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Tales of Indian Opportunity

How can initiative, hard work and IT skills provide a better future for a young Indian woman?

April 6, 2004

How can initiative, hard work and IT skills provide a better future for a young Indian woman?

Anita is 27 years old, and hails from South India. The eldest among six children of a school teacher — and with an ardent love for English literature — Anita initially pursued a career in literature.

While all her cousins studied math and science at school, she obtained a Masters degree in literature by the time she was 23.

But when she hit the job market, Ani found her degree in literature was mere baggage.

Certainly, there were many jobs, for example as a junior teacher or as a secretary who could answer the phone in nicely accented English. But the salaries paid for these jobs were abysmal.

Shortly after taking one of those low-paying jobs, she resolved to build new skills.

Using $500 of her hard-won savings, she signed up for a six-month after-hours course at a private training school, aiming to study management of computer networks.

All her life, Anita had been a serious student, dreaming about straight A’s in her examinations. Not surprisingly, she did well in her IT training.

After finishing the course, she quit her teaching job and landed an entry-level job at the help desk in a small firm in the hotel industry.

There, she cut her teeth in the world of hands-on practice, learning how to configure the latest Microsoft operating systems and how to make email servers work. She started at $200 a month when she was 24.

The next year, she acquired her present job as a network administrator at one of the largest international hotels in India’s Software Triangle.

She also has the rare privilege of lecturing the multi-millionaire owner of the hotel about the dire need for him to invest in his own computer literacy — in order to do well in the information age.

Anita now makes $320 a month (four times what her literature-peers are making), rides her own Vespa to work — and supervises a crew of three junior level technicians.

She is still single and is currently working her way into a Cisco certification track, because she believes that is necessary in the networking world.

She is always thinking about what changes to expect in computer networking.

Ani contributes to the education of five of her siblings and visits her parents every weekend.

Anita personifies well the opportunities that the advent of the information society has brought to young — but ambitious — women in India.

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