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Impact of H-1B visa reforms on Indian IT companies

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India’s software services sector is bracing for the consequences of US President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration, which include the restrictions on so-called H-1B visas. Having won the presidency on the promise of protecting US jobs and against moving work offshore, Trump through his reforms restricted the flow of immigrants and temporary labourers into the US workforce.

H-1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupation.  Indian IT firms and H-1B visa aspirants will be badly affected due to changes proposed by the Trump administration.  However, this reform doesn’t affect the Indians, settled in America who therefore being an American citizen enjoy all the benefits.

The American authorities have raised the minimum salary from 60,000 USD to 130,000 USD per annum with additional restrictions on the employer.  And therefore, doubling of the minimum wage applies to “visa dependent employers” who send the workers for a short period say 1 or 2 years from India.  Thus, Indian companies have to send those people who are really worth the minimum wages.

An opportunity to “work onsite” and “earn in dollars” has been a big lure for Indian Techies. But the Americans want only those specialized US workers to occupy those high-skilled technology works and the remaining jobs to be filled by local Americans.  However, there is nothing to worry about because the local American cannot become excellent techies overnight.

The US government have received about 250,000 applications for H-1B visas – with a majority of them being from Indian companies. Of nearly 85000 H-1B visas granted in 2015, 55900 visas were issued to engineers, designers, coders and others from India. This shows that the majority of tech worker in America are indeed no doubt Indians.

The new bill introduced by trump in the US House of Representative, made it difficult for the firms to grant H-1B visa as it is quite expensive. Furthermore, nearly half of the techies are actually working in India on the American projects. And therefore the problem is not the visa or the immigration laws. The exact problem lies on the shortage of appropriate manipulative skills which can take the country, workforce and economy from traditional one to a digital world.

Key Points on how the new bill on H1-B visas can impact Indians: 

  1. India’s IT industry will face short-term challenges

The reform will affect the profits of Indian IT companies in US. Because the new H-1B Reform Bill has doubled the minimum wage requirement of H1-B visa holders from $60,000 to $130,000. This change could turn into a major catastrophe for Indian companies and workers, as it would make it financially unviable for Indian workers to be hired in the US. This automatically negates one of the biggest reason for hiring Indian workers – the availability of cheap labour.

  1. Indian tech workers may face uncertain future

Due to the new reforms, Indian IT companies will not be able to send local engineers to work in US, for a very high salary. With the new mandated levels, Indian workers must be paid more than the American workers, making them a costly proposition. Moreover, it will be difficult to get them back   home and make them work for the same salary. Even when they tend to work– they will feel more dissatisfied.

  1. Results in higher operational costs for the Indian outsourcing industry

Changes in the H1-B visa arrangement will add immense cost pressures on IT firms. IT companies in India that enjoy significant cost advantages by sending Indian engineers to the US for a lower salary, are likely to be affected. H-1B programme was initiated on premise to complement America’s high-skilled workforce, but not replace it. Unfortunately, many companies are trying to exploit the programmes by cutting American workers for cheaper labour.

  1. Will affect Small Companies to a large extend

The restrictions on H1-B visas, is most likely to affect small firms more than large outsourcing firm. Since the process is expensive, small companies do not even dare to apply for these kinds of Visa.  Though the start-ups and emerging companies dare to innovate and progress, because of the high expense of acquiring the H1-B visa, the smaller companies tend to step back.

Unlike other countries like America, France, etc., there is no provision for start-up visa and thus, the companies daring to do something new can enjoy these benefits.  India’s one of the biggest outsourcing industry, Information Technology contributes around 9.5% to the country’s GDP and employs nearly 3.7 million professionals. And due to unfavourable developments in key markets, the industry faces difficulties on home-ground because of higher Operational Costs.

The US government allows upto 85,000 new H-1B visas each year but the demand is usually higher than the supply.  NASSCOM, the industry body for software and services companies is planning to send a delegation to the United States to negotiate and discuss on these issues. Meanwhile, India discussed several issues, including the proposed restrictions on H1-B visa with the US lawmakers.  The negotiators have to find an effective solution that does not hurt our economy, technical department and Indian IT companies.

Many social media companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, etc. have emerged to be successful in a very short span of time. Companies are automating jobs and seeking innovative technology to remain competitive. This kind of innovation has to be inculcated even in Indian Companies. Consequently, India has to inject the culture of innovation.

Thanks for reading.

What Ails Education in our Business Schools?

