Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's up with Microsoft India?

(The following post about Microsoft India is a long read and is admittedly one big long comment stream paste job. But I've gone through about two months worth of comments on a theme that emerged on its own and kept going and going, post to post, even amidst all the Yahoo!-acquisition foolishness. I promised a follow-up post on the specific topic - here you go. I find great irony that while these comments were brewing here, InsideMS wrote up an internal story: "Is Hyderabad the New Redmond?" Hmmmmm.)

A long time ago, in a blog post weeks ago, a commenter made the following small post:

How bad is things in Microsoft India? The GM Neelam Dhawan is fired and going back to HP. She is taking Rajiv Srivastava with her.

Well, this was first met with an anti-India "why should I care" comment response that grew a thread about racial-preference and other grudges folks hold towards their Indian peers. Which in turn was countered with enthusiastic backlash-backlash, and grumbles about racism. In the meantime, comment after comment started a far more interesting series of insight that spanned all the recent posts that came up during our ill-conceived stock-busting Yahoo! gambit:

Since there is no India blog for Microsoft I am forced to write here.

My friends and fellow Microsoft people, let me tell you that the situation in SMSG India is horrible. People are leaving and the leadership never meets the employees. We have box manufacturers trying to sell software. We have Chairman who I have not seen in 6 months in person. I have seen him on TV and the newspaper a few times. We have MD Neelam Dhawan who interviewed at Cisco 2 times and did not get a job there and is now going back to HP. The Country Manager for Xbox has left. BMO has almost 100% churn.

We now spend so much time reporting and having conference calls that I cannot meet my customer.

Does the Redmond people care about what is happening in MS India? Who can I complain to if I have a problem? Will Kevin Turner and Jean Philipe Courtois have an all hands meeting with the staff but without the India management present? You know we cannot speak the truth with our management because we will lose our jobs. And I want to keep my job till I get another offer. Like all the employees around me.

..and...

India Dev Center (IDC) is a pure empire building exercise. It is all about creating more partners as the VP mentioned in his Redmond recruitment visits. It is a good tour for a few Redmond folks who find a "sugar daddy", go to India for 2-3 years, get two promotions and come back to a different job in Redmond.

Meanwhile, a few exceptions aside, the quality of the work is abysmal. Components that came back to Redmond had to be completely rewritten.

Or, maybe not:

I work for WinSE in IDC (India Development Center). The situation is much better there.

We work in tandem with our counter parts in Redmond/China and have been making on-time and good-quality deliverables. The GDRs/Hotfixes/Service Packs which get shipped periodically are a result of good team work between the three huge teams.

However, our org, does not report to the India DC VP (we report to the Redmond VP), which probably is why we have a better coordination with the Redmond and ATC teams.

A tick for your tock, perhaps pointing an organizational leadership problem:

[...] the so called innovative ideas emerging out of IDC are so stale that they just don't get qualified to be called as innovative product ideas. The VP heading IDC is under tremendous pressure to show that there is some great innovation happening here. But, unfortunately his team is just not capable of delivering anything that will be worth talking about.

IDC is still not capable of standing on its feet. It is completely remote controlled by Redmond. The teams here are just puppets that play into the whims of the Redmond GMs. The senior dev/test managers here lack depth and confidence to deliver independently.

Interestingly enough, engagement started to happen within the Mini-Microsoft comment stream. A comment signed by Sudeep Bharati engages discussion around mobile app development at IDC:

There are few comments & assertions that have been made in this thread about “Mobile Developer” team at IDC. As the PUM for this org, I would like to make sure that the readers have the perspective from the other side too. IDC team has owned the Visual Studio for Devices charter for around 2 years now and has delivered a full release of this product with VS 2008. In this release, we added significant value to the product enabling test driven development for device projects with unit testing, programmable security configuration, managed API model to access and manipulate devices from the desktop as well as numerous enhancements to device emulator. Each one of these features are high value components for mobile developers and have been widely appreciated.

Following up on that:

We mastered the art of writing specs, converting that to code and testing it. But where is the innovation?

There is a serious lack of thought leadership in this group. Show me one senior member of the team who understands the big picture of the mobile developer story. We now have a lot of responsibility to deliver the complete platform and I do not see the maturity to do that.

Our focus is too narrow and we wear the colored glasses that only show us what we want to see! The mobile innovation is happening else where. Is there someone in the team who can confidently articulate what the competition is up to? Do we know anything about J2ME Midlet story? Do we know how Symbian stacks against us? Are we clear about Adobe's Flash story on mobile? Do we have a strategy for mobile web authoring? How do we counter the iPhone SDK? What will Google do with Android? What will IBM do with Eclipse in this space?

No! We have no time to figure this out.

A comment signed by David D'Souza responds:

The Mobile Developer Group intends to make products customers will love. We know the mobile field is broad and difficult. The strategies of the past won’t work again; as they say, people have seen that movie. Dynamics change and competitors are just as likely partners of the future - Windows Mobile includes Adobe Flash and Silverlight is porting to Nokia. [...]

As a partner at Microsoft, I’m engaged and passionate about the mobility area and equally passionate about ensuring IDC is a great place to work. If you are inside MSFT, you can browse my/site and watch our IDC Mobility Days presentations. As much as Windows 3 changed the PC experience, we need to achieve similar transformations in the mobile experience. We have breadth for multiple partner level people in this organization and we’re continually growing and enhancing our engineering capacity to deal with the challenges we face. Our products will be second to none. We will have fun, innovate, and work in new ways.

A demonstration of the As hiring Bs that end up with Cs and Ds:

The other huge concern is about quality of hires at IDC. I see pathetic hires walking into the product teams. The PUM/GM put a lot of pressure on HR and they end up fast tracking the hiring process. On top of that, you always have internal poaching which is very unhealthy.

...additionally...

While quality of hiring at Microsoft India IDC may be bad, the new hires in MS SMSG India is even worse. The interview process does not even exist, exit interviews dont exist, people get into jobs that are way above their abilities or interest and we have Neelam Dhawan to inspire people to join Microsoft.

On leadership:

I have been with EPG at MS India (SMSG) for a long time. I have seen the ups and downs and saw many leaders come and go. But, let me tell you that the current HP imports are horrible leaders to work with. Someone said it right - They raped the Microsoft culture.

My request to the CVP is to spend more time with the employees and hear their version.

...and leadership choosing the wrong carrot:

Everything is wrong at Microsoft India. There is now a reward of some cheap notebook if we get to the revenue target. Does Neelam (GM) not realise that we work for pride and challenge and whether or not she offers us a Rs,13000 HCL notebook we will do our best. I am insulted by this offer of a gift if the subsidiary meets the revenue goal. Last year, everyone got xbox and Neelam thought that people worked harder for the chance at winning xbox. Her cheap thinking about what motivates people at Microsoft is one of the reasons we are suffering in India today.

Go back to HP Neelam. You have no idea about Microsoft culture and how to motivate people.

...the gloves slip off:

[T]he underlying fact is that 70% of MS India is stinking with corrupt leaders. EPG has no moral values and ethics in selling. No one even understands why DPE should be paid in the first place. Public Sector has a new country lead for every 12 months and no one has a clue on handling the government accounts. HR is non existent and has the maximum attrition than any group. PR is busy bribing the media and publications to print positive stories.

:

The DPE lead is great at dancing at internal events and no one knows what else he is good at. Even if everyone in DPE are fired right away, it wouldn't make any difference to us. It's a well known fact that they will be the first to go out if there is a lay off at MS. This team is more of a liability than an asset. The earlier we fire them, the better for us.

An outside perspective starts with:

Well, let me share my view from outside. MS India has completely forgotten the community initiative. They are too busy impressing their hierarchy. There were times when the MVP/RD community was really valued and we were respected for what we are! Things are very different now. The MVP lead is in a deep slumber and does nothing for the community. I haven't met anyone from DPE India for ages. We only hear sugar coated statements from the GMs or senior executives when we bump into them.

Sending out an S O S:

An open letter to Mr. Jean-Philippe Courtois & Mr. Kevin Turner -

Can you please visit India once and listen to the feedback from the field?

The CVP, MD and all her direct reports made this company a miserable place to work for! They created a feudal fiefdom for themselves.

Please don't fall for things like the 'Best Place to Work For' recognition by a reputed publication. These can be bought in India for a price. It is a well known fact that the One India PR head spent a fraction of her budget to buy this! It's an irony that we got that award when we are experiencing the opposite of that - 'worst place to work for!'

You might be rewriting the corporate history and also doing something like this for the first time at Microsoft- Can you please fire the CVP and everyone who is two levels below him? Only that can save the Indian subsidiary.

Don't let the door knob hit you where the dog should have bit you:

With 4 key departures in SMSG in Microsoft India in the past 2 days, it looks like the attrition rate is worse than that of a call center. The only problem is that the CVP and the country GM are not leaving. Ravi is in denial that he is singularly responsible for the fuck up that is called Microsoft India SMSG. And Neelam is unable to find a job anywhere else.

Wrapping back to the very first comment:

Breaking News From MS India - The MD, Neelam Dhawan has put up her papers and will be leaving anytime now! Few of her direct reports would be following her.

So, Good things started to happen for Microsoft India.

...plus...

The really breaking news from Microsoft India is that the MD has been fired for the same transaction that various Microsoft people in Delhi have already been fired. She will not be a Microsoft employee by the time this fiscal year ends. Finally the good news is here. I hope she takes all her HP people with her with the EPG head being the first one.

Moorthy Uppaluri is also the new DPE head.

Final comment:

Mini - can you please reopen a seperate thread on Microsoft India SMSG and R&D? There are lots of stories of nepotism, poor OHI, bad quality work and a possible financial impropriety doing the rounds in India.

Well, okay. To quote a farm boy, "As you wish." Not... that... you're my Buttercup or anything. But here's an open door and open area to discuss Microsoft India: what the problems are, how to get management to accept that there are problems, where the right place to be is, and how to get there.


152 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bribing publications to do favorable stories...?

I'm depressed now. On top of that, I just re-read the Stephen Elop message from last week, and now he's apparently drinking the "Deee-light our customers" phraseology Kool-Aid now. How did they brainwash him so fast?

(Or did some MichM bozo just simply write the message for him and send it out a la Ballmer?)

Anonymous said...

I've heard similar comments from friends and coworkers who I used to work with. They made a change in some teams a few years back to not have reporting relationships back to Redmond, since then politics has gotten really bad. Also something else I am hearing is there are a lot of politics going on inside organizations based on if you are south or north Indian.

Anonymous said...

Let the wogs start their own blog. Do we have to do everything for them?

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with all that! There are a bunch of other great companies out there besides Microsoft. Come on out, the water's warm!

- Ex-MSFT DevDiv PM Who Had Far Too Much Involvement with Both VS Devices and IDC for His Own Good Over the Years He Was in the 'Soft

Anonymous said...

Wow boy. This is going to be fun. And it's going to garner a lot of anonymous posts. Why? Because political correctness is so insidious that you cannot criticise India without being branded racist.

So, I've worked on a few projects where India has been doing the implementation and I've had to rescue it or bin the delivered code and start again.

It's interesting to see the quote "But where is the innovation? There is a serious lack of thought leadership in this group." Part of me thinks this is a cultural issue; generally India does not innovate; they follow instruction (and sometimes very badly; I've seen corrections get rolled back because they want to do things how they have always done when its clearly wrong); and if it's a cultural issue then it will not be solved by having people from that culture in charge; that simply reinforces the problem.

Look at the stuff coming out of China; and compare it to India. It's not a problem with outsourcing or a cry for protectionism; China generally rocks; India trudges along and doesn't produce anything new or exciting (mobile aside; and even then the real mobile innovation is in the OS not the developer tools).

But as long as people cry racist at the first hint of criticism nothing will ever change because people will be too scared to raise problems formally for fear of being labelled.

Anonymous said...

Heights of cost cutting: Our Facilities guys want us to travel by smaller cars in Bangalore... I think the days are not far when they would reccomend us to travel by an "autorickshaw" the most economical mode of travel...



Whats happening !!! are we working for a call center..!!

Shashi said...

As a customer, I like to make few observations:
1) Apple considers India to be good enough to start selling its iPhone over here - Microsoft doesn't even want to introduce its Zune which has a better chance of breaking iPod's dominance elsewhere
2) Until now the % of bloggers who are Apple lunatics/fanatics in India is relatively low as compared to US - where even papers like NYTIMES are into that ABM-stuff - But NO, Indians don't excite MS
3) At the end of the day, is MS only concerned about that extra dollar which it could make by selling one more copy of a default-installed operating system?
4) Why can't it charge more for the really good stuff and sell fewer copies?
4) Why doesn't MS promote the success stories of Vista over here at India?
5) Is it even bothered about the negative (that's the only coverage it receives) press it gets at the US?
6) Dont the MS guys have any ego/pride and stuff like dat?
7) In all the hollywood movies/serials - the cool guys use a Mac - the apple logo is all over the place - just one example: I AM LEGEND has 3 stars - Will Smith, His Mac and the Dog...

Anonymous said...

Ok, so just confirm I'm getting this right: MS wants to spend more $40 billion on Y! but has no money for developers' wages in US, so it has to oursource the actual software development to its Indian subsidiary.

I just love that.

Pratik Stephen said...

Hmmm... I've heard some similar "praises" for SMSG as well... though i won't comment on that.

However, Microsoft India Development Center (IDC), is actually an awesome place to work at! We do R&D.
We've got teams building & shipping end to end products here... (RFID, DPM etc etc etc)
And teams that own parts of a product, and work in collaboration with Redmond...(Live Mesh, SQL etc etc etc)
In either case, we're not just "delivering a few components to Redmond"...

There is lots to work on and improve upon at IDC for sure, but its definitely not in the dumps, or anywhere near the dumps!

Anonymous said...

Yet another perspective -- I am an escalation engineer in the support org in the US. I have frequent cause to deal with my Indian counterparts and I have found that my experience seems to vary wildly from team to team.

My own group has a team in India that rolls directly up to my group management and they are generally very sharp and very easy to work with; unfortunately, when dealing with teams in India outside of that, things fall to pieces. The support engineers are very limited and regimented -- there is no thinking outside of the box and there is no concern about what is best for the customer. The only concerns are the support boundaries ("Well, my team doesn't own that so I'm not going to help") and existing knowledge ("I've never worked with component X before so I can't help").

