Indian professionals too focussed on salaried jobs: IT whiz kid

October 9th, 2009 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) Young Indian professionals should put their “heart and soul” into the job, be able to certify their work themselves and not always switch jobs in search of higher pay, advises IT whiz kid and author Subroto Bagchi.

“Job and salary must not be the primary motivations for a professional,” said Bagchi, the author of popular business motivation books like “The High Performance Entrepreneur” and “Go Kiss the World”.

“There is a huge gap between professional qualification and professional behaviour in our country. The moment you produce one doctor, one engineer or a lawyer in the family, you think you have churned out a ‘professional’.

“There is confusion between job and profession. We are too focussed on salaried jobs - equating it with compensation and benefits,” Bagchi told IANS in an interview in the capital.

The co-founder of Bangalore-based Mind Tree, the global IT solutions company, he released his new book, “The Professional” in the capital Thursday.

Based on his lifelong experience as a professional, Bagchi shares what it takes to be a professional and “what challenges a professional must be prepared to face”.

In a world ravaged by an economic meltdown and where companies and individuals routinely made unprofessional choices, the book explores whether it is possible to adhere to an “implicit and explicit professional code of professional conduct,” said Bagchi, explaining his book.

“In many ways, this should have been my first book because of the feelings it generates. When I started travelling outside the country 30 years ago, I found that there was a real gap between us as a nation of professionals and the world.

“Indian professionals had to develop the quality of working unsupervised like their western counterparts and the ability to certify the completion of their own work. It is neither professional qualities nor professional experience that makes a true professional,” Bagchi said.

A professional is one who gives himself to the job and “puts his heart and soul into it”, said the corporate writer.

“Just imagine, could we be in this world today if the nurse who had midwived our mothers in labour rooms did not certify her own job at the end of severing and stitching up the umbilical chords of the mothers and babies so that they live. It applies to every job.

“A professional has to tell himself that he has done his job well,” Bagchi said.

The problem in India is that “there are at least six layers of supervision in every job”. As a result, “a professional is not always able to certify himself”.

The consultant does not believe in switching jobs for the sake of higher pay packets.

“Only when one stops bringing value to the job he is doing can he think of switching. It may not be a change of organisation; but a change in profile in the same company if possible. Money always follows a true professional with outstanding qualities,” Bagchi said.

“The global economy has changed and India is waking up to the changes. The country is more globalised, the economy has opened up and internet has made inroads. The choice is now ours, whether we want to go six or 60 steps,” Bagchi said.

Indian professionals and companies, observed Bagchi, still did not “respect privacy of information”- one of the thumb rules of professionalism.

“If a cosmetic surgeon operates on a celebrity in Mumbai, the information filters out even before he touches the client. Professionals in India fail to understand that India is a ‘finite window’. In 10-15 years’ time, the country will establish its centre-stage, but good times will not last forever.

“The middle class has to be educated in information privacy, intellectual property rights, commitment to vocations and the ability to ask pertinent questions right from college - and across the board. The Indian education system gags students from Day one when the teacher tells the child to shut up,” Bagchi said.

The writer also talks about “new world imperatives” in professions like gender issues, cross-cultural sensitivity, governance and sustainability.

“For professional organisations of the future, addressing gender sensitivity and sexual harassment at workplace are the key. Almost half the Indian population is female and only 18 percent of it is reflected in the workforce. Indian men will have to stop regarding women as mothers, wives and sisters - that they are used to at home,” Bagchi said.

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)

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