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Higher education system of ancient India had marked its impression all over the world. But over a period of time, higher education lost its global competitiveness. Due to foreign rulers–Mughals & then the British, the strength and finesse of our education was fatally wounded. The fact that our country got freedom about 70 years ago, yet our education system has hardly seen any change is dismal. No doubt, there are more schools, more colleges, more institutions for higher education, but the quality of education which is the critical has not improved. In particular, business management education in India is far from satisfactory. In spite the openings of many IIMs, the state of management education is depressing.

The expansion of economic activity requires more business managers. Many business schools came into existence. But are they producing graduates who can take up higher management roles? Sadly not. There are more than 20 IIMs as of now. Barring a few – IIM Ahmadabad, IIM Bangalore, & IIM Calcutta, the standard of education is below average. Besides, hordes of business schools have mushroomed throughout the country, but their pass outs are not even employable. The Modi Government may have realised the situation, but the action taken is too little, too late.

The Government is proposing to remedy some of the problems which require an executive order. Currently, there are more than 20 IIMs, yet it is unfortunate that only 7-8% of the MBA graduates are employable, according to a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India. Employability is critical. The quality of teaching in most of the institutions is not even satisfactory. There are exceptions like highly rated IIM Ahmadabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta, These are top 3 institutes and have excellent faculty. Students from these 3 IIMs are offered fat packages at campus placements. But no other institute can boast of the same.

Higher education system in India is in such a dismal state, that even the quality of students from the IIMs is deteriorating. Public Speaking training sessions have been conducted by us for the students of various IIMs including Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Udaipur, Raipur and Lucknow over a period of time. It was observed that only students from Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Kolkata were capable of expressing themselves clearly, and confidently. Others searched for words, used lot of filler words and were too verbose to communicate effectively. Here, we are considering only IIMs. One can imagine the poor plight of students from thousands of other business schools which have mushroomed in the country over the years. There were 5500 business schools approved by A.I.C.T.E. Out of these 220 were shut down in 2014 & 2015. At least 120 more met the same fate in 2016.

If this situation prevails, we will land ourselves in a scenario of having a huge number of people with degrees but not enough manpower with adeptness to meet the emerging requirement, thereby leading to low employability. Latest bill on education is intended to remove some of the anomalies.

IIMs to offer MBA degree instead of diploma

Students passing out of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are presented with diplomas instead of degree certificates. This puts graduates from IIMs behind many universities and colleges, which provide Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degrees. Some countries do not understand the concept of PGDM. Only in India, diploma is recognized not in foreign countries. Therefore, if students are trying to find out any position outside India it is difficult.

Foreign Students need to be attracted  

Inspite of producing excellent students and some even being selected by multinational companies at very hefty packages, IIMs do not attract foreign students. Firstly because IIMs are awarding diploma instead of degree, secondly and more importantly there is practically no marketing effort. Since IIMs are getting enough students from within the country, the board of Governors of these institutes do not realise the importance of securing students from other countries. This is a fallacy. There is no dearth of students for the top universities in UK & USA, yet they have a consistent programme to attract foreign students. These institutes realise the benfits of cross cultural interaction in education. Hope some positive steps are taken in this direction.

Faculty need to be excellent trainers

The second major problem faced by IIM students is the faculty. Most of the faculty in IIMs are highly qualified but they are not great teachers. They need to be enthusiastic public speakers which most of them are not. If a faculty is not able to express his/her opinion with conviction the students are not going to become very confident individuals. Confidence to express oneself is crucial for a business leader.  Therefore, it is important to select skilled, high quality faculty who possess the necessary qualifications but who are also adept in motivational speaking.

These institutes need to be fully autonomous.

Out of 20 IIMs in India, 13 IIMs are functioning without full-time directors. Some posts are lying vacant for more than 2 years. If they are autonomous, this situation will not arise. In the absence of directors, the institutions will not be able to take decisions which should never be postponed. This may include appointment of faculty, which is the root cause of all problems.

Lack of Transparency

Transparency in management institutions will attract better quality professors who truly act as facilitators. IIMs must maintain the transparency in the selection of Faculty, Directors and Board of Governors of the institutions. While selecting the key personnel, both technical as well as the personal aspects should be taken into consideration.

Institutions must encourage education which motivates students to become independent learners. Also, Students must be encouraged to discuss with other students on research projects and assignments that are both socially and culturally relevant to them. By interacting with other students, they develop the ability to express their thoughts and ideas effectively and confidently.  In this way, students become self-confident, self-directed, and proactive. That will stimulate them to crack any kind of interviews effectively.

Hope with the 2017 budget where the focus is moved to improving the quality of education and the forthcoming education bill, we may see significant improvement.

Thanks for reading.

 

Dictionary meaning of POISE enlightens us!

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What is Poise?

