February 9, 2009

Sample Survey to verify Satyam Headcount

Filed under: Fiasco, Headcount, Satyam, Scams — Tags: , , — hrcases @ 11:51 am

The Income-Tax department has mobilized a large number of staff members from its local offices for a comprehensive investigation into the fraud in Satyam Computers. The investigations would not be a routine scrutiny but go deep into various issues.

These investigations are basically aimed at finding out how the fraud was committed and where the money was siphoned off.

To verify allegations of fudged headcount, the Income Tax department will do a sample study on 1,000 employees. Based on the address mentioned for the income tax returns filed in the 2007-08 fiscal, the IT officials will visit each house and make inquiries.

A sample of 1,000 employees would be taken up for verification and based on its results further investigations would be done. Though the timing of the study would have a surprise element.

The I-T officials will also verify whether tax deducted at source (TDS) of 53,000 employees was paid as claimed by Ramalinga Raju in his confession. Letters have been sent to different banks to check the genuinity of bank statements filed by Ramalinga Raju and his aides to the department in the tax return filed by them.

Income tax officials said identifying fictitious accounts was difficult based on permanent account number (PAN) as many unknowingly file their tax returns with wrong PAN number. As a result, the Investigation would not be done based on PAN number.

Source: The Times of India group.


February 3, 2009

What is Recession?

Filed under: Depression, Recession — hrcases @ 4:31 pm

A recession begins when there are several quarters of slowing but still positive growth. Experts believe that it is only an “official economic recession” – when the GDP growth is negative for two consecutive quarters or more.

The official agency in charge of declaring that the economy is in a state of recession is the National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER’s defines recession as a “significant decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months”.

A lot of countries at times experience mild economic recessions. This is a built-in factor of societies economic cycle as spending and consumption are going to increase and decrease along with prices.
Experiencing many of these factors simultaneously can evoke deep economic recession or depression.

A recession is primarily caused by the actions taken to control the money supply in the economy. 

The Federal Reserve is responsible for maintaining an ideal balance between money supply, interest rates, and inflation. When The Federal Reserve loses balance in this equation, the economy is forced to correct itself. 

Inflation refers to a general rise in the prices of goods and services over a period of time. The higher the rate of inflation, the smaller the percentage of goods and services that can be purchased with the same amount of money. The reasons can be as varied as increased production costs, higher energy costs and national debt. 

In such a scenario, people tend to cut out leisure spending, reduce overall spending and begin to save more thereby causing the GDP to decline. Unemployment rates rise because companies lay off workers to cut costs. 

Recession can be caused by factors that stunt short term growth in the economy, such as spiking oil prices or war.

An economic recession can usually be spotted before it happens. While the growth in GDP will still be present, one can see higher levels of unemployment, decline in housing prices, decline in the stock market, and business expansion plans being put on hold. When the economy sees extended periods of economic recession, the economy can be referred to as being in an economic depression.

February 2, 2009

‘Scam-hit Satyam unlikely to exist’

Filed under: Fiasco, Satyam, Scams — Tags: , , , — hrcases @ 12:48 pm

Troubles keep mounting for Satyam Computer Services. Some of its top clients namely, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are in talks to move their business from the Hyderabad based company to other Indian IT firms.

In the meantime, the number of potential suitors to acquire the beleaguered firm is growing by the day. As many as six companies from the manufacturing, information technology and private equity space have shown interest to buy out the firm. The newly constituted board has narrowed down on a list of three possible candidates for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is also mulling providing legal immunity to the new management leadership team from being liable to the previous records of the company.

According to a study by research firm Gartner, the scam-stricken Satyam Computers is unlikely to exist in its current form. It is expected to discontinue some of its businesses, service lines or cease to exist in certain geographies by 2010. The study indicated that even the name Satyam may not exist for long. Satyam’s ability to sign on new clients during 2009 has significantly diminished, says the study. “In addition, it will be challenged to invest in client engagements, staff developments or R&D – all critical elements for IT services,” said Gartner’s Vice President for Research, Frances Karamouzis. For the study, Gartner interviewed representatives of over 30 top Fortune 500 clients of Satyam, 20 top non-Satyam clients, the board of Satyam and CEOs of six tier-I Indian IT firms including TCS, Wipro, Infosys Technologies, Cognizant and HCL.

Gartner believes that Satyam’s ability to regain the trust and credibility has diminished. Satyam has 690 global customers, of which 185 are Fortune 500 companies. A significant number of these clients have already sent some kind of inquiry to other vendors in India. Source: The Times of India group.

