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The Amazon story and future of (IT) jobs in India


I am sure many of you must have by now read the New York Times article which paints a very unflattering account of Amazon and the way it treats its workers. Examples are cited where a worker was given low performance ratings because she missed work as she was suffering from cancer. In another instance, a worker was asked to go on a business trip just a day after suffering a miscarriage. There are many others instances cited in the article.

While these are horrible stories, I am not here to criticize Amazon. Thing is, that these are the practices followed by nearly every organization. Every company exists to earn profit and they want to squeeze as much out of their resources to maximize it. This is also true of Indian IT industry. In general, the work done by the Indian IT industry is monotonous, not innovative and something which their "onsite" counterparts will prefer not to do. Indians are ready to take these up at much lower wages and thus work comes here. Even with constant pressure put on these workers, these jobs were pretty much the best jobs that one can get in India - which paid well compared to other jobs and had a hygienic work environment. But don't start rejoicing yet, these jobs will soon be automated.

Human beings are resources, and very flaky one at that. They get sick, demand holidays, take lunch and numerous other breaks, which lowers productivity. Add these to the manual nature of jobs done by the Indian IT industry these jobs are prime contenders where automation can be applied. If you are wondering how this is even possible, watch the video below. I will wait.


After watching the above video, if you are a manager who is thinking that this is a good thing for you as it will increase your performance, think again. If all the jobs are done by computers operating at their maximum efficiency, who will you manage? Your job is over too!

Sure all this won't happen tomorrow, or in the next year. We may still be 20-30 years away from the Utopian future where nobody needs to work and everything is in abundance. Till that day comes, have a little empathy - for your maid, for the person who comes to deliver the package you ordered from the e-commerce giants, for the person who comes to deliver that pizza, for your colleagues, friends and family. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

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