Friday, August 13, 2010

Only money can be a motivator

From the stories I heard last half year, the Indian embassy in Belgium is making more and more problems in granting some types of visa to candidates from abroad. Though my wife and I never found any problem with this, recently we faced the same hindrance in developing our Indian business further.

A while ago I received an email from a young Belgian who travelled for several years throughout Asia, including two years in India. Apart from that he also worked two years for a local publisher in Sri Lanka, as a volunteer.
Though he has had a good education in IT and psychology, he did only work in several companies to provide him money for his travels. So he had no real career or anything yet.

But he fell in love with India and became attracted to Indian yoga and spirituality.

A year after his return to Belgium, he starts considering to move to India, so he was looking around for a job there. So he found us through Google and emailed us with the question if we could use him in our Indian office.

At first I was afraid about him being one of those late-born hippies: long hair, smoking pot, the type which has problems to concentrate on anything except finding money for the next dose.

Still, while in Belgium in July, we decided to invite him for a meeting. And his motives and expectations were very realistic. I told him clearly, as he had no real work experience and no knowledge about the job, that I could only offer him like I would offer to any Indian fresher. Of course this candidate had a very important and valuable skill for the company: speaking Dutch.
He accepted my offer.

A week later, I had prepared all the documents, the invitation letter and the labour contract which were needed for him to apply for an employment visa in India.

Ten days later I get an email from him: Indian embassy refuses the visa on the basis that his salary is too low.

So I do a second proposal, in which I offer him the absolute maximum which I could possibly give to the best Indian candidate. Again all papers were send to the Indian embassy.

Again ten days later the Belgian candidate gets a direct phone from someone from the Indian embassy. He was asked why he was interested to accept a job at such a low salary if he "can have at least double in Belgium". He answered: I want to build a career and a life in India because I love your country.

The embassy-administrator answered:



My questions to the Indian embassy and to Indians in general:

- Do you support the statement that "Money is the only motivator" ?

- Do you really understand the negativism in the image of India that such embassy personnel is sending out ?

- Do you really support western companies to positively discriminate white people and thus discriminate Indians ?


To a simple westerner like me the situation is clear:
- If a white employee wants to accept a job at Indian conditions, but he has a skill that I could not find in India in the past 5 years, then the candidate is valuable. This does not mean I can use him profitably immediately, but we will teach him, just like we do every other Indian. As a consequence he should not be payed more than any other Indian entering the company;
- Motivation is very subjective in nature. The salary is only a small part in the total experienced remuneration. I'm still especially proud on the fact that no employee left out of free will our (small) company to work for another company;
- If I were an Indian myself, I would be proud on my country if people from abroad would be willing to live in these conditions out of interest in Indian culture. Not so the Indian officials!!!!!!! What image of India are they sending out to the world?
- It becomes for me increasingly clear that the Indian happy few are just despising India's culture and that it's their own responsibility that the society quickly evolutes to a grab-and-greed culture!

According to me, the embassy statement "Only money can be a motivator" implies the following:
- Indian officials are NOT proud on their culture;
- Indian officials are trying to discriminate Indians voluntarily;
- Indian officials are promoting a wrong image of India to the outer world;

Hopefully the expressed statement by one of the Indian embassy officials is only a personal opinion (which I doubt though), I demand apologies from this official in the name of India and its population!


Ashish Bansal said...

Well I as an observer feel that the negativity started long time back in the west and has percolated down to Asia. With the many cultures inter mingling and the ever increasing worldwide problems no country can be sure.

I as an Indian Businessman having traveled the world many times, applied for a visa to Belgium and was refused visa for no apparent reason even though I had an invitation from the blogger himself.

On seeking a reason I was told foreign office does not see any reason for me to go to Belgium. I had booked tickets which I did not get a refund on coz they delayed the reply till too late, lost out on plans for seeking and cooperating on business with Belgium and above all loss of face with people who I had made commitments with in Belgium.

Indians are and have been of very compromising nature. We try and adapt to all the situations which isn’t always good but that’s how we were taught ancestrally.

Things internally and now externally as well have not been well controlled. Indians have become over cautious and also over demanding especially the successful and in the power Indians, to my observations somewhat a western learning, which again to my mind is good to an extent coz it keeps one motivated but long term it percolates into general society.

We all need to be more accepting and cooperating. Today the world wants to look at Asia and find it a comfortable and ease place to live. The earth has come a full circle. West used to be the place where everyone found comfort and wanted to go and live.

We have played with nature, God created Earth we created boundaries and sub boundaries in the mind and on land. Now we want to undo what we did. Only God has that right. Lets Live and Let Live.

Tony said...

Hi Ashish,

Well, I'm not saying that countries don't have the right to approve or deny visas. A viable reason in my eyes would be security, demographic policy, protection of labourmarket, etc.

I have only blogged about the reason for denial my candidate got: that his salary was too low and the consequent explanation: "Only money is a motivator", which according to me, implies some highly unfortunate convictions.

Anyway, I intent to do better my best this year for you when you will visit Belgium in July 2011.


Manish said...

the moron who said that ''money can be the only motivator'' is a product of india's macaualyite education system, which produces completely deracinated and mindless clerks who have been stripped of all values and have only expereinced what it is like to be treated as small inanimate cogs in large commercial or bureaucratic wheels. they then project the same experience on others.

only a man completely devoid of pride himself will say a thing like this to another.

lastly, maybe he was ill-treated by a westerner and this is his way of getting back.

Tony said...

Well, Manish, I think I agree with you on this one.