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Tuesday, July 3, 2007
InStep internship: In Step with the Future

InStep, Infosys’ global internship program, held the induction ceremony for its eighth batch of interns in June 2007 at Bangalore. Present on the occasion were 50 interns who will intern in Bangalore over the next few months. The company recruits 125 interns from 54 universities in different countries for the FY 2007-2008 to work in its foreign divisions as well as in India. Talking about the program, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies said, “The InStep internship program helps interns become better global citizens and further enhances their careers.”

Endorsing the value of the InStep experience, Anup Thantry, an intern at InStep says, “I had studied at the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines. The interactions on a global platform are mainly through video-conferencing, which is a new experience. There are cultural challenges to deal with the interns from different nationalities and this helps one grow.”

Speaking about her InStep experience, Brianna Dieter, BA, Smith College, currently employed with Infosys Technologies in Bangalore as Executive - Academic Relations, said, “After completing my internship with the Global Academic Relations team in 2005, I realized I wanted to gain more business experience in an emerging economy and I chose to return to Infosys for this reason.”

The InStep program, started in 1999, is an intensive 8 to 24 week internship program that gives students hands-on experience across various projects within the company including application development, business consulting, Marketing, Corporate Planning, and Software Engineering.

Agilent Technologies hosts Agilent Technology day

Agilent technologies hosted Agilent Technology Day in Bangalore in the presence of some of the thought leaders and decision makers from the business, research and academic communities.

Inaugurating the summit Bill Sullivan, President and CEO of Agilent Technologies, said, “Agilent’s intent and commitment in India is to add value to the Indian market by supporting the country and community through education, technology, leadership and social responsibility.”

Pointing out Agilent as one of the market leaders in communications, electronics, life sciences, and chemical analysis Jim Hollenhorst, Senior Director of IP Strategy for Agilent Laboratories stated “Today, due to the revolution in the measurement industry we are able to know more about the inner working of the cell, through a demonstration or a movie.”

While discussing on the recent developments of Agilent products, Bob Burns, Vice President and General Manager said that the convergence of Electronics and Biology is necessary to move further in nanoscale measurements. “Opportunities in nanoscale measurement can be improved only by transcending the traditional boundaries,” he added.

The event was a forum for highly experienced technical experts in electronic measurements and life sciences. The session also had a discussion on science spaces that include nanotechnology, genomics and proteomics, chip chromatography, micro-arrays, mass spectroscopy, network convergence, electronic surveillance, and wireless broadband.

The thought sharing by the best brains from India and abroad in the summit took the 85 attendees through an interesting mix of technology, business and networking.

The Smart Techie’s Job Fair attracts experienced IT Pool

A successful career fair should be an effective forum where the careers of job seekers are furthered. Moreover HR managers too can get a career boost if they find the right candidates who work for their company with speed and precision. The Smart Techie Job Fair is now a regular event for IT job placements and seeks to bring proper experienced candidates for the participating companies.

In the current scenario where IT professionals switch jobs at every small opportunity, The Smart Techie Job Fair had 13 companies participating in the event held at the NIMHANS Convention Centre in Bangalore on June 9, 2007.

Applied Materials was the platinum sponsor of the event. Other participating companies included Vitage, Xora, Soliton, Skelta, IDS Software Solutions, Agilent, Broadcom, Dearborn Electronics, KPIT Cummins, FCG, Talent Bridge and Metric Stream. Applied Materials, gave a presentation that was well received. Around 1,300 candidates benefited from the event.

HR Managers were not far behind in finding the event profitable. The general chorus from the participating companies was that they could get to interact with lots of experienced candidates which was the purpose of their presence at the event.

NASSCOM announces winners of ‘IT User Awards’

NASSCOM, announced the eight winners of the ‘India IT User Awards 2006’ and released key findings of the ‘Tracking of the IT adoption study 2006’.

Built on the theme of ‘Enterprise Value’, the India IT User Awards 2006 felicitated the eight organizations that are using Information Technology to deliver business value.

NASSCOM partnered with AC Nielsen for devising and following up on the award methodology and criteria, while Lalu Prasad Yadav, Union Railway Minister gave away the awards.
Talking about the findings of the survey, Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM said, “The findings of the IT User survey interestingly indicate that the average spending on IT is on the rise and the sectors leading this are BFSI, Energy and Utility, and Tourism and Hospitality sector. What we also see is that from the supply side, more and more Indian IT companies have now realized the growth potential in the domestic market and are targeting this space with customized products and solutions”.