  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, poise is defined as calm, confidence in a person’s way of behaving or a quality of grace moving in an attractive fashion; balance in the way a person moulds or moves their body. Examples: he would be embarrassed for a moment but would quickly regain poise. Her confidence and poise show that she is a top model. Further example:
  • A lady with a lot of poise says – I am enough, I am full of sparkle and compassion, I genuinely want to make world a place I love. I practice kindness; I am not afraid of truth, I am loyal, adventurous, supportive and surprising. I am a woman, I am enough, I make mistakes but I own them and I learn from them, sometimes I make a lot of mistakes.

Only if you have poise, you can be confident, you can be graceful & elegant; you can be anywhere and make your presence felt. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it as explained by the famous philosopher, Aristotle.

Oscar Wilde once said “Now-a day’s people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

A poised man knows the value. He may also know the price but considers value more important than price. It can also be attributed that grace and elegance will never go out of fashion as poise and elegance are always loved and appreciated. It can also be said that key to winning is poise to be maintained under stress, among other qualities. Such is the importance of poise. Poise can also be felt inside one’s feelings, character and thoughts. It’s  just being oneself, being at ease and never fighting oneself, never underestimating one’s abilities. It is pretty impressive to see students standing in front of their peers. It takes poise, talent and courage because poise remains with us. Audrey Hepburn, a British actress of yester years said “poise is the knowledge that you are never alone, for beautiful eyes, look for good in others, for beautiful lips look for words of kindness and poise. Opt for the knowledge that you are never in dire difficulty”.

It also means to beat defeat with dignity, to receive criticism with homour and humility. These are also the marks of maturity and elegance. All in all, it is poise. It can also be stated that one should never hesitate, never try to hide oneself and be afraid of facing consequences or have shame, standing up on the values one believes in. Never to regret the past; it’s a waste of time as there is a reason for everything. Every terrible thing that one must have gone through in their lives also leave some messages. Every mistake that has happened would have a deep meaning associated with it. The only way one can earn respect is if one respects themselves and to do what he/she considers is the right thing; not to apologies for being oneself. Accepting your mistakes committed requires a lot of poise.

In a stress full situation, one can be concerned or little worried as well but maintaining poise you can overcome all negative feelings. Poise can also be mean as one’s ability to balance the extremes of life. Sometimes we find life difficult like a turbulent sea. But poise helps to maintain equanimity and dignity.

It is said that “never go through life, but grow though life”. In other words always be original, be yourself. Don’t try to duplicate someone in the process however successful the person may be, never try to copy or imitate others.

Further, life is like riding a bicycle. To keep one’s balance he/she must keep moving and never be stuck. Never think of past; never worry about future, but learn to live in the present. Our present alone and shape our future.

How to achieve poise?

Focus in your work gives you poise; patience gives you poise. But achieving success without work can only be found in the dictionary. Likewise maintainning poise without efforts is  not conceivable at all .The necessity to do one’s work or perform duty has been emphasized in our  great book of knowledge – The Bhagwat Gita. It says man maintains his balance, poise and sense of security only if he is moving forward. If he is stuck, he is dismayed and not able to perform his duty. He loses poise as well.

Sir Winston Churchill who had set an example and was an institute in his own right wittily said. “A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity but an optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty but keeping balance in both the situations”.

We must remember that poise and power are inseparably associated. It can be stated that the calm and balanced mind is strong and great mind but the hurried and agitated mind is a weakling. So never be in a hurry and never try to do anything ‘yesterday’. Be patient as the things do take their own time.

Never be upset with the circumstances if it is not in your favour and despite genuine hard work. One is not able to perform, as per expectation always. But patience is the key. And so is poise the ultimate key to elegance and success.

Thanks for reading.

Happiness

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In general dictionary, there is no proper definition for happiness. One has to find out his own definition which works for himself. In simple words, it is a constant and continuous feeling of joy and contentment. It should not be momentary just like pleasure.

Whatever a person does, he ultimately does to find happiness. It is not a destination, but can be found in the journey of life. It is ones choice to be happy. Whether one has everything or not, it is completely his choice to make himself happy with what he has. It is not a possession to be prised, but the quality of thoughts and state of mind. It is a sort of action. When one is wise, he makes others happy.

Some of the authors and world leaders say that today, the biggest problem in the world is that, we are more interested in making others believe that we are happy than actually trying to be happy by ourselves.

It is just a belief that money and success can buy happiness. But alone they are useless. Your decision to be happy plays the top role. Money, success, your decision, etc. are just few of the constituents of happiness, which are to be placed on their proper positions.

