Saudi is top destination for expatriate jobs in Gulf

April 20, 2010

Expatriates are more likely to secure a new job in Saudi Arabia than in any other country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, a survey has found.

According to the latest data revealed by, the number of expats employed in the kingdom rose by 2.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Qatar and Oman also saw increases over the same period while Bahrain, the UAE and Kuwait saw a drop in the number of expatriate employees, with declines of 7.7 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

The company compiled the results, based on actual staff recruitment, after speaking to 11,000 managers across the region.

“Interviews with hiring managers found that the increased demand for staff in Saudi Arabia and Qatar was being satisfied by a combination of new recruitment, as well as staff relocations within the region, with companies moving large numbers of their employees from slower markets such as the UAE,” the company said in a statement.

The region’s logistics jobs increased by 3 per cent, while retail employment saw a rise of 2.6 per cent, the firm said.

However, positions in real estate and the oil and gas industry saw declines of 7.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

The research found that among GCC’s expat workers, Western nationals were most likely to return home if they lost their jobs, with 55 per cent doing so, compared to 37 per cent of Asians and 18 per cent of Arabs.

Qatar had the highest number of expats leaving the country to return home at 54 per cent, in part due to its strict sponsorship laws, the statement said.

The UAE had the highest proportion of unemployed expats choosing to remain in the country to look for new employment.

This reflected “both the challenging employment environment as well as the popularity of the country with expatriates,” the statement said.

Article courtesy of Economic Times.


Institutes hire IT professionals to train faculty

April 7, 2010

Ranchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad’s dream may well have come true. The protagonist in 3 Idiots attracted his teachers’ displeasure when he tried to make their methods more student-friendly, but off the screen, things are a lot better. Teachers in engineering colleges across the country are more than happy to have information technology professionals teach them a thing or two.

As part of this collaborative effort, complex subjects like cryptography are being taught in many colleges through treasure hunts. Snakes and ladders are being used to teach the applications of low and high pass filters, and word games demonstrate the working of reaction turbines.

Institutes like IIT Powai, Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, Andhra Pradesh, Visves-waraiah Technological University, Belgaum, Anna University in Tamil Nadu and ITS Ghaziabad are some of those partnering with companies like Wipro to have their faculty trained.

“Students were often not serious in classrooms, but with the adoption of new teaching methods, we have seen considerable interest. Students also tend to retain a topic much longer,” says Abhay Bansal, professor of computer science at IPS Ghaziabad.

Bansal is a faculty member involved in a training programme called Mission10X, launched by software service company Wipro, which aims to train almost 10,000 teachers this year.

“About 3,000 innovative methods of teaching are up on our website,” says Nagarjuna Sadineni, general manager, talent transformation, Wipro Technologies.

Under the programme, Wipro captures a teacher’s training session on camera and assigns mentors to introduce innovation to teaching methods.

Besides Wipro, the world’s largest chip design company, Synopsys, has also unveiled a section called SEER Akademi to train teachers. “The demand for electrical and electronics engineers in India is estimated to reach five lakh by 2015. Our initiative aims to fill the supply gap,” says Srikanth Jadcherla, CEO of SEER Akademi.

The company has reworked the microelectronics curriculum of colleges like Bhubaneswar Institute of Technology, Chitkara University (Punjab) and North East Technical Education Society in Assam, JNTU and VTU.

TCS has launched an Academic Interface Programme, and says it engaged with over 375 institutes in FY09. “Faculty development workshops & sabbaticals enable academia to understand industry better, adapt and align teaching curriculum and methodologies,” says a spokesperson.

Some of the lesser-known institutes are finding such training particularly useful in raising confidence levels in students. Colleges like the Meerut Institute of Engineering and Arya Institute of Engineering and Technology at Jaipur have adopted such programmes.

“Top IT companies demand soft skills at placement sessions, and such training programmes help us build these in students,” says a teacher at a Meerut-based institute.

Article courtesy of Economic Times.

