still a small, albeit high profile, niche within the country's
technology space. But it's growing rapidly, at a double digit
clip. The global market for mobile content is large-$78 billion
(Rs 35,100 crore). And the Indian market, riding on 75.92 million
mobile phone (both GSM and CDMA) users and counting, is expected
to grow exponentially from its current Rs 400-crore base. Not
surprisingly, the sector is throwing up a fair demand for jobs.
"The hiring here is not done on a mass scale, but there is,
nevertheless, a shortage of qualified people," says Alok
Kejriwal, Founder, Mobile2Win, a mobile content company with a
presence in China and India, adding that he hires technical talent
mostly from institutes and colleges across disciplines like engineering,
software and art. "Engineers apart, these companies are always
on the lookout for good copywriters, artists, visualisers and
marketers," adds Kris Lakshmikanth, CEO, The Headhunters,
a Bangalore-based hr consultancy. "Aspirants have to be able
to write software or design content that can optimally use (the
small) mobile phone display," he adds.
Mobile 365, a Delhi-based short code company,
hires people across four broad functions-technology, business,
financial and products. A short code company is one that deals
with those three- and four-digit numbers that television and FM
radio channels ask you to SMS your answers, opinions and votes
to. Says Kaustav Ghosh, Country Manager, Mobile 365: "In
the technology space, we recruit mostly telecom engineers as a
thorough knowledge of the mobile platform is sine qua non. And
we prefer technically qualified people for the products function-though
this is not absolutely necessary-as it interfaces between the
sales people and the technical staff, turning feedback received
from the sales force into a product proposal or taking the latter
and turning it into a viable business proposition."
This technology space now offers more moolah
for qualified people
Technology, another Delhi-based company, which operates in the
mobile marketing and content space, is also in the market for
talent. "We need business people who will be able to develop
the business; these will mostly be MBAs," says Raj Singh,
Executive Director of the company. "On the technical side,
we hire people with knowledge of Java and Web-based applications,"
|Mobile2Win's Alok Kejriwal and Mobile 365's
Kaustav Ghosh (below): In search of technically qualified
"We also need musicians and audio engineers
to create monophonic and polyphonic ringtones, as well as the
increasingly popular 'true phonic' versions that allow users to
play mp3 files when a call is received," says Rajesh Rao,
CEO, Dhruva Interactive, a Bangalore-based gaming and content
What's the architecture like at these companies?
Mobile2Win, for example, employs studio managers, production heads,
animators, designers and sound specialists on the production side.
But the most crucial member of it team is the Director, Technology.
His job: handling the "middleware" between the consumer,
the telecom company and the mobile content company. "His
key area of responsibility is 'billing and uptime'," explains
Kejriwal. Shorn off all the jargon, this means he has to manage
the critical technology that ensures that every single consumer
response is accounted for and billed. The hugely popular and mammoth
Indian Idol SMS response campaign programme is one example of
what this job involves.
The pay scales vary from Rs 15-18 lakh per
annum for a studio manager (the senior-most position on the production
side of the business), to Rs 10-12 lakh per annum for a production
head. A Director Technology gets about Rs 12-15 lakh, but sources
say "there are 35-year-olds in the industry who earn upwards
of Rs 50 lakh per annum handling billings and supply negotiations".
Lower down the ladder, trainee developers draw Rs 8,000-10,000
per month while those at the next couple of levels take home Rs
20,000-45,000 per month.
|Anurag Awasthi: Tapping creative talent
On the business side, marketing execs are
also becoming hot property. Here, the Relationship Director or
marketing head, sits at the top of the heap and draws Rs 12-15
lakh per annum. Most such people are recruited from other content-driven
businesses like media and entertainment. "The job involves
liaising with clients, promoting business, managing sales, managing
accounts and similar other functions and needs people with management
expertise; and those with MBA degrees best fit the bill,"
says Ajay Vaishnavi, Vice President & Head, Business Operations,
Cellnext Solutions, another mobile content company, that provides
vas and application services and wireless solutions to mobile
service providers like Idea Cellular, Airtel, Spice, Reliance
and SMS-based services to companies like American Express, ICICI
Bank, LIC and UTI Bank. Adds Anuraag Awasthi, Head (hr & Quality),
Bharti Telesoft, which provides software solutions to telecom
companies to enable them to run, among other things, their value-added
voicemail and SMS services: "On the business side, we hire
people who can look after applications that are up and running.