Happiness can’t be bought, but just created, felt, expressed or experienced. If it could have been bought, all would have paid a price for it. The best method to create happiness is to do the things which you love. It contributes a lot. And if that is not possible, then love the things which you do. Choose to be happy in the work you do and it is only possible when you start liking them.

STEPS TO BECOME HAPPY:

  1. Think less
  2. Feel more
  3. Act more
  4. Frown less
  5. Smile more
  6. Laugh more
  7. Talk less
  8. Listen more
  9. Understand better
  10. Judge less
  11. Expect more
  12. Watch less
  13. Do more
  14. Complain less
  15. Appreciate more
  16. Be grateful

Gratitude is extremely important if one wants to be happy. Likewise, the person should not be over emotional but have faith. He should not give up but keep trying. He should not complicate but make things simple. Sometimes, he need not be serious but laugh at the problems. He should be as youthful as a kid. That will make him happy.

One’s happiness should depend on himself and not on other people or things which he may lose. One can never lose himself. Those who desire love, try to find a soul mate. But those who desire happiness, finds themselves, and then their soul mate finds them.

Happiness is never experienced with the amount of problems but the ability to face it. If someone can’t write happiness in others life, then atleast he should try to erase his problems.

BENIFITS OF BEING HAPPY:

  1. It boots motivation. It keeps one inspired and he is always enthusiastic. He loves creativity, have lot of energy, good health and create good vigilance. All this is possible only if he is happy.
  2. It improves productivity in one’s life.
  3. It reduces cardio vascular diseases.
  4. It is said that happy people have a longer life and are tend to attract more people. So they make good friends.

Thanks for reading

Four Simple Steps to Develop Good Habit

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If habits are stepping stones, their choice should be the outcome of reality’s and targets’ cognitive approach. Acharya Rajneesh once proclaimed that “I am less interested in your chain-smoking but more interested in your habit. Any habit that becomes a force, a dominating force over you, is a great sin. One should therefore live more in freedom. One should be able to do things according to the situations but not according to the habits”.

  1. Control Your Thoughts

If you don’t learn to control your thoughts or opinions, you will never learn to control your behaviour and if you don’t learn to control your behavior, you will never be able to build good habits. Habit creates the appearance of justice and progress has no bigger enemy than habit.

  1. Change your thoughts & Actions

If you want to replace the bad habits with the good one, you have to change your actions, thoughts, habits and start doing small things differently every day. Habit change happens when you start with small things. Moreover, if you want to build courage, then simply act courageously. If you do something over and over again, you build a habit. Some people develop the habit of courage whereas some people develop the habit of non-courage.

  1. Don’t Play a Victim

People who consider themselves as a victim will rarely produce positive result. Instead you must utilise the given opportunities and turn out the difficulties into a driving force to make yourself and the world better. Mind control is the result of self-discipline and habit. You either control your mind or the mind controls you. There is no half way compromise.

  1. Be Practical

And at last, you realize that you can’t force loyalty, consistency, or even honesty.  You can’t force them to keep their word, or to communicate, or to realize something special is right in front of them. You can’t make someone to put up a fight for your heart or change his/her own ways. Take a step back and reflect if your relationship has turned into battlefield of harsh words, mixed emotions, and constant bickering, you must ask yourself whether it’s worth anymore.

It is estimated that up to 90% of our daily activities are habits. If you want to improve your time management, then you need to improve your habits.  Never ever allow ‘waiting’ to become your habit. Be fearless, live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now and if you wait you tend to lose time. You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm. Remember your first duty is to ‘Yourself’ but it doesn’t mean that you have to be selfish. But it is necessary to be strong, capable and competent so that you can help others too.

The act of discovering who we are, will force us to accept that we can move further than we think. Success is nothing but a few simple disciplines, practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated everyday.

Always be yourself, respect yourself and have faith in yourself. Ensure to make plans and organize your discipline, thoughts, and devote attention to detail for creating something worthwhile but not for criticizing your own self. Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can’t get away with screwing people throughout your whole life. Don’t care about others identity, or what all the problems he/she undergoes around. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.

Motivation is what gets you started, and habit is what keeps you going. It’s quite important to keep moving. There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that once unleashed can make any dream, vision or desire a reality.

Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. Either way it is all about your choice. So choose the right habits that enrich your lifestyle!!

Thanks for reading.

Five Ways to Break 10 Bad Habits

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Bad Habits

Nearly everyone has a bad habit that they should break. Some people have less than others and some people’s bad habits are more grating than those of others.  Bad habits like excessive drinking, smoking, biting the fingernails, etc., starts slowly and gradually. They jeopardize your health — both physically and mentally thereby wasting your time and energy.

