Sunday, 1997-06-22 Trip Report # 13 (?) ... the last one, really!
In the paper this morning was an interesting article:
Milenium bug boosts immigrant, dowry market
[the article discusses the city of Hyderabad.]
[One can only wonder what the numbers would be for Bangalore!]
An average of 10 programmers leave Hyderabad every day for the U.S.
One computer training institute opens in the city every three days.
120 institutes have opened in the past year.
Each institute trains an average of 30 people a month to meet the
global manpower requirements to solve the Y2K problem.
[Y2K = Year 2000 problem]
In Mumbai [Bombay], one company called Seepz has 244 people working
around the clock in three shifts on Y2K projects. 75% of the 244 come
[2002-03-26: a reader told me:
SEEPZ is the acronym for SANTA CRUZ ELECTRONICS PROCESSING ZONE,
where there are a number of companies - s/w and h/w. All products
- hardware/software - are exclusively for export. It is just 5
mins. drive from our office. ]
Hyderabad alone churns out 3600 Y2K trouble-shooters
[So far, the article was not male/female specific. The remainder ]
[appears to discuss the incentives for male programmers only. ]
[At HP Bangalore, there are many female programmers ... ]
[ this is not unusual in this industry here. ]
The main incentive for these computer boomers from Hyderabad is the
hefty dowry a US stamp on their passports fetches. Among the
Reddy and Kama castes, the dowry shoots up from Rs 15 lakh to
Rs 35 lakh as soon as the boy gets a "foreign-returned" label.
[A "lakh" is a 100,000 items. A "crore" is more, but I forget how much]
[Thus, Rs 35 lakh = 3,500,000 Rupees ... that's about US$ 100,000 !!!!]
Mr. Varaprasad, a software engineer from Hyderabad, currently working
in Mumbai, said: "The main attraction for the US craze is the dowry.
Soon after a boy from the Reddy or Kama castes gets the visa, and
before he actually boards a plane, he gets engaged to a girl.
His dowry doubles overnight."
Speaking of weddings, I was told by some of the programmers here that
it's common for an Indian male programmer working in the US to have
his parents select about 4 or 5 potential brides. He then comes back here
for a 2 week vacation, chooses one of the women, gets married, and heads
back to the US for more work. They said that sometimes the candidate
brides get together and rent a wedding hall, since one of them will
probably be able to use it. It's very hard to rent a wedding hall during
some months here, there are so many weddings. They weren't sure what
happens for Indian female programmers working in the US.
Finally, there seem to be a high proportion of two-programmer families
Well, I'm leaving now ...
[That was the last trip report. The journey home was uneventful.
I spent some time in the transient, er, transit hotel in the
Singapore Airport. The airport has an Internet Access lounge,
where you can use a PC with a net connection and a WWW browser,
and pay by the hour!]
[Yes, I enjoyed my trip, and would like to go back someday.]
[NOTE: I've only added a few links to pictures from the Trip
Reports. Check out http://www.allegro.com/people/sieler/india/
for a page with links to more pictures!]
First Trip Report
Prior Trip Report
Bangalore Trip Report main page