Is India’s talent pool really drying up?

Was going through my feeds and this top one from Techmeme caught my attention because it mentioned a small town, Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu.

The NYT article (requires free registration to read) laments about how software companies like TCS are finding it difficult to find good engineers to work for their organisations. It says about a NASSCOM study which found 3 in 4 engineers, “deficient in the required technical skills, fluency in English or ability to work in a team or deliver basic oral presentations” & hence unemployable.

A couple of other quotes from the article

As its technology companies soar to the outsourcing skies, India is bumping up against an improbable challenge. In a country once regarded as a bottomless well of low-cost, ready-to-work, English-speaking engineers, a shortage looms.

Nandan M. Nilekani, the chief executive of Infosys … says India must educate and provide jobs for its youth.

While the colleges are to be blamed for the low education standards, I think part of the problem lies with the companies themselves. Why do they expect India to educate its youth? Why not do it themselves? Instead of scouting private engineering colleges (and lobbying for private investment in higher education) for ‘talent’ why can’t they train their own engineers in-house?

At AdventNet, we have an AdventNet University which trains students who have completed their higher secondary school education. And such students get paid a stipend too. Any of you reading this who know of worthy candidates who would like to give this a try?

Another quote from the article :

Reuters reported in October that Google was having trouble finding Indian workers proficient in the languages and design technologies used in the latest generation of Web sites.

I read that Reuters article too. It is just full of quotes from one Mr Ram Shriram of Google. Does he and Google not know about the Web 2.0 companies that are sprouting up in India? Where are they getting their talent pool from? At Zoho (which I can safely assume uses the “languages and design technologies used in the latest generation of Web sites”), we haven’t found anything lacking like this.

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One Response to “Is India’s talent pool really drying up?”

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