I am a management graduate from IIM, Calcutta. I received a pre-placement
offer from a reputed FMCG company. A few days after I accepted the
offer, another company-to which I had applied earlier-approached
me with an offer. Since I have an offer in hand, should I negotiate
with the second company and see if I can get a better deal?
Salaries at the management trainee level are usually standardised
and the remuneration across companies and industries is nearly the
same unless, of course, one has prior work experience. In either
case, it is not a good idea to bargain for a higher salary as this
will send out the wrong message. Chances are that your attempt to
get a better package may backfire. The initial stage in one's career
is crucial and one needs to concentrate on learning and acquiring
skills. Salary is important, but should not be an over-riding criterion.
Keep in mind your long-term plans of sector-specific specialisation
while considering offers from potential employers.
I am on the faculty of the chemistry department
of a deemed university. Although I enjoy interacting with students,
my passion and enthusiasm for teaching has diminished over the years.
I have applied for a research and development (R&D) post in
a reputed Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company. The compensation
package is much better, but having been an academic all my life,
I am still a little tentative about joining the private sector.
In case I get an offer from the company, should I take a sabbatical
and try out the new job before making a final decision?
There is always a feeling of insecurity when
one steps out of his or her comfort zone. If don't enjoy teaching
anymore, the sooner you move out the better it will be for your
career. If you let this opportunity go, chances are that you would
find it harder to get what you want in the future. What you should
keep in mind, however, is that the corporate world is quite different
from academia. You should take that into account while considering
the switch. However, if you are keen on a change, you should go
for the interview with an open mind. Remember, you have to take
some risks to get what you want. Even if you choose to pursue a
corporate career, you will still have the opportunity to teach at
universities as a visiting lecturer.
I am an IIT-IIM product with a specialisation
in finance. While I head the marketing division of a multinational
company in Delhi, my wife works in Mumbai as an advertising professional.
I wish to relocate to Mumbai and am considering a switch to finance.
Does such a change make sense at this stage of my career? I have
already received an offer from a financial services firm in Mumbai
and have to make up my mind very soon.
Considering current market conditions, the financial
services industry is not very hot. But I think it's a risk well
worth taking. Just make sure that the company is a reputed and a
stable one before you take the final decision. Given your experience
in the marketing field, you will always have the option of returning
if your new line of work doesn't suit you.
I am a senior manager in the human resource (HR) department of
a multinational company. A colleague of mine, who is married, is
having an affair with the personal assistant of the head of the
department. The problem is that as a good friend of his, I am not
only expected to do his part of the work, but also cover up for
his absence from the workplace. This is adversely affecting my peace
of mind and work.
As a colleague, his personal relationships
are of no concern to you, unless they are actually affecting your
work. If that is so, you need to have a frank talk with him. If
the problem persists, you could take up the matter with the hr head.
As a friend, you could advise him on the personal entanglements
this affair may land him in. You also need to be absolutely honest
with him about your problem. Chances are your friendship may come
to an end, but you should be prepared for the consequences. As an
hr person, I am sure you know how to handle the situation sensitively
Tarun Sheth, a senior consultant
at the Mumbai-based recruitment and training consultancy firm Shilputsi,
addresses your career concerns every fortnight. Write to Help,Tarun!!!
c/o Business Today, F-26, Connaught Place, New Delhi-110001.
Corporate childcare seems to be finally taking
off in India.
|The Xansa creche at Noida: play at work
When software engineer, Bharti Bhardwaj gave birth
to a son one-and-a-half years back, she thought it was the end of
her career. With no family support to pitch in, there seemed to
be no way out. That was before she heard about the company creche
at Xansa India. A trained governess, toys, television, and a pantry
dedicated to the children, all in the basement of the same block
that housed the techies-she could not have asked for more.
Bhardwaj is one
of the 20 parents at Xansa India using the company creche. According
to Bhardwaj, the creche has been a lifeline for her career. Encouraged
by the success of the creche, the software company has opened a
similar facility at its Pune office. This is despite the fact that
its parent company in UK does not offer such services.
Xansa is not alone. Neilsoft, a Pune-based
it and engineering services firm, also has an onsite creche. Says
Rajkumari Achtani, Manager (HRD), Neilsoft: ''The creche is an investment
that enhances productivity and fetches good returns.''
India Inc. still has a long way to go when
it comes to childcare.
Despite a large number of corporations providing
creches under The Factories Act, 1948, childcare facilities fall
way short of what is needed. Says P. Dwarkanath, Director (HR),
GlaxoSmithKline: "Unlike companies abroad, employees in India
do not ask for such facilities." Explains Rosita Rabindra,
President (HR), NIIT: "Indians attach
a negative connotation to a creche. With working couples still enjoying
the advantages of extended families and affordable domestic childcare
services, it will take some time before corporate childcare really
However, a number of companies choose to address
the issue differently. While Infosys has a special hr team that
has identified creches in residential localities across cities where
it has development centres, NIIT provides a creche allowance. ICICI,
on the other hand, started a Saturday Kids Club two years ago at
its Bandra Kurla office in Mumbai to attend to the children of employees
who come to work on Saturdays. Today, the club boasts an average
attendance of over 25 children.
Corporates are increasingly waking up to the
problems faced by women employees. Kinetic's onsite creche in Pune
is expected to be operational in the next three months. Cisco, which
is just a year old in India and whose US-based parent boasts of
excellent childcare facilities, also has similar plans for its development
centre in Bangalore. No child's play, this.
Help At Your Desk
|Xansa's Sumita Watsya with her daughter,
Smrita: maintaining a sharp focus on her career
The workplace is no longer
about just desks and machines, it's also about people and their
requirements. India Inc. is becoming increasingly employee-friendly
and is moving towards incorporating best employee-related practices.
Sumita Watsya, Associate Vice President (Travel),
Xansa India, spoke to BT's
on how the company creche has helped her to pursue her career
How has the Xansa creche helped you to focus
on your career?
I get to meet my daughter just about once during
the day, but I know she is being taken care of, despite my absence.
The last four years have been the most productive in my career and
this is what helps me show complete devotion to my work.
Is it is a distraction to have your child
around at the workplace?
At Xansa, there is no restriction on parents
meeting their children whenever they want to. However, what matters
most to any parent is the fact that the child is safe, and that
his or her needs are being taken care of. This helps one to concentrate
on work better, and is a contributory factor to enhanced employee