Chennai Journal
Monday, August 28, 2006
Sorry I am a bit late this week. I was in Goa from Thurs. - Sat night for a conference at the Taj Exotica. Lovely place, beautiful grounds, good food, good service---but a huge problem with power outages. There must have been 15 or 20 of them during the three days. My laptop battery was malfunctioning so the computer would just shut off during one of the outages--very frustrating.

Goa was a Portugeuse colony and still retains an old European (as opposed to British) feel. The Taj Exotica is right on the water and has a spa, swimming pool, small golf course, and a lot of other attractions. I didn't get much chance to explore Goa or the hotel for that matter, but there is lots to do there. However, water activities are a bit dicey because of riptides, and a couple of weeks ago several employees from the big Indian IT giant Infosys died when they got caught during an early morning swim. There were no lifeguards, according to one report, because they are on strike demanding statutory benefits!

One of the conference presentations was very interesting. All companies experience difficulty in finding and keeping qualified personnel, and given the scale of recruiting especially in the IT and business process outsourcing companies, it takes a whole army of people just to do the backoffice work connected with finding candidates, screening them, scheduling interviews, selecting and then onboarding them. One company has found a creative solution. They have networked and provided computers to graduates in about 150 villages, trained them to screen resumes and set up appointments, and pay them about 3000 rupees per month. Attrition is low because most people in the villages don't leave, and this is by far the best employment in town. Someone quickly termed this "VPO" ---Village Process Outsourcing! Given the talent shortage here, you really have to be thinking out of the box to keep ahead.

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