Techies build bright careers in drab Old City Hyderabad

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  1. ejazr

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    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Techies build bright careers in drab Old City - Times Of India

    HYDERABAD: In the drab interiors of a non-descript building called Urdu Ghar in Moghalpura area of Old City, bright futures are being nurtured. Every Sunday morning, a group of fresh faced youngsters interact with young professionals, absorbing every instruction on how best they can shape their careers. During the week the young professionals, the students and the building they're in, all play different roles. The instructors are techies working with IT firms, the students are career aspirants, and Urdu Ghar is a literary hub where Urdu is promoted. On Sunday mornings, however, their roles are transformed.

    A motley group of software professionals and MNC employees who call themselves Career Guidance Council (CGC), volunteer their time and effort to drag this locality situated in the Old City, and projecting a stark contrast to the new city areas -- out of its set mindset and its lackadaisical roots. But that's not where their role ends. The techies bridge the gap between Hi-Tec City and the Old City by bringing in IT firms to Urdu Ghar (where they hold preliminary screenings) to recruit from the talent they have been nurturing. They also act as couriers of CVs of good candidates (whom they have themselves tested first) that they refer in their organisations.

    Their efforts are already paying dividends with over a hundred graduates and post-graduates from the Old City and Toli Chowki (where CGC is operating) bagging jobs in small and big firms.

    Among those who have CGC to thank for their jobs is Syed Najeeb Ashraf, who flaunts his Genpact identity card. Son of a small-time businessman, Najeeb says he was facing much difficulty in finding a job after completing his M Tech. "I had difficulty in clearing the screening tests. When I didn't get through my first interview, a friend told me about CGC. I attended these sessions and through their reference, got a job." Najeeb is planning to join CGC as a volunteer shortly.

    A heartening success story is that of a tailor's daughter, who doesn't wish to be named. An engineering graduate and resident of Nawab Sahab Kunta, she shows the appointment letter she got from Wipro last month. The eldest of four daughters in her family, Nasreen is delighted to become an earning member.

    Triggering this change are professionals who give out free lessons on personality development or even academic guidance on how to prepare for screening tests smartly. They also update these students on placement opportunities and prepare them for competitive examinations.

    "Most colleges don't concentrate on organisational skills. We want to bridge the gap between curriculum-oriented education and the corporate world. We empower students and make them industry ready," says Syed Munawer, founder and general secretary, CGC and lead engineer with GE Energy. Munawer says that the need for this kind of a programme is greater in the Old City area as the youngsters, though talented, remain unaware of the opportunities open to them and corporate practices needed to qualify for the openings.

    These volunteers share experiences that keep them going. Syed Shah Arifullah Hussaini, executive member of CGC and senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting shares the story of a second-year engineering student, who qualified for a job after a screening test conducted by a small-scale MNC at Urdu Ghar about three months ago. The student was on the verge of discontinuing his studies because of his father's demise. Based on his performance in the screening test, the company hired him for a half-day shift with a pay package of Rs 7,000. But after seeing his talent, the firm increased his salary to Rs 13,000," says Arif.

    There are 250-odd practising software professionals who volunteer at CGC and consider their weekends well-spent. So far, the CGC has concentrated its efforts in the Muslim-dominated Old City and Toli Chowki areas, but have not limited themselves to one community. "We cater to candidates from different walks of society belonging to different religions. Several CGC volunteers are non-Muslims," says Munawer.

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