Beyond that, the support engineers waste amazing amounts of time in doing NOTHING. I spoke with a customer last week who was on the phone for 70 minutes, which was how long it took a support engineer to tell him that the support engineer couldn't help him and he'd have to call back tomorrow.

I hope that our move to offshore support to India has saved a lot of money because it has definitely alienated a lot of customers.

Anonymous said...

MS India sounds awesome, guys. just as awesome as the XP security updates that keep rebooting my laptop and making me lose track of my workspace! keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

So Moorthy is the new DPE lead? I didn't know the previous DPE lead so making relative assessments is beyond me, but look out for this guy. While he can talk the talk (big understatement...Moorthy has elevated BS to a high art form...have fun trying to get a word in edgewise between his pontification), you can't trust him further than you can throw him. You should have seen him work his magic in hoodwinking the Redmond MSIT VPs to get the new MSIT China team to report to him in India...a move that single handedly torpedoed morale and hiring efforts in MSIT China, setting MSIT in China back at least a year. He is a big part ofthe infamous Stuart Scott's legacy, one of many senior hires made from GE (Stuart's former employer), and is all about voluminous metrics spreadsheets, empire building, ego, and personal advancement. DPE: get ready to be six-sigma'd.

Anonymous said...

> Part of me thinks this is a cultural issue; generally India does not innovate;

As an Indian myself, I guess I have to admit that there is some truth to this statement. There are a few exceptions to this but they generally don't bubble up to the top.

Indians also generally have this superiority complexion. They think they are somehow the most intelligent people on the earth who have somehow been robed of their intellectual heritage. Ask about innovations the examples will go as far as many hundred years back or "we invented zero" or about how some westerner hails Sanskrit's perfect Grammar.

You will never get any farther than that. And they all have to be respected because they are generally intelligent and just that the world doesn't get it. If you say anything to the contrary you simply are a racist trying to deny the recognition they deserve.

Until people accept that they suck as a nation as a culture and have a lot of work to do (other than just multiplying the population) things won't change.

Sorry about the off-topic remarks.

One more thing: Indian versions of MNC's generally suck. Be it MS, IBM, Sun or Oracle etc etc.. The problem is people lack innovation and the Indian management can't relate to their western counterparts.

Anonymous said...

I am a MACH hire in Microsoft India. I curse the day I joined SMSG. The role I was hired for was changed, my new Manager has no idea how to deal with someone who is infinitely more articulate than he is, I have never spoken to the Chairman, my customer thinks Neelam Dhawan is a piece of crap and the list goes on. The only person I felt comfortable talking with was Doug Hauger and he's left the building.

How do you change things? I'd start at the top. Things have snowballed to a point where there is no quick fix. Frankly, I don't even care any more. I am hanging out because I need some 'tenure' on my resume.

I hear good things about the work culture and ethics in Redmond. Too bad none of that has rubbed off on Microsoft India.

Kevin and JPC - weed out the rot. Ask Ravi when he last met an employee without a hidden agenda. Ask Neelam when she last sent a mail of any substance. If you get anything but a blank stare in response, you know they're lying.

Anonymous said...

Mini - Kudos to you for compiling this post. This is long overdue.


Is the PR team bribing the media?
Is DPE really useless?
Is the quality of IDC work so bad?
Why is the bar for the recent hires set so low?
Did Neelam really get fired?
What is HR doing?
Why is the employee morale so low?


The CVP should step in and address these issues. Instead of the next 'Thought of the Day' mail to One India FTEs, may be he should send a mail acknowledging the above!

Anonymous said...

> China generally rocks; India trudges along and doesn't produce anything new or exciting

Oh I forgot to add about this in my previous post. Many Indians think Chinese aren't even half as good as them at innovation. It's usually attributed to their communist culture and that they can;t think because they have always been treated as slaves. Not sure if that argument holds any water esp. if you benchmark with Russians.

I also believed the Indian version of Chinese story to an extent. However, in the recent times I have been reading many good reviews/comments about them from west. So, may be what I'm hearing from my Indian brothers is wrong; I don't know.

One more thing. many Indians think, westerners hail Chinese to beat down Indians. They think west is simply playing politics.

Anonymous said...

Neelam - please shit or get off the pot. PLEASE clarify to the subsidiary your current employment status please? f you're going to stay, then you need to contribute more than congratulatory messages to the subsidiary. If you're going to leave, then get the fuck out right now

Reminder: Take your HP people with you. If you forget, we'll send them to you. Bottom line....WE DON'T WANT THEM HERE !

Anonymous said...

Ok, so just confirm I'm getting this right: MS wants to spend more $40 billion on Y! but has no money for developers' wages in US, so it has to oursource the actual software development to its Indian subsidiary.

No, it's not that Microsoft can't afford U.S. wages for developers. It's that there are no good developers in the U.S. That's what Microsoft's executives are telling the U.S. Congress.

Yes, I know, that's funny.

Anonymous said...

Let me try to be productive about how to improve Microsoft India. This assumes Neelam Dhawan is history and the new GM is from Microsoft and has some Microsoft 'culture':
- Ravi needs to acknowledge to the subsidiary that there is a problem. He still thinks things are great because he made CVP, Employer of the Year etc etc. His ego will not permit him to even contemplate that he may have made a few hiring mistakes, but that is the beginning.
- Clean out the whole GM direct team. Tarun Gulati is a walking HR violation and we all know it. Srivastava is from HP and incompetent, HR does not exist. Should I continue?
- Look at the detail behind MS poll and understand why things are bad. Have a town hall meeting with all questions anonymous and answer them in public.
- Have a plan and explain the relevance of the plan to the people. Why is $1 billion important? What is in it for the employees? All the key hires are outsiders. Why should we hang out?
- Have stronger hiring standards including interview loops, jobs being posted, exit interviews
- Walk around and talk to people. Don't interrogate people. Ask about their families, extra curricular activities and such.
- Finally Ravi, earn the trust of people.
- If any of the above is not something you can manage, feel free to move on.

Anonymous said...

Apple considers India to be good enough to start selling its iPhone over here - Microsoft doesn't even want to introduce its Zune which has a better chance of breaking iPod's dominance elsewhere

Serious question - let alone the Zune, does the iPhone stand a chance in India? The Indian market has devices with better specs at half the price of the iPhone (e.g. Nokia 5610).

IMO the iPhone did well in the innovation starved mobile market in the US, but it will be hard to replicate that success in the much more competitive market in India.

Anonymous said...

"MS India sounds awesome, guys. just as awesome as the XP security updates that keep rebooting my laptop and making me lose track of my workspace! keep up the good work!"

I read somewhere that XP SP3 was written by the team in India.

Anonymous said...

Mini - Thanks for making this post. It is about time that management woke up and realized how screwed up things really are.

Lets start with Ravi - how could you allow it to come to this? Nepotism, Improper transactions, Cronyism, Hypocrisy, Intellectual Corruption....once you are done with the HP folks, please step down - you have the lost the right to be the chairman.

HR India - How can you allow for such rampant cronyism? Who is going to be held responsible for this? How will you prevent this from happening in future?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, guys, but this has nothing to do with cultural differences. I can blame US devs (compared to russian ones) in the very same way you blame Indian devs.

But I think this is company hiring policy that should be blamed for these differences.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous commenter angry about 'outsourcing':

The IDC isn't outsourcing. It is really a fix to two problems

- The US visa process is a mess - you cannot get talented people to work in Redmond without going through a lot of hassle

- With the thousands and thousands of engineers graduating in India and China, it makes sense to tap into that talent locally instead of asking all of them to move to the US. A large percentage does not want to leave the country for various reasons( family, visa issues, etc)

I think of the IDC as no different from our campus in Silicon Valley. The fact that things are cheaper doesn't hurt but that is very low on the priority list.

Anonymous said...

It's Party time in India!!!

Anonymous said...

Please don't skim anonymous escalation engineer's post above. I am also part of the MS support arm in the US (Enterprise Platforms if you care). Unlike Dev, we are the face of Microsoft to most customers - when they have problems or need advice on using our products, we're the ones in front. So when that support is terrible, customers think Microsoft must be terrible. In India we hire poorly, do not enforce our processes, do not remove poor performers and face a stonewall from managers there when we try to bring them to task. Cases get escalated to us after months that we fix in an hour. No matter how well we document how products work or how to troubleshoot them, India engineers generally just want to

1) Have you be their google.
2) Have you take over cases and fix them yourself.

Even though we in the US 3rd tier only work critsits (business down) and crusty escalated cases, we still pull higher customer satisfaction numbers.

The effect is two fold:

1. Customers were not happy with the product when they called, and now they're not happy with support as well - so MS is worse off.

2. Support Escalation Engineers and EE's are *flying* out of the support arm. Why deal with horrendous escalated cases when they can go to Premier, PG, or out of MS for more money and not deal with pissed off customers blaming them for India support woes? There are barely any of us left.

And what makes this even worse: there *are* outstanding support engineers and tech leads in India. But they are too few and far between, and *they* tend to burn out and leave too, having to work with their worthless colleagues and managers. India support managers - you are the biggest problem. Do your %^&#%$^& job and clean up this mess you've created.

As for rebooting XP guy - it's not your security updates, trust me. There are nearly a billion machines running XP. If you actually think you're having an issue caused by a security update and it's not front page news on every tech site on earth, think again. Open a support case with us, go through our newsgroups, or give us details to help you. Yelling out in the comments section of an editorial blog is probably not your best option...

Anonymous said...

Redmond employee here.

Some of these complaints about MS India, especially lack of long-term direction and innovation have nothing unique to MS India.

I'm very sorry to say to those fellow employees at IDC that Innovation is rare in Redmond, and Redmond VPs invest in _nothing_ that they aren't sure they'll still own when it gets done (i.e., no long-term plans).

The only thing I can say about Redmond is that the Lion's share of the political power is here, and I've witnessed ideas originating elsewhere being cancelled in favor of doing something started a bit later, and is amazingly similar - but in Redmond, led by someone in Redmond with good political ties. (I'm saying that only a few 'exciting' projects will rarely be outside of Redmond.)

Anonymous said...

>> They think they are somehow the most
>> intelligent people on the earth who
>> have somehow been robed of their
>> intellectual heritage.

If true, this explains a lot about my interactions with Indians here and in IDC. You have to work twice as hard to convince an Indian that he's wrong, and god forbid if he's in a position of authority - you'll have to wait for shit to hit the fan then, and when it does, the blame comes right off the guy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this thread, it is an important issue. I have a very dividied reaction to my Indian colleagues. Some - many! - are brilliant, and I feel honoured to be working alongside such smart, passionate people. That's not tokenism, I mean it: these are colleagues anyone would love. At the same time, there are many people working in MS India who are extremely inexperienced, yet getting no visible mentoring or even know how to deal with minor technical issues (how to look up KB etc). They spam global discussion aliases with ignorant *and* outrageous questions and requests. I lived through the rapid expansion of another international subsidiary in the early 90s, and I know (all too well :-) that rapid expansion can be chaotic, disorganised and inconsistent. But the vibe I'm getting from India is more than that ... it feels messed-up, something is wrong there, they are not getting traction, not moving forward. Out of respect for the excellent collegaues I do have in India, and in recognition of that country's enormous potential (home of InfoSys, Tata, not to mention Mittal Steel etc), and thinking of MSFT's eventual return to being a powerful software company, I do hope that we get our house in order there.

Warm greetings and best wishes to teh MSFT folks in India from, a colleague in one of the cricket-playing nations :-)

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Support team in India . I worked as a Support Engineer for 2 years and got numerous awards for being technical and actually having a clue of how to speak to people. I was literate , polite and actually knew what I was talking about .
I do have a degree in Engineering and had spent a good amount of time building applications before I joined the Support team to help fix broken apps.

My org had about 45 people in it and had about 5 people who could really be considered for the role of a support engineer let alone a tech lead or an Escalation Engineer. Here are the problems that I saw first hand :
a) Idiots hired directly from college .If you have never built anything , then you will not be able to fix something that someone built and is now broken.
b) Idiots hired after spending too much time in technology .These are people who are at the end of their technical career and come into IGTSC to settle down and entrench themselves into the company.
c) Tech leads who once were Support Engineers and the only reason they became Support Engineers was because their SAT numbers sucked.

Once any of these three kinds gets into the organisation , they cant be removed. The EE who says that the Support Managers are a stone wall is right , the TMs here cannot be forced to kick someone off .
Even when faced with overwhelming evidence that these guys need to go , they still keep them on their teams because :
a) Kicking someone off your team looks bad on your resume ( apparently )
b) The other team members ( who are also idiots ) feel scared that they are next and no one works anymore.
c) Doesnt care anyway .

EEs getted pi**ed at SEs because of their stupidity is normal . But , we did have rac*st EEs who said that people from India
were only good enough to support NotePad . Where Gross Generalizations go , this one stunk like a dead Rat in your toilet.

After dealing Idiot colleagues who made our hard work a joke by consistently messing up their cases and pi**ing off customers and EEs ,
and a technical lead who was an absolute waste on Earth's resources ,
I had had enough and left a couple of months ago.
I now use my knowledge and skills to actually build products for MS , and my colleagues dont make me regret my job anymore.

Anonymous said...

Having worked at Microsoft India Dev Center(IDC), I can confirm that it is a place where everyone is building their kingdom. The leadership comprises of people who have relocated after having spent multiple years in Redmond.

Talking about commitment of the leadership team at IDC, at least 3 of the IDC business unit heads (Storage unit, Win SE, Developer Division) have relocated back to Redmond in the last 2 years. Others who are there are there not because of passion but they can not get similar title or role back in Redmond.

IDC management has become very good at marketing themselves. 2 years back they started an initiative of focus groups. The existing groups got renamed and organized under new leaders and positioned as focus groups. (networking, virtualization, terminal services are examples). In reality only 2 new initiatives came out - Mobile Developer group and Visual Studio Test System. But these 2 groups report to Somasegar in Redmond and Soma is responsible for IDC. What this essentially means is that no other VP trust IDC as much. Mobile Developer and VSTT came to IDC because the boss said so.

