Helpless situation. Confidence is shattering day by day. Fellow Indians please help!!!!!

Sep 15 61 Comments

Hello Experts,

I am working as a full-stack engineer for a startup in Bengaluru (India). Here are my details

YOE: 3
TC: Cash: 16.5 + Paper stock
Designation: Full-Stack Developer
College: Bachelors of Engineering in Computer Science & Engineering from a tier 3 no name college

I am in the middle of a weird problem (even I am myself surprised by their behaviour). This is going on for 4-5 months now. One of my colleagues has already resgined because of this and he said no to every retention offer. He just wanted to leave the company immediately.

So here is the issue:
I started my career with TCS and was on my route to join SAP labs however, this startup made me a much better offer than SAP labs and I joined them as a result. The major reason for joining them was I knew I would learn a lot more in a startup and hence, I am here since last 2 years.

The startup closed a major round of funding last year and started hiring aggressively. Surprisingly every single job posting ever since then had "Only IIT/NIT/IIIT/BITS" written on them.

The interview process was reduced to a joke for example: In my case they had dedicated rounds of interview but now if you are from IIT you can just get in without any interview or in their language "formal discussion". They only have "formal discussions" with top college grads no interviews.

Many such guys have joined the company. Now here is the problem, they don't do any work. Literally nothing. I mean it for all of them. Many of them are not even software engineers, they have never coded before. They were working in sales or marketing roles previously and have joined here solely for salary hike and the ones who have coded have just coded for namesake.

Everytime some work gets assigned to them "their grandmother gets sick" and finally when they don't do anything their work comes back me or a few others (1 of whom has left) and after finishing the work we don't even get credit for it.

The CTO only cares about praising the IITians when it's us who are doing the work. For them HR doesn't exist. They can come anytime, leave anytime. They are enjoying benefits which we haven't even got in past 2 years. They get unlimited leaves (Paid time off).

The worst thing is when they see us performing better then them. They start bringing JEE ranks, KVPY ranks, NTSE ranks, Olympiad this, Olympiad that and even the CTO is busy discussing the same. How can you bring up JEE ranks in the middle of tech discussions when you have nothing to say? In meetings the CTO solely focuses his attention on them and when they don't deliver the solution the focus comes to us like we were the second choice. It's like he desperately wants them to succeed.

Surprisingly the IITians I have met before were not like these. They were really nice and hard-working. Not sure where these guys have come from.

I asked one of the guys to write more test cases and increase the code coverage. He refused on my face. I open a pull request for review and it has still not been reviewed. It has been 12 days already. The guys (team of 4) have not been able to complete a simple search feature for 2 months now and now the CTO was again saying he will assign it to me as one of theirs "grandmother is not well".

Recently, an investor visit happened and the CTO didn't even introduce us to the investors. He introduced all of them and in introduction he says the name of their college first (with a very strong emphasis) rather than what they are doing in the company. There are office outings where we are not invited as it's only for them.

I feel I won't grow in this company at all but I contacted my friend in Urbanclap (another Indian startup) and he too is facing the same and telling me the same will happen everywhere in India. He is leaving India for Masters in US.

What should I do?

1. Confront the CTO about it
2. Tolerate it and ignore it. The bias is just too much and I am being overworked and not even appreciated.
3. Quietly leave like my friend left. But if the same is happening everywhere in India then what's the point of working in India (for a shit college grad like me)? Does the bias ever stop? Will it happen in FANG or similar companies as well?

I just want to work in an environment where only performance and skills matter. Which company in India can provide me that kind of environment? I know in US it's all about talent but I am in India and what I am now facing is that if you are not from IIT/IIIT/NIT/BITS you are a third-class citizen and don't deserve anything no matter what you do. It's affecting my confidence.

Please tell me how should I handle this situation. Can people like me even get successful in life in India or we need to take the GRE route at all costs and leave India. I can't afford US masters at all as my family needs my financial support let alone me asking support from them :(

Thank you

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TOP 61 Comments
  • Google / Eng hooli.xyz
    “I just want to work in an environment where only performance and skills matter. Which company in India can provide me that kind of environment?”

    DM me for referral. I guarantee you my company will never care about any of those silly acronyms. We only care about performance and skills.
    Sep 15 4
    • Apple Shouldyou?
      ‘My company’? When did you purchase Google sir?
      Sep 15
    • Amazon goldfish_
      Wtf.. Usually "my company" means the company where I work
      Sep 15
    • Akamai Technologies fLod41
      What's wrong with my company. He is stock holder right
      Sep 15
    • Google / Eng hooli.xyz
      “‘My company’? When did you purchase Google sir?”

