India is the best place to work at, especially at a time when the world is going through a recession phase, said Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan at Bangalore Literature Festival 2022 Saturday.
Gopalakrishnan, the author of Against All Odds: The IT Story of India, said, “The world is going through a severe recession, but the IT industry in India is expected to grow in double digits – roughly about 12 per cent this year. It is expected to recruit nearly 2-3 lakh job seekers this year alone. Also, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is predicting India’s growth rate at 6.3 per cent, which is actually higher than that of many other countries,” said Gopalakrishnan, adding the “winter session for startups in India is an economic cycle”.
Talking about layoffs of Indians by tech giants like Twitter, Meta, among others, recently Gopalakrishnan said he is optimistic about a comeback as every organisation has its ups and downs. “If certain tech giants are failing and Indians are losing jobs, I feel the number of lay-offs is less. This is because when an organisation is failing, they are bound to cut down on operations, and lay off people. I am sure investors understand that. But that does not reduce the scope of young tech aspirants seeking a job in the tech industry in India or elsewhere. There are ups and downs in the course of an economic process,” said Gopalakrishnan.
He said India’s automobile, health, retail, and e-commerce sectors are undergoing a massive transformation that is tech-driven and sustainable. He also stressed the need to document the success story of the growth of the Indian IT industry.
Meanwhile, noted journalists Barkha Dutt, P Sainath, and Sashi Kumar discussed press freedom and digital media, which is energising new ways of storytelling.
“A mobile phone is nothing but a prosthetic arm that has changed the way we tell stories. While the mainstream media is becoming more prescriptive, younger journalists are tapping digital technologies and exploring different ways of emanating news,” said Kumar.
Sainath talked about how India’s rankings in the World Press Freedom Index stood at 142 in 2021 and went further down to 150 this year, among the 180 countries. “The threats to journalists are increasing. Nearly 100 FIRs were filed in 13 months against journalists,” said Sainath.
Kumar responded, “The veracity of the press freedom index rankings is arguable. While in India journalists face the threats but in certain countries. journalists don’t face threats because most of the media cannot report against the ruling establishment.”
Also on the literature fest, Leeza Mangaldas, the author of The Sex Book: A Joyful Journey of Self-Discovery, focused on the need to get rid of the stereotypes centred around sex in India. “Indians need to rework the language and the thinking around sex. By and large, all over the world, particularly in India, sex is seen as something that can be respectably and legitimately done only with the opposite sex and within the same-religion, same-caste marriage. Anything other than that is considered shameful. Even self-pleasure like masturbation is considered to be an act of shame,” said Mangaldas. She also stressed that people should expand their thoughts about sex with more inclusivity (like queer sex, sex education etc) and not just “centre it around the genitals”.
Day 1 of Bangalore Literature Festival concluded with a Sufi concert featuring Mir Mukhtiyar Ali.
The 11th edition of the festival features over 250 international, Indian and city authors and speakers, four programme forums, two children’s venues, and conversations around a breadth of fiction and non-fiction topics, including history, biographies, translations, literature, religion, mythology, travel, art and music, feminism, food, cinema, publishing, technology, startups and more over two days.