Having observed IDC closely and being part of it, I can provide lot more insights into how IDC works; but will save that for another time.

Anonymous said...

The height of nepotism and a corrollary of that process corruption at IDC is unbelievable. A case in point is internships that are being given to wards of folks who work in Redmond but want their children to experience the culture here at IDC, I am puking at this nepotism. A specific case in point is the internship offered to son of a GM in Windows live space at IDC, which according to grapevine is totally underseving and a corrupt process....

Anonymous said...

I had worked in IDC for some time and I can tell you that the hiring bar kept on dropping in my last 2 years there. The hires before 2002 /2003 were quite ok but I'm shocked by certain other hires in 2004.

There are some solid engineers (a few) there but they just want to relocate to redmond after 2-3 years (there is a cap that you can interview for redmond only after 2 years in IDC and they usually extend it to 2.5 years by dragging it).
Also a lot of people in IDC do not want to be ICs and do some real work. All they want is become a lead soon whether they are qualified or not. Probably it's something cultural (and before you beat me up for racism I am indian too, but just can't understand why most of them want to become leads/mgrs very soon). A side effect of this is that nobody (to be fair a few want to but the number is small) wants to invest years in learning technical stuff and understand things deeply. That means you can only give superficial projects to IDC. Give them some core stuff and it will blow up badly.

PS: Things are especially bad in test discipline. Leave alone deep knowledge, some test leads there can't even put a k on the debugger to see the stack.

Anonymous said...

I would like to hear from people in the IDC R&D team that is part of the org started by Srini Koppolu the newly minted CVP.

Microsoft’s has done well in establishing IDC at a time when nobody wanted to go to India. But I wonder why IDC is considered such a big "success” when other software companies hired many thousands of people in India in a shorter timeframe it took us to get to 1000+ R&D engineers. Let’s talk about the GMs and VPs that lead IDC. Who amongst them stands out as a great leader that inspires people? Who has shipped great products that have earned us millions? Which team incubated successful ideas that grew into major products for Microsoft? What have they done for Indian market? Has any of the manager been successful in raising the profile of IDC to something other than a cheap body shop that takes on work that nobody in Redmond wants to touch? Has anybody established strong engineering practices and culture that is emulated by other teams? Has IDC nurtured great talent and developed a strong bench? Seems like it is now a well known fact that the fastest route to Partner is to do a round-trip through IDC – who established this practice and why are senior promotions not held to the same standard as Redmond? Competence aside, the salaries for senior managers in India are compatible to US based salaries why? Have any of these people ever shipped products that generate millions of dollars/rupees to justify their salaries? The rate at which L65+ promotions are happening in India is mind numbing is it to justify the level distribution so managers look good during people reviews?

With Srini now giving in to allowing the GMs to report directly to Redmond the org has gotten really fragmented. Most of the GMs that were promoted way too quickly to L67+ would not have made it to those levels in USA. They moved to India to rest and vest and lack the drive and passion that one finds in Redmond based managers. Instead they are busy doing their empire building and enjoying lavish trips across the country on the pretext of "recruiting." They enjoy a great all-expenses-paid lifestyle with their clueless managers sitting in Redmond approving their expense reports assuming the level of honesty one expects in Redmond. There are many policy violations that go on rampantly in India. Some of the GMs (best left unnamed) should be audited right away – I have routinely seen my GM take teams out to lunch/dinners and then get their subordinates to foot the bill that they then approve. Best part is they treat MS paid rental cars as their private property and show up to a company lunches / dinners using a rental instead of using their own vehicle. I would like to see somebody try this in Redmond. They visit Redmond far more often than necessary and the lavishness of the morale events would give a Redmond VP a heart attack. The finance department is too scared to audit these "senior managers" that like to be treated as royalty running their own fiefdoms at will. We need managers that care for Microsoft and their teams and not try to use the lower costs in India to extract unnecessary arbitrage advantage for themselves.

I could go on and on about everything that is wrong in IDC but would love to hear from others...

Anonymous said...

Forget Neelam's employment status. Does Ravi work here any longer? He sends out meaningless mails about work life balance, humility, cut and paste jobs of people's speeches and other nonsense, but anyone can do that. I want the Chairman's job. Hint hint Ravi.

Great hire with Moorthy by the way. Does he know what DPE stands for?

Anonymous said...

May I suggest 5 simple steps to salvage MS India -

5) Fire Joji Gill and Meenu Handa - Both of them are hired by Ravi and they have their equal share & contribution in polluting the sub.

4) Fire Tarun Gulati - He is the biggest white elephant at MS India. DPE collapsed since his takeover and now he wants to do the same with BMO.

3) Fire all HP hires - They are the trojans in the system. They deserve to be kicked out.

2) Fire the MD - I guess this is already done. But if it is not done yet, it needs to be done on priority!

1) Fire the CVP - He is the root cause of this mess. To save his ass, he got Neelam and the gang.

Trust me folks, do the above and you have the good old MS India back in track.

Anonymous said...

Guys, go easy on Ravi. He is planning either his sabbatical or he is joining a charity organization.

Here are some proofs that he has given up and letting MS India loose:

1) Moving Tarun Gulati to BMO - I can't believe that he did this! Ask any office boy in Mumbai or Bangalore offices and he will give you 10 reasons why Tarun is a misfit at Microsoft. Everyone is aware of his harassment track record. He screwed up DPE team beyond words and he gets the BMO job? There is zero logic, justification or rationale to this decision. BMO is such an important function and Tarun is all set to break it into bits. I give to Doug ! He has been one mature, extremely professional manager I have come across at Microsoft. We miss you Doug!

2) Moving Moorthy to DPE? - Unbelievable! Moorthy was hired because of his GE track record. Running DPE is so different than running an outsourced team called MSIT. The challenges and the context is entirely different at DPE. Moorthy has a tough challenge ahead running DPE and DPE has a huge challenge managing Moorthy! This combination is set for a spectacular failure!

Ravi - Can you please tell us what drink you had the night before you took this call? Please don't kill the team that is already half dead.

Anonymous said...

To bring life back at IDC, We need a change in the top management.

Srini lost all his energy and passion long ago. He is now reduced to a glorified facility manager handling the campus moves and transport options.

We need someone who is inspiring and motivating the teams at IDC and not someone who talks about the work that he did on a two decade old technology called COM.

There is absolutely no energy at IDC. I sometime wonder if I am still working for Microsoft!

Anonymous said...

>>>Having observed IDC closely and being part of it, I can provide lot more insights into how IDC works; but will save that for another time.

Bring them on dude! This is the time. We are all waiting for those insights!

Anonymous said...

Kevin / JPC / Lisa - Are you hearing us out?

There can't be so much smoke without fire somewhere! Can you please take the time out to spot the (wild)fire at MS India?

Anonymous said...

To Tarun -Can you please walk out from MS India leaving it as it is?

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISASTER CALLED DPE. WE DON'T WANT ANOTHER DISASTER IN BMO.

We don't want you and you will not be missed at all!

Anonymous said...

I want to set one thing clear. The creation of Mobile Developer group is not a ground breaking achievement for IDC. These guys do VSD, NETCF & SL Mobile and then JScript. VSD, CF and SL Mobile are just ports from the desktop to the devices. It does involve some work but the agenda has already been finalized. JScript team is struggling to get their act together.

If not Soma, no one would have ever dared to give this piece to IDC. Keep your fingers crossed! These guys have to deliver SLMobile by PDC.

Anonymous said...

Best time to be at MS India is when the following are out:

1) Ravi
2) Neelam
3) Rajiv
4) Sanjeev
5) Tarun
6) Meenu
7) Joji

These are the top culprits who should take the responsibility for the sad state of affairs at MS India and just.....QUIT!

Anonymous said...

An IDC employee here.

Agreed. There are problems here. But convince me they arent in Redmond - where you guys work. Where you and many others went to work after having started off at IDC and learning here.

Innovate we dont - do you in Redmond? Yeah sure..MS was always known for its innovation before IDC came about right? What stops you from innovating then? First innovate yourself and then talk about IDC.

Hiring losers - right? Then why do you take truckloads of 59s, 60s, 62s name it ...from IDC every year. Our biggest attrition is to Redmond - wonder why when we hire trash? I know of folks who did miserably here ..and went off to Redmond. Hiring losers - yes we do - guess what - they are in demand...in Redmond.

Building empires - ya sure. You mean to say - there arent any empires out there? No politics? think about it.

And especially to you guys - who have worked here for years - built your careers here and then left for some $$ - hold on. Think before you talk about Indians or IDC - you also hail from there. Have some respect for the place and people with whom you spent time. Dont be so servile ..

Am an employee here - been here for 5 years now. I love the place. No its not perfect everyday - but guess what I have always worked with Redmond folks and I dont think it is perfect there too. It is never perfect in ANY job. But guess what I dont know about SMSG but IDC does care for its people. My manager, managers manager, MD talk to me - and no its not cause I am a NOrth Indian and so are they.

Guys - I am not saying you are being racist - but you are being unfair and blind. You are generalising ..please dont. When you point one finger at someone - three fingers point back to you. Remember that.

We are also Microsoft - if you think we are bad. Step up - help us - we are one of you. If you have the ***&&& step up - dont just sit and talk - it just shows that you guys are also the same ..people who can just sit and talk ..that too being anonymous !

Anonymous said...

Good compilation overall. Hopefully this helps the right people.

Unfortunately, it looks like some of those desparate culture politicians and racists got their chance to pump up some blood pressure with out meaningful relation to the post.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see bunch of whining obtuse incompetent idiots blabbering over here about the status of SMSG India.

Folks, if the situation is so intolerable and grave from your perspective - better leave as opposed to asking for others to leave. Find a job where you can be happy.

But hey, you must be one of those MACH hires with incredible ego right? And I bet you are here to build your resume and not neccesarily because you like this job.

It is you,who should be fired first and foremost.

And few guys here wish for old microsoft India as though it represented golden period. If you have been here long enough, you should know that the story is not that rosy. Most of the old guys are rotten to the core with few honorable exceptions. If you think you should regress back to good old times, you must be the first guy to be chucked out.

And hey you redmond einsteins, don't even bother to talk about innovation at IDC. What have you innovated in the last eight years? Starting count down now.

Finally, stop whining. It's pathetic and nauseating. If you don't like a thing, 'DO' something about it as opposed to bitching about it. The good old microsoft folks that you constantly look upto and quote will DO something about it, unlike you guys. You should be ashamed of yourself and your pathetic existence in this organization.

Anonymous said...

"Our products will be second to none. We will have fun, innovate, and work in new ways."

Sad to see all this infighting and barely concealed racism, when what the company really needs to do is provided succinctly in the comment above. But keep it up folks. While you continue your culture of internecine warfare, your competitors in many cases are eating your collective lunch and your customers and shareholders continue to suffer.

Anonymous said...

>>These guys do VSD, NETCF & SL Mobile and then JScript. VSD, CF and SL Mobile are just ports from the desktop to the devices. It does involve some work but the agenda has already been finalized.

cool. msft employees continue their myopic in-fighting. how quickly you all forget you are copying flash, java, ipod, opera/mozilla, mac os x, google, and playstation. keep right on thinking you're defining the agenda and innovating. hey, maybe invent some innovation awards to give to yourselves and feel extra superior.

Anonymous said...

>> Then why do you take truckloads of 59s,
>> 60s, 62s name it ...from IDC every year

Probably Redmond Indians hiring other Indians to achieve Indocritical Mass within their group. It's always easier to control/motivate your countryman, so Indian managers (and Indian folks do try very hard to become managers ASAP here in Redmond as well) want Indian reports.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the person who said Redmond has probably the same problems.

I feel this attitude prevents people from solving problems and improving. Rather than looking at one's own problems and thinking about solutions, you start accusing others, ask them to solve your problems and shout out loud of people being unfair. Pls take responsibility of the state of the things and be more reasonable. Microsoft is not number one because of all the ideas we picked from others. We did something which others couldn't.

Anonymous said...

>>>Having observed IDC closely and being part of it, I can provide lot more insights into how IDC works; but will save that for another time.

>>Bring them on dude! This is the time. We are all waiting for those insights!

Ok..some more insights

The problem with IDC is not its employees, I believe the level 59-62 are equal to or better than Redmond.

The problem starts at 63+. IDC management in a pressure to show that they have people with higher levels either hire undeserving people from outside, from Redmond or wherever they can get them from. Many times they hire a L65+ person even if the job does not demands that so that they can impress the Redmond bosses. As an example a L66 PUM decided to leave MS to be closer to family in Bangalore. The IDC management is so hell bent on retaining this person that they create a position for him to manage hardware orders from Bangalore. Do you need a L66 person for managing hardware orders?

Most of joining bonus goes to L63+. L63/64 get around 30K USD and L65+ gets anywhere from 60K USD-100K USD for joining with a 2-3 year contract. After 2-3 years you become unemployable anyways - good retention strategy.

Anonymous said...

1) Moving Tarun Gulati to BMO - I can't believe that he did this! Ask any office boy in Mumbai or Bangalore offices and he will give you 10 reasons why Tarun is a misfit at Microsoft. Everyone is aware of his harassment track record.

This is funny! I used to work at Netquest/Aditi/Talisma where Tarun was before joining Microsoft. There was this popular rumour that he had problems keeping his pants on. Looks like things havent changed since then.

Anonymous said...

"Innovate we dont - do you in Redmond? Yeah sure..MS was always known for its innovation before IDC came about right"

Let me get this striaght. You didn't beleive MS was innovative but you decided to join anyway and stay on for 5 years. I hope IDC doesn't have too many like you.

Anonymous said...

An example of some of the unethical practices.... There may be many more instances but let me highlight two cases to drive home the point. When MS-INDIA organized an event to launch VISTA and Office, certain invites were given to IDC as well. The GM at IDC who was running the office side of things, used those invites and took his family (wife and children) in an all expenses paid trip to Mumbai to attend that. Completely ignoring the basic ethics that those are meant for employees who worked on those damn products !!

Second is the instance of a GM who runs the present windows group at IDC, during each summer his family goes on vacation to US and stays in an apartment paid out by Microsoft, on which the GM happens to reserve for his official stint to Redmond which coincidentally happens at that time as well....

I sometimes wonder whether these morons have someone else sign-off on the Standards of business conduct training, on their behalf !!

