NEW DELHI: Yagya Gautam was born in Kaski. Though his family could not afford modern amenities but living a modest life was not a problem for them. However, the sons wished to go to urban areas to pursue higher study. “We could generate more income in the village but none of us wanted to toil around and work in the farm,” Gautam said for his reasons to leave for India.
First it was Yagya’s elder brother who went to New Delhi in 1995. Gautam followed suit and landed in the Indian capital the same year. “When I came here, I was just like any other aawara, I did not have any plans for myself,” Gautam jokingly said. His friends took up jobs at various restaurants and literally toiled to earn even a few hundred rupees. Gautam was lucky, he did not have to go through the ordeal of hard labour as he was a high school graduate. He got a job of a peon in a computer hardware shop at Jungpura extension, for a monthly salary of INRs 500. “It was not much, but I was happy with it. Those days you could buy a kilo of flour for just Rs 2,” Gautam recalled. ‘Complacence kills the desire to progress further,’ Gautam knew this and therefore was not happy with just being a peon. He wanted to begin his career with a clerical job but his boss was not ready to give him such a post. “So, I left the job soon but realised that I had developed a kind of addiction towards computers,” he said.
Gautam has not been as lucky like many Nepali migrant labourers who have been able to make a lot of money in a short span of time. But that does not disappoint him. The reasons are obvious - he has successfully pursued his job and education simultaneously. He obtained necessary qualifications in computers to give him a competitive edge not only in Nepal or India, but all over the world. He completed his 10+2 education from National Open School and received his Bachelor of Computer Application from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). He will soon be completing Master of Computer Application from the same university.
Gautam believes his joining a computer hardware shop in 1996 was what chiefly helped him decide his career in this field. “Had I had not done computer course, I might have been struggling to earn INRs 3500 to 4000 per month, which is the case with some of my contemporaries,” he said. He added, “Some of my friends are still washing dishes for a few thousand rupees.” His knowledge of computers brought immense relief for his family too. His salary has been rising steadily and he has been able to gain more knowledge and experience as well. When Gautam started to work as a computer professional at a Chartered Accountant’s firm, he drew a monthly salary of INRs 1800, the amount gradually increased from 2500 to 4500 to 6000 and then 8500. Today he gets a monthly salary of INRs 16,000.
“If I quit the present job and join another company, I am sure I will be offered not less than INRs 35,000 to 40,000 per month; as most of my friends with similar qualification and experience are earning INRs 40,000 a month,” Gautam said.
Currently, Gautam is employed by a private company called Online Retail News Gurgaon of Haryana. He has no dearth of job opportunities as he has gained enough experience in software development programmes while he worked for companies like delhitourism.nic.in and Info People Software Solution. His specialty is Enterprising Research Planning (ERP) and Software Application Protocol (SAP) services. He has been offered many part time jobs by private companies in Delhi.
“Up to this stage, it’s an investment. I have added qualifications and enriched my experience. Now it is time to start getting the dividends of that investment,” Gautam said, talking about his promising career ahead. He believes that his experience in Delhi will certainly prove to be a financial bonanza for him as was the case with his elder brother who sold vegetables on a push-cart once but is now a successful businessman in Nepal.
Gautam has stayed in New Delhi for a long duration because India is still ahead in terms of infrastructure. India has left Nepal far behind in IT sector, he believes that experience gained in countries like India gives one an edge over his competitors. Because of India’s advanced IT sector, the country is getting a lot of outsourced jobs here. “Nepal needs to have some share of outsourced IT jobs, that will help create IT jobs and retain IT professionals in the country,” Gautam suggested.
Gautam is different from other computer professionals who eye European or American market to earn high salary. He wants to set up his own computer firm in Nepal basically to serve the country. “I think every citizen owes a duty to the nation. I, therefore, want to return home,” he added. Gautam feels that it may take time to develop information technology sector of the country but he believes nothing is impossible. “If everybody puts a concerted effort to improve their respective sectors, overall development of the country is possible,” he said.