January 6, 2009

Oracle India planning for Hour-based pay

One of the world’s largest software products company Oracle is known to have begun linking the payment of its 20,000-odd employees in India with the productive hours they spend in the company. This has given way to salary cuts, ranging between 10 and 50 per cent.

Company sources explain that if an employee is a billable resource for 15 days a month, he will be paid in full for that period while for the rest of the period he will be paid a “nominal” amount.

The company management has asked all non-billable employees to involve themselves in internal projects, failing which they would be asked to explore opportunities outside the company. This practice was initially implemented for the employees of Oracle Financial Services Software (i-Flex Solutions).

Though this decision has not been directly communicated to the employees in writing, but the team leaders and project managers in different centers have been informed about the decision orally.

Oracle does not want to take any extreme steps like other IT companies.

Sources within the company add that Oracle India has also minimized costs on various other benefits for e.g., travel costs and free snacks.


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August 11, 2008

Grooming Talent Pool

Talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard. Someone who has talent is able to do something without trying hard. It is an ability that someone is born with.

Universities across the country churn out thousands of graduates and post-graduates every year. This talent makes its way into various organizations.

Self Employment is not considered a lucrative option for, in most cases, even in the case of the professionally qualified. Everyone is on a lookout for lucrative options with the Corporates.

Once these talented young men and women join up for jobs, the concerned employers have the duty to manage the talent.

Talent demands job satisfaction, good pay structures, apart from various opportunities to rise in the hierarchy. Market-related packages, mentoring and a congenial working atmosphere must be provided to the youngsters.

Employee Productivity

The Human Resources departments in organizations should be well-equipped to train the new joinees.

Employee productivity in organizations reveals the contribution of the human resources to business and to the profit levels.

Talent within organizations is commensurate not just to the salary and perquisites payout, but also to the cost involved in training.

Serious Business

New entrants into organizations have to live up to the faith reposed in them. They should realize that they have to work up the ladder.

Talent management is serious business and an integral part of human resources development.

Source :

August 8, 2008

Motorola Appoints Sanjay Jha as head of its handset division

Motorola Inc. is an American, multinational, Fortune 100 telecommunications company. It is a manufacturer of wireless telephone handsets, also designing and selling wireless network infrastructure equipment such as cellular transmission base stations and signal amplifiers.

Motorola’s home and broadcast network products include set-top boxes, digital video recorders, and network equipment used to enable video broadcasting, computer telephony, and high-definition television. Its business and government customers consist mainly of wireless voice and broadband systems used to build private networks and public safety communications systems.

Motorola has recently appointed Sanjay Jha, the chief operating officer of Qualcomm, to head its handset division. He will also be the co-chief executive of the parent company, sharing the responsibility with incumbent Greg Brown. He has also been named the CEO of its Broadband Mobility Solutions unit, which includes its Home & Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses.

Choosing a Right Career


Planning and Organizing are the keys to developing a career and finding a job. One should have the right tools to tackle the job market.

Career is more than earning money as it plays a major role in shaping the entire life of a professional.

Career planning is estimating, forecasting and calculating the path that helps in attaining the desired goals.

Need for Career Planning

Career planning is the first and foremost decision that every jobseeker has to take.

People work for the following reasons –

• To be socially acceptable
• To satiate their ego
• To obtain security
• To obtain respect
• To prove their worth
• To earn money

Initially people might work for money and it might satisfy them but as time passes, the individual looks only for happiness and satisfaction in their work. This happens because the work that an individual takes up has a very strong influence on his/her personality.

Today, there are a wide range of career options available. Generally, most of the people look up to their parent’s suggestions and advice and choose their careers accordingly. Some others merely pursue the careers, which their friends have taken up. Parental and peer pressure has a lot of influence in the career choice of many.

Most people make a mistake of choosing a career that brings a lot of rewards in the form of money or recognition but ultimately suffer from unhappiness and frustration. Planning for a wrong career causes disappointment, indecision, pressure and tension in family, causing loss of overall self-esteem, which is one of the main reasons for increase in suicides and hypertension problems amongst the youth. On the other hand, an individual who has chosen a right career has high spirits even while facing difficulties is still happy and loves his/her work by taking up challenges and emerging out as a winner. The secret to a successful career is to plan and choose a career according to the right fit.