The 2006 Study, conducted among IT heads and senior IT managers from about 292 companies in India, across multiple verticals, showed that the growth of IT adoption was on an incline. The study also indicated the following:
* The highest average IT spending for 2006 was for the BFSI vertical followed by the Energy and Utility segment.
* The rate of increase in the average spending in each of these verticals was expected to be in the range of 12-27 percent, making them the most likely highest spending sectors in 2007 as well.
* The third sector which was projected to witness a considerable hike in its IT spend was the Tourism and Hospitality industry. The sector’s Rs. 18 crore IT spend was projected to grow by 13 percent, placing it among the highest tech-spenders in India in 2007.
* Interestingly, one out of four companies in both largescale and medium scale organizations indicated that their IT budgets would increase by around 10-19 percent during the current year.

NASSCOM’s “Tracking of IT adoption study 2006” also revealed:
* Business Continuity and Risk Mitigation were the key priority areas for CIOs
* Increasing efficiency and process productivity was the business goal achieved through IT adoption in 2006.
* The match between business goals and IT spends was not evident
* The CIO’s role as the “business leader” and then as a “technologist” was not the current prototype
* IT spends were driven by hardware followed by application and network software

The NASSCOM study made it clear that CIOs would need to ensure that the business value of IT was proven and delivered. According to the study, the business benefit would have to be proved up-front and the means of measuring benefits of IT arrived at by perhaps using an overlay IT-business balanced scorecard approach or by mapping the benefits perceived.

Just 2.5% engg. grads get upwards of Rs 7 Lakh

Despite the boom in IT industry and talks about million dollar paychecks, just 2.5 percent of the over 400,000 engineering graduates produced by the country each year draw upwards of Rs. 7 lakh per annum. This was revealed by the Compensation Survey and Student Perception study conducted by Campus Connect, a division of CareerNet Consulting.

Companies in IT products sector paid in the range of Rs. 5-9 lakhs while those in the IT Services sector pay an average of Rs. 3-3.5 lakhs. The flavor during campus recruitments was KPO / finance companies which are picking up huge numbers now with the most handsome salaries. The semi conductor companies, which have started looking at Campus recruitments in a big way, pay at an average of Rs. 4.5 lakhs.

The survey found that 63 percent of the students were hired at a salary ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs. 4 lakh. The survey conducted across 110 T-Schools involved more than 1,300 students and compensation data shared by 30 IT companies.

Rishi Das, co-Founder, CareerNet Consulting said, “We found that in order to meet high expectations of engineering students, IT companies did increase their salary offering but without any marked difference or improvement in job profiles. Only 17.3 percent fresh engineers land jobs of their choice.”

Within six months, most freshers find themselves unhappy with the assignments. 40 percent students leave before the end of first year, while another 20 percent leave in the second year – a result of wrong choice made during the placement season.

At an average, about 85 percent of the amount offered during campus placements forms the CTC of the students. Most students miss out on the fact that many components of the salary offered are just one time payments. These would include joining bonus which is the latest fad, house rent advance,and relocation costs, to name a few.

Das added, “The need of the hour is to match the student expectations with the market realities. A lot of campus branding initiative has been undertaken by IT companies and almost every organization with a strength of around 10,000 today has a robust university program. Despite this, there is a huge gap between industry, academia, and student expectations.”

There is a huge scope for campus branding including incubation programs and joint collaborations in research and development. Many have sponsored courses and technical collaborations at work. These and constant interactions with alumni from the institutes could help companies match the expectations when a student comes out of college.

SAP summit focuses on SMEs

The focus of the annual SAP Summit, SAP India’s three-day annual business and technology forum was captured aptly in the words of Alan Sedghi, President & CEO, SAP-Indian Subcontinent: “Indian business and have realized that to compete and succeed in their domains, they must move towards becoming globally integrated companies. This would necessitate them to look beyond the country to fulfill their supply chain demands.” He said that not only the big companies, but even SMEs were now realizing the need for putting the global integration principle to work.

Taking a cue, SAP announced the acquisition of its 1000th Indian SME customer on the sidelines of the summit. “Around 70 percent of these customers remain in the manufacturing space,” noted Steve Watts, Vice President, SME, SAP-Asia Pacific. Sedghi on the other hand noted, “The incredible pace of customer adoption for us in India is a testament to the evolution of SAP solutions into the trusted industry and business platform for growth.”

As a means to tapping the growing SME market, the company is trying to localize enterprise solutions to suit Indian business requirements. Some of the India specific functionalities that have been released for SAP for Utilities include features like ECS Mandate, Late Payment Charges, Prompt Payment Incentive and Security Deposit Enhancements.

The three day summit, held over June 6-8 in Mumbai, drew close to 2000 participants, including SAP’s customers, partners and delegates. While the first day was kept aside for a keynote, the next two days were divided into industry-specific tracks, where prominent industry figures from the specific verticals shared their experiences of deploying and using SAP’s applications, as also the larger technological problems.

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