Million-resume madness in India

Amid country's high-tech boom, you've got about a 1 percent chance of getting a job at Infosys Technologies. Photos: Living the good life at Infosys

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos
2 min read
BANGALORE, India--Want a job at Infosys Technologies, the Indian high-tech giant? Get in line.

The company received a million applications for employment last year, according to a company spokeswoman. The IT services company hired 10,000--1 percent of all applicants.

India's experiencing a high-tech boom similar to what the United States saw in the 1990s. Leading companies are seeing revenue and profits double every two years, while a number of start-ups are scrambling to attract venture capital funding. Salaries increase by about 18 percent annually for software developers in the country, and job hopping is rampant. The country's university system, however, produces 300,000 engineers annually, so finding a job in a top company remains a challenge.

Infosys campus

Infosys, of course, is one of the local Big Three, along with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Starting salaries at these companies can range from 15,000 to 25,000 rupees a month or more, which translates to $4,300 to $7,200 a year. $8,000 is also often given as a starting salary figure. The job also comes with prestige.

But just as important as salary, Infosys is a garden of sanity amid the congested zaniness of Bangalore. Exiting polluted and crowded Hosur Road, one enters a fantasyland. Employees walk, ride free bikes or take complimentary golf carts to get between the 41 buildings on the 70-acre wooded campus. Before going to work, employees hired straight out of universities spend 2.5 months in training to learn "soft skills" such as customer communication in Mysore, a few hundred miles away.

The lush clipped grounds include a putting green, a swimming pool, table tennis, pool tables, cafeterias and a mirrored building shaped like one of the pyramids. Recent visitors include British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the premier of China.

The grounds also include a garden where trees planted by international luminaries such as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates stand. One of the trees was planted by Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard, whose recent hypothesis that women may not be as good at math as men because of genetic differences drew a lot of U.S. media attention. Summers' comments never hit Indian newspapers, the spokeswoman said.