Anonymous said...

Hey, so I'm going to interrupt the rant a bit and post something that could be seen as a lifeline to all the suffering Microsoft-ies out there who know they're good enough to leave the company and find a good deal, but don't know where to start looking.

I left about a month ago after 10 years. Joined a firm about 1500 strong as a VP. Now, I have a wonderful team, spanning 3 continents. But I need more. I need to hire at least 6 more by July for my team alone, good developers who are good at consulting and know business as well. And, I can also provide strong referrals for positions in core engineering, architecture and business intelligence...mostly in Silicon Valley.

Are you good enough, are you interested? If you are shoot me an email at ilatons over at gmail. Oh, and after 10 years at the 'soft I do know lots of people and will check up on you...not to mention knowing how to decipher a Microsoft-speak resume.

I'll tell you. Once I made the decision to leave, it was the best thing that I've ever done, and every day is better.

Anonymous said...

The "lack-of-innovation" is a problem at both Redmond/IDC. Infact a senior VP recently mentioned in all-hands that iPod is not an innovation ( it's just user-friendly). Bottom line, we should strive for more user-friendly products like what google and apple do. You don't have to be innovative to succeed.

Coming to IDC specifically, a technical-fellow that visited last year said at IDC-all-hands that IDC has shown that it has talented people. But the next 3-5 years is very critical to establishing itself. He gave the example of SQL group that is a ~1000 ppl org and has created a billion-dollar buisness for MS. IDC also has similar (quality) head-count and now it needs to prove that it can create billion-dollar business ( else, it might just be relegated to the status of cost center). I think this is the biggest challenge SriniK faces.

Anonymous said...

Tarun Gulati has been a disaster for most of his professional career but he manages up very well and triangulates even better. So why are people surprised that he was made BMO even though he failed as DPE lead. I have worked with/around him for a long time now and know his style well. Kiss up (in some cases quite literally), kick down style.

BTW, he has no formal technology background - he was a restaurant manager in India before being hired by Aditi. The story there was he let go due to due to "keeping his pants on" problem.

Currently he is having a dalliance with one of his peers in the India leadership team. I leave it to the reader to guess who.

MS India in general is a soap opera!

Anonymous said...

IDC. What a joke. i'm tired of all of the Indians who went to IIT but can't think for themselves. I worked with IDC on a project a few years ago an it was pure hell. The code was for crap however my GM in redmond was Indian and he put lots of other Indians in charge of stuff. All I saw was people trying to get more and more reports. The only goal was to have more leads underneath you so that you could make GM. No one cared about the project it was just about making yoru self look good.

Anonymous said...

It is sad when the only avenue people have to vent their frustration is through a blog. But that is the Microsoft of today. I am not a regular reader of this blog, but my Indian colleagues pointed it out to me.

First off, I don't ascribe this blog to just a few whiners. There's been a consistent trend for the past few months and when I visited India earlier this year I had a chance to speak to many people offline. They consistently expressed frustration at the direction of SMSG India and the poor leadership. For reference, I have been a Partner for a few years, so take my feedback for what it is worth.

I've also met Ravi. He is a very articulate man, but I don't think he's able to make a connection with people. I've seen him interact with others within the subsidiary and I'm not sure he sees eye to eye with anyone. He was quite cutting and direct with his staff...which is cool if you're also making some reasonable sense. Houston....we have a problem.

The one aspect that has jumped out is the quality of people being hired. Very junior people who often don't speak good English see to be managing key accounts. Perhaps they are able to build relationships with CXOs, but I doubt it. Note to Kevin - check out hiring practices.

Kevin / Steveb: You need to take a hard look at the situation in India (they are part of BRIC and by definition important). There is a leadership problem. Ravi's manner of dealing with people within India and Redmond is a something to lose sleep over. He manages up well, but I suspect he does not have the support of the people. I do know Neelam is history, so I won't belabor that point. Look hard behind the MS Poll numbers and clean house. Next visit, don't meet customers. Meet the people and get their feedback anonymously. I think you're going to be in for a rude awakening.

I love this company and it depresses me to see a great team of people in India so rudderless, leaderless and frustrated.

Hang in there guys. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

Steve Ballmer said...

Calm down everybody! Things are just fine in India! All of the employees and customers are happy and growing! Rice and water lunches are free, the parking lot has just been remudded, women only have to be veiled in the halls, cows roam the lobby and the wear shoes and deodorant campaign is starting to catch on!

No problems here!
The FEW whohave left were unworthy to work for us anyways!

Namaste

Anonymous said...

>> Are you good enough, are you interested?
>> If you are shoot me an email at ilatons
>> over at gmail.

Apparently you have issues with reading comprehension. Otherwise you would have read your Microsoft employment contract and seen that this is the kind of thing it expressly prohibits you from doing for no less than a year after jumping the ship.

Anonymous said...

In my 5 year+ tenure with India SMSG I have seen the company and the India Sub change a lot, for better and in some cases worse. The last one year has been quite painful, with leadership becoming militant about forecasts and employee churn increasing manifold. the last year has also seen the influx of ex-HP/HCL folks into EPG by the truckloads, the resultant culture and power shifts has led to a lot of heartburn and frustration.

Few years ago SMSG India was cruising in a 30% growth market. The base was small and attaining numbers & stretch commits didn't take much effort. Sales had the cushion of legalization which could bring a windfall, should things get difficult. Customer engagements were restricted to top 10 IT services companies or large PCIB setups. Many sales people could do their quarterly quotas without ever leaving office... and yes Office and Visual Studio was the mainstay of the business... Rupee-Dollar arbitrage was good and India Sub could afford to splurge without ruining the contribution margins...

Around FY05 Corp got serious about India business and demanded that India take on bigger challenges and deliver larger numbers 'grow faster than the market'. All cushions were suddenly gone as quotas were hiked with growth targets in excess of 50%... along with the bigger numbers came more headcounts and rapid hiring... quality started getting compromised.

To meet these numbers people had to think beyond licensing and Win CAL/Office attach to PCIB. Things like up-selling to higher versions of Office and selling solutions became more and more important. Guess what our sales and marketing engine found this transition difficult to manage. Along came a new breed of sales people and Solutions Specialists who were expected to work this miracle. But as we are a products company and box selling is what we do best and we have a leadership team with an outstanding track record of box pushing... the miracle workers struggled to deliver on the expectations. Most Solutions Specialists and the newer crop of account managers hired from IBM/SAP/ORACLE & the SI companies were lost in this system. The problem really got out of hand when new people could no longer fall back on the senior colleagues as there was no knowhow or precendence of playing this game in MS India.

No one realized that to deliver on the promise of solutions we need more partners first and not more of AM/ATS/SS/PTS in front of the customers. As a result partner ecosystem has been struggling to deliver on half the solutions our sales people promise to the customer and the onus comes back to MS... Guess who is left holding the baby in the end...MCS, which itself is in a royal mess with its slow bureaucratic system, shortsighted planning and shoddy execution.

Now there are slackers in every system, but when there are more slackers than good folks you see the kind of mess and churn we have here in MS India (SMSG). What's worse is that, some of the mediocre ICs who would not have lasted long in the organization otherwise, got promoted to managers and monkeys who should have never been hired in the first place got hired sometimes into managerial positions. Cronyism/nepotism or fall outs of a high growth market.... we have what we have now... a mess.

These shortsighted managers are divorced from the realities of market and believe in running sales by Excel sheets (as against meeting customers & partners). The same lot has ridiculous expectations like closing large solution deals in a jiffy. Up selling standard editions to enterprise or increasing the product attach by the wave of a magic wand or a 15-days engagement by the technical team (MCS, DPE or TSP take your pick). This attitude gets further amplified by the relative lack of vision in the senior leadership... only the chairman seems to show some vision (the lesser said about its execution the better)

Ok nice story/nice analysis... (I hear you mutter) So how do we fix this? Personal thoughts... I am no body to actually try this out or guarantee success... but for what its worth...
1. For starters CONSOLIDATE... take a break from the mad numbers rush and look at consolidating the company's market position. Target growth in step with the market for a year or so and regroup the ranks for the next assault.

2. Leadership team should speak to the ranks and not talk down to or badger them. The morale among the best of the best is at an all time low and things may explode if more pressure is put upon them.

3. Build a reliable support system around the products especially enterprise or aspiring enterprise products like Windows Svr, SQL, MOSS, PPS & BizTalk. Or our enterprise story goes belly up soon.

4. DPE should be tasked with working closely with the Partner teams to strengthen the ISV and SI ecosystem. The current mess in partnerships is partially a result of the siloed partner engagement that goes on between DPE, EPG and SMSP. Why do we need two separate partnership teams in SMSP & EPG in India? that question defeats me time and again.

5. Reassign or fire the slackers and managers who lack leadership traits. We don't want buffoons at the helm or nincompoops as the face of Microsoft in India... much less the face of India to Microsoft worldwide.

6. Last and not the least have faith in the products... Learn about them as well as you know about the customers. Know that the competition is not open source or even IBM/ORACLE, its our own selves our own inability to think big have faith and work relentlessly towards the goal.

Guess I am beginning to sound like a pontiff... but think about the stuff I wrote... Face the facts … “Good Old Microsoft India” is history... it`s not coming back. The new Microsoft (good or bad) is ours to make.

Anonymous said...

I have worked in Redmond for last 6+ years and in past I have worked in other indian companies. Situation in Redmond is much better than how things are in India mainly because a lot of people in India are incompetent idiots. And before anyone calls me racist, I am Indian too but I have not shame in accepting truth.

Indians have mastered the art of Chanakya. They just want to play politics to get ahead in their career. There is zero accountability. When was the last time someone got fired for writing bad code in India?

That said, Microsoft's culture in Redmond is changing. There was a time in Microsoft (I heard) when people took pride in their engineering skills. Programmers (not program managers) ruled the land. It doesn't seem to be the case anymore except few places like kernel. People don't have true passion for programming, they don't take pride in coding and technology.

I think part of the reason is that the greedy mentaility of Ballmer et al has trickled down across the whole company.

We need a leader with a vision for technology not with a vision to be the next big money lord.

But in Redmond there is hope, things change fast, people get kicked out fast. Probably something similar needs to be done in India. Kick all the sycophant (which you can find tons and tons of in India) and incompetent idiots out. Raise your hiring standards. Treat good engineers as your precious diamonds and pay them good money. Because they are the only one who can save this titanic.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the people that get hired in India are incompetent idiots. And before you say I am racist, Main bhi Hindustani hoon yaar. I have looked at the code they write and man I feel like kicking the hell out of those dumbass programmers. Not to say that there are no such people in Redmond but they are found and fired fast. In India they are given promotion and made manager.

Someone hit the nail on the head in this thread when he said that the quality of work in India is so bad that many components need to be rewritten. Also many people go to India to get few promotions and come back to US as an architect or Prinicipal level where as it would have taken them 10-15 years to reach the same level here in Redmond.

So unless hiring, firing and promotion practices are changed, i don't think you can expect much change at the engineering level. Instead of building an army of bozos, the focus should be to hire the best of the talent with a passion for technology and programming and pay them even more to retain them.

Anonymous said...

>BTW, he has no formal technology background - he was a restaurant manager in India before being hired by Aditi.

Check out the test managers and PMs at Microsoft. Many are good speakers but have no background in computers.

Anonymous said...

Neelam is the best thing to have happened in SMSG. She is a woman leader who inspires.

Anonymous said...

>No one cared about the project it was just about making yoru self look good.

Sounds like search, live and adcenter groups.

Anonymous said...

I worked with a gal stateside who was Indian. She was not only one of the stupidest employees I've run into, but her doltish nature bled into job incompetence. That's just an intro. She called herself a "director" and paraded that title around like it meant something (yeah, they're a dime a dozen at Microsoft). Then, to make matters worse, we were in Services. And she kept sending work over to MGSI in Hyderabad. And when she would engage them, it wasn't a few weeks in and she'd be cursing them, their work product, sluggish nature, handholding, etc. And inevitably that would lead to her having to travel over there to push things along. Finally the project would end and she'd have nothing but negative things to say about them. But, stupid as she was, when the next project would come along, she'd be throwing money right back over there and starting anew. Not sure if this was just her, a cultural thing, some sort of payola...or what...but that and other experiences convinced me that MS India was not a strategic part of the business.

Anonymous said...

>> Are you good enough, are you interested?
>> If you are shoot me an email at ilatons
>> over at gmail.

"Apparently you have issues with reading comprehension. Otherwise you would have read your Microsoft employment contract and seen that this is the kind of thing it expressly prohibits you from doing for no less than a year after jumping the ship."

Yep, you are correct, poor form on my part...do excuse, an ignore.

Anonymous said...

>>>Currently he is having a dalliance with one of his peers in the India leadership team. I leave it to the reader to guess who.

Here is one more hint -

Tarun is Headed towards PR in One India

Now just focus on the bold words and you have the answer. Do I need to say more?

Anonymous said...

>>As an example a L66 PUM decided to leave MS to be closer to family in Bangalore. The IDC management is so hell bent on retaining this person that they create a position for him to manage hardware orders from Bangalore. Do you need a L66 person for managing hardware orders?

At least, this L66 person is an IC.
Let me give you an example of this from my own team. The director for DPE academia operates from a sleepy town located down south called Pondicherry. She has 5 direct reports and everyone knows that it is quite nonproductive and inefficient way of working. But still she continued to work from her cozy, beach side house. To extract these inhuman and unbelievable benefits, all you got to do is to spend few years in Redmond and come back to India as an expat in a director level. That's it! You can pretty much get a paid holiday for your tenure at MS India.

I wish I work from Maldives or Lakshadweep without ever visiting the mad city called Bangalore!

Anonymous said...

Did I hear someone say Neelam inspires?? I have seen Neelam perspire, but never inspire. I have seen grown men weep when she makes a presentation. I have seen customers cringe when she meets them. I have seen employees flee when she enters the room. So, the words I would associate with Neelam are weep, cringe, flee, perspire. But never inspire.

Anonymous said...

To really see where the passion of the IDC teams are, you should subscribe to their local chat alias. You start to wonder if this is what the engineers are paid for! They resort to nonsensical and total time wasting arguments. I subscribed to it and just couldn't stand the voluminous spam that these guys generate in a matter of hours. I got out of it in no time. Guess the Hyderabad teams are more passionate about responding to a query on a massage center than writing tight code or fixing important bugs.

