My Digital Diary

June 10, 2007

Software Work Culture in India

Filed under: India, My Experience, my views, software Industry — nitin @ 7:24 am

Guys…this is the most talked abt thing among the best IT compaines..Many firms are gearing up to make their organisation “best place to work”.

What exactly they mean by that..?

M working for a  software firm which is also in the hoard to become the  so called “best place to work”.

Wat they are doing is placing some or the other kinds of event’s every odd some quiz competition,celebrating festivals etc..well to be saying frankly..i like such things happening arnd me..The employees also get bored with their same monotonus coding ,support,bug fixing..and they too need such events for refreshment.

Having said that,The modern firms in india are thinking abt their employess too, but according to me there are other factors which an employee wud  think will materialise in deciding the ideal work culture of an organisation.

1)Being punctual..This is the most ignored part of the so called “Buisness etiquette”.Everyone likes to come at their own suitable timing.

Employee’s main arguments

“As good as the work is getting completed on time..why the hell shud i be coming at 9 sharp”.

“My seniors too come late ..why shud i come early ..if no one notices..”

“M on bench and not assigned to any there any need for me to be arnd 6 hrs in company doing nothing”

“I achieve my deadlines…u got problem?”

“i come late and stay late”

The question here is how far the employees think they are right in wat they think..and how far is it important for a firm to be strict abt being puntual…

Forgive for my partial knowldge ,but western nations do comply with this rule and they are very sucessful in following it also.The ppl there have a different mindset.They come at 9 sharp and leave sharp at 6 pm.Also they dont waste time chatting..smoking ..on tea m/c or coffee shops during office hrs..

But we are indians and we have a different mindset..the “chalta hai attitude” is always in place..or are we TOO practical!!!!

Questions are..How far its important and wat employees have a say on this…?
2)Buisness attire

As ppl knw software is knowledge driven buisness.Again employee says

“i dont like wearing formals..we are developer not managers…or marketing executive..”

“bill gates and team never used to wear formals”

“the culture of google is like home(i saw in a fwd mail)”

Think again…a developer doesnt need to be in suit and tie to do coding ,unlike a marekting guy or managers who come in direct contact wid clients ..

Can we hope for an organisation which is only knowledge driven and no ” buisness etiquttes are compulsory”?
Would we be really enjoying it or we wud feel like we are too shabby…on work place..

The very funda that we hear is the clients shud be impressed with our way ..our workculture..

Shud we be winning clients by showing how well we dress or by showing how bug free our code is????

“presentation or model”which is mosttt important..???

I want You to answer for this..
3) canteen food.
This is the most important and the most ignored aspect currently it seems..Some firms do have good cateres but some really
dont care..

I mean an employee wont leave his job for the sake of canteen food and marginal varieties offered to him during lunch hrs..but still it becomes a key point in deciding “best place to work” tag.we shud ask the firm how seriously u take this issue in becoming one of the “best place to work”..


Can we challenge the very “some of these buisness etiquttes”..saying it wont work in the software industry of india..

we have a different style of working..

we dont like formals,tie…being puntual..i dont knw …Is this something western we are following?or are we too lazy,unprofessional that we dont follow them..orrrrrr we are too practical as i said before….

(am not making any point for/against …appreciate if u wud elaborate and speak u r heart out)

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  1. Very well written… you have put your point very well..but a “best place to work” is not only decided by the availability of things like good food, no formals, no strict working hours, but also it is majorly dependent on the intangible things like relationship between the seniors and the new joiners, i think a good team is more important than food or clothes or working hours atleast for me that is more important.. food, clothes or working hours can be adjusted but a very domineering culture like the one practised in TCS..where a babu raaj is going on. Another point i want to make here is me too working for software company from the past 2 years with best work culture in this industry…but still the attrition is very high y?? bcos the more than the work culture the money that gets in your pockets that matter…