At higher levels, we have product managers. These are very senior
people in the industry and their role is to talk to clients, understand
their needs, and come up with creative ideas for developing new
products. We prefer people from the telecom industry for this
The sector's still young enough to be called
an emerging one. It still doesn't have the ossified hierarchy
of legacy industries or even the more established parts of the
tech space. So, if you're young, tech savvy, ambitious and impatient,
this might well be your route up the corporate ladder.
I am a 32-year-old sales person with nine years work experience.
Besides a PG degree in commerce, I have worked with various financial
sector companies. However, I've started feeling that in order
to grow further, I need a professional qualification. I have been
advised to pursue a CFP programme as it is recognised internationally,
but I am still not sure about it. Please advise.
There is a CFP programme in the US and Canada, which is a recognised
one. In India, it is affiliated to the Association of Financial
Planners. You could also do a CFA course, which is conducted by
ICFAI. But I am wondering about your purpose in doing these courses.
The choice of your study would depend on your career goal and
you need to think about what you want to do and then do the relevant
I am 24-year-old medical representative.
As my job requires a lot of travelling, I would prefer to switch
to an admin post so that I can pursue a part-time evening course
in sales and marketing. Do I need specific skills to be an administrative
Most firms require a basic college degree.
Also, a course in use of computers, especially basic software
like MS Office, and use of internet would stand you in good stead.
However, in terms of earning potential, a medical rep gets more
than an administrative assistant. So, think before you make the
change, because switching back to a medical representative's job
may not be easy.
I am a 52-year-old civil servant. Post-retirement,
I wish to open an NGO for orphans. Although money is not an issue,
my lack of experience certainly is. Do I need to take some sort
of training or pursue a course? Please advise.
Many institutions offer degrees and courses
in social work. At this stage, you can gather information on NGOs,
particulary on the laws applicable to charity organisations, tax
exemptions, etc. Contact other agencies and learn from their experiences.
Answers to your career concerns are contributed
by Tarun Sheth (Senior Consultant) and Shilpa Sheth (Managing
Partner, US practice) of HR firm, Shilputsi Consultants. Write
to Help,Tarun! c/o Business Today, Videocon Tower, Fifth Floor,
E-1, Jhandewalan Extn., New Delhi-110055..
Your Career Right
The oil exploration sector is where the moolah
|Oil Engineers: Field day for them
discoveries of oil and gas fields in India and increased activity
is this space is throwing up massive job opportunities in the
sector. Job consultants predict a massive demand for chemical,
production, petroleum and mechanical engineers over the next few
years. The salaries are very good, too. Engineers with 10-15 years
experience are getting Rs 15-20 lakh a year, says K. Gopal, Executive
Director, Omam Consulting Group, which is recruiting exploration
& production (E&P) engineers on behalf of a large private
player. And people with three to six years experience are getting
about Rs 8 lakh per year. The recruiters: Reliance, ONGC, Essar,
Videocon, Cairns Energy and others.
"But the job is quite challenging, and
requires on-site engineers to stay at the exploration or production
site continuously for two weeks (followed by two weeks of rest),"
says an ONGC spokesperson.
The Building Boom
Real estate companies can offer great careers.
|Realty Show: Skills are on demand
another section of people who will bless the real estate boom-professionally
qualified job seekers. "Over the last two years, the real
estate industry has seriously started hiring professional talent,
especially at senior levels," says Ronesh Puri, Managing
Director of search firm Executive Access. The larger companies
like DLF, Unitech, Bengal Ambuja and Hiranandani, among others,
now regularly hire B. Tech and MBA degree holders for senior positions,
albeit mostly from second-rung institutes. "This is a welcome
change," says Puri. DLF alone hires about 45-50 such people
every year. The demand across the country is at least 12-15 times
The salaries are good, too. Fresh MBAs and
engineers get annual pay packages of Rs 3-5 lakh; this rises to
Rs 8-10 lakh for people with five to 10 years experience and up
to Rs 1 crore at the CEO or Director-level.