Archive for November, 2008

There’s an answer

Friday, November 28th, 2008 November 28th, 2008 Priyanka JoshiPriyanka Joshi

It’s no good reiterating what’s been happening in Mumbai. But my mind does visit the past.

Within hours of the London bombings, a renewed call went up for the United States to use its considerable technology heft to prevent similar attacks on the nation’s transit system. Public transit’s chief lobbyist said its members need $6 billion to upgrade security, and US Congress expectedly increased the funding.

Has our security intelligence ever thought about ideas such as smoke-detector-like devices sounding an alarm when a bomb-porting terrorist enters a train station? Or these are years and billions of dollars from fruition — if ever. The best current defenses for the country’s subways, buses, airports and trains, remain decidedly low tech — human vigilance and bomb-sniffing dogs!! (more…)

Justify my job - the new buzzword

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008 November 25th, 2008 Joydeep Ghosh

 

In the last few months, as economies worldwide have slowly slumped into crisis, employers are faced with a situation where cost-cutting has become inevitable. And one of the most important cost-cutting measures is going to be – reduction in the number of employees.

While companies like Reliance Industries have taken the VRS route for 200-300 employees, others like Jet Airways were forced to retain the 1,600 they sacked after political parties intervened. The latter is opting for a salary cut.

For employees, who were riding the boom till recently, these are stressful times. Many of them are very young and may not have seen times like this. They have been used to shifting a-job-a-year and getting a 30-40 per cent hike each time.

Recent chats with friends and professionals in the middle-level management reveals a bigger fear – a desperate need to justify their position within the company.

Of course, many have witnessed the IT crash and some seniors, even the Harshad Mehta days. But this one is different for many. There is a strong feeling that in the last five to six years, the number of professionals have increased manifold. Yes, the number of companies has also increased. But the fear, after the fall of big firms like Lehman Brothers is – what if my company ceases to exist?

No wonder, many are willing to spend from their own pockets now for this skill up gradation. Earlier, most would be willing to wait for the company to spend to further their career. The reasoning was “they are investing in my, and the company’s future”. There was almost a sense of pride that the company perceives them to be “leaders of the future”.

Now many of those illusions have been busted. The only driving point is fear, fear and more fear. Even if there are job offers now, many are wondering if the company is stable – a far cry from those days where many professionals were willing to join start-ups.

The risk-taking ability is definitely down. With more and more people getting bitten by the “Justify my job” bug… self-preservation will be key to survival, maybe even success.