    Comment by Neetesh — June 10, 2007 @ 10:48 am

  2. Enjoyed Reading…. very true

    Comment by hem — June 11, 2007 @ 6:10 am

  3. The points which u have put are quite impresising but i would like to give my view regarding them
    1.Punctuality-welll in west also the timing are not strict they belive that work should be done in any way and effectively…..and yes they provide facilities if u are unable to come daily to office or u r stuck in some thing which doesn let u to leave home than u can work from ur place only..which is not provided by indian companies because of whcih they complete there personel things by coming late or going in between etc…

    2.Business Attire-it definetly should be followed it gives a good impression and self confidence as well

    3.Canteen Food-even i feel this is some thing which a company should check on as if u don get good food u ll not be able to work detiorates and many other factors…
    4.I have one more point they should have more gym s at least one in each building as in software work u tend to sit all the time and no exersise so this thing should also be considered..cos its been said”Helth is Wealth”
    N i feel its important to consider

    Great work Nitin keep it up in this way we can find out what we all feel n wat is rite according to us

    Comment by Ritambara — June 11, 2007 @ 6:14 am

  4. Ritam..

    My point is are we having a different style of working…? pointing out how western ppl handle office timing is also imp..but when doing self introspection…dont u think that we dont want to follow it….and there is a big mass of ppl who..are unwilling to stick to these buisness Etiquettes..

    We think in a different way…?it may be good or bad….and every organisation can decide of their own…wat they want frm their employes…

    again u said office attires gives good impression,but to whom?Do we really like to follow it..its very personal…cant comment on it…but most guys prefer there T and Jeans…

    why to care as the work is getting done….

    Comment by ntiin — June 11, 2007 @ 6:26 am

  5. Good write-up…I personally agree with the points written.
    Being punctual is one point which should never be compromised upon…coz once this habbit takes shape in an individual then its pretty hard to go and they tend to become late everywhere.
    Crisp dressing gives u a self-confidence which reflects in ur work and behaviour.
    And food…well…isn’t it one of the primary reasons we all are working for… ???

    Again, no offences meant…this is my personal opinion.

    Well done Nitin, Keep up the good work…wish to see many “different” posts on ur e-space.
    Best Luck!!!!

    Comment by Shweta — June 11, 2007 @ 6:54 am

  6. I dont want to compare India with US but will surely compare the work culture based on my Observation. I will talk abt the Punctuality. As far US is concerned, every damn work is on time. Time is Money in US…it’s real money…but as far as India goes…the time is still money ..but it’s a fake one. A person can just speak abt doin a work on time, but the actual practical implemtation of the adage is not observed. Meetings in US are perfect on time, People even cancel meeting if the person who called up the meeting is late even for 5 mins. I mean. simple example like this give a very good picture of how imp time is in US. Every shop closes on time, no one works for you if the stipulated time is over. Such small examples are imp to learn stick to a perfect time. Learning good things is not bad….so whether it’s from other country or watever..people shld try implementing on a daily basis…and Once if a person makes others feel that time is really imp to him, he can actually influence ppl to adhere to this time discipline. Nothing much to say, Indian IT work culture lacks Punctuality !!!

    Abt the Business attire and canteen food….I think it’s still manageable. Unless a person doesnt cross the limits of indecency and is professional enuf to think…attire will be fine. Casuals and suit boot ..i feel anything is fine..unless a person is able to prove himself in his work.

    Canteen food…huh…leaving a good company for Canteen food is stupity. But yes Cmpny has to keep the canteeen premises hygenic n improve the taste of the food…(Keep it free ..i wud suggest !!)

    I wrote a lot on this boring topic man….kuch nahi tha likhana ko..isliye likha…
    Naya hot topic daal dude…
    Thts all…

    adios !!

    Comment by Anup — June 19, 2007 @ 6:47 pm

  7. Hey anup..this is a rocking suggestion

    “…(Keep it free ..i wud suggest !!)”

    hahahaa…..thanks for u r valuable comments….

    Comment by nitin — June 20, 2007 @ 4:50 am

  8. Good Wok dude

    Well Nitn, You have mentioned some of the valid points which can give “best place to work” tag to any company. Very well written and totally agreed to you.

