ITPWA (IT Professionals Welfare Association) is a voluntary non-profitable togetherness FOR, BY and OF the IT/ITeS employees and professionals. It is a collaboration of people working in the IT/ITeS industry with a self-assigned objective to work towards the welfare of the employees and for the overall progress of the IT sector in India. ITPWA is a platform for the IT fraternity to collectively address various issues and challenges faced by their own peers as well as the industry in general.
ITPWA, which brings together an abundance of talent, experience and vision, will strive hard to position itself as an opinion maker and a catalyst for progressive changes in the IT industry and will spearhead campaigns for bringing in appropriate policies and best practices in the industry. ITPWA will continuously engage in research studies to understand and analyse the underlying dynamics of various developments in the industry and to suggest ways and means for ensuring the well being of the very community that brings glories to it. ITPWA would be an ally for everyone in the community to collectively address their grievances at work and to muster necessary support and guidance in their effort to find resolution for the same.
Background & History
India has witnessed spectacular growth in the Information Technology (IT and ITeS) industry during the last two decades or so. Employees in the IT/ITES industry has not only contributed enormously to the economic growth of the nation but also did place India at an esteemed position in the technological world map. As the Indian IT/ITeS industry cater, to a great extend, to high profit business segments like banking, insurance, telecommunications and semiconductor industry, employees of the industry were being offered slightly better pay packages, facilities and other perks like overseas travels etc when compared to their counterparts in manufacturing industry or Government sector. Thus, when general public think of IT/ITES employees, what immediately come to their mind is a glamorous world with youngsters clad in expensive clothes, sitting in air conditioned offices and enjoying the life. However, anyone who works in an IT company knows this is only one side of the story. The other side reveals a life that is very demanding, tough, strenuous and at times even dark and depressing. Unbearable pressure to meet the deadlines, long, late and irregular working hours, peer pressures and false competitions created in the name of performance appraisals, layoffs and insecurities at job etc are some of the challenges that an IT/ITES employee has to face day-in and day-out in his life. Though these issues have been seriously affecting the social and personal lives of the employees for long, never there have been any serious attempt to address them leave alone any effort to find resolution. .
Absence of any effective labour laws in the IT/ITeS industry only adds to the problem. Lack of any laws or consistent practices in the industry came very handy to some of the IT companies during the last recession period when these companies laid off employees en-mass and showed scant regards to any healthy labour practices or proper procedures. Lay-offs, forced resignations, extended working hours, salary cuts, withholding salaries, withdrawal of incentives and many other ill practices became a norm. Needless to say, the lack of a common forum did hurt the employees very significantly. Thus, ITPWA is a result of recognizing the existence of such a situation in the industry as well as the realization of the fact that there is a need for a common support forum that can bring all the IT employees together towards helping each other.
Faced with the grim situation during the recession and concerned with the issues facing the industry in general, a few of the IT/ITES employees formed a group and made an effort to understand the situation by approaching affected people and talking with them directly. A survey among the IT/ITeS employees was the result of this effort. The group approached many people from the industry and collected information and discussed with them in detail about the situation. It was found that though majority of the IT/ITES employees are concerned about the grave situation they are in, they did not know what exactly to do to boldly and effectively face it. It was also found that most of the employees did not have any knowledge of relevant laws or about any welfare measures available to the employees. Many people also had concerns about the issues like stress, health hazards and psychological distress etc. Besides expressing concerns about these issues, most of the people expressed strong desire to have a common forum or group that can express solidarity with the IT/ITES employees and provide psychological, moral support and guidance on various issues, whenever required. This was the inspiration behind the formation of ITPWA (IT Professionals Welfare Association), a voluntary and non-profitable solidarity group for IT/ITES employees. ITPWA is a support forum and stands for the common welfare of employees and the overall industry. It is not against any company or corporate but is against only unhealthy practices in the industry.