MBA with an engineering background, I have been working in the market
research industry for nearly four years now. I feel that the insurance
sector holds better opportunities than my present industry and want
to switch. Given my educational background and work experience,
what kind of insurance jobs should I apply for? Are my present qualifications
enough or should I do a course in insurance management?
The insurance industry has a number of successful people who are
not formally qualified but who have work experience that is relevant.
Your education and experience are not directly relevant to the industry,
so acquiring a relevant qualification is extremely important if
you want to do well in the field. Obtaining such a qualification
should not be too difficult for you since most insurance-related
courses in the country have a distance-learning component. Simultaneously,
you could take up a job in the marketing or customer relationship
management side of the sector. That would help you leverage your
experience in market research. The insurance industry is likely
to witness rapid growth in the near future. This will work in favour
of the newer entrants.
I am a 43-year-old regional sales manager
working with a reputed FMCG company. I do not have an MBA as it
was not considered important when I started my career 17 years back
to have one. I have been trying in vain for a promotion for the
last six years. Is it the absence of a management degree that's
hampering my career prospects? I have this dream of becoming a professional
sales trainer. What kind of skills do I need to acquire to excel
in this field?
Not having a management degree is definitely
a disadvantage-especially since you will need to compete with executives
who have MBAs. You could go in for a part-time MBA degree. However,
that doesn't carry the same weight as a full-time MBA. You also
need to brush up on your knowledge of current management practices.
You could couple all this with attending training programmes conducted
by external trainers or those held inside the company. These will
stand you in good stead in your quest to become a sales trainer.
Also look for opportunities within your company that will help you
gain relevant work experience. A combination of the above will go
a long way in helping you become a professional sales trainer.
I am a 43-year-old vice president working
with a leading Indian pharma company and have a degree from a top
US B-school. I have been working with the company for the last 20
years. I owe my current position to my company's policy of promoting
more women executives to senior positions with a view to changing
the predominantly male working environment. But now the company
is moving away from its earlier policy of promoting women executives.
I feel there is little chance of my rising any higher in the organisation
and becoming a director. Should I consider moving on to another
Check the educational background and work experience
of the other directors. If you find that everyone with your background
is more or less in a similar position, gender bias cannot be blamed.
In case you feel there is gender bias, there is no harm in looking
at other options and weighing them against your current position.
You have been in this company for 20 years and it is going to be
difficult to take the leap. There will also be a lot of pressure-financial
and emotional-once you announce your intention to leave.
I am a 28-year-old sales director in a technology
firm. I am unhappy with my current work profile and want to try
something different. I will soon finish my MBA in finance from a
reputed management school in Delhi. But I want to figure out what
kind of work will satisfy me before making a change. How should
I go about this?
Fulfilment is a state of mind. It's difficult
to attain-professionally and otherwise. Career evolution and changing
career interests are not new for an ambitious young executive like
you. However, you need to be clear about the reasons you want to
change your present line of work. You need to ask yourself if there
is anything you specifically do not like about the sales department.
This will hopefully help you figure out what you don't like about
your present job and make up your mind on the kind of job you would
like to go in for.
Answers to your career concerns are contributed
by Tarun Sheth (Senior Consultant) and Shilpa Sheth (Managing
Partner) of HR firm, Shilputsi Consultants. Write to Help,Tarun!
c/o Business Today, Videocon Tower, Fifth Floor, E-1, Jhandewalan
Extn., New Delhi-110055.
Hope, At Last?
Recruitment in the IT sector is showing signs
of picking up.
sure looks like the fizz is back in information technology. The
hammering the industry received over the last two years, especially
in the months following 9-11, had reduced the demand for it professionals
to a mere trickle from the heady days of late 90s when salaries
rose 40-60 per cent annually. Well, the dark clouds seem to be lifting
and some sunshine is finally getting through.
Recruitment in the it sector is picking up.
Says C. Mahalingam, former hr head of Hewlett-Packard India and
currently the Group Vice President (hr) of Singapore-based Scandent
Group: "The honeymoon of the 90s is not likely to come back,
but recruitment is certainly showing an upward trend. The worst
is seems to be over." Sunit Mehra, Partner, Horton International,
agrees: "We may not see the days of 100 per cent growth but
the it sector looks set to grow at 25-35 per cent." Infosys
Technologies hired 566 it professionals this quarter, up from just
75 in the previous one, while Wipro Technologies recruited 919 people
in the quarter-ended June 30, 2002, up from 124 in the previous
quarter. The signs of a recovery are everywhere. While it employment
advertisements are back in the leading dailies all over the country,
clients of job portals like Monster and Jobstreet are renewing their
contracts. Even small-time recruitment firms have reported at least
10-15 placements every month now as compared to just two or three
in two months last year.
The news is almost as good on the salary front.
Says Mahalingam: "Companies are revising pay, although cautiously."
Even companies that did not revise salaries for the last 18 months
have now given raises of 18-20 per cent. Increments in companies
with no pay revision for the last two years have peaked at 22-25
Bench levels (proportion of employees without
work) seem to be coming down as well. Bench levels of over 50 per
cent just a few months ago have now fallen at 25-35 per cent. That's
a positive sign. There is a growing demand for professionals in
the enterprise integration segment and for mainframe specialists.
Says Hema Ravichandar, Senior Vice President (hr), Infosys: "We
continue to look for individuals who have consulting experience
and technological expertise and who can acquire new skills fast."
The first signs of a recovery in the US, especially in the automotive
and aerospace industries, have accelerated the process of healing
in Indian infotech companies-most of their clients are based in
the US. Now, if the momentum lasts....
Rate In Salaries Will Be Slower"
|HCL Tech's Ashok Bhattacharya
Ashok Bhattacharya, VP (HR), HCL
Technologies, spoke to BT's on the various aspects of recruitment in the it industry.
On what skill sets the IT industry is looking
for among new recruits: The market today demands total solutions
and the capability to execute large and complex projects. Skill-sets
are a given, but domain expertise is a must. At HCL Technologies,
we are looking for people who have specific functional and domain
expertise. We are also looking for senior managers with extensive
relationship building and account management experience.
On bench-levels coming down: Strategically
we do not encourage having bench as we do focused recruitment. But,
whatever bench levels were there have been significantly reduced
over the last year.
On salaries in the IT industry picking up:
There is an oversupply situation
in the it market for most skill-sets. Overall, salaries are likely
to remain at the present levels or go up slightly. However, the
rate of growth in salaries will be much slower than what we have
seen in the past.