    Punctuality, Attire and Canteen are all fine but what about employee satisfaction in terms of work it is also one of the main fator for work place to be the best. Lets say you are working exceptionally well in your company on any of the project task being assigned to you. What if your work is not getting recognised by your seniors who will the gateway for your apprasal due to some or the other reason or your senior might want to take your credit. In such cases the employee gets frustrated because somebody else is taking your credit. This happens in many software firms. Also the employee is not satisfied no matter how much he is geeting if he is not happy with the kind of work he is doing. As very well said by Neetesh relationship between the seniors and the new joiners should be very good and friendly. The seniors should understand the juniors very well. Then the employee puts his best effort in what ever he does.

    Anyways Nitin gr8 work…keep it up..Best Luck

    Comment by Shankar — June 20, 2007 @ 7:02 am

  9. I don’t agree with the Point 1 . In counties like US , People come at a time that he/she like to come for example 06:00 a.m. n push off after spending exact 8 hours even if any work is still left to be done…

    Comment by hoods — January 4, 2008 @ 12:09 am

  10. i want to go with anup .

    My point is ” if i am leaving late , why should i be on time on the next day?” .

    for the second one , it can be adjustable but wont agree with the tie and suit. the normal casual dress like tuck in the formal shirt and shoes are fine. sure they will make you feel ,you are a professional.

    company should (must) take care of the canteen. it will be great if it is free. 😉

    looking for the follow ups


    Comment by rp — November 11, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  11. Nice topic and handled well. I would like to bring about a basic point. We Asians should not compare ourselves to western people. We should have our own work culture, which would suit typical Indian mindsent. Their bringing up and brain development is extremely differnt with indidual approach. You are only trying to compare work culture, if you see how they spend rest of their day or weekends, their relationship with other family members, their approach towards life then you may understand why we can’t work like a western. If you start living exactly like western person 24/7 you can expect their living style. At end of the day, we earn for happiness for us and families.

    Comment by Vijay — January 19, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  12. Very practical and to the point.Very good.I enjoyed it and knew some thing new from here about the work culture in our India..

    Comment by Khairul — April 8, 2009 @ 1:41 am

  13. A good work place is where one is allowed to flourish in his abilities and a competent working environment. however in India that competitiveness is not there from what is see. And there are huge problems with corporate politics coming in between. Software is a knowledge driven industry, but how many of us are participating in adding to this knowledge most of us only believe in copy pasting and changing is not the rite working just merely tweaking, how about the idea of adding value to work place. Also the hiring practices in Indian firm is really pathetic.

    Comment by karim rayani — May 22, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

  14. its good to read but i think if some more points must have been added bcz comments tell more than tha matter itself

    Comment by neha — September 30, 2009 @ 6:23 am

  15. I never worked in a big Indian IT company . I am working in Germany for last 8 years in IT industry. I heard about Indian IT work culture from my friends who works in India. So I would like to make some comments.

    Punctual : Very good idea but some questions .
    Suppose I start working at 9 and I leave the office by 18 ,that is I work for 9 hours (8 Hours work + 1 hour lunch break). I meet my dead lines.
    Does it make sure that I won’t be forced to work on all weekends including Sundays ?
    Does my manager consider me a better developer than my colleague who comes at 12 and works till 0 every day , still have to work every week ends to meet his deadline ?
    Does my employer has the courage to tell No to the client who always want me to come and work on Sundays ?
    Do I have the freedom in my company to tell my manager that I can not work on week ends because I want to spend some time with my family ?

    If you point out one company which can give the answer YES to all these questions this company is the “Best place to work”.

    Indian IT companies give 5 digit salary to their developers and take away the dignity as a human being. I think Indian IT employees are just highly “Payed Slaves”

    Comment by Anoop Krishnan — October 19, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  16. Good to know that there are people interested in the rich culture of my country, and working hard to bring it on the world view. Cheers for your wonderful blog. Even I’m a published poet. You can catch glimpse of some of my works here-

    Comment by sourav894 — May 23, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  17. Frnds…this is the most talked abt thing among the best IT compaines..Many firms are gearing up to make their organisation “best place to work”.
    Good to know that there are people interested in the rich culture of my country India, and working hard to bring it on the world view.

    I agree with all points.