Choosing a Right Career

Excellent career planning demands experience and maturity with relevant information. This can be done with the help of career counselors who match the personality of an individual with a particular job profile. The career must match an individual’s personality. Care must be taken to choose a right counselor who is experienced, has a strong desire to help and empathize with the individual who is seeking an advice.

The individual can observe the best of the results only when he/she has a complete faith in the counselor.

Career planning is basically of two types: short-term career planning that lasts for a period of two-five years and long-term career planning that is for span of five plus years. Some of the major barriers an individual may face during short-term career planning are analyzing ones current/future lifestyle, likes/dislikes, passions, strengths and weaknesses, definition of success, dream job, personality and the current situation.

In these days of rapid change where yesterday is always irrelevant the individual needs to identify and develop core skills that employers would continue to value even after a long span of five plus years. Some such skills are communication (both verbal and written), creative thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, decision-making and a total life commitment to learn new things in the core area of work. The best way to do this is by being very active always and keeping a tab on the various changes taking place in the specified area of work.

Tools for Career Planning

Career planning begins with self-awareness and self-understanding. Professionals must learn to continuously evaluate their skills, abilities, likes and dislikes before they establish their goals. Self assessment is the process of learning more about oneself. It is aimed at helping the candidates to avoid mistakes that could affect career and life. This is to ensure that one does not take up a job or a career without the knowledge of their interests and abilities.

The tools that can be used for career planning are:

• Self Assessment
• Gathering Information
• Career Preparation
• Career Management

Self-Assessment: It plays a major role in the career planning process that involves SWOT analysis, likes/dislikes, and knowledge of self.

• SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis is the most important of the entire self- assessment process, which involves professional analysis of an individual’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are innate, and an individual has to learn to maximize his strengths and minimize the weaknesses. While evaluating strengths one has to avoid modesty but should be honest and realistic. One of the greatest strengths can be enjoying the work we do. As normal human beings find it very difficult to accept weaknesses but in order to excel incur life both professionally and personally one must give a lot of importance to the weaknesses and try to build on them and change them into strengths, which would make us better individuals?

• Likes/Dislikes: The likes and dislikes depend on the self-imposed restrictions. Some people for example like to work in a team and are very happy to work amongst people while the rest are very happy if they are left alone. Some prefer a stable job that does not involve much of travel and the others like to travel a lot. This personal awareness of likes and dislikes makes career choice simple and helps the professionals choose a career according to their personality.

• Knowledge of Self: Through a complete knowledge of self, an individual can determine his/her ability and aptitude and match these skills with the career choice. It is very important for an individual to possess knowledge of self and to know what they enjoy and what gives them total satisfaction. It might be minute task like fixing a washing machine, drawing, and painting, singing or probably writing an article requires skills and the individual can perform his/her best only when they enjoy doing it. Each individual possess unique skills.

• Gathering Information: The second crucial step is to gather complete information about the career choices made such as additional qualifications

Assessment Tests

Assessment tests help an individual in choosing a right career that meets individual goals and that best matches their skills, interests, values and training. There is a wide variety of these tests, which are available. But, one needs to be choosy while selecting these tests and choose only the ones developed specifically by practitioners.

Some of the commonly used tools are

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that helps individuals determines their personality types depending on their personal preferences and strengths. For example a person may be an ENFP (Extrovert Intuitive Feeling Perceiving) or of ISTJ (Introvert Sensing Thinking Judging). Some people show both the characteristics and are known as ambiverts who fall in between and can be characterized as E/INFP.

SIGI plus (System of Interactive Guidance and Information) is a tool that evaluates individual’s values, interests and activities. It integrates self-assessment with in depth and up-to-date information regarding an appropriate specific career opportunities.

Self-Directed Search method provides a three-letter code that describes individual personality/ career type. This test is accompanied with a booklet that provides that best possible career occupations for each of these codes. The individual has to match his/her code with the careers listed in the booklet. These lists can guide further occupational research you may want to do. All these tests can be available on the Internet for a nominal fee. or certifications required both in terms of time and monetary aspects. It is advisable to choose only those courses, which the individual is certain of accomplishing. Also, the individual has to check about the job opportunities, prospects of growth and development both personally and professionally.

• Career Preparation: After obtaining thorough knowledge about the planned career it is vital to have a thorough preparation in terms of getting a right education, which is not only a mere option but a great need. Education equips an individual to achieve success in the career chosen. The individual has to again know the subjects he/she is both good and bad and determine how he/she can make this dislike into a strong liking by probably putting an extra effort or by taking a special class etc. It is advisable to get hands on experience probably taking up a project in the similar course or working as a research associate to the professor, who teaches the same subject, etc., could add value to the course. It is imperative to remember that to be successful in any arena one needs to remember the four P’s-Preparations, Patience, Perseverance and Positive Attitude.

