Harnessing the Power of the Youth

Yokohama, Japan. The Microsoft Imagine Cup which pitched some of the best
young minds from countries all over the world got off to a great start with some
truly high quality ideas emerging in the Software Design competition. As a Jury
member interacting with colleagues from industry and academia, I was truly
amazed to see the intellect and the articulation that characterized the
presentations of every team-from China to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to Austria,
as hundreds of young students pitched their wits in an intellectual battle par

Ganesh Natarajan

Organizations need to get off the beaten path of recruiting experienced English savvy engineers 
when a much lesser qualified individual would do

Pune, India. The IETE Broadband Conference sees an interesting panel
discussion where participants from the government, academia and both the
provider and user industries talked about the need to take telecommunications to
the rural heartland of India. Chairing the discussion, it struck me that this
could well be the best way to have a totally inclusive industry, and ensure that
the costs of production were lowered and more youngsters are able to participate
in the IT and ITES boom.

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The Asia HRD Forum where over five hundred
participants from twenty countries meet to discuss issues of employment and
motivation in traditional and emerging industries across the Asia Pacific. At
the Awards ceremony where three of us were honoured for our work with young
people, it was interesting to understand the common desire of all Asian HR
Chiefs-to create opportunities for their countrymen to shine on global
platforms and lead their countries to greater prosperity.

The common thread that emerged was the need to create more and more
opportunities for young people-and there is no industry which can do this
better than our own Software and BPO sector! This industry has shown signs in
the last year or so of being willing to spread its wings, the only limiting
factor is the availability of talent to fill the IT and BPO centers that are now
dotting the landscape.

For this to happen, organizations need to get off the beaten path of
recruiting experienced English savvy engineers when a much lesser qualified
individual would do. And, they should work with fine arts academic institutions
to get the best science, arts and commerce graduates to participate in the new
revolution. A partnership we are particularly proud of is the Zensar-Ferguson
College collaboration that is on the anvil, blessed by Nasscom and the UGC,
which will see a technology development center come up within the institute
campus that will link participating students to the company through technology
and use a component based development framework to architect new products and
solutions. Extend the logic to a center in Guwahati or even in China or
Venezuela and the opportunities to build a true Global development model with
more reliance on remote development and less on brick and mortar campuses will
become apparent.

The flattening of geographical barriers will also pave the way for extensive
use of e-learning and virtual classrooms to make affordable and uniform quality
education available to all and level the playing field for students and job
seekers in the less elitist and towns of India. Will that create the India of
our dreams-the next few years will tell!

The author is Deputy Chairman & MD of Zensar Technologies and Chairman
of the NASSCOM Innovation Initiative ganesh@dqindia.com

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