Anonymous said...

To the DPE team in India...

I have been following various comments on DPE for last few weeks on this blog.I am a senior member from the corp DPE team. We have high regards for you guys based on your track record. I am really keen on knowing what went wrong with you in the recent past. Can you share some details? Trust me! I will try to find a way to open up a dialog between the corp team and your team. If required, I will personally escalate this issue further. My request is to avoid personal attacks and present the exact picture. Let's keep this discussion productive in the genuine interest of our team and this company.

Anonymous said...

I don't work for SMSG but I am a part of One India. Why did we loose the vote on OOXML? I am inquisitive to know about this. Can some share the inside stories?

Anonymous said...

A lot of the people that get hired in India are incompetent idiots. And before you say I am racist, Main bhi Hindustani hoon yaar. I have looked at the code they write and man I feel like kicking the hell out of those dumbass programmers. Not to say that there are no such people in Redmond but they are found and fired fast. In India they are given promotion and made manager.

Dude, you are DEAD WRONG about Redmond. Nobody is found and fired fast around here. Microsoft is an elephant graveyard where people who suck can stick around until they die.

Take everything you're saying about India and apply it to Redmond -- in case you haven't experienced it first-hand, we have a shit-ton of dead weight and rot up here that's been stacking up over the last decade, and that's a big part of Microsoft's problem.

It might well be much worse in India, but you don't ship the oceans of crap we produce without a whole lot of bad people all the way up and down the chain.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you have issues with reading comprehension. Otherwise you would have read your Microsoft employment contract and seen that this is the kind of thing it expressly prohibits you from doing for no less than a year after jumping the ship.

So?

Anonymous said...

You know what, taking the stock of Microsoft Redmond doesnt look pretty. We need BRIC to fund the suckers, ever increasing number of VPs and partners in US.

The browser market share has fallen from 90%+ to 60%. Along with this, there are a lot of non performers in US sales/marketing. Let us not even mention the new investments which suck money.

Anonymous said...

>Did I hear someone say Neelam inspires??

She is a great communicator and a tough woman. There are lots of sexists in Asian male dominated society. These people are jealous.
She shows vision and generates profits for Microsoft.

Anonymous said...

>> Nobody is found and fired fast around here.

I don't know about "fired" (although I've seen it happen, no one is fired "fast" unless they something truly boneheaded, HR violation), they just make your life very very hard if they don't want you. Some people just have a lot of tolerance for pain, though - being given crappy areas for years, no raises or promotions. Those tend to stick around, but then again, would you rather write that installer yourself? And if you truly are incompetent, you won't get promoted in Redmond, at least if you're a developer or tester. Incompetent PMs get promoted just fine, though.

Anonymous said...

>Along with this, there are a lot of non performers in US sales/marketing

Amen, the misbehavior in US sales group is well hidden. The amount of money spent on alcohol and women is never accounted.

Anonymous said...


Here is one more hint -

Tarun is Headed towards PR in One India

Now just focus on the bold words and you have the answer. Do I need to say more?


Sheesh man... This one on Tarun and the other personal attack on DPE academic director indicates the evil and rotten mindset of a section of SMS&G India employees. This is wild speculation and character assasination at best. I understand if the stories are based on facts and proofs, but these are at best speculation. Hey Mini - why are you allowing wild speculations with out proof? Don't you understand that this is pure-play character assasination and anyone can say anything about anybody here? To start with, SMSG India has 500+ employees, i am going to screw each one of you in subsequent blogs. How about that?

For the moron who commented on DPE Acad director - you simply don't know why DPE Acad Director was working from Pondicherry. Just shut up, if you don't understand the constraints.

Anonymous said...

And if you truly are incompetent, you won't get promoted in Redmond

=
You need to be a buddy of your manager to get promoted. Competence is secondary.

Anonymous said...

TO: “To the DPE team in India... I have been following various comments on DPE for last few weeks on this blog.I am a senior member from the corp DPE team”

Thanks for offering the Help.

I am part of DPE India and trust there are no issues with our Team (and I am not Tarun). DPE India is one of the best DPE team WW. We are a bunch of passionate Microsofties who are focused on their mission.

Guys who are commenting and talking bullshit are not part of the DPE India and they don’t even understand what is the mission of DPE. So Pls ignore them.

Frankly speaking it doesn’t matter who is leading DPE India, 2nd layer leadership is very strong and focused.

Regarding Tarun, it’s not good to comment on his character and post all such things. He takes care of his team very well and we all from DPE wish him the very best. We will see BMO team dancing this year during company meeting 

TO MS India:

Guys by posting this you are not helping Microsoft India but creating problems. 50% of the comments on this post are personal and serve no meaning to the organization.

TO: “I worked with a gal stateside who was Indian. She was not only one of the stupidest employees I've run into,…….”

You are trying to judge Indian culture, Indian People and investments in India based on your single experience. If we start doing this then trust me we all know where your country will stand. So pls stop doing this and focus on your work and do something good for our company and yourself. God bless you !

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see someone from Redmond who is taking the DPE issue seriously. Now, will someone do the same for the issues in EPG (Rajiv Srivastava, Sanjeev Wad, Rajnish Gupta, every HP hire), HR (Joji Gill if she really exists), OEM (why is Finance getting away unscathed)? Ravi Venkatesan does not care. Does anyone in Redmond?

Kevin Turner and every other CVP that visits India. Please provide feedback to Liza Brummel.

Abhishek Kant said...

I am the MVP Lead in India. I’d like to provide some additional data to the MVP program and communities.

We realize the importance of MVPs/RDs and are completely focused on them. We have always encouraged open conversations and to elaborate on that, we have a monthly hour where we meet virtually to have a discussion with the MVPs, an active unmoderated discussion alas (that gets super critical), numerous product team webcasts and occasional face-to-face Open Days. In the past year, we have organized webcasts and webchats for Windows and Office MVPs. The Developer & IT Pro MVPs have been busy doing the 2008 product launch. Support has been available in each of these instances.
It is not to say that we can’t improve but to say that we are open to conversations and suggestions. As of right now, we are collecting the feedback (via THE BOX – see your MVP mails) to help us plan for the next year bsed on what the MVPs want. I hope these suggestions are captured there as well so that we can act on them.
I invite anyone from the community to share their feedback with me directly or under anonymity if they feel they would like to suggest an improvement.
Personally I am disturbed with the sentiment and consider it a BIG failure if even a single MVP / RD feels the same way that the post seemed to echo.

Anonymous said...

And if you truly are incompetent, you won't get promoted in Redmond, at least if you're a developer or tester. Incompetent PMs get promoted just fine, though.

LOL -- like I've never seen any asshat incompetent Devs and Testers running around our halls.

PM certainly doesn't have a lock on incompetence at Microsoft. Let's talk about TMs who preach automation, automation, automation just to make their bosses smile even when it's a stupid decision, and Dev Managers who pretend to be Architects and bloat the hell out of their code and screw extensibility, yet talk a good talk and end-up PUMs... leaving future teams to suffer over their shitty code bases (hello Messenger and Passport, just for example).

Yeah. Plenty of Dev and Test blame to go around here, Skip.

Anonymous said...

I am a senior IDC manager and it really pisses me off to note that the “business conduct” of a very small set of GMs is tarnishing the name of all the senior managers and GMs at IDC. From the postings it is evident that employees have noticed the offensive behavior of these GMs and in fact the multiple examples in the postings apply to one and the same repeat offenders.

Unfortunately instead of restricting the comments to the specific GMs the postings are being generalized to apply to all the GMs at IDC which is highly unfair. A number of us here at IDC pride ourselves on our integrity, honesty and work very hard to set the right example for the team. Please do not tarnish the name of all the GMs at IDC via this forum. If you have an issue about the business practices of a particular GM please inform their respective SVP in Redmond. I would also encourage Redmond management to look into these allegations and take appropriate actions to root out unethical business conduct wherever it exists.

Anonymous said...

What employment contract at Microsoft stops you from recruiting from Microsoft? Look at Sanjay Negi and Punit Vanvaria. They run search firms and openly place at Microsoft and hire from Microsoft. I hope one of them is helping Neelam and Ravi to find a job. I also hope that the companys that Neelam and Ravi are interviewing at would want to read this blog.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see bunch of whining obtuse incompetent idiots blabbering over here about the status of SMSG India.

Folks, if the situation is so intolerable and grave from your perspective - better leave as opposed to asking for others to leave. Find a job where you can be happy.



I could not agree more. I have been a part of SMSG India for more than 5 years and i agree that right now we are facing a leadership, people and quality hire challenge. But you know what, there are enough posts here that have made that point. But whats happening here on this blog is different...

Someone in my family taught me one thing "dont wash your dirty linen in public ever!" and i am sorry to say that most comments here are amounting to that. Wake up Folks, the real competition is outside MS. Do you guys realize that these people are following this blog and what all they can do with this?

Instead of whining to StevB, Kevin or JPC here, here is a suggestion:

Get a fake GMAIL/YHOO id and send them an email and pour your heart out and BCC Ms India. That is likely to get more attention than just writing immature comments here about people having their pants down, their drinking habits, etc etc

If you love the company, then dont rape it in public. There are enough ways ("anonymous") to make your point known and force the management

Kumar Sachi said...

I have been following minimsft for a long time and continue to follow it even after leaving MSFT. I never posted anything and today after seeing this blog entry and its comments, couldn’t resist posting this response... This will be my ONLY entry and my identity is at the end.

Just blaming squarely the senior folks, commenting very badly, asking them to leave is not going to have any effect that one wants to see... What would happen if that rule is applied on a broad basis across the company at individual level?

One thing I noticed and blame here is Microsoft itself. MS has a culture to make people so comfortable in their lives that they cannot survive outside of MSFT!!!

MS also has a culture of setting targets and commitments at IC never making people to work as groups. How many of you have single commitment to work at team / group level. So when something goes wrong people start pointing fingers... And that’s what is happening here...

If something not working...It’s all an individual’s failure... NOT mine attitude...

Leaders, like all of us, are also humans and they have inherent strengths and weakness. It’s their specific strengths that brought them to where they are. They are responsible and answerable at much higher levels and their activities & intensions have far reaching time horizon. I like Ravi’s bold attempt to “1 Billon” vision, I like Neelam’s down to earth attitude, I like things Tarun implemented @ DPE which were never done before he came to India.

So, where is the problem? An organization like MSFT is a collection of passionate individuals, and if one truly believes in the company they work for, if one wants to be a leader and demonstrate true MS Values, then they have to at least be “open and honest”

What’s bothering here? Is it the market condition, or targets, or work life balance, or travel, or immediate manager’s attitude?

Do a little bit of blue-skying “Wouldn’t it be great if...” or provide leaders with insights on what you see /hear at the fringes?

Why don’t you discuss your issues upfront, what stops you sending a direct mail confidentially or even talk to your leaders?

Why don’t you go to the root of the issue and suggest what could be done? What the leaders could do? What attributes they need to change? Rather than blaming without any details...

Do you have courage to face and have an open conversation with your leaders directly rather than whining here?

Folks, Be the change what you want to be...

If you are so upset about things going beyond your control, if you are so capable, if you want to change the world, why don’t u go out and try?...

There are plenty of opportunities out there for deserving and capable individuals....

Kumar S
Ex-MSFT India.

eagle said...

Did any of you know Sanjay Parthasarathy? I just blogged about my experences with him;
http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/paul/archive/2008/06/01/472733.aspx

Anonymous said...

I was with MS India and quit few months back. I don't have any personal grudge against anyone. I have never worked with DPE or Tarun directly.

But I will share one of my observations from reading the comments here and the context I had in the past.

There are many groups at MS India(EPG, SMS&P, DPE, MCS, OEM to name a few). If there is a consistent mention of a person and a group, there must be an issue with that. Why is that no one comment about any other group? Even for an outsider like me, it is obvious that there are problems with specific groups and leaders of those groups. EPG & DPE seem to be the most hurt.

Anonymous said...

I don't work in India, but I've been in leadership positions at other firms and this sort of response really bothers me:

A number of us here at IDC pride ourselves on our integrity, honesty and work very hard to set the right example for the team.

If you pride yourself on integrity so much, then you owe it to yourself, if not the company, to keep your ranks clean and drum out those who are making the honest ones look bad. Shooting the messenger who really had no responsibility for the behavior of upper management, let alone trying to correct it speaks counter to your claims of integrity.

Please do not tarnish the name of all the GMs at IDC via this forum.

The people tarnishing "your good name" aren't the people complaining, but your fellow GMs who are behaving poorly.

Let's keep things in perspective.

Anonymous said...

Mini;

I am not a Microsoft employee, I live in the US and I am not Indian, so my comments below have no axe to grind either way on the subject of What's up with Microsoft India. And I do not know anyone who works at Microsoft or Microsoft India or any of its consultants or suppliers etc.

From an offhand outside perspective, I find the whole post nauseating. I can't believe you would be so vacant as to allow this tribal war to infect your blog. For you to allow unsubstantiated personal name vendetta venting against individuals who cannot defend themselves or prove one way or the other what is said is true reminds me of some basic treatises that should be readily incorporated in any life interaction: such as thou shalt not bear false witness, which of course is ignored here.

What you have done is give fodder to a group of people dissatisfied with their lot in life (welcome to the suffering world that all of us will endure eventually) who clearly have an agenda. The basic rule of ANY employee of any company is that criticism must always be constructive and must never be of a personal nature--and even I have failed this rule a few times here, but I think you have been duped by an organized hit squad from a place where there seems to be a power struggle occurring.

Quite honestly you need to inform your Indian bloggers of a level of decency required in their employment agreement before they consider posting on your blog. I am sure that Microsoft like most companies have such agreements that require a level of civility and an attitude of positive support of their fellow workers. Somehow those rules need to be applied here.

The same discussion could be occurring but without the darkness that seems to be pervading that is so full of hate.

As an executive, were I to be confronted with what I am reading here, I would genuinely consider shutting down the whole Indian operation, writing off the loss and transfer the technology elsewhere, unless I started seeing love, peace and harmony coupled with winning profitable results. I would give them 30 days to turn the mess around.

