IT’s all about the money

Here’s a snippet from a report in today’s Deccan Herald titled City leaves IT honcho low

It’s good to have competition between the States. It’s good for us to feel wanted. Because we had torrid times in Bangalore when people told us that we are not wanted..That they fear…See us as alien creatures”. “It’s good that we are wanted (in Hyderabad). At least Hyderabad wants IT industry. I guess people will go where they are wanted”, he said and added that in the last two years, companies n Bangalore were investing more outside the city than here.

The honcho is the Infosys Chief Financial Officer T V Mohandas Pai. I guess the sanctioning of land for a certain company isn’t enough to make it feel wanted. Later in the report, the CFO said this:

He then defended the IT industry saying: “Look, let’s admit one thing. We (IT) are the people who invest and create jobs… Quality jobs. We are the ones who market. Any place which makes you feel wanted, we will go for expansion.”

Let’s forget for a minute that there are other industries (manufacturing for one) that invest and create jobs.

Why do companies invest and create jobs? For charity? Nope. They do it because they see market opportunities. They do it for profit. Money, that’s what it’s all about.

For companies that have gone public, they are accountable to their shareholders. Shareholders are not happy when the companies that they’ve invested in do not make profits, because that’s the reason for their investment in the first place. There’s nothing wrong with making profit. What’s wrong is attributing “honourable” motives, like job creation, to the venture.

The creation of jobs is a (positive) by-product of growth and the desire for profit. Companies aren’t investing in Bangalore and India because they want to create jobs. They are here because want a piece of the IT masala dosa.

When there is a downturn in the industry, people will lose jobs. At that time, you won’t hear anything about job creation, because it’s the economics that dictates everything. Then, people will talk about the need to “trim fat” or “re-structure” or _________ (insert euphemism here).

So, while Bangalore’s infrastructure is struggling to cope with the explosion of the IT industry here, other cities are going to reap the “benefits”. But, Hyderabad already has its share of traffic problems and from what I hear, Pune is also struggling. When it gets bad in those cities, companies will talk about alternate cities and infrastructure, etc.

But, enjoy it while it lasts–that’s what honeymoons are for.

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2 thoughts on “IT’s all about the money

  1. About investment and quality jobs, that is all set to change. Scores of manufacturing companies are arriving, looking to transfer their lines even from China. And they have top-of-the-line products in mind, and are looking for high calibre people to man world-class operations. But there will still be people on the shop floor. They are fine people who do splendid work. I wonder if the IT industry wants to look down on those jobs. We in manufacturing see great beauty in manufactured products flowing out of human hands.

  2. That’s good news about the manufacturing companies. I don’t know though if people in IT look down on the shop floor or manufacturing jobs. For my money, there’s a different skill in operating machines and making stuff to quality standards. I think it’s a heck of a tough job and the manufacturing sector doesn’t get enough credit for it. I saw the factory of a company that made metal shafts for generators (big ones) and it was amazing just to see the scale of the operations. I know I wouldn’t be able to do that job even if I was trained for it.

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