Thousands of jobs await Indians in Gulf

April 5, 2010
The Gulf is on the verge of a boom and there will be thousands of jobs for skilled Indians, especially in the petrochemical sector, says Ravi Pillai, managing director of the Saudi Arabia-based Nasser S. Al-Hajri Corporation.
Billions of dollars are being invested in major projects in the Gulf, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the UAE emirate of Abu Dhabi, and nearly 300,000 new jobs will be created in the next five years, said Pillai, who hails from Kollam district of Kerala.
“The Gulf is on the brink of another boom,” Pillai told IANS in an interview here, citing new projects that include two $12 billion Jubail Export Refinery and Yanbu Export Refinery projects in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi’s new refinery and nuclear power projects.
“Skilled workers from India will get maximum opportunity to work in these projects. I hope among the total workforce more than 60 percent will be Indians,” said Pillai, whose company has a 35,000-strong Indian workforce, making it one of the largest employers of Indians in the Gulf.
He was in the capital to receive the Padma Shri award conferred on him by the president of India in the trade and industry category.
Pillai’s company is engaged in construction at oil and gas refineries in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
“Among our management and engineering personnel are Americans, British, Italians, South Africans, Koreans, Filipinos, and of course, Indians,” he said.
“We are also equipped with the services of highly skilled and well experienced supervisory staff.”
According to Pillai, the real estate sector in Dubai is also changing, for the better.
“Only Dubai’s real estate sector was affected by the recession. Now, there are signs of positive change. The Gulf will remain a dream destination for Indians,” Pillai said.
Pillai, who is also head of the R.P. Group of Industries, says it is planning to invest Rs.500 crore in India’s power sector.
“My R.P. Group is interested in investing in India’s power sector. I have a Rs.500-crore plan for this.”
“I have already invested Rs.150 crore to set up a five-star hotel near the scenic Ashtamudi lake (in Kollam). The nature-friendly hotel-cum-resort is surrounded by beautiful backwaters,” he said.
Pillai, a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman winner, is also engaged in charities. He has set up the Upasana Hospital and Research Centre in Kollam to give free treatment to the poor.
He is also planning to hold community marriages in Kerala.
Article courtesy of Economic Times.

Get a mentor to help grow your career.

March 25, 2010

It is said that a fool learns from his own mistakes, while a wise man from the mistakes of others. To some extent, this statement undermines the ability to learn from one’s own mistakes and get back-up on one’s feet after a fall. This quality is essential to save your neck in a competitive world.

Yet, it is also true that tolerance towards mistakes and especially towards repeating the same mistakes is very little in present times. Companies can’t afford to have employees who don’t learn from the experiences of others. A steep learning curve calls for a good mentorship programme.

Explaining the importance of a mentor, Subhasit Ratnam, director, Sapple Systems Pvt Ltd comments, “Mentors help in exploring various career options so as to find the best suited path, as per one’s skills and interests. With an in-depth domain knowledge, experience and industry exposure, a mentor can help the mentee in deciding the career path best suited for him/her.

For instance, if a professional needs mentoring, the mentor can enable the person to list out all options clearly and evaluate the same. A good mentor can suggest the pros and cons of all options, based on the individual’s interests, experience, education, attitude and the market trends, both current and future. Additionally, mentoring involves helping out with the best possible references and points of contacts for particular arenas so as to facilitate entry or growth in the selected career path.”

Thus, the concept of mentorship does not apply only to organisations as a whole, but to the micro units of change, the individual employees themselves. Hence, care must be taken to carefully select and approach the right person as your mentor. Specific qualities must be looked into.

Ratnam continues, “A mentor must ideally possess adequate experience in the domain(s) one is planning to move into or wishes to explore as a career option. The mentor must have the requisite domain expertise, industry exposure and industry contacts. Also, it must be checked at the outset that the person is ready to mentor voluntarily and not for any monetary returns.”

Usha Parvathi, associate managertraining, Tavant Technologies shares her perspectives, “Through mentorship, one gets an exposure into the decision-making and leadership styles of the seniors. Additionally, it provides an access to organisational knowledge and networking opportunities, expanded knowledge of skills and practices, an increased sense of safety while learning and a more focused development. Mentors are an effective sounding board for venting emotions, views and feelings. Since it is on a one-to-one basis, there is scope for personalised learning owing to an honest and constructive feedback. Overall, it leads to increased self-confidence and heightened career aspirations.”

Finding a mentor can become a tedious task unless you know where to look for one. You do not necessarily need to have your supervisor as your mentor. Instead, you must look for a person who has richer experiences and exemplifies the qualities that you admire.

Rahul Kulkarni, head, HR at Kale Consultants advises, “Find the smartest person who can help you in your particular needs. It is the individual’s responsibility to work hard to not only find the right mentor, but also maintain an ongoing mentor-mentee relationship. The best way to find a mentor is to be a part of as many forums and attend as many industry events as possible. In such events, you can make contacts and explore possibilities. In fact, in recent years, the Internet has also emerged as a useful tool to build networks and find the right people.”

To find a mentor, one should also consider people in the non-workplace communities. It could be a retired officer, someone you look up to or share common values with.

Article courtesy of Economic Times.

Learn how to ask for a pay hike

March 17, 2010

Despite putting in a number of years at an organisation and holding on to your job when others quit, you have been passed over for promotion.

Should you ask for a bigger role and a raise? What’s the best way to go about it?

