Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The IKEA Pilgrimage

"Hez!". If you were in Hyderabad for the opening of first IKEA store in India, you would be forgiven for thinking that it's a religious chant for followers of a religion who are trampling over themselves for getting into their place of worship. Except they were visitors to the new IKEA store.
For the past few days, the news had been carrying multitude of articles related to IKEA opening. The marketing by IKEA team only hyped the situation. Since I was looking to buy a bed, I made the unfortunate decision of going to the IKEA store for a quick in-n-out shopping with my wife on my way to office. The first red flag should have been when we couldn't get parking at 10 am in the morning of a weekday and were asked to park at one of external parking locations. The IKEA folks were kind enough to handout a map of the same.

We were asked to park near ITC Kohenur. From that location, like every well organized pilgrimage, there was a shuttle service to IKEA after every 30 minut…

Book Review - The Girl In Room 105

There are couple of reasons why I pre-ordered Chetan Bhagat's latest - its price is less than a cup of decent coffee making it an impulse purchase and more importantly the book's claim that it is an "unlove story", whatever that means. Bhagat had pioneered the trend of bubblegum IIT college love stories targeted at teens and college-going population which inspired a generation of wannabe writers. But you can chew bubblegum only for so long. After some time you have to spit it out. With this book Bhagat threw away the bubblegum only for it to stick to his shoes.
The story starts the same way as have Bhagat's previous books - in a college and more specifically in an IIT. For initial few chapters you would be forgiven if you think you have picked up one of Bhagat's previous works by mistake. Bhagat is still obsessed with fair skin, women's churidar kurta and how she arranges her hair. The English is still pedestrian which Bhagat justifies as this is how rea…

IoT on Google Cloud Platform

Google wants people to use its Cloud Platform for connecting and managing IoT devices through IoT Core and use other GCP components like BigQuery to analyze data produced by those devices. While these products are fantastic, they also have some real world challenges.
IoT Core provides a managed service for connecting IoT devices. It talks with both HTTP and MQTT protocols and features one-click integration with Cloud PubSub easing most of the infrastructure tasks. However there are some limitations:
You cannot use any random MQTT topic to send/receive messages as you would expect on a custom MQTT bridge. There are special topic formats to send messages and also to receive commands.IoT Core uses Public-Private Key cryptography to secure devices. All IoT devices must first authenticate using the Public Key in a JWT token and then start sending and receiving messages. While these may seem like reasonable restrictions, one has to keep in mind that hardware vendors are still stuck in the 9…