Anonymous said...

>> To really see where the passion of the IDC teams are, you should subscribe to their local chat alias. You start to wonder if this is what the engineers are paid for! They resort to nonsensical and total time wasting arguments. I subscribed to it ...

The irony boggles my mind...

Anonymous said...

I am part of DPE India and trust there are no issues with our Team (and I am not Tarun). DPE India is one of the best DPE team WW. We are a bunch of passionate Microsofties who are focused on their mission.

Guys who are commenting and talking bullshit are not part of the DPE India and they don’t even understand what is the mission of DPE. So Pls ignore them.

Frankly speaking it doesn’t matter who is leading DPE India, 2nd layer leadership is very strong and focused.

Regarding Tarun, it’s not good to comment on his character and post all such things. He takes care of his team very well and we all from DPE wish him the very best. We will see BMO team dancing this year during company meeting


You sure sound like Tarun. Dude, I can understand the anon folks posting provocative comments. If you feel so strongly that things are well (and I am in DPE India and I disagree with you), then say it openly. Yes, I want the job so I will post anon.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh man... This one on Tarun and the other personal attack on DPE academic director indicates the evil and rotten mindset of a section of SMS&G India employees. This is wild speculation and character assasination at best. I understand if the stories are based on facts and proofs, but these are at best speculation. Hey Mini - why are you allowing wild speculations with out proof? Don't you understand that this is pure-play character assasination and anyone can say anything about anybody here? To start with, SMSG India has 500+ employees, i am going to screw each one of you in subsequent blogs. How about that?

Go for it. This just proves how much time you must have to waste. How about you doing some real work for a change? I'm guessing you work in One India?

Also, you don't know Tarun at all. The man has a serious track record in the harassment department - he has a modus operandi that he developed after getting shit canned from Aditi due to a harassment lawsuit. He is careful about who he picks. He is a smart guy in these matters.

Whether he is good or bad, I don't know - that's between Microsoft, his management and him. Seems to me he must be good as despite all this personal BS, the guy has managed to climb up well.

Anonymous said...

Why is the bar for the recent hires set so low?

Comments around hiring are a continual theme in Mini posts.

Are you sure the bar is lower now than when you hired in? Can you not find or see value in your peers?

Do you look for the strengths a peer has? Do you encourage your peer to build on those strengths and invest in coaching you peers in strengths you have and help build up your peer?

As a company we are competitive, we are also a team.

Tearing peers down verbally or with an "I am superior" attitude is not making us a stronger company.

Manish Sharma said...

If it was democracy - Neelam, Ravi, Tarun G, Joji would have lost the right to be execs by popular employee vote. Even if whatever people say here is incorrect or defamatory its an indicator that the management has lost the right to manage. Be kind and step aside.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mini - had been following your blog for some time cause it seemed productive - but lately it seems that it's been hijacked by some unproductive dialog. Time to bring it back on track buddy.

Anonymous said...

>>>I am part of DPE India and trust there are no issues with our Team (and I am not Tarun). DPE India is one of the best DPE team WW. We are a bunch of passionate Microsofties who are focused on their mission.

I am also from DPE India and I totally disagree with you. There are a lot of issues within the team and most of them are created by Tarun.I am sick of the 'we are the best darn DPE team.....' bullshit. We were best sometime back. Now it is all about packaging and presenting it the way the world wants us to see. Get an interview done for each and every person in the team by an external DPE team. 90% of them won't even qualify to be in the team.


>>>Guys who are commenting and talking bullshit are not part of the DPE India and they don’t even understand what is the mission of DPE. So Pls ignore them.

Why should they be ignored? Leaving the personal attacks aside, there is a lot of truth in whatever has been said about DPE and it's leadership. I am from DPE too and I am equally passionate. But I know that the things are not as rosy as you paint.

>>>Frankly speaking it doesn’t matter who is leading DPE India, 2nd layer leadership is very strong and focused.

The 2nd layer leadership is strong? This shows that you are one among those "strong" leaders. The second layer has done everything possible to get a level hike during Tarun's tenure. This layer consists of folks who are the most self serving guys I have seen. I will be posting more details soon.

>>>Regarding Tarun, it’s not good to comment on his character and post all such things. He takes care of his team very well and we all from DPE wish him the very best. We will see BMO team dancing this year during company meeting

He takes care of the team very well!!! I am surprised at this statement. He only takes care of people who will talk good about him. He won't think twice before killing anyone who doesn't play into his whims. He is the most immature leader I have ever seen at Microsoft. His has supreme ego and you have to keep massaging it to get anything from him.

Finally, I guess you are one of those blue eyed boys of Tarun whose association has helped you immensely. Stop defending the corrupt second layer. I am eagerly waiting for the MS Poll and you would see the results for yourself.

My request to the fellow DPE colleagues - Guys! Please open up and do share your views. This is an opportunity to get things sorted out before the new leader steps in.

Anonymous said...

This comment is becoming personal, slanderous and unproductive.

Let us focus on the real issues in MS India instead of stooping to making personal attacks on people in a forum where they may not always be able to defend themselves.

The problems in MS India are true and are damaging a lot of good people. It is time to focus back on the issues on hand - how does Management plan to reboot the culture of MS India?

Some response from the senior management reading this blog will be useful.

Anonymous said...

Anybody cares about MGSI? The entire leadership team of MGSI is made up of non-ms new hires(less then a year). It does not feel like MS at all.

It is becoming another exercise in empire building. Grow the number is the mantra. Cut cost everywhere, hire low quality at cheaper rates and grow big fast.

HR is non-existent. This is one thing I have seen only in MS that HR is totally useless.

MGSI is going to be certified CMMi level 3 soon. The idea is to do end to end delivery and compete with our(Read MS) Indian parteners like Infosys and TCS. I thought the entire idea behind MGSI was to do showcase projects for key companies. We are supposed to be product specialist. How is CMMI going to help us. This is like diluting the MS brand name. Not to mention piss off the partners.

Last year MGSI had the worst MS Pulse ratings and to boost our morale we were given an XBox each. And this time it's up because people were 'educated' about how to fill MS Pulse/Poll.

The numbers don't look the same each time a business report is published.

Interview process is non-existent now. Most of the times your "no-hire" is hired. There was some sanity a year back but with most of the guys who started MGSI quitting, the entire process has gone to the dogs.

The list is endless.

Yeah we even have a team working for the product team. Talk about structure in MS. You have a product team in MGSI.

Anonymous said...

"As a company we are competitive, we are also a team.

Tearing peers down verbally or with an "I am superior" attitude is not making us a stronger company."


Neither does hiring people who suck, which we ABSOLUTELY do more today than we did 15 years ago.

We started hiring the B-team during the bubble -- we'd throw any reasonably good person -- and sometimes people who were a bit less than reasonably good but who had a specific skill we needed -- in a seat because if you don't hire, the headcount goes away.

The whole "we're a team" thing is great until your product failed to be what it should have been because there just aren't enough great people working on it. In such situations you don't stick around to help the B-team do their best, you leave for a team populated with better people.

Anonymous said...

From the dodged-a-bullet-and-we-didn't-even-know-it deptartment:

Yahoo: Judge Unseals Complaint In Shareholder Suit; Microsoft Offered $40/Shr In January 2007 (Updated)

Source: Barron's

Anonymous said...

Here comes the mega post on DPE India. Sit back and read this to get the complete picture. I am going by each team and tell you how screwed up the DPE mission in India is:

Enterprise – This team has the least technical skill set. The PSAs have neither domain expertise nor technical expertise. They keep misleading the customers most of the time. The guy who works with the public sector in this team is hated by his counter parts in the PS team. He is known for grabbing the credit for the work others do in the accounts. He is also responsible for screwing up opportunities at some of the biggest accounts. The manufacturing PSA hasn’t been able to get a single win from his domain. The only saving grace in this team is the newly migrated IT pros from the BCC team. Now, you would never see IT pros working for the enterprise team anywhere in the world. It happens only in India! Why? Because the lead for Enterprise was lacking the required headcounts to become a director! Tarun very conveniently moved the IT Pros to bloat the team size and bump up the level of Sanjay to the director. Who has lost in this game? The IT Pro evangelists. Because their career is in jeopardy as they are supposed to be working with the breadth community where as they are currently used as wild cards for the enterprise pre sales. The BFSI PSA is quite honest but needs a crash course on basic MS terminologies and technologies otherwise we have a risk of him recommending competitive technologies to his customers. The lead has benefited from Tarun’s presence but the team is screwed badly!

Partner – Oh boy! This team is another victim of Tarun’s random decisions. The lead would be definitely benefitted because he has directors reporting to him which means he should become a GM or a Group Director soon! Why combine SI and ISV? Yeah! You can mention thousand reasons but the reality is that the ISV lead has decided to move on and the team was orphaned overnight. So, drag and drop them into the SI team and call it Partner team. The director of this team never forgets his old organization and tries to run his team like his old consulting team. To succeed in this team, you should let him write all the nice mails allowing him take the credit otherwise he will be really upset. Moreover, never mark anyone in the mails that you send to him. He doesn’t like it too! Give direct feedback to him and you lost your review for the year. The so called Architect Advisors in this team lack the required technical depth to talk anything related to architecture. Their programs like ASAP and Architecture days or a big farce. It is sad to see the current set of people in this team calling themselves as Advisors. They seriously lack technology depth. The lead of this team has zero to little focus on ISV, OPD and doesn’t even get what it is all about. The ISV evangelists are on their own trip.

Academia - As someone pointed it out, you know the health of a team whose director is chilling out at a remote town and hardly makes a visit to meet the team. I wonder if she even has access to the mails from her location. I know the constraints she has but why compromise on productivity and efficiency when we can get a replacement for her? This team has been reduced to a pre sales team for public sector. They have completely forgotten the mission of academic evangelism and the core objective of academic evangelism has gone to dogs. Why sign umpteen no. of MoUs? Its looks great in mails and review forms but doesn’t add any value to Microsoft and the academia. They are wasting some of the senior resources in the team. The youngsters in this team are wasting their time. They are neither technical nor marketing resources. This team needs a shot in the arm! They have completely gone haywire in the execution.

BCC – With the IT Pros lost to the Enterprise, BCC is reduced to a quarter. This team has been raped countless times by Tarun. All the great things that Tarun boasts off are squeezed from this team. Their existence is defined by a couple of events like IndiMix and TechEd. They very conveniently bloat the number of attendees by giving illogical justification like TV broadcast and streaming on mobile phones. The subset of this team, the web team is a mystery. No one knows what they do with the web and no one even knows why they are a part of BCC. The past BCC lead was a puppet in Tarun’s hands and used to put up an event every time Tarun wanted it. The current lead is relaxing in this team still trying to figure out what to do. This team is supposed to be running the community initiative. I don’t think they even remember anything called Community. As someone posted earlier, they lost the community battle and there is very little respect for Microsoft and its evangelists out there. This team is solely responsible for the drop in NSAT for H1. No one has a clue about the Enthusiast Evangelism and Embedded Evangelism that this team currently owns. Unfortunately, the technical talent in this team is misused as they are not leveraged to their best potential.

Tools Sales– The previous lead has completely squeezed every bit from this team leaving them high and dry! The current lead has no clue of tools marketing but heavily relies on the folks who executed in the past. No one understands why Tarun had to forcefully fit her into this role when she was not ready for it. There is a major churn in this team as most of them left or in the process of leaving. This team has been successful only because they rode the wave in the past. There are tough times ahead as there is no solid plan or funnel that exists.

MTC – Honestly, this is the only team that deserves some respect within DPE India. The MTC director has been very successful in insulating his team from all the external bullshit. They do some good work and are appreciated by EPG and other teams. I have a lot of respect for their real technical skills. BTW, I don’t work for this group.

Marketing is newly formed and again the concept of cross audience marketing is really scary! It is another gamble by Tarun.

S+S! What a big joke! Let us first define it at the corp level before we do anything locally. Ray Ozzie himself is struggling to define a company-wide strategy for S+S and here we already claim wins?

Finally, why do we need a director for innovation coming all the way from UK? Don’t we have anyone in India to run this? He is one confused chap and doesn’t know what to do with the LSE! We need someone from the local ecosystem who is passionate about making a difference to the startups formed in India.

Summary – As you see, the second layer in DPE has been benefited by Tarun. But everyone below that is hurt. We may not realize it right now. It’s going to kill us in the longterm.

Now, you tell me whether DPE India has issues or not? It does and they have to be fixed.

Anonymous said...

>>Tools Sales– The previous lead has completely squeezed every bit from this team leaving them high and dry! The current lead has no clue of tools marketing but heavily relies on the folks who executed in the past. No one understands why Tarun had to forcefully fit her into this role when she was not ready for it. There is a major churn in this team as most of them left or in the process of leaving. This team has been successful only because they rode the wave in the past. There are tough times ahead as there is no solid plan or funnel that exists.

I totally agree with you on this. This lady is a misfit to be in the DPE Tools team. May be her Aditi/Talisma connection got her into this job.

Anonymous said...

>>MGSI is going to be certified CMMi level 3 soon. The idea is to do end to end delivery and compete with our(Read MS) Indian parteners like Infosys and TCS. I thought the entire idea behind MGSI was to do showcase projects for key companies. We are supposed to be product specialist. How is CMMI going to help us. This is like diluting the MS brand name. Not to mention piss off the partners.

I am not surprised a bit! This has always been an issue with MCS. They are confused about competing or collaborating with partners. MGSI is not an exception.

Anonymous said...

The mega post on DPE might help the new DPE lead. I have a strange feeling that someone from the 2nd layer has posted this.

Anonymous said...

"An example of some of the unethical practices.... There may be many more instances but let me highlight two cases to drive home the point. When MS-INDIA organized an event to launch VISTA and Office, certain invites were given to IDC as well. The GM at IDC who was running the office side of things, used those invites and took his family (wife and children) in an all expenses paid trip to Mumbai to attend that. Completely ignoring the basic ethics that those are meant for employees who worked on those damn products !!

Second is the instance of a GM who runs the present windows group at IDC, during each summer his family goes on vacation to US and stays in an apartment paid out by Microsoft, on which the GM happens to reserve for his official stint to Redmond which coincidentally happens at that time as well....

