse than TVM. Never been there except on tours, so cannot say much on that...

If people like working outside, it just fine...thats there decision...but defending that decision saying theres no hope in Kerala is what I find really painful...

@praveen: Yup...its easy to point fingers at others. The reality is that we, the people are also responsible to a certain degree.

@OF: I don't mind! :-))
Its absurd that people go to enjoy the hifi lifestyle with a small increment of about 5k from what they get in Kerala...I donno how much u can party around with the kinda money thats left after food and accommodation.
Skin bared PYTs...u can just stare...what else can a normal guy hope for? ;-)

?bLeAk?!! said...

I've read both your blog and silverine's, and I tend to agree with Duttan on this...; It depends what you want. Having worked out of Bangalore and Hyderabad,I can easily make out the difference. In hyderabad I see the majority of people who used to work in bangalore, and have finally decided to come back home and settle, implying a very high percentage of localities. I may be wrong on this, but I feel that the quality of the work force available here in hyd is nowhere near what I saw in Blore. It is starved of talent, whereas blore was teeming with it, with many good people on the bench. So I personally feel, someone who was really fired up to succeed would not come back to say.. tvm. They would continue to work in Blore or go abroad. In tvm it would be easy to be visible for someone like you, , who is hands down better than a majority on all fronts necessary in this field. If you want to test your skills against the best go to Blore, where everyone is so desperate to succeed. If you want to take life slow, or get ahead of the competition go back to TVM. If you have a drive to succeed, see place, make money, reallllly improve yourself, do what I do.

Take relocation. Go to a new place and live on the company's expense, experience the place, meet different kinds of people, get yourself noticed by higher management and hone your skills for the future jump to a bigger, fatter and more colourful company that pays you twice as much !!

Rockus said...

@bleak: may be u are right to say the quality of people is better in bangalore...what I meant to say that there are companies with drive, hunger and opportunities here too...just says it exists only outside kerala is ridiculous to say the least...and just being in bangalore does not immediately give you a headstart...you have to have skills and meaningful experience...what i don't get is people saying "leave kerala or you are doomed" and they go n join some stupid giant service company!

abhishek said...

@rockus

How do you get to work on hartal days? Just curious, because I'm a non-resident Keralite and I've always wondered why people don't say no to hartals and just go to work. But then, I also hear and have personally witnessed violent mobs on hartal days.

Rockus said...

@abhishek

Technopark guys organise a convoy...all the buses go together and any employee from any company can hop into the bus of his/her choice... Violence in hartal is seen in select places only...those places can be easily avoided...the miscreants are not interested in private vehicles running on the road...they look for government vehicles to burn :-P

Anonymous said...

great u r on spot . i do work in bangalore now in one of the IT giant .Worked in pune and mumbai too.Trivandrum and kochi are far far better than all thses cities in cleaniliness. Technopark is way ahead in these aspects. electronix city in bangalore is nothing but a dusty sleepy hell :-) I can see malayalees coming back to kerala. We should be proud of Kerala and its european living standard . Whatever be the drawbacks its a remarakable achivement . You will not see such a place anywhere in the 3rd world .Yea i agree that there is hartal and bandh, we gave equality to the masses . and justice prevails here .

Anonymous said...

I worked on the lighting project of administrative block of technopark when most of the people had not even heard of the park.The Park has come a long way from then.Develop a LEED compatible infrasturcture and we can be proud of our Technopark.

Deepak said...

I wont say that Kerala is bad for your career. I am not in a position to judge the atmosphere in kerala in terms of career as I have been living in Bangalore for over 3 years. All I can say is that kerala is not for people who want to have a good life in moderate climatic conditions and all modern facilities. I went to Trivandrum some years backs. Well, it was nice to have a feel of how life in a frying pan can be! I ended up spending most of the time in the airconditioned bedroom. It was that bad. My dad worked in Kochi for one year and he says the heat almost had him coming to a conclusion that ac is most needed than oxygen! Well, I can jst imagine the plight of commoners living there who dont have access to airconditioned amenities. My cousin from Kottayam is now in Bangalore for a training course. He says that the condition in Kottayam, one of the best green pockets in Kerala, is horrible. Bangalore is also hot. But its a heaven when compared to Kerala. I usualy work night shifts and never switch on the fan during daytime because there is no need for that. I think if one wants to live in kerala, ac car and home are innevitable. Thats about the climate. Also I dont find anything attractive about the life in Kerala. Not many malls and hangouts. Even if there is something I dont think I would go out in such horrible climate. Bangalore, Chennai etc are developing at a fast pace. I dont think Kerala can match these cities in terms of growth. Bangalore has got more than 500 parks and 250 more are goin to come up this year. So the city is defenitely goin to regain its greenery.It already has one airconditioned bus stop (on trial) in view of the rising temparature. The government has introduced around 100 ac volvo buses which run at affordable charges. New fleet of Marco Polo buses (which are used in some European cities) are plying on trial. All the old buses are gonna be replaced by swanky volvos and marco polos this year. I dont know if the common people in kerala have access to this kind of luxury travel.The new airport is a stunner and the connectivity is also going to be better with high speed rail. Metro rail work is going on in brisk pace which will completely tranform the way Bangaloreans travel once its operational. Lot of construction work going on which includes new IT parks, roads, flyovers, India's first elevated NH thats gonna make electronic city just minutes ahead. The city is being expanded to outer regions to avoid congestion at the core. Ring roads are operational and many under construction with this purpose in mind. Well,these are just some things I am aware of. I dont think Kerala can boast of such development. I have lived in some of the best cities in New Zealand and Australia. Bangalore doesnt match international standards. But its defenitely far better than Kerala. I prefer the brand Bangalore any day.

Rockus said...

@Deepak: I had written this post around 2 years back. I am working in Bangalore now. A bit hypocritical? May be. But the kind of job I am in required such a change and I still maintain the validity of this post. Regarding your comments on AC car, home and all simply blah. People living there are accustomed to the climate though summers are hot. Only the elites have ACs installed. I live in a totally non AC home rather comfortably. Not just me, almost all the people I know are the same. We belong to an upper strata of middle class btw unless my class distinction is skewed. I find Bangalore interesting. Besides malls what else does Bangalore offer for hanging out? I had far better weekends spending time out in TVM relatively inexpensively. You have lived in NZ and Aus. This sums up everything. You are an alien to our place and hence this does apply to you as 3 years experienced guy. No offense meant.

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