Indian techies hit by recession
Lalit K Jha
York, Nov 18 (IANS) Less than three weeks ago, Saurabh (name
changed) relocated along with his family from Edison, the
Indian neighbourhood in New Jersey, to Silicon Valley in California
as he switched jobs. Before moving, he put his house, which
he had bought last year, on sale and leased an apartment at
his new work place.
fine morning, two weeks after he moved with bag and baggage
to Silicon Valley, he was quietly handed the pink slip by
his boss in his chamber along with about two dozen of his
colleagues. Saurabh, who has two kids to support, is jobless
is very difficult, these days. There are no jobs available,"
Saurabh told IANS, requesting that his name and the name of
the company not be disclosed. So did others interviewed for
enough, he has a permanent residency visa, which is more popularly
known as the Green Card, because of which he can stay in this
country and search for a new job. But many of his colleagues
do not even have that luxury. They are getting ready to go
back home as they can't live in this country on an H-1B visa
if they don't have a job.
retaining a job is a luxury these days," said Manish
Gupta who works with another multinational company in mid-town
Manhattan. Some of his friends have already left for India
after they received the pink slip last month.
there is no official figure about the number of Indian Americans
who have lost their jobs, in the US pink slips are being handed
out in hundreds and thousands.
Kumar, software professional, who works with a Swiss multinational
in New York City, was informed by his HR department that his
salary has been slashed by 10 percent from the next pay cheque.
Still he says he is ok. "That is fine. At least I have
my job so far," he said.
of pink slips and losing jobs abound among the Indian American
community here. In fact, this seems to be the only topic of
conversation when two techies meet or at any of their social
reports that the economic meltdown will continue has made
a large number of Indian American software professionals -
who account for a majority of those holding the most sought
after H-1B visa - edgy.
are being fired even from companies which were earlier considered
These are tough days," said Rakesh Tyagi, who lost his
job last week. He was working with a chemical company in Buffalo,
in upstate New York. Rakesh, who came to the US just before
the 2001 twin-tower attack, said the situation then was not
as bad as it is now.
contacted, officially none of these companies are willing
to talk about job loss, but even a small chat with those working
there indicates the grim scenario.
is certain. We are now living on a day to day basis,"
said Ashutosh Sen.
Several of his friends and colleagues have lost jobs in the
past one month. "Hardly a day passes when I do not hear
this story," he said.