Raghav, 25, is an ethical hacker. He works with national security agencies to devise anti-hacking solutions. As he could not join the Army for vision disorder, he said, “This is my way of serving the nation.” An option that was unheard of some years ago.Anurag Pandey wanted to become a radio jockey. But his father, a doctor, wanted him to pursue medicine. After finishing his BSc, Anurag shifted to Mumbai and joined AIR. He then travelled through Radio Channel 4 in Dubai, Win 94.6 in Mumbai, Red FM 93.5 and finally Fever 104 FM.
Vivekanandan M, a business management student from IIM-Calcutta’s batch of 2009-2011, who has worked as a programme analyst in a leading global software firm, wants to do something different — he is planning to breed butterflies after his degree and won’t accept job offers.
These are only three of the Young and Beautiful in India, who are increasingly getting attracted to the unbeaten path, and raking in quite a sum too. Now, they have a long list of options from deep-sea diving to haircutting to hacking or, well, butterfly farming.
Young at 62, with the world’s largest youth population, India is buzzing.
Young Indians are moving fast, choosing career options very different from previous generations. Mahesh Bhat, of counselling firm Kirti Corp, pointed out, “India has evolved into an efficient service domain. A lot of niche and career-oriented courses have developed.”
In another 10-15 years, India will develop into a strong research and development and service-based economy, Bhat said.
According to Parveen Shaikh, head psychologist in Mumbai-based career guidance centre Young Buzz India, globalisation has brought in the options. “But to achieve real independence in jobs and careers, they will first have to choose something they genuinely like to pursue,” she said. Though there may not be scripted courses available for many of these careers, there are several stepping-stones to get there.
Many youngsters are also leaving government jobs, said Prafulla Agnihotri, head of career development & placement cell at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Calcutta.
Added to this are opportunities created in new areas over the past decade — consultancy, I-banking, information technology or fast moving consumer goods. But the urge to create something out of passion and knowledge is running high. Agnihotri said, “Some students even spurn lucrative offers to open NGOs and work for social development.”
Sanjay Bapat, founder of IndianNGOs.com, is one such Turk. He had other options, but runs a social enterprise site instead to “acquire funding for those in need, with minimum cost and maximum benefit to all.”
Even parental aspirations are being set aside in the quest for a chosen career. Raghav’s sibling Nisha, 23, fought off parental preference to a doctor or a bureaucrat’s life and joined a fashion-designing course.
Nisha believes that fashion designers also bring glory to India. Fashion designer Ritu Kumar agrees. “Indian designers have put the nation on the global fashion map. Although it’s tough to start one’s own label, our creations are in high demand.”
But it’s not just unconventional courses that have taken off. The conventional ones have also evolved.
Legal practice, for instance, was once essentially a family tradition. But now, intellectual property rights (IPR) cases have changed the face of the profession.
Rishav Nandy, a student at Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law, India’s first such institute at IIT-Kharagpur, explained, “IPR is not just a lucrative profession, but also vital for safeguarding India’s intellect property.” Even 48-year-old lawyer in Calcutta High Court, Mainak Krishna Ghosh, is taking advantage of the changes. A civil lawyer with 25 years of experience, Ghosh stumbled upon Legal Process Outsourcing while exploring alternative avenues and launched a company in July.
Doors are opening for the Young and Beautiful in India, for sure. And Raghav, Anurag and Vivekanandan are just on the threshold of colourful days. More coming.