Saturday, June 01, 2013

Month 120

Things are never the same. Sometimes Change sneaks up on you, ambushes you and you gasp and struggle to regain the balance. Other times its subtle. You know something is changing but can't put a finger on it. Yet over time its transformational.

The change in my industry (IT) is the slow kinds. Over the last few years, especially in the aftermath of 2008 world crises, its slowly changing, maturing. Its subtle. If you look around, the trends are confusing. Infosys climbed down from no.2 to no.3 . Wipro will slide to 5 as HCL and Cognizant move ahead. Depending on which company you track, your assessment of growth may differ. 

We have reached an age of moderation. This is the age of maturing of the industry. Indian industry's pricing power has never been so strained as its today. I really haven't seen any upward rate movements in the billing rates across clients. I believe, if it was not for the rupee slide, this industry would have collapsed in a heap extracting huge human price from its practitioners. The growth has gone away, and keeping the lights on is also a challenging. Especially in the mid tier range. 

My personal growth has stagnated too. With ever shrinking pool of people, squeeze on the margins, have resulted in me stagnating in my role. The real salaries have actually reduced as the increase does not even offset inflation.

The slowdown it seems came much earlier than thought. Its not like that we in the industry did not know of it,  but its happened about half a generation too soon.

Where does that leave me? I had some lofty financial goals and expectations from life that I was riding on. That tyre has now deflating. But isn't a big POP sound (I'm still employed. Fortunately). Its the hissing one, which lets you know that you've got a puncture. It keeps you on the edge because you do not know if you'll reach the destination before it goes flat.

So I'm limiting my journey. 10 more years and I'm done. That is 120 months. The countdown has started. The first month is over. It was a disappointing first month, and that's just a trailer of the rest of the 119 to come. If it goes this way I'll struggle to reach 120. But just as in a marathon, once you start you slug it out. You can take short breaks, moderate your pace and are allowed to collapse on arrival. But you gotta reach the other end. 

While the journey is arduous, I need to find ways to make it tolerable. I must say my previous project, was a huge help. I had kind of let go of it for the last 3 months. I need to trot that line, and find new things I could do to sustain my soul.