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The evidence is anecdotal at this point, but there appears to be a mini-boom in tech jobs in Bengaluru, Chennai, and some of the smaller southern cities that have traditionally been hubs for tech businesses, with many of the new jobs. from multinational companies that already have a presence in these regions. It is anecdotal, but not contradictory.
In a conversation with this columnist in September, prior to the launch of his book, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings discussed how his company would try to get people back to work as soon as it was safe to do so because the WFH was not “so good like being together and talking about things. “He added that Netflix was not” optimizing the culture for the pandemic “and spoke of the challenges of remote work.” We all rely on the relationships we built before Covid. I think it’s a great challenge developing new employees who never know us. ”Hastings said that while in his experience“ the physical workplace is superior, ”this was the case for him, and that“ maybe for a 20-year-old who grew up on Tinder “the opposite would be true.
I feel exactly the same, but there are many companies that have discovered the benefits of the WFH over the course of this strange year. At least some of them have decided that a significant portion of their workforce will remain at the WFH even after the pandemic. This is not always driven by the right reasons: cost, not quality of life, is a factor in many cases, and there may be a price to pay for it in the future (in terms of organizational culture or workspace, and all that). contributes to the business), but the WFH is here to stay. This is true in all geographies.
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Companies that pioneered outsourcing work to India, and tech companies are at the top of this list by a long distance, are finding that if they are going to move to remote work for many of their employees anyway, then they could too … as long as the right kind of people are available, move those jobs to India where they may or may not be remote.
That could explain the fight for tech workers in Bangalore. A tech recruiter I spoke to made it sound like the boom days of the late 1990s and mid-2000s, when tech workers could and would literally cross the path into their startups (I wonder which could be the equivalent of the WFH). I may be overstating the intensity, but the trend is clearly there.
It is also becoming clear that this trend could extend well beyond technology. Any work that is currently being done remotely, and that the company believes can continue to be done remotely, is work that is no longer restricted by geography, no matter what was previously assumed. All that work (or at least some of it) could move, and all the things that worked to the benefit of India during the first waves of IT and business process outsourcing will likely work in this context. That includes a well-educated, technically skilled, and English-speaking workforce; excellent connectivity; and lower wages and cost of living than in most Western nations.
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While the anecdotes I’ve heard come from Bengaluru and Chennai, this is a trend that any city with good connectivity, schools, and healthcare facilities can leverage to their advantage (readers will note that I didn’t use the most expansive quality of -descriptor of life simply because it is very difficult for a city to suddenly improve its).
Urban renewal, in India’s current, emerging and aspiring outsourcing hubs, should be part of the post-Covid plans of state governments if they are to take advantage of it.