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!