Most of us try to avoid asking for a promotion or raise. But it is worth mustering the courage, as the rewards are worth it.  But before you present your case, here are a few questions you ought to ask yourself:

Does your performance speak for itself?

If the answer is yes, you have a chance. The best time to ask for one is immediately after a recent major achievement, where you have displayed exemplary behaviour (cost cutting, clinching a major account, process improvement or improved productivity).

Are you ready to take on additional responsibilities?

Promotion means additional responsibilities not only towards your job, but towards organisation building too. The expectation levels will also increase the moment you move to the next level.

Is there a position that you can fill in?

Companies do not offer promotions merely to satisfy employees. There must be a vacancy available. Organisations do not create positions to fulfill your desires.

However, if you have been creating value additions, been efficient and well informed, there is a possibility of you being given an opportunity to do something different, where you create something from scratch, perhaps even a new department.

How to raise the topic?

Be very sure of what you want, why you want it and what makes you fit for the role. Do not show dissatisfaction at your current state of affairs.

Present a positive picture by mentioning that you wish to contribute more towards the organisation’s growth.

Not getting the deserved raise?

Do not stop enhancing and upgrading your knowledge and skills. It will come in handy during the next discussion (or in a new job). It would be a good idea to track your performance through objective performance management, setting goals and tracking achievements will give you the benefit.

Read the full article at Economic Times.

3 high-paying jobs

March 3, 2010

This is a competitive job market, and unless you’re actively looking for ways to maximize your potential, you will not have that extra edge over other candidates or stand out as a must-keep employee. To begin a good career, one must first choose the right industry. It is always an added plus to be hardworking and reliable, but you also want to roll in the dough.

Here is a list of the three best-paying jobs in the fastest growing industries:

1. Network system jobs/ Data Communication Analysts jobs – This category would also include jobs such as web designing, analyzing, testing and assessing systems for maximum performance. As computers and the internet have only become a more integral part of our lives, it has brought with it an increase of over 50% more jobs.

To get into this industry, a bachelor’s degree is generally a must-have. Some courses are only two years in total. If you’re pressed for time, you may want to look into such courses as a two-year degree in computer science, IT or other such related fields.

2. Dentist jobs/ Dental hygiene jobs – The job of a dentist, and those in this industry can be quite diverse and can range from the upkeep of patients’ teeth and gums to more modern aspects such as cosmetic dentistry, etc.

This industry grown by 30.1% since 2006. To get into this industry, you may want to look into an associate’s degree or a certificate in dental care/ hygiene.

3. Computer/ software engineer jobs – Tying in with point one, thanks to computers and the internet become a critical and integral part of our lives, this industry has picked up exponentially. This industry alone has seen a 44.6% increase in their job availability. This has been predicted to last until 2016.

To get into this industry, you may want to look into a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, etc. Having work experience on your side, helps too.

12 Strategies for Success

February 24, 2010

Faced with a major project or challenge? You probably have a general idea of where you want to go, but you’ll need a strategy, a plan of steps to take in order to reach that objective.

Planning is an investment. To plan wisely and well takes time, effort, patience‚ good research, and counsel. But a well-formed plan will pay for itself many times over.

There are many ways to create a strategy, but here are a few tried-and-proven principles that you might want to try:

1. Define your long-term objectives.

What exactly do you hope to achieve? Spell each one out on paper in concrete, concise terms. For the greatest chance of success, narrow your focus to one or two primary objectives. You can take on more or diversify later, as resources permit.

2. Set short-term goals to reach your long-term objectives.

In order to reach your long-term objectives, you will need steppingstones along the way. These should be smaller goals that together will get you to the final destination of your long-term objectives. They should be detailed and specific, concrete and measurable. If a goal isn’t something that you’ll be able to tick off as done, if it can’t be quantified, then it’s not specific enough.

3. Breaking down your goals into bite-sized pieces is crucial.

The simpler and easier your goals are to reach, the better, because you’ll see more immediate progress. It’s easy to overestimate and shoot too high when setting your goals. It’s also wise to realize that reaching big objectives takes time. Having a number of smaller goals will help keep the motivation level high, because you’ll see more tangible progress. And every time you tick off one of your smaller goals, you’re that much closer to your long-term objective.

4. Identify any obstacles.

Once you have determined your long-term objectives and your short-term goals, you should take a look at any obstacles, or cons‚ or things that might stand in the way of achieving the results you’re after.

5. Formulate a strategy.

Once you have determined your long-term objectives and the short-term goals, you need a plan that includes specific tasks that will help you reach each of your short-term goals. Your plan must be realistic. A lofty plan may look impressive, but if it’s too complicated or difficult to implement, it will never get off the ground and therefore be ineffective.

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