Sunday, April 03, 2005

More yellow than Post-It notes?

I have come to sincerely believe that Indians are averse to taking risks. Especially when careers are involved.

I have my own startup company for developing engineering analysis software. Business is good. Work is challenging. Clients are humane. Growth is in the offing (we have more projects than people to do them). We have no competitors in India. Office is fun -- we go for snooker during power cuts, we quaff beer on Fridays, we poke fun at each other (as long as I am not the pokee). In short, I would have not thought twice if I had the opportunity to join such a company. But then, I don't think twice before doing most things. People do. We made excellent offers to two candidates, and they both turned them down after weeks and weeks of thinking.

Which made me jump to the conclusion that Indians are scaredy cats. Don't think so? Mail me your resume. :)

18 Comments:

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Varun Singh said...

I would love to join you, but I'm already working for such a company :)

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

Varun, thanks for saying that! A comp science graduate from IIT saying he would love to join my organisation is encouragement enought.

BTW, we are in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics, so spread the word around. If any of your batchmates from Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical or Civil engineering are interested, we would love to have them. They just need to remember a bit of their engineering and be good at C++ programming.

Have a great day.

 
At 2:04 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:10 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Hahahha !! If I were to show this to some people here at work, they would be falling over each other trying to get some of yours guys to work for us ;)

I agree with your comment about not wanting to take risks... we are taught from a very young age that doing something different from the standard template is something that is risky... enginnering and doctors, work for good company... blah blah...

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger Elf said...

I don't know about Indians not taking risks. if you look at the profile of 'risk-takers', they are generally people who know what they want to do with their life, career etc. For such people it is not a risk...it is a 'win-win' situation for them.

 
At 8:04 AM, Blogger Anurag said...

Vignesh: You work for a startup as well? Maybe we can poach some of your people. :))

Elf: That's an interesting point you made. However, I still think that if a good opportunity arises one should think about taking it, even if it seems off the beaten path.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous munna said...

at the most basic level the reason for risk aversness is that desi folks of the engineering kind are from a poor/middle class backgrounds whose parents have had a tough life and they have invested everything in their children. no one wants (mostly) their sole investment to be a risky one.

that said i think another reason is that lot of people have been burnt by startups so now there is an aversness to them.
employees want to see money in the bank, or a heavyweight founder, or a good number of clients before they will join a startup. this applies to both the US and India.

so what does a startup do? the only solution i can think of is to lie about the company situation! really. growth is great.. we have another two clients who will start by May... anything..
what dya say?

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

Munna: what you say makes sense. A lot of sense, actually. But I don't need to lie about anything. Growth is good. I have three vacant positions and nobody to fill them. I have two projects in the pipeline which, when they come, will put me in a spot because there will be shortage of manpower.

But you are right. I will have to start making my company look like it is about to buy Microsoft.

 
At 12:44 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

Not for a startup, per se... but there is a whole bunch of people here who work on CFD and FEA.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger GettingThere said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:54 AM, Blogger GettingThere said...

I agree with one thing - people just don't want to take risks. I often remember a quote I read in my hindi textbook in 9th grade. It influenced me a lot. I'll try to translate it in english as best as I can - "Staying in a flock and grazing in a flock is something that cattle do. A lion doesn't hesitate in going out alone". The same book/chapter went on to say that only cattle stay in a place they've always been in. A lion goes out to find new feeding grounds. I interpret it as "Only brave people take risks. Others just stay on the beaten path". My memory is VERY hazy here and i don't remember it exactly.

That said, I also disagree with one thing you said - it isn't only Indians. I have been living in the US for past 5 1/2 years and I have been observing people around me. I see the same attitude here. I feel this is more a matter of personality than locality. Agreed, more Indians have that kind of personality than I'd care to count. But a lot of factors come together in making a person like that. The financial condition fo their family when they were growing up, the kind of attitude their parents passed on to them, personal experiences along the way. Maybe even their current situation. They might not be able to afford that kind of risk right now in their lives.

I wouldn't label an entire community based on what you have been experiencing. Also, I feel these people were so cautious in taking the ultimate step because maybe, they felt they might not get another chance if somethng went wrong.

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger eM said...

I hate to nitpick. I reeeeeelly do. But it must be said. Blog healdine slightly racist, no?

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Anurag said...

eM: You are right. The headline is very racist. I was hoping nobody would point it out, but now that it has been, I will go ahead and change it.

 
At 4:28 AM, Anonymous munna said...

oh come guys.. dont be so pc, we are not americans here!!

 
At 4:47 AM, Anonymous munna said...

even google is having a hard time hiring in india!

http://news.com.com/2061-10788_3-5659193.html?part=rss&tag=5659193&subj=news

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Satya said...

i am slowly changing the scared lion act....but i agree with ya ..
we are scared... damn we are scared...

 
At 11:58 PM, Blogger Manish Bhatt said...

If we ever had to close down this choti-si company of ours that runs on similar principles and where I happen to be a partner, I'm joining yours.

Not all of us are scared shitless, I used to work in a big-time ad agency once, hated it. So I quit. Without even a job in hand.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Jugular Bean said...

Truer words haven't been spoken, Indians are the biggest cowards ever!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home