I sometimes wonder whether these morons have someone else sign-off on the Standards of business conduct training, on their behalf !!
"

I got the identities of both these GMs.

I sent a mail describing the above scenarios to the Business Conduct and Compliance alias. I already got a response saying that the investigation is on!

All the best IDC GMs!

Anonymous said...

>>>We will see BMO team dancing this year during company meeting 


That's all the BMO team will be doing in the future. I have no doubts about their ability.

Anonymous said...

Why is cronyism considred a uniquely Indian or IDC problem? Isn't this normal of what happens at MSFT (USA), a new group opens, vultures jump in with their flock and prematurely kill the product that was bought with a big bag of cash? but what the heck they already got their promotions and moved on for a better kill.

Anonymous said...

I got the identities of both these GMs.

I sent a mail describing the above scenarios to the Business Conduct and Compliance alias. I already got a response saying that the investigation is on!

If you did not send such mail in an anonymous form your days are numbered at the company. SO ou better start looking for a job outside or you will be "let go" soon. "Heroes" are not well seen at any corporation.

Anonymous said...

The problem with IDC is that they are located in India. Working in a posh office bldg, but living in a developing world where most people don't use computers- is not the environment for you to understand the 'software consumer/market'. You can teach an American cook to make a good curry- but it would be far-fetched to expect that cook to suddenly become an innovative chef that can come up with new curry ideas for the India market.

My suggestion to the IDC would be to not shy away from being the 'delivery center' for Redmond. ('do your dharma' ) given the customer today is essentially the western customer that is better understood by a group that is located here. If India does become the next big software market- or if IDC reaches a maturation stage where its got all these expert market researchers/marketers/technical gurus- sure you can start owning the entire piece- till then don't try to do soemthing you are not currently able to. As for innovation - it happens. I cant imagine innovation ever comes out of a project plan/endeavor to be innovative- don't make it your main goal.

From what I've seen between India and China- IDC does have better product delivery capability than ATC. I think MS China is lot more hype than delivery capability and uses a lot of the rub-off effect of MSR China.

Anonymous said...

News of Neelam's departure will be out in the next few days.

Please be productive on this blog. We all know there are problems in all groups and there is now an external agency hired to try and fix the problems in EPG. That is a good first step. But with rotten leadership, the change must start at the top.

Have town hall meetings, talk to employees with respect, provide opportunities for growth, be transparent in how you deal with people, and make people believe it is not all about YOU! Give people a chance to speak their mind without fear of being targetted. Hire using the defined hiring process. When hiring a replacement GM, involve the GM Directs. Finally, don't hire somebody who is so weak they are a puppet of the Chairman. If you do all this we would be sucessful.

Chairman, please explain to BMO why Tarun is the right hire to lead BMO. Explain to DPE why Moorthy is the right leader. Explain to EPG why Rajiv is the right person to lead the group. More importantly, convince yourself that they are the right people.

And stop forwarding inspiring speeches other people have made. Try doing something inspirational yourself and lead by example.

Anonymous said...

It's been more than 4 years for me working with MS India, and I must say, the beatiful
culture of MS India was ruined completely in last 3 years. Every part of MS India (Including
MS IT, MGSI, SMSG what else...) is now in the rotten state. As many comments have been made on IDC and

SMSG, I would like to put my comments on the remaining garbage.

As many of the comments echo, DPE is one of the best rotten carrot that can be thrown out immediately for

all good reasons.DPE has spoiled the image of Microsoft's Developerish pride in India completely. It used

to have superb evangelists and excellent relations with community leads (MVPs, RDs) and user groups in

India. In just 2 years it's all vanished quickly. The reason..? Every TechEd show in India now resembles

like a partner carnival where you get some goodie and shut you ass before you walkout.

Then comes the most idiotic wing of the Microsoft india. "Microsoft IT". MS IT is well known for it's

ridiculous Re-orgs every 3, 4 months. Well there is no pattern as such. Whenever someone wanna move, the

re-org happens and everyone gets new workplaces and new orgs.Well we dont find any advantage of these Re-

Orgs except of the fact that change of business unit and workplace, new faces and new rules. The leadership

doesn't even know how to run an IT Hub of a software giant. They dont even bother doing cheap tricks by

employing incompitent leaders everywhere. Recently a big load of tree nodes were imported from GE India to

MS IT as a single batch. Murty Uppaluri leads them all the way wherver he flies I think. Most of them are

dumbass buracrats and have no respect for Microsoft at all. MS IT desperately need leaders who can inspire

them rather than leading them like shepards. The HR wing of MS IT resembles a big parliament of sheeps to

any one. They dont know whome to recruit and for what position. They just know that they have to recruit

some human beings to type something called "code". This is building up extremely incompitent and parrot-

talk people piled in every business unit. if you are extremely technical, you better be aware that, there

is no position in MS IT at all. You will be either be converted as a dumbass manager to lead some stupid

vendor resources (I used stupid, because no vendor company in India would send thier smart people to a

client like MS. They understood MS better than it's employees) or left in the dust as an Individual

contributor. You can see the worst possible cohesiveness in the teams. Teams collaborate based on thier

"commitments" on Cross team collaboration. Even shaking hands with other might be a gesture coming from

thier commitments and nothing else.

MS IT has got a very typical setup of leadership line which commands the chain below them very efficiently.

This is possible because, the next two levels of leadership is a dedicated herd of Sheeps who knows nothing

but "yes boss". This leadership gang follows jack welch's books very religiously. They will be hunting for

future leaders all the time by flying to various reputed collges across india to find dumbest but cute gals

and chatty good looking guys. The stuff they get from these colleges is 90% rotten and no good for

anything. There will be a manager who manages these fresh potatoes based on her commitments (watch this

word). The next worst possible thing that happend to MS IT is it's HR team. HR teams are absolutely blind

in recruiting and they have dead lines to recruit people rather than right candidates. Most of these HRs

are vendors and they dont have any idea what kind of blunder they are doing. If one department rejects a

candidate for his worst skills, they push the same candidate for another department. At the end of the day,

they will some how make it possible for that guy/gal.Did I mentioned that they do interviews over yahoo

messenger video chats sometimes?

I hope I covered at least 10% of the actual pain here. Everyone at Microsoft wish someone should come and inspire them and lead them by example, so that they can work in a really great working environment.

Anonymous said...

The problems in MS India are the same problems that any subsidiary in Latin America has. The difference is that they are smaller and responsible for a very small slice of the money. There's corruption there, HR is unuseless and to get a job there you must know someone. The situation is even worse in Brasil that is the largest subsidiary.

Anonymous said...

I tend to use my own filter to ignore strong bias when I read blog critiques. Though in this case, even after filtering, there is enough matter that top execs need to take notice of and relate it to the organization's health.

Peter said...

I don't know about MS in India but I work - as an Australian - for an Indian company. We did some 'cultural sensitivity' training when our company was taken over so that we would be aware of the differences.
One of the key ones was the importance of hierarchy in the Indian culture. This means that the opinion/attitude/approach of the leaders has much more impact than it would in Western cultures.
In general, if a senior staff member says something then people will go along with it even if they know it to be wrong. This would seem to tie in with a lot of what people have been saying here -even to the point that groups controlled from Redmond are much more productive.
In terms of innovation; I had one of our Indian collegues explain that in terms of the Indian education system. His point was that, with so much poverty in India, a large majority of the people are working to get out of their current social position. With few exceptions the most likely way to do this is through education but only the top graduates actually manage to do well. This leads to a great deal of competition in the system: to get into the right college you need to get good marks at the right secondary school and to do that you need good marks at the right primary school etc etc.
To get good marks, you have to give the expected answers in all exams/test etc. You do not deviate from the lessons you have been taught or you may fail.
Such an environment does not encourage thinking outside the box!
I have seen many of the Indian staff grow enormously in their roles while seconded to this country. I cannot say the same for those that I need to deal with that remain off-shore.

Anonymous said...

I am starting to see a trend. SMSG Sales is a problem.

While developers get pitiful pay raise, the company overpays SMSG Sales and how about that $41 billions that was going toward buying Y!?

I think we have a f-up priority issue here!!

Anonymous said...

Our special thanks to Mini! Finally, Neelam is leaving MS India. But no one is sure if Rajiv, Sanjeev and other HP folks are going to follow her.

Also it is time for us (Softies from India) to have a dedicated blog. Hope to see that soon!

Anonymous said...

Another news for MS India SMSG folks - Having experimented with a MD from HP, now Ravi is contemplating the idea of roping in the country head of another OEM. This time from Dell! Can't we get someone who appreciate the magic of software? Please don't hire box pushers who cannot differentiate Windows from Excel. Why cannot we get an internal MS hire for this position?

Anonymous said...

I am not a MS employee. I work with both MS and Google as a partner company in India and i have spent considerable time in the consumer business here in India. At the outset there are a few common traits that i see in all MNC's opearting out of India:

1. Either they assume that India is a land of cows or is a 10 billion dollar opportunity in the next year. Fact - India is neither and both are dangerous assumptions to make. I have see a few big names bust up because of unrealistic expectations out of India.

2. Bottom lines with a business model predicated on Rs revenues and dolalr costs (overheads from global operations on India revenues) is doomed model. The SI model of dollar revenues and Rs costs is brilliant. Most MNC's in India have a commitment issue (exception being say Uniliver - rs revenues with a cost structure designed for Rs costs). Successful Indian companies, case in point say Bharati have done wonders with a revenue model tuned for India built on top of a cost structure again designed for India. For an organization like MS there are far deeper issues in markets like India:
a. Do people value the S/W in terms of the costs? - How many Indian companies are happy using linux or just pirating the stuff?

d. Do consumer see value in a computer itself? Is it relevant to their lives?


3. India is a good destination for commodity workers - Don't expect innovation out of them for the next few years. Reason is the maturity of most managers in India Inc is still fairly low and what is their world view right now. Do they have the ability - yes - do the have the ecosystem - no. Forget MSFT even Google or Yahoo R&D out of India does not innovate. MNC's should use them to do the commodity work which is why i am a proponent of MNC's using the Satyam's of the world to that work rather than trying to set up India R&D centers or use a mixed model.

4. Leadership in India - limited to a large extent which is why leadership level salaries to frontline salaries are at multiples that are unheard of in the world. Take my own example - i certainly feel that i don't have the maturity for the role that i play but what the heck can the company do. Are there enough mid managers and leadership with the expertise especially in new economy companies. All said and done India Inc is only 10 years old at the most. I don't think this is a problem with MSFT hires only. Take the bust ups at Yahoo, Oracle etc in the last 6 months in their India ops and they all follow the same trail.

Having said that i will make my comments specifically with regards to MSFT India:

1. I see no hunger to do business in India for a lot of the managers that i have met. Surprisingly very little passion especially in the last year or so. My view on what is causing this could be as follows:

a. To matrixed an organization to make people accountable – lot of the people that I have met have very little to do – too narrow a view of the world.

b. Most of them are just happy to be at MS and no passion

c. Serious morale issues

d. Lack of direction - I guess the frontline guys are having a touch time selling in face of the linux/piracy issues in India. This is more a strategic issue for MSFT to deal with i guess

e. Extremely partner unfriendly organization culture- all them seem to be interested is in selling me a few licenses and then scooting the hell out of it. In most cases what has made me extremely unhappy is that fact that they don't reveal the license costs upfront but keep adding it on as time goes by. Screws the hell out of my budgets and i don't want to meet my account manager.

Like i said i work with Google also - those guys have a very small team - very focused and very responsive. Its a real pleasure to do business with them.

Net net i would say you guys have the legacy and the depth and range of expertise to do this right. Show some more commitment and passion and you will succed. And do cut the number of people you have in MSFT – there are just too many people doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Not a MS employee. Surprise to see Tarun as a GM at MS IDC. I thought hiring standards were high at Microsoft. Used to work at Aditi and watch Tarun. Just a street smart guy. Always wanted to ask Pradeep Singh why he hired Tarun !

Anonymous said...

I read that Microsot India has topped the list of most admired companies in India. So, life there couldn't be as bad as you all seem to point out. What are you all complaining about?

Anonymous said...

IDC has delivered poor quality or failed to ship.

I was in a Redmond team when we pushed a team to IDC in India. They never delivered and had problems all along.

IDC is empire building. The reason the work was pushed there was because you can get 2-devs in IDC for every 1-dev in Redmond. That was supposed to allow more people to work on the project.

In the end the US devs had success with less than half the people as the IDC team.

The primary reason is that IDC teams don't report to the Redmond team responsible for that product. If they did, then the Redmond team could use review scores and the ability to remove IDC leads to solve problems.

What IDC's empire builders do when they are unable to build the product is come back with "We need more headcount". They can't do it with 2x the Redmond employees that succeeded.

Anonymous said...

Having interacted with our Indian and Chinese counterparts over the past 5 years (I'm not in Microsoft, our company is much smaller but we produce software in a similar way though we lack the number of buzzworthy titles). I can attest to the pronounced superiority complex that many of our associates in India emit. There are culture issues, that's clear but it goes beyond that. Since the Chinese and Indian labs share projects I've moved toward dealing with my Chinese compatriots more often if I can manage it. I hate the fact I have to do this, and it's not like there aren't issues with our Chinese employees. I have to have one of my own local employees who's fluent in multiple languages listen to them to catch the constant whispering going on. In the end I have to be a constant enforcer with both those labs, the effectiveness and time used makes it hard for me to believe that this is all that effective. The work output on average is better from the Chinese lab, delays are the same whether Indian, Chinese or US. Accountability is best in our US home office, then China, then India. Last fall we had a large project fully fall though that had been run through India from start to finish. No one took responsibly. It was China’s fault, it was the US office’s fault, on and on and on. My director, a man who was born in Gatwick, UK but lived in India with his family in many places in India shakes his head constantly at what he sees. I’m personally at a loss as to what to do. I’m sure we have some good people in India but they aren’t the ones I speak to.

Anonymous said...

Folks, there are broad insinuations etc. that IDC does poor quality work etc. I doubt whether the folks who have made these allegations, back it up with real examples. In the future in the interest of fairness, please do so. Only then it will be credible to all.

