Focus on a career, rather than a job

| Updated on: Dec 08, 2015








A session on IT-ITeS discusses the need to adapt and keep the larger picture in mind

If you want to build a career in consulting in the IT-ITeS sector, there is a need to keep transforming, adapt to different situations, reinvent, be versatile and build specialisation.

These nuggets were shared by Smitha Murthy, AVP and Head Organisational Development, Infosys BPO, to an audience that included B-schoolers, faculty members and industry persons in The Hindu BusinessLine - MBAUniverse.com MBA careers conference.

Speakers from companies such as Cisco and Capgemini spoke about skills required in an IT consulting career. They added that the focus should be on a career rather than a job. The session, moderated by Sanjay Padode, Secretary of IFIM Business School, also focussed on how obsolescence has become a norm and there is a need to keep pace with change. “How do I adopt new ways like design thinking, how do I innovate, are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself,” he said.

This was a common theme that emerged from the session as the speakers discussed how the $146-billion IT industry is figuring out ways to keep growing with the onslaught of rapid shifts in technology and rise of start-ups. Murthy, who has spent a considerable amount of time working with and fine-tuning Infoscions, said: “Focus on priorities. What is it that drives you? Money, intellectual challenge, location, ethical reputation?” She polled the students on these aspects. Interestingly, intellectual challenge was the top priority.

The priority was different for those who have spent time in the sector. Prem Velayudan, Director-HR, Cisco, who started his career as an engineer, said: “When I started interactions 20 years ago, the first question I asked when I joined was, when can I change? How difficult is this change? Today, these questions are redundant as change comes to you.”

Ever evolving These changes are coming thick and fast from factors such as adoption of smartphones, availability of technology in a subscription form and the increasing usage of analytics in business. However, this change also warrants a flexible attitude amongst students as competition can come from any part of the globe.

“In the past your partners and competitors were clearly defined. All that has changed — today’s partners can become competitors and vice-versa,” Velayudan said.

Uma Shankar, Global Head, Capgemini University, added that it is not about what a student knows but the ability to handle market demands and communicating this across different cultural set-ups that sets an individual apart.

These shifts are pushing companies to be more innovative. “If you are not the first or second in your domain, get out and wait for the cycle to come back, else you will get left way behind,” he said. As an instance, Velayudan pointed out that a lot of innovation can come in the healthcare and education space in India. “We do not have enough doctors to serve the population. Why not use technology?” he said. In the education space, Velayudan believes that the current teacher-to-student ratio can be scaled up considerably with the use of videoconferencing or virtualisation technologies.

He also urged students to have an entreprenurial bent of mind, even while building a career. “Today everybody is willing to fund a good idea,” said Velayudan.

But Murthy also had a word of advice for students. “A lot of grads nowadays give up after their first attempt, which is not a healthy sign,” she said. The tendency to stay with the problem for long is missing. The panellists also advised B-schools to impart some of these skills to their students, as this would help companies reduce the on-boarding time.

Published on March 10, 2018

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