• Career Management: After choosing a career and conducting enough research on the pros and cons of the chosen career the next important issue in planning a career is to manage the chosen career efficiently. By managing careers properly individuals can expect to get better jobs and grow up the career ladder. The professional’s entire life, his/her happiness, satisfaction and even the family’s happiness and future prospects rely entirely on well-organized career management .Aiming for a good job and settling in a career of one’s choice hold a great importance in a professional’s life. You might be a fresher aiming for a good job, or might be in a wrong job, or might be thinking of leaving the present job because of a bad boss.

August 5, 2008

Google – Brain Drain

Filed under: Brain Drain, Latest Trends in HR, Organization Culture — Tags: , , — hrcases @ 10:59 am

Google Inc. is an American public corporation. It earns revenue from advertising related to its Internet search, web-based e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing services as well as selling advertising-free versions of the same technologies.

The company was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Bring while they were students at Stanford University. Its initial public offering made it worth US$23 billion.

Google has continued its growth through a series of new product developments, acquisitions, and partnerships. Environmentalism, philanthropy, and positive employee relations have been important tenets during Google’s growth, the latter resulting in being identified multiple times as Fortune Magazine’s #1 Best Place to Work.

In recent times, Google has witnessed a loss of high profile departures, including Sheryl Sandburg who moved to Facebook and Doug Merrill who joined EMI. Earlier, executives such as Ethan Beard and Chris Sacca also moved away from the Organization. However, over all Google still continues to suck talent with more than 6,000 employees joining it last year.

The company is now witnessing a drain of some of its entrepreneurial energy that drove its early growth. Some former Google Executives believe that the company has lost two vital ingredients of its culture: the anything-goes approach of a start-up environment and the chance to strike it rich. Thus, the fading of its start-up culture poses threat for Google’s ability to attract and retain the right sort of talent.

July 31, 2008

Expatriates in Indian Companies

Filed under: Expatriates, Latest Trends in HR — Tags: — hrcases @ 12:05 pm

Today, the Indian economy is not only offering attractive opportunities to the domestic talents but also offering jobs to the foreign workforce. The number of foreigners seeking jobs in India is increasing year on year. This is applicable not only at the middle and senior level but also with the young graduates. The sectors that offer jobs to expats are IT, BPO, Pharma, Retail, Telecom, Aviation, and Hospitality.

The rate of unemployment is increasing in industrialized economies while the growth opportunities are increasing in South Asian countries including India and China. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it offers growth opportunities to the expats. Moreover the compensation offered by Indian companies is better than their home countries.

An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing or legal residence.

The Indian companies offer attractive leadership positions to experienced expatriates who bring in global perspective with them. Most of the entrepreneurs also believe that expat managers have more abilities when compared to their Indian counterparts.

This trend of expats occupying key positions and leadership roles is hitting the Indian corporate these days. They argue that an expats occupying key role doesn’t come with the commitment to stay for a long term with the company; they have poor understanding of Indian markets and environment; their ability to deal with diverse workforce is always doubtful. For all those who are challenging expats leadership quality must acknowledge that expats demonstrate a higher risk taking ability; they are transparent and accountable; they acts as key source of innovations; they are mostly not the part of corporate politics; they promote harmony and responsibility in the company.

July 30, 2008

Psychometric Assessment Tools

The use of personality tests and aptitude tests to select both executive and staff level employees is quite popular. It is necessary to have reliable and valid tools that are able to discriminate between the most potentially-effective employee and the one who will not fit the job. An employer also needs to remain attractive, both internally and externally to potential and current employees. One way of doing this is to have a well designed system of continual development that benefits both the employee and the organization.

Psychometric assessment is an objective and scientific tool that is able to contribute to the validity and successful outcome of the recruitment, selection and development process

In the current recruitment scenario where attracting and retaining the right talent has become the biggest challenge, HR Executives are constantly on the look out for innovative methods to achieve their objectives. Psychometrics is the science of objective assessment of employees. It is one method mostly being employed by many Indian companies today to retain talent.

Most companies today use psychometrics for hiring junior management and middle management. In India this approach is mostly made use of by companies such as Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, i-flex Solutions, Raymonds, Ericsson and Thermax.

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