Thursday, June 5, 2008

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'India hottest in job opportunities'

Bangalore, June 5 (PTI) For students graduating this year, India is seen as having the most job opportunities with the US a close second, a study released by Accenture today said.

While nearly half (46 per cent) of Indian respondents are concerned that the weakening economy will affect their job search, they are far less concerned about the weakening economy than university graduates worldwide (63 per cent), an Accenture release said.

The study, based on a global survey of 286 graduating students in the country and a total of 2,464 in eight nations, found that 87 per cent of India university seniors have started looking for a job, compared to three out of four overall.

However, only half (51 per cent) of the India graduating students have already found a job.

Engineering, besides studying computers and math are top choices of Indian graduates, where technology consulting, communications or electronics are the preferred sectors for job.

Despite concerns about a challenging job market, many Indian respondents would trade-off some salary to work for a prestigious firm, interesting work or the opportunity to gain global experience.

More Indian respondents expect to have a full-time job within three months of graduation compared to respondents overall and over half (53 per cent) of the India graduates would graduate without any student loans, it said.

Testing times ahead for migrants to the UK

From 1 April 2008, highly skilled persons, entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and graduates who want to migrate to the UK will have to pass through the Points Based System, Tier I (PBS-TO). The launch of PBS replaces the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, the Entrepreneur and Investor schemes and the International Graduates scheme.

Under the PBS, applicants will have to get sufficient points to qualify for immigration. The points will be awarded on criteria like qualifications, previous earnings and age. On qualifying, the initial visa will be granted for three years instead of two.

Richard Stagg, British High Commissioner to India, says, “The new system allows those wanting to work in Britain to calculate, before they make their application, whether their points add up to enter as highly skilled worker.” India is the first country under Tier I, where the new visa regime has been introduced.

Employ Your Money

Large salary hikes wouldn’t be a certainty in the future, so get your money working

This year’s annual pay hike is unlikely to disappoint you. With an expected pay hike of around 15 per cent, despite moderation in some sectors, this will be the fifth straight year of high raises and will mean at least a doubling of salaries since 2003. In the backdrop of high inflation and interest rates, and an indifferent stockmarket, among other not-so-pleasant developments, this good news can greatly be attributed to the problem of ‘few good men’. There is an inadequate number of professionals to head new ventures, execute new projects and penetrate new markets, something that all corporates are trying to do at the moment. This manpower scarcity has been jacking up salaries in the recent past. So far so good but what about pay hikes the next year and subsequently?

While the problem of ‘few good men’ is unlikely to get over soon, we can be sure that mind-blowing pay hikes will become unsustainable in an economy facing enormous cost pressures, especially from shooting energy prices. With pressure on earnings, high pay hikes will put viability and competitiveness of enterprises at stake. In some areas, it will come sharply in focus. Experts point out that the pay in the US IT industry, which used to be about six times the Indian IT pay, and was one of the major bases for the growth of Indian outsourcing, is already down to three times. Of course, even as average pay hikes fall, top performers will continue to get rewarded with significantly higher pay than the average. How could this correction impact the growing prosperity of urban Indians? Much depends on their ability to respond to the emerging realities.

Last fortnight, Barclay’s Wealth, UK’s leading wealth manager, predicted that in 10 years, or in 2017, India will have more than 4 lakh households worth a million dollars or more, up from next-to-negligible numbers now. It expects mass affluent families to cross the 20 lakh mark. The truth is that Indian families wouldn’t be able to secure their affluence or join the ranks of the affluent by merely banking on large salary hikes since they wouldn’t be a certainty any more. Very soon people will have to make their money work harder to create large and growing future income streams that would beat inflation and taxes. How can this be achieved? The answer lies in higher risk-higher reward investments, be it investing in your own enterprise and taking up entrepreneurial risks or investing in higher risk assets such as stocks.

We can be sure that an overwhelmingly large number of the million-dollar men that Barclay’s Wealth is predicting India would have in 2017 would be present and new entrepreneurs benefiting from the very high rewards of successfully taking the risks of tapping emerging opportunities in the country. Studies such as those by American economist Christopher D. Carroll from Johns Hopkins University have shown that the rich keep getting richer because they are empowered to take more risks and are highly rewarded for the successes in risk taking. This is the reason why any list of the richest people anywhere in the world is totally dominated by entrepreneurs.

If entrepreneurship is not your cup of tea, piggybacking on the growth of successful entrepreneurs via ownership of their company stocks would be your next best bet to future affluence. This will also ensure you have another piece of the explosive growth that the country will enjoy rather than just relying on large salary hikes. You need to supplement this with other growth investments such as real estate and gold. Diversity of investments will ensure that if one growth engine for your money isn’t firing well, there are others that are firing and, perhaps, more. In the future, attaining and securing affluence will ironically involve smartly riding the wild risk horse. Are you ready to be a cowboy?

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