Bad habits are hard to give up, they are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out off.  However, you can achieve anything with the right amount of willpower and a realistic plan of action. With persistence and right mind-sets, it’s possible to break your bad habits.

Here are some ideas for breaking your bad habits

1. Change one thing at a time

It is most important that you don’t try to break all your bad habits, at once. You’re not a superhuman and trying to quit all your bad habits at the same time is probably going to be hard to achieve. Instead, prioritize and choose the habit that you need to change most urgently and then focus on that accordingly.

2. Prepare for weak moments

A positive mindset is significant but if you’re not prepared for those weak moments this can be a biggest mistake. Try to remove temptations as that can help you prepare for those weak moments. For instance, clear the cupboards of junk food, keep some distance from friends who encourage you to smoke/ drink and avoid stressful situations.

3. Set regular reminders

Bad habits are often so deeply ingrained in us that sometimes they can catch us unexpectedly. To help prevent those accidental slip-ups, try setting yourself regular reminders to resist those bag habits.

4. Reward your success

The key to breaking bad habits is to make the process as rewarding and enjoyable, as possible. If you are facing difficulty focusing on the long-term benefits of breaking bad habits, then arrange small rewards for yourself as you go along to help keep you motivated.

5. Remind yourself why you’re breaking those habits

In order to successfully break a bad habit, you have to be sure of your reason for breaking those habits. Find a solid reason for breaking your habit that really means something to you – such as improving your health, relationship or appearance – and keep your goal in sight. This will help you to carry on and stay strong in moments of weakness.

10 habits you must quit to be happy

When you quit doing the bad things, you make more room for the things that make you happy. Aristotle, a great philosopher once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit”. However, here are 10 habits that you need to give up in exchange for your happiness.

  • Quit procrastinating on your goals
  • Quit talking down to yourself
  • Quit blaming others and making excuses
  • Quit trying to control the uncontrollable
  • Quit criticizing others
  • Quit trying to avoid change
  • Quit running from your problems and fears
  • Quit trying to be someone you’re not
  • Quit living in another time and place
  • Quit being ungrateful

Thanks for reading.

Humour, thy name is Happiness

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Humour is the quality of being amusing by trying to find something interesting in almost any situation. A good sense of Humour keeps a person lively, free from stress and thus is a great asset. When a person says to someone “I am warning you to not mess up with me as I know Karate, Kung Fu, Judo, Daimoku, Jutsu” etc. and similarly names 28 other dangerous words. The time when a person reads these words, one cannot imagine that ultimately that person is saying he only knows words and nothing else. This makes you smile and that is humour. Life is short thus one should always smile.

When a person thinks that he needs glasses at his age and if wine glasses are shown in a picture in place of wearing glasses it makes that person smile.

To that extent, humour should give some surprise by either pun of words or in any other manner so that the surprise achieved is a pleasant one but without sarcasm.

Someone who is fond of vacation might say I need a 6 month vacation twice a year. Now, this is absurd but still it makes one smile.

It is said that humour is by far the most significant activity of the Human Brain. Never mistake a person’s silence for weakness. No one plans a murder out loud.

As said by Osho “If you find a saint who has no sense of humour then he is not a saint at all.” Humour is indeed a great asset.

There is another saying which goes as “A sense of Humour makes a man handsome and a girl beautiful.”

If one is serious and says. “A recent survey has found that one in three men is just as stupid as the other two.” Again, absurdity makes you smile.

The great leaders and the famous people throughout the world have also expressed humour in different ways.

Abraham Lincoln said “I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend”.

Albert Einstein said “Two things are infinite; the Universe and the Human stupidity and I am not so sure about the Universe.”

Author Francis Bacon said “There are two ways of spreading light: To be the Candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

He also said that “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”

Sometimes there are just wise sayings and only expressed humorously.

Humour is also about right thing, and needs to be having right words at the right place.

It has to be well-timed too.

Someone said “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.

It is said that “Common sense is like deodorant and the people who need it the most never use it”.

Whenever there is a surprise or if you are comparing two things which don’t justify the comparison it makes you smile and that is Humour.

“Forgive and forget; I am neither Jesus nor do I have Alzheimer’s disease.”

Humour is rightly called Mankind’s greatest blessing.

Charlie Chaplin once said “A day without laughter is a day wasted”.

When it comes to why humour should be used, Lincoln said “If you are in a situation wherein important and controversial ideas must be presented to less than open minds, humour allows those ideas to be presented in a non-threatening manner”.

Abraham Lincoln was famous for his ability to relate humorous stories. And so was Albert Einstein who said “A person who never makes a mistake, never tried anything new”.

Find humour in everything and you will live without worry and die without worry.

Thanks for reading.