      It appears Apple hires dimwits with poor reading comprehension
      Sep 15
  • Symantec
    Mariaa

    Symantec

    PRE
    McAfee
    Mariaa more
    What you are describing is completely unnatural and unusual. While emphasis on premier institutions is seen as a filter to get good candidates , it is never justified as a replacement for job competence. I think you have landed yourself in an bad place where the CTO is an IIT bigot and is incapable of leading the startup.

    You should start looking for a job and quietly choose option 3. Your career and dignity will thank you for it.

    All the best.
    Sep 15 0
  • Apple Shouldyou?
    Bruh if you go to US you will be a Slave to the visas and will have to think 10 times to even renew your apartment lease.
    Sep 15 11
    • Amazon / Eng
      fahrenheit

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Zalando
      fahrenheitmore
      How much would you spend on medical costs if you're badly hurt in a car crash? I'd spend zero and actually get a ton of money (unemployment/disability) until I recover, however long it takes. And this applies to anyone with a legal job regardless of income.
      Sep 15
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      8k is the max out of pocket. I have disability insurance too.

      How much you make per year? College hires here get 160k/year for reference.
      Sep 15
    • SAP Bigfoo
      Shouldn't even start on the sugar and additive-laden food. Yes, alternatives are available at a premium. That's the point, for the average commoner, their affordability is unreachable. Tech is not the only employer, and not everyone employed is making a six-figure salary in tech. Have some empathy at least, if not humility.
      Sep 15
    • Microsoft / Product
      Brazuka

      Microsoft Product

      PRE
      Bain & Company
      Brazukamore
      this was about engineering comp. You can see when somebody got no further counters then they argue unrelated things
      Sep 15
    • SAP Bigfoo
      Partly, not entirely, till you made it so. Also, unrelated or not, my last sentence still holds.
      Sep 15
  • Facebook / Eng
    dividebyz

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Facebook
    dividebyzmore
    The CEO is doing what investors want.
    You should either:
    1. Leave
    2. Go to IIT
    Sep 15 5
    • Apple pCwX52
      IITian / snowflake ❄️ spotted 😂
      Sep 15
    • Salesforce oolala
      He speaks pretty well. Stop being a jerk. Given your at FB, you should know that a lot of the best engineers aren't great at English and being great at English doesn't imply you can build a solid system.
      Sep 15
    • Salesforce oolala
      Most of the Chinese and East Europeans on your team have it worse. And you respect them for their knowledge without question.
      Sep 15
    • Facebook / Eng
      dividebyz

      Facebook Eng

      PRE
      Facebook
      dividebyzmore
      Chinese and East Europeans learn English in their 20s. Not a fair comparison.
      Sep 15
    • Salesforce oolala
      Well ops English is good enough for technical communication. You just seem to have a big attitude and want to nitpick him.
      Sep 15
  • Groupon / Eng sleepy
    I remember back in days (2005) when Oracle introduced a separate pay scale for IIT and NITs. Nothing has changed from there... leave for US , Canada, Australia or UK, you have a lot to gain and little to lose.
    Sep 15 1
    • Salesforce oolala
      Looks like caste system is in our genes. Government makes one caste system illegal and we quickly build another one.
      Sep 15
  • PayPal srig
    And that startup is Udaan
    Sep 15 1
    • Adobe fngstained
      Not unlikely. I've heard similar stories about flipkart where the udaan founders came from. First discriminate against non-IIT, then against non IIT Delhi, then against those from IITD but not from the same hostel as the founders, and so on.
      Sep 15
  • OceanX / Eng O(1*1)
    I can clearly see why the CTO is doing this, he needs to show the CEO and more importantly the other side VC firms that he has a team of smart (IITans) engineer working....

    Kind of marketing stunt... common with startups, as you can see, most of the successful startups in India and else where started by people from tops schools like IIT... So VCs might naturally believe that having IITans work in that startup will make it successful.

    CEO, CTO and VCs don't care who is doing the actual work as long as the work is getting done.

    Some people from IITs and NITs are very smart but that doesn't mean coming out of IITs make someone smart, anyway half of the people get into IITs through "Indian Caste Based Reservation System"

    For people reading from outside of India, read up on that ☝️
    Sep 15 0
  • Kaspersky Lab / HR
    mayfair

    Kaspersky Lab HR

    PRE
    Heineken
    mayfairmore
    You should also start caring about your sick grandmother, and look for a new job. When you have an offer, you can try and go to CEO and tell him all of this. Clearly, CTO won’t be open for your feedback.
    Sep 15 0
  • Adobe fngstained
    I've seen both types. The top performers I've seen were IITians, but the ones who blustered their way to the top using their degree and smooth talk were also IITians. It's unfortunate that your company ended up with only the second category, and top leadership is encouraging them. Would recommend you get out ASAP.
    Sep 15 0
  • Amazon goldfish_
    Please disclose the company name. Can I DM you?
    I am from iit and this place will be heaven for me.

    companies like amazon (and other FAANG in india) won't care about your college because they like people who blindly do the assigned shit work without any complain. Thats more shitty situation than that of yours.
    Sep 15 0
  • Comcast onlytroll
    "Surprisingly every single job posting ever since then had "Only IIT/NIT/IIIT/BITS" written on them."

