Saturday, May 28, 2011

On the bench? Teach for India.

I have often come across the phrase 'on the bench', while interacting with friends from IT sector. The tech consultancy firms across the world and especially in India hire people well in advance so that they can start on a new project quickly without having to wait to hire more professionals. This often leads to a portion of the employees of a company to stay on the bench for a while. They draw a salary but do not have a project to work on. If this is a company strategy to pounce on new opportunities/ contracts quickly, then I am assuming that all times a fixed percentage say 2% of the work force of a tech consultancy is on the bench. (There are about 2.5 million professionals working in the IT sector in India.)

This resource can be put to good use in a variety of ways. One may suggest short training for the employees. Another idea may be to have a small vacation in that time or just take it slow for some period to compensate for the slogging period which shall inevitably come very soon. I propose that such talent should be used to help the education sector in the country. Professionals can go to various schools right from elementary school to engineering colleges and pitch in to narrow the large deficiency of teachers in almost every country. The innovative tech companies can come with an arrangement with schools across the country to have their professionals teach for a small duration a portion of a course in a place of their choice. This shall help the companies in the long run as the general quality of the work force betters and the academia is more in sync with the industry. Also the more direct benefit for the company is to spread its brand among the populace and practices in the academia so that the new hires are more comfortable in working there. It is good for the employees as they get a much needed break from work with a feeling of contributing to the community and following their likes. Also as a wise man once said that teaching is the best way to learn, it shall definitely hone the skills of the employees. What a better way to learn how to pitch ideas to the public than to teach school children and one woudl definitely have better tech skills after teaching engineering students. This is a win win for all.

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