On the other hand a while ago, The NFS portion of the work which was being done at IDC, which formed the core of our NAS offering, was taken back to Redmond. The reasons given where 1. FAster pace for performance improvements were needed, 2. Lack of technical expertise etc.

It would be interesting to checkpoint what kind of improvements have happened in that area. Has Redmond achieved even half of the projections from IDC etc. Anyone up for the challenge ?

Anonymous said...

>>The primary reason is that IDC teams don't report to the Redmond team responsible for that product. If they did, then the Redmond team could use review scores and the ability to remove IDC leads to solve problems.

IDC teams report into their Redmond team responsible for the product. All teams in a division(redmond, idc, Boston etc ) are stacked toegther.

Anonymous said...

>It would be interesting to checkpoint what kind of improvements have happened in that area. Has Redmond achieved even half of the projections from IDC etc. Anyone up for the challenge ?

IDC teams are very needy. Continually want their "great job" email after changing 1/2 dozen lines of code. They don't appreciate the difference between difficulty of accomplishment versus real industry impact of the accomplishment. The IDC job was probably hard - hire new people and novices to get the code done - but in the end, the innovation and the market imapact was 0.

This was taken back to redmond because IDC didnt make a big market impact, cost more Redmond management cycles in "neediness", and Redmond had more important things to do versus investing here.

Education investments were recently taken back for similar reasons.

Anonymous said...

To really witness what the key influencers from India think of Microsoft in India, read this blog post by Prof. D Phatak from IIT Bombay. It is sad to see this kind of response from a great academician like Dr. Phatak.

Microsoft India has deliberately distorted its relationship with the key influencers.

Dr. Phatak is an advisor to many private enterprises and public sector. His current viewpoint will result in a loss of million dollar worth business from public sector and academia.

Don’t miss the comments on this post.

BTW, this gives the complete scoop on OOXML story in India.

If I were the Chairman or CVP of MS India, I would quit the moment I read this!

Anonymous said...

Well - While Phatak may think he is a great influencer - he is essentially an old mn who can talk technology and pimp his views better. Government deals are not won or lost because of his (stupid)opinions, he suggested to LIC to buy Teradata over DB2 390 and the project never took off. I have never understood what are his credentials to make a judgement over technological choices for a company or a government. He sits in IIT-Bombay - which never has anything mission critical running and would never have more than 10 servers working in their premise, so how would he know which platform is best. Can he demonstrate to a class or a group of individuals on how Open Office is more productive than Office 2007. Nobody in the world can prove that.

Microsoft has done some excellent work in computer education at the school level and that has led many state governments to endorse Microsoft platform. I believe they recently won a multi-million dollar thousands of desktop contract.

Disclaimer - Not an employee of Microsoft, hate Ravi Venkatesan also. Irrespective of anything - he should have been fired with Neelam.

Anonymous said...

SMSG Folks - By the time you are back from the company meeting, you will see a dedicated blog for discussing MS India related stuff.

I hope the CVP brings up the issues in his address. This will be on critical retreat for us.

I sincerely hope to see some promise from the management to clean up the sub and make it a better place to work.

I have some faith somewhere that Ravi will not let us down!

Let's have a rocking company meeting this year!

Anonymous said...

Not a microsoft employee, but have few friends there. I hear that in last big team meeting at IDC, they celebrated 20 years of service of one senior manager with a bang and completely ignored another person (who is not a manager) who also completed 20 years of service! Confirms the typical IDC culture - after hearing that and reading all of the comments here!

Anonymous said...

In almost every company, I have sees empire building culture in some form or other - that can't be unique for the IDC. The clear differentiation between the big-managers and non-managers as written by the previous author looks unique. This whole series is an interesting read!

Anonymous said...

People have spoken a lot about SMSG and IDC. Let me talk about MSIT - cess pool created by Moorthy and his senior hires coupled with folks from Redmond who have moved here for promotions.

I have been in MS for past 5 years and past 2 years have seen serious rape of Microsoft culture, ethics, values and people focus. Amount of communally influenced bad hires have risen exponentially. Story is that employees dont't know a shit about ms values, culture. People with multiple years of exceeded performance can leave the company without manager push back or an exit interview..in fact its a good thing cause now they can get their relatives and friends to fill this position....i can keep on writing with my experience here...finally i have decided to call it quits...

for folks thinking of joining MSIT...stay away if you want to progress in your career..unless ofcourse you have a godfather there....

Anonymous said...

I am working for the DSI team at GTSC and have never seen such bad politics before!!!

There is a real crappy manager out there called Vivek, who would go to an SE, ask him to send kudos mail for one of the other SEs who licks Vivek's ass... and then forward it to his own manager to show how good his team members are. Since the results are good, you can create as many heroes you like, in whatever way you like.

No body cares. People who care are written off saying they have a sob story to tell. The fact remains that even the best performing teams in GTSC India have really fucked up politics being played on a daily basis. SEs are losing faith and motivation, and people are leaving the Org in a hurry.

Sad story... pretty sad story!!

Anonymous said...

There is no hope for MSIT India.Kevin Turner WAKE UP. Ethical violations are norms. Levish parties are norms. Trips to Bangkok, Sri Lanka or Goa's tropical beaches are norms all in the name of offsites. We have a beautiful campus but no no no - leadership has to go outside to think. Who pays for all of this? Shareholders!!! Why do we have GM's who takes their ass lickers to exotic vacations on Microsoft money? Check their expense reports please. Most of the time junior people are asked to pay whereas GM's are approvers. Blatant violations of code of ethical conduct!!! Read recent email of our CIO. He got buzzed, danced on the floor, showed his moves and calls MSIT India a great place. What a moran...All this happens under the nose of HR.

Anonymous said...

I work at Microsoft IDC, and what I see is nothing more than complacency and lethargy.It's an insult to a true supervillian to even claim that most of the negative things about IDC are done by anyone on purpose. :-) Even good villains need to work hard to be good at being evil.

Everyone has a comfortable job, and in India, once you get the "I work for Microsoft" dog-tag around your collar, that's the be-all-end-all ambition for most.

I can certainly imagine, if I had to work for a team where the politics affected me, I'd be mighty pissed and would leave the company. But as a third-party perspective, this is more a case of managers just not caring. There is no passion. There is no drive. I don't see people experimenting, and playing around with their products, or beating deadlines, or exceeding commitments (at product level - not individually). I don't see product loyalty - what I mean is, a manager of a product doesn't talk like he himself believes in the difference that product is making to the world. Why blame their reports for not believing in their jobs? They seem like they think so - but ask them some tough questions and you'll see.

When I came to work here, I thought the Microsoft culture was to believe in technology - because we love to, because its the thing that drives us! If it's "just a job", we might as well be any toothpaste manufacturer in the world - toothpaste companies will never go out of business, cause let's face it, people will always brush their teeth - but that doesn't make anyone attach any importance to them.

A disturbing (I guess Microsoft-wide - but since I've not seen Microsoft beyond IDC, I can't comment) problem is the massive denial we are in. Who're we kidding? Vista is ugly and bloated - how many machines at IDC are capable of running Vista with full effects? Live Search sucks - you try a DIY test - it's not rocket science. Windows Mobile is a joke (I challenge anyone who claims Microsoft is not innovative - who else would put a goddamn start menu on a mobile phone with a 2-inch screen?) How many people internally use WPF? What moral authority do we have of sending the SMSG guys to cram that crap down others' throats? How many 'softies use a Zune (unless their teams paid for them)? I could go on and on....

Anonymous said...

Gurpreet Pall (GM-online services at IDC) is the perfect example of fat that needs to be trimmed.
Known for empire building as his soul goal at IDC, he leads some of the crapiest projects there, which are working without a goal or an agenda. Being a victim of supporting his team from Redmond, I hate that guy and his tactics.
As to what I've heard, all the jackasses in his org get promoted and all the good ones seek the shortest exit path.

SteveB, SatyaN - I hope you come across this!

Anonymous said...

In these difficult times we really need IDC to rethink the hiring of so called principal and partner level "talent" by the "business heads" who believe thats the only way to "advance" IDC (and grow their private sheikdoms). The truth of the matter is that IDC does not need this "talent" since the jobs here are barely prinicipal level. Why are we paying for this fat, then?

Anonymous said...

I am with MS-IT India for over 3 years; I want to quit MS due to the stupid nature of work here. what are the best places to look for a change? (I have ten yrs experience total)

Anonymous said...

Just to give you an honest reality check, let me talk of my team:
The man at the top is there because he moved back from redmond, then his posse.. who i can at the best describe as morons. No, on second thoughts, cunning, canniving piece of crap. If atleast half the effort put into pleasing the top, misrepresenting the truth, and building up an empire, the team would do way better. The quality of hires was dismal when the team doubled in less than a span of 3 months [This was conviniently done to show the numbers, as well as gather up the referral bonus]. With the last review cycle, anyone who was remotely talented and bothered to stand up for what is right, left the team.
And politics comes in all flavors: Whether hires based on region, or promotions for the yes-men or gender based. I almost forgot, making the counter part redmond team look bad. No one at the top has a vision for the future, or an understanding of statergy or placing of the team. I can recount a ton of mess ups and mop ups. I have been here for the last two years, and the more I see, the more I realize, the more I realize, the crappier this whole segment seems. There are a ton of people, who were hired for a specific reason that has nothing to do with what is right for the company. It has been a struggle not to generalize or misjudge the company based on these fools I have seen. I dont expect great leadership skills or the like from dev / test managers, they are technical people [lets not get into that]. But some degree of leadership and true management skills are expected at levels further on. Once a friend of mine while leaving gave me an advice - "Please dont learn anything while you are here. Otherwise you would be learning just some very wrong things."
And when this sort of nepotism, favoritism goes all the way 4 or 5 levels above you, where do you really go and talk to make a difference, incase you really want to?

Anonymous said...

I am reading this blog for the first time, and one thing that's pretty clear is that it's all quite pessimistic, not even a single constructive idea i was able to find in any of your blogs, look like some articulate frustrated man rambling to vent out his frustrations.
Regarding innovations, well it's the whole Microsoft that doesn't innovate as a whole, it's Google that does, and IDC is proving to be a good scapegoat for this problem, which is in all of Microsoft.
And while you can say that it's all media that is biased towards Google, because they just find it cool to appreciate Google and disparage Microsoft, the same logic applies to IDC, it just sounds more realistic and self satisfying(Of course to people who say IDC produces bad quality work) to say work out of IDC is bad and out of China is Good as China has this image of making things work at any cost and with quality.

Anonymous said...

where is MS 2008 Finance Leads now?

Anonymous said...

"Amount of communally influenced bad hires have risen exponentially. Story is that employees dont't know a shit about ms values, culture. People with multiple years of exceeded performance can leave the company without manager push back or an exit interview..in fact its a good thing cause now they can get their relatives and friends to fill this position..."
This is very much true in AIT (a sub CoE of MSIT). Director of AIT and few of his directs are the best examples for communally influenced bad hires.

Anonymous said...

I cannot comment on how the situation was in Microsoft IDC a few years ago. But today, at least in the product teams which are owned end-to-end by IDC, the fundamentals are strong, ethics are valued and quality is delivered.

Having said this, there is always shit going around, like in this thread. If you have the right Microsoft values, be open and respectful and try to help others achieve their potential. If you think a certain Dev Centre is going down in quality, shoot a mail to its MD or to Ballmer himself. Take some action, start something don't rant anonymously on blogs.

PS: The crappiest people I have seen are at MSIT. Hell Microsoft should be cutting down on their budget for MSIT!

Anonymous said...

I work in MSIT India. I have prior experience in Microsoft (it was awesome) but the ethics and practices followed in my new group are way too different. Racial and regional bias, favoritism, lack of passion for customer and technology, complete dishonesty and disintegraty, empire building, ego, personal advancement and lack of people angle are the highlights of culture here. There is not a single internal movement I have seen in last 6 months but there is "Adieu" email every weekend. The HR response is very simple, they just ask for the desired last working day. What HR is doing? Managers do not have any convincing power for employee to stay back (In fact they are the reasons for employees to quit). The MSPoll tanked big time and PU head names it conspiracy. I mean what all they need than WHI score of mere 40% (30% was due to new joinees)? I was never rated below exceed in my reviews in MS but as soon as I joined in here, my manager tells in first 1:1 that I cannot be exceed coz of blah, blah, blah. The thing to expect from manager in real Microsoft culture is that manager will give you 10 things to work on will promise to get the best thing for you if you deliver. The manger here knows only one thing and that is to ask status. They are technically morons think that they work in factory which can produce more spare-parts by adding extra machine and man-power. There is lot of crap happening around. I am sure I will either switch to some other group or leave MS as this is not the right group for me for sure unless someone from top management sees this and try to work towards fixing it.

Anonymous said...

All the 2008 posts that warned about Murthy taking over DPE have turned out to be true. DPE India is in a mess. Morale at all-time lo... even worse than TG days!

But he jus chugs on, talking so much that he can't hear anything above the sound of his own voice YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP. Just STFU for once, man!!!

He gloates about his WHI score - wonder how he managed to rig that LOL! Never seen a leader who's so dam insecure about his own team member's competencys! Guess he's only comfortable commanding juniors - like he did at MSIT - hehehehehehe!

Hope he follows TG and takes over BMO - and takes all his croonies with him - SOOOOOOON.

Welcome Ms Kathuria...

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swati said...

i applied online (ms hiring site) for a Microsoft India job, for a profile that I thought I had the qualifications and experience for. this is what followed:

1. Within an hour a regret msg hit my mail box. very standard regret msg- "aftr carefully goin' through your resume..." etc. etc. The mail is from a "v-" mail address which says that this person is on the vendor's payroll and this function is outsourced by Microsoft. The mail has an attachment. I eagerly open the same, only to find that the body of the mail is the same as that of the attachment. Anyways, I don't think much about it, "shoddy" but ok, not too bad.

2. Next day, since I registered on the MS site while applying online, I receive a "job recco" mail from the company. Guess what, they have recommended the same job to me for which they have already sent me a regret letter!

3. The fun does not stop here, a few days later I receive another job recommendation from the company for a job which is totally different from my domain expertise. I am a Marketing person, they send me a job recco for the position of a Chartered Accountant.

This is a company that is selling MS CRM and other automation tools to the world!

Do they really know how these small incidents are marring their image in the market?