    This right here is why Indian work culture sucks, and Indian companies don't rule the world like the US/Chinese. We have enough talent in India, even with brain-drain, and our workforce is sufficiently large. I could not tolerate this toxic entitlement attitude, and it pushed me towards leaving India for greener pastures. Btw, I went to one of these universities.

    There is no equivalent of this stupidity outside India, none at all. No one in US cares if you went to Berkeley/MIT/Stanford, and these are 1000x better than IITs in every measurable aspect.

    My advice is either leave India, or go to IIMs so you're insulated from this toxic discrimination. When you make it to a position of power and have "elite" written all over your resume, kindly do the needful and try to change this environment in any way you can!
    Sep 15 3
    • Salesforce oolala
      This bullshit is also prevelant in grad schools with Indian professors in the US. Try to have an Indian advisor work with you if your from a run of the mill engineering school.

      That said, as a woman I've experienced a lot of toxicity of a different kind in the US. In fact some of the most respectful are Indians and South asians, Arabs. Lot of men are just plan aggressive and don't take your technical input even if your clearly making sense and are better qualified, more experienced than them. Didn't face this in India, or with the Indian guys here.
      Sep 15
    • Comcast onlytroll
      I'm not a woman, and glad you had a positive experience, but I have heard of enough instances of sexual harassment at work. I have seen my female co-workers cry because of disrespect from their male colleagues.

      There was also other side of this coin where some women were only hired to adjust gender ratio/because they were young and attractive and otherwise incompetent workers. There's all kinds of evil. Weak labor laws/lack of enforcement makes it worse. Ageism and sexism are perfectly legal in India too - almost no "protected characteristics". A job advertisement can say "men over 40 need not apply" even for positions where age and fitness are irrelevant.
      Sep 15
    • Salesforce oolala
      Life isn't perfect anywhere. I was just showing OP that US isn't ideal either. So he tries to come here after doing more research with the right expectations.
      Sep 15
  • Amazon tVWw77
    They are racist. It's not because of your talent it's because you're Indian.
    Sep 15 2
    • Amazon / Eng
      scalable

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Bloomberg LP
      scalablemore
      OP is an Indian in India.
      Sep 15
    • Google 4EVR
      Lol...atleast read the post completely before bringing out the racist placard (which you might be using for everything as per my guess)
      Sep 15
  • Zendrive anshuls
    Name and shame such companies. This is not acceptable behavior. There are definitely better companies in India, don't go for MS if you're not comfortable.
    DM me for referral
    Sep 15 0
  • DoorDash booked
    This seems like an anomaly. Leave this shithole of a company. Seems insanely toxic. Let them have an orgy with those iitians :)
    Sep 15 1
    • Comcast onlytroll
      not an anomaly - fairly common
      Sep 15
  • Apple pCwX52
    From what i know: IITians, most if them, think they are entitled. In India, its very common to give them the best of everything bcos of the belief in the self entitlement. In your case, just dont worry, show your discontent but at the same time be prepared to leave since your CEO completely corners their side.
    Sep 15 0
  • Amazon / Eng
    scalable

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Bloomberg LP
    scalablemore
    Oyo Rooms?
    Sep 15 0
  • Apple Shouldyou?
    Which is this company which does this in Bangalore?
    Sep 15 0
  • Amazon blinded007
    Lol, you shoud have studied hard and cracked IIT/NIIT....You didn’t and now suffer 😂
    Sep 15 2
    • Apple pCwX52
      Most of IIT colleges are shit ship. They aint worth the attention they get
      Sep 15
    • Reliable Software / Eng YonkoKaido
      Study hard but end up in some biotechnology stream in some IIT. What's the point.
      Sep 15
  • Microsoft WpEc28
    This is happening because you are in a start up. FAANG and other top tech companies don’t care which college you cane from once hired.
    Sep 15 0
  • Salesforce oolala
    1) go ask your CEO for more salary and equity. They might be looking to sell the company and maybe that's why showing off their iit trophies at investor meetings. Take the max you can get. Also, know how successful the company is. Is it a blown up startup with no potential just looking to get bought?
    2) get another job.
    You could fix it but it's too toxic an environment and could hurt you more than help you. I've tried fixing toxic environments in my career and the last time it happened it consumed me. Once I moved out of there it took me few years to get my self worth back but when I did, I always wondered, why didn't I quit sooner.
    I'm in one in my current company, in the US, and I'm still trying to make the decision - time to quit or fix?
    Sep 15 0

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