Indian employees get smart

The current global recession may be a source of woes for most of us in the Indian corporate world. But the smarter ones are seeing this as an opportunity to dig deep and discover what they really want to do

For 25-year-old Utkarsh Khandelwal the recession has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It has given him a chance to mull over his career and the time to hone himself as a professional. A engineer from IIT-Chennai, this small town boy from Indore is now preparing himself for an MBA. “I am just a Bio-tech engineer and the kind of profession I am in, I need to back myself up with an MBA,” says Khandelwal.

Khandelwal who’s now been working as an Investment banker for the last three years feels this is the best time to halt and reflect on what one really wants to do. “I consider myself lucky to have realised what I need to do,” says a relieved Khandelwal. “Since I have a fair amount of work experience behind me, going for an MBA right now would be ideal,” says Khandelwal, who is currently working as an analyst with Avendus Capital, a Mumbai based Investment Bank.

“This is a time to look within and see what aspects we need to improve on to have a rewarding career,” – Ajay Soni, business leader – talent & organisation consulting, Hewitt

On the right track

Many like him are seeing this time as a golden opportunity for self-introspection. “This is a time to look within and see what aspects we need to improve on to have a rewarding career,” explains Ajay Soni, business leader – talent & organisation consulting, Hewitt.

For many like Khandelwal, the recession is nothing but a chance to up-skill and re-tool themselves. “The number of applications for our one year long, regular MBA programs has shot up by 20 per cent,” informs V K Menon, director of career advancement services, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. “I feel this is a direct result of the current recession,” he adds. He further reasons this trend, “In a recessionary market, professionals want to up-tool themselves through such programs and catch the market at a positive swing.”

Agreeing with Menon, Khandelwal feels, “I don’t think the job market will revive before a year or so.” Khandelwal plans to go in for a two year long MBA program and is looking at prestigious institutes like the IIMs and FMS. “I want to get back in the job market once it revives and so I am looking at a regular MBA instead of short term executive MBA programs.”

Interestingly, people like Khandelwal who would in usual circumstances have considered doing an MBA from the USA, are now opting for Indian institutes. “Apart from the lack of job opportunities in the US, there is also the additional bane of financial load,” opines Khandelwal. “Given the current money crunch in the US, getting an educational loan will be a Herculean task,” he explains.

For Indian academic institutes this is definitely not an issue. “Loan based funding is still continuing. There’s no sweat at all getting an educational loan here,” informs Menon.

Towards success

Apart from professionals going for further education, there are a few who are even turning entrepreneurial or changing industries. “This is time to take the ownership of where one is going and where one is more likely to succeed,” asserts Soni.

While for most of us the slowdown has translated into slowdown of opportunities, there are a few who are actually seeing galore of opportunities. From changing industries to going for further education to setting up ventures, the true survivors are seeking these options.

Reference : Ruchi Challu (Times Ascent)

Posted on January 29, 2009, in Expert Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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