Touted to be one of the first smart cities in India, Vizag has been attracting attention for all the right reasons. With its rise and growth there has been an increase in the number of people migrating here for professional reasons. At the same time, there has also been an increase in the number of inhabitants leaving the city in search of greener pastures. Yo! Vizag interacts with people around the city to find out its job potential.
How alluring is the city to an average outsider? The beaches and greenery apart, what aspects of Vizag will convince anybody to settle here? Do we have great educational facilities? Adequate health care options? While the government talks about promoting Brand Vizag and exploiting its tourism potential, what can the city truly offer to the young who forgo the gratification and convenience of the metros to settle here?
Vizag is a city at war with itself; while the young working crowd want urbanisation to make their weekends worth the week of hard work that they put in, the old-timers are aghast at the very prospect. The city has boasted of its laid-back atmosphere and quiet environs for long. The fact remains that, Vizag has always promoted itself as a tourist’s haven more than a working city.
And now, with the advent of the IT industry, there is an irrational resistance to change. Every attempt by the governing bodies to change the cityscape is met with dissent from the citizens themselves. Consequently, very few investors are showing any inclination to invest here. Many do not prefer Vizag as a job destination, citing a lack of proper social infrastructure.
Investing more in the entertainment and social sector enables change in the city from a peaceful to noisy and vibrant one. But if Vizag wants to project itself as a global city like Mumbai or Bangalore, change is necessary, the good, the bad and the ugly, all being a part of the package!
Infrastructure apart, it is the mindset of Vizagites that need a thorough rethinking. The conservative thought is reflected in all aspects of the city – limited pay-scales and opportunities, lack of professionalism, and a laid-back attitude to everything! For the city to grow, it needs to shake off this attitude and infuse a sense of dynamism in all spheres. Vizagites opine:
Manotej, Orthopaedic Surgeon
In my frank opinion, there aren’t many opportunities in the current scenario. The government claims that there are many posts opening up and there’s lot of opportunity for youngsters but nothing is really happening. Youngsters hardly have any opportunities. In the corporate sector there are a few openings, but in Visakhapatnam doctors get paid minimum wage for maximum number of hours compared to the rest of the country. In Delhi an MBBS graduate gets a stipend of Rs.75-90,000. But in Vizag, even if the students specialise in Orthopaedics and have one year of senior residency post MS, they get paid just Rs.60-70,000. And that is disheartening. There are a lot of educated and qualified people in this city compared to other states but we’re the ones who are least paid. An MBBS graduate is offered just Rs. 15-18,000. While the standards of some medical facilities have increased, there hasn’t been much change in the opportunities available. Adding to our woes is the fact that alternate medical courses like homoeopathy or physiotherapy are basically just 2-3 years diploma courses, yet these diploma holders get the available jobs in the corporate sectors as no MBBS graduate wants to join there for such low salaries. People holding MBBS degrees are compelled to migrate out of the city in search of something better. But I think there is scope for improvement in the future with Health City and lot of new commerce coming up.
Sana Samad, Student
As an MBA graduate, to get a good job, students need to move out and seek jobs elsewhere. The scenario right now in Vizag is not up-to the mark. In future there will be many openings coming up, like for example Amazon will be opening here soon. Even start-ups are coming up. So probably after 5 years it would be great for MBA graduates to look for opportunities here. But, right now, it’s pretty limited.. For people looking forward to establish their business here, or start a new one, there are good prospects. But for a job it’s better to move out. The same with education, in other cities we have the option to select our own field; here most people are still confined to engineering and medicine. We have more engineering colleges than degree colleges offering varied streams.
Dr. Challa Ramakrishna, Senior Faculty of AU
With Vizag becoming one of the significant Smart Cities in the world, job prospects are on the rise. Media has emerged as a powerful instrument in shaping the city in the social, ecaonomic political and cultural areas. There is growth in all forms of media, including online news channels. Hence, there is an increase in job potential and a huge demand for human resources. There are tremendous employment opportunities for trained and professional communication specialists and journalists in the areas of animation, printing, network engineering, creative artists, content writers, camera and photography journalists, public relations, advertising personnel, copy writers, copy editors, artists, media managers, magazines and event managers.
J .V. Murthy, TIME Director, Visakhapatnam
Since the division of Andhra Pradesh, Vizag has been on a rise. The job sector in Vizag is going to be very good because of the Smart City tag. Unfortunately, the quality of the graduates is decreasing. It’s not the same as before. We don’t have a proper B-school in the city except for IIM Vizag. None of the other MBA colleges are up to par. We need good quality education as a whole here. Instructors and local institutes still don’t focus on improving employment skills. Employment skills have to be taught from an early stage, at school level. Children’s communication skills, team skills, presentation and leadership skills have to be nourished. It has to be integrated in the curriculum, a 30-60 day personality development programme is not sufficient. The government, educational institutions and educated elite should see that these are integrated at school and college levels. Vizag’s biggest problem is you only have the maths and science stream as a choice in inter. There are so many other streams that are ignored. The mentality of parents needs to change. Unless all these happen there will be no long-term improvement in the job sector in Vizag. Only change can inspire growth. If we want Vizag to be a proper metro, the skill set of people here has to improve and their mindsets change to a wider outlook offering better exposure. There has been a lot of change here but there is need for more improvement. I’ve had students study here but opt to work elsewhere.