Killer Growth

DQI Bureau
New Update

Last time I had written about how and why India cannot

experiment with trade unions in the IT industry today. I now realize that

challenges to India's growth is much more from growth itself, rather than

anything else.


The recent incidents in Delhi's satellite towns-Gurgaon and

Noida-are the most unfortunate. In case of Gurgaon, a gang of robbers murdered

over two dozen people, some of them associated with the booming BPO and call

center industry, for petty sums of money. And, in the case of Noida, the

three-year old son of the CEO of Adobe India has been kidnapped.

I do not need to remind readers that Noida and Gurgaon are the

engines of growth, for Delhi as well as India. These are the places where lots

of new companies from the world over are setting offices everyday, and existing

companies are expanding.


working on corporate social responsibility must start thinking about how

to involve young men and women in nearby villages, who have aspirations to

be part of the IT and BPO boom

Only the naïve would be surprised at these developments. We

have all seen the rapid change of face in many of these locations where the

sunrise industries including IT and BPO have come up. Gurgaon, for instance, was

actually a very small town till recently, even after Suzuki set up its

manufacturing JV with Maruti, some 25 years back. It is only in the last 5 years

that Gurgaon got dotted with IT and BPO/call center operations. Because of this

there is sudden emergence of a huge population here that consists of people in

the 20 to 30 years age group. This group has a completely different lifestyle,

and is openly seen spending lots of money in self-indulgence. Besides Gurgaon

and Noida, one has seen similar criminal incidents from other similar locations

such as Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Clearly there is a gap that is building up-gaps in terms of

haves and have-nots, and gaps in terms of culture. Besides these crimes, one has

been hearing of increasing fist-fights and hooliganism from the youth from local

villages, at the late night pubs and other joints where a lot of these young

executives get together for fun.

Without getting into too many of these issues, let me come to

the point. Some parts of India are growing, and crime and conflict is soon

following. The Indian IT and BPO industry must realize that they will loose the

most from this. There is going to be a lot of media that these incidents will

get, and both national and international companies and people will not be very

keen to move there. This can have a big and long-term impact. While the

Government is focusing on building infrastructure, they must keep these

challenges in mind.


Also, many companies have been working on corporate social

responsibility work. They must now have this aspect also in the entire planning.

How do they involve young men and women who have aspirations to be part of the

IT and BPO boom ? What can they offer to school children, who will be looking

for jobs in the next few years ? Obviously, all this is not the complete

solution. The IT and BPO industry will have to impress upon the Government and

police that it is important that heinous crimes do not come in the way of growth

of this sector. Because if this sector grows, most probably a significant part

of the country is going to benefit.

And finally, the companies must themselves have awareness

programs for their people, telling them how to conduct their life, both in and

out of office, at a time when a lot of things they are doing are new, and

different, and might lead to unwanted attention, and resentment from those who

are not benefiting directly from the booming industries.

The author is Group Editor of Dataquest.