Saturday, January 23, 2010

Attack of the Clones

No, I am not talking about the next generation of George Lucas's Star Wars series. Rather I am referring to the occupation of Bangalore by the IT worker. Thanks to Thomas Friedman, all of us know about the flat world and the IT services boom in India etc. etc. But when you are on the ground in India's Silicon Valley, you really get to experience this phenomena.

The boom in the information technology sector in the city of Bangalore has brought every IT major around the world to the city. Local players like Infosys, TCS and Wipro vie for space for their sprawling campuses with IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Accenture etc. With mass recruiting and long orientation periods, these companies are creating armies of IT workers. Employees of these companies have started looking like clones. It struck me one day when I was taking a stroll in my building that there is a distinct profile of these employees.

As the business day starts to wind down, I can see hordes of them coming back home. They have their security badges with photo IDs slung around their neck. A blackberry, iphone or a regular cell phone (for the less fortunate) is hanging on the holster like a revolver ready to be drawn out. ALL of them wear spectacles (the years in engineering and management schools do take their toll) and a majority of them carry the SAME laptop bag. The remaining carry a backpack. And of course they are all wearing a collared t-shirt with the name of their employer embroidered on the chest! Feels like the invasion of the geek squad!

You have to see it to believe it!

Aanish on the move!

Aanish took his SAT exam today. I went to drop him off at the exam center, which was packed with over a hundred high school students aspiring for admissions to universities in the US. I watched the kids walk in to the building ready to take the exam and was thinking to myself ... "here go a batch of leaders who will be taking over the world from us". I watched Aanish with some mixed emotions. Proud at his accomplishments, ambition and drive and sad as we move closer to the day that he will set out to create a life of his own.

Earlier this week, Mona and I were attending the investiture ceremony at Indus. Aanish has been elected as the Student Editor and will be part of this year's student council. It was another moment of pride for both of us to see him standing among future leaders - looking smart in their student uniforms and marching with a purpose. I nearly choked when we went up on the stage to pin the badge on him.

Our little boy has grown into a young man and is ready to chase his dreams!