    Comment by Ragini — May 23, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

  18. sorry to say that the so called Hitech engineers are nothing but so called “hi tech slaves” means educated slaves. Earlier they were uneducated now they do the same being educated.

    I myself worked in a IT company & was a hell experience i have the most hell hatred anger on these so called suck all IT company & parents are so proud to say that my son or daughter is working for so n so company…

    Totally unhealthy working culture…the one that i hate the most is girls working in IT industries they are really risking their lives.. see girls abroad they are happy n healthy because their life style…. People here work under lot of pressure they have mad themselves slaves for dollar or pound…. companies are running day n night

    All this situations have created by our own people. They never oppose what is wrong… they take it as they come they act as unaware citizens of INDIA… their specialty is they can work for looong hours without complaining… one of my very close friend who almost destroyed himself working in this IT culture… and is suffering from various physical problems.

    Sorry to say but i am out of this industry.

    Comment by harshad — August 2, 2010 @ 8:03 am

  19. Worst part of working in India is that boss is king. You cann’t contradict your boss, your boss will go out of the way to screw you if you are not in his good books, there is lot of nepotism and there is no respect for your personal life, boss can call you on the Sunday (which is the only day off in lot of companies) and you have to be there. What is even worse is you have to stay in office, whether or not you have any work, till your boss is in the office.

    I have worked in India for more than 3 years and 4-5 years in US and really want to go back to India and work. However, I just don’t know if I will be happy if the work culture is like what I said above. If you know any company which is not so bad, please let me know. I know no one is perfect so some issues here and there I can tolerate.

    Comment by Sahil — June 4, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  20. yes you are true………..

    Comment by monica — January 2, 2012 @ 2:23 am

  21. Software engineers in India end up being in the office for such long hours, that they are there, neither for their family nor for their kids.Are these people really giving time to their kids and help them in being independent and cultured? Are they available for their own parents when they are in trouble and need them to be by their side ? The deadlines become more important!
    Women married to software engineers and professionals working in MNc’s literally lead a single life,struggling to take care of their own family, the husband’s parent’s and doing all the chores of the house as well. Men working in high paid jobs are the eunuch’s of today. They are useless as husband’s and son’s.
    The fault is not just with the professionals, the fault is with the work ethics and work culture in India. The managers of these high end jobs are least concerned about encouraging men and women to spend quality time with their family. They try to please their employees by offering perks from time to time. And Indian’s are so busy ammassing wealth that they are ready to let family go to the dogs!
    What irk’s me is that people in developed countries wind up by 5 pm and they have the right to say no if asked to work more. This is true for people of the respective developed nations alone. The culture sucks in company’s run by Indian’s of course! Why are Indian’s treated so meanly and not respected for their time and effort ? Can’t we change the senario? Is there no voice rising among the millions who slog, to go against the brutal laws applicable to Indian employees ? Or are men and women in high paid jobs too lazy to be a part of the family ?

    Comment by Chinnu k — March 27, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  22. Really Nice thesis ! I would also like to add some points. Developed country’s employee of IT are most of them financially strong, and they have the scope of other source of income and so they are always confident and fearless, but most of the indians ideally dependent on one source, i.e. company salary, so don’t see out of boxes. but most people after earning money are doing side business, and this can make them more confident in their job.They will have no fear inside. They will not act as “payed slave” as said by many.

    This is all psychological related. If you have no fear, we can put your words , your believe, your points in front of anyone independently which will later considered as good attitude. Only need to alter our thinking little bit.
    The other point ,Company login timing depends upon the company work, if there meeting arranged in morning 9:00 am then, everybody have to be there, you cannot make your own time.

    The people who are on bench have to atleast come on time so that if there is any urgent need, then they will get the opportunity to work in a project. Later if there is no work, they should give their contact no. so that if there is any further need, the top officer may contact him(within office hour only), and so they can leave early.

    The formal and un-formal dress also depends on the company that – Do software engineers need to interact with client or not? and what is the client view regarding that also matters. If the client is comfortable, then why one can not wear jeans and t-shirts..!

    Comment by Ujjawal Ranjan — May 21, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

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