Just last month, Sachin Kapur, 25, was on cloud nine. In four years, the Gurgaon-based KPO executive has landed three jobs, three promotions and impressive pay hikes. The graduate topper from the Delhi University just got promoted to a team leader. "Thirty people will report to me," he told his father on phone. He felt proud that he would be the main interface between his company and the US-based client.
A month later, that excitement is fading. He is behind schedule. Silly mistakes by one of his teammates have delayed the project delivery. Two of his experienced team members quit early July. Another vanished without notice. Their casual attitude just drives him crazy. His boss is worried, client a bit upset. His 12-hour workday is stretching to 14. Weekends no longer feel like weekends. He is doling out incentives like free movie tickets or extra dollars for those willing to work extra. "But it is like steering a ship where I am losing control," says Kapur.
Early success is fashionable and celebrated. CEO at 27; leading 300 at 30 hyper economic growth, talent shortage and a de-emphasis on experience (in emerging sectors) have resulted in quick promotions for bright young executives. The applause from employers, friends and media is instant.
But beneath that glitz and glamour lay a gloomy story. Early success is taking its toll on both employers and employees. Workplace stress and flare-ups are rising even as employers get lessons in crisis management. "Boomerang cases are high," says T Hari, HR head, Satyam Computers. He estimates that as high as 30-40 of fast-track promotions may not be working. Fortunately now, a slew of companies are paying more than lip service to handle the youngsters better.