by January 1, 2007 0 comments

“Na bhujyathe vyakaranam kshuthadhurai
Pipasithe kayvaraso na piyethe…”

(He who is hungry cannot eat the grammar book, nor can he who is thirsty
drink the essence of poetry)

Although I learnt the above lines in a completely different context, it
applies equally well to all professionals.

It is not just enough that we have the urge to do things. It is not
sufficient that the knowledge exists in a book or manual. We need to have the
knowledge in place and the competence to do it. So, even if technology will make
significant advances, if we do not have the people who can implement it well,
there is no benefit we can derive out of the technological advances. And even
that is not enough. If you do not have the business knowledge and processes to
leverage the technology in place, then again, what is the point?

As India braces itself up for almost double digit economic growth, and a high
double digit growth on the IT and IT services front, it is obvious that people
with the requisite skills and experiences will be all that more difficult to
come by, be it in IT or in business.

Krishna Kumar, Group Editor

There are many out there, who are advocating outsourcing as the way out of
this trouble. It is another question altogether as to how the outsourcing
companies will manage the skills and the manpower! Assume for the time being
that you were to outsource, but you would still need to leverage the
technologies and the processes that the outsourcing service provider would

The question, therefore, is not how much of technology you are going to
deploy, but how you are going to leverage that technology. Or rather, how you
are going to equip your people to leverage the technology better. How you are
going to marry the technologies and the business processes to deliver better
customer experiences and better business benefits.

Now, all this may be sounding old and boring. But when faced with compelling
growth rates, these are often the first casualties, swept under the table as
inconvenient questions that disrupt, rather than aid growth.

Perhaps, better growth can be had, if only we address these issues along the
way. Before I conclude, it would only be apt to share the last two lines of the
stanza I started off with.

“Vidyaya ke na chid-udhritam kulam
Hiranyameva aarjaya, nishphala kala”

(No family has ever attained great heights because of education. Earn wealth;
the arts are useless). While the first and the last parts are debatable, the
middle, the beginning of the second line does make sense to one and all. And for
that we would need to go back to the first two lines, quoted at the beginning.

Happy New Year!

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