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Since I started SAP trainings in my free time, I do get lot of "Friend" requests on my personal mail from people who are anxious to say 'Hello' or to ask some technical help or general advice about their SAP career. Few days back, it was from a lady from Bengaluru, India (Erstwhile Bangalore). The lady did her Bachelors in Commerce & MBA, and worked for 3 years before getting married and since then is a home maker. Now she wanted to begin her career again

When she contacted me, her voice was not audible enough. But all I could pick up from the conversation was what I have written above. She added she has been trained in SAP FICO a year back, but she is not clear with many concepts and wanted me to help her so that she can be ready for the interviews. Since she had no prior SAP FICO experience, I said teaching you Controlling module will be tough and put her in touch with my wife who deals in SAP FI module related topics.

What transpired next between both of them, I would share in a summarized form.

The candidate had no interest whatsoever in learning any SAP topic. She just wanted my wife to help her fake during the interviews. She wanted to know about the SAP implementations that have happened in some 4 to 5 companies, what was the business requirement in those projects, challenges and how they were addressed, etc. For all of these, our Hyderabad has coined a new word, "Live Projects". Those who don't know what this means, would have understood after reading this blog till now.

My wife, Kavita, put forth few questions to her.

Kavita: Why do you want to do this? Do you know the consequences if you are caught?

Caller: I know it is wrong. But don't worry. There are HR consultancy firms. They charge 300,000 INR and they take care of everything. They will cover for you

Kavita: Do you think it is right?

Caller: I know it is not. But I have 3 friends, who did the same. They are getting salary of 900,000 INR p.a. and plus they are sitting on bench for the last 9 months. What a life they are having!!

Kavita: You wanted to enjoy married life, so you quit a job that you were having. Now having enjoyed it for 3 years, all of a sudden you had a realization about your career, and you want to be at the same level at which you should have been by now, if you were working all these years. What about those who are working since then, don't you think you will be doing injustice to the candidates who are genuine?

Caller: I have some financial problems, so I am in need of a Job. Everybody is asking for experience, so I have no choice

Kavita: If you want a job, I can help you. I can teach you, send your CV to many companies wherever I have contacts. But why do you want to fake?

Caller: I know I can get a job if I wait for few months. But the salary will not be good. And I need money now

Kavita: Do you have kids?

Caller: Yes, I do, a Son

Kavita: Then with what face will you teach him that Honesty is the best policy

Caller: I know it is wrong, but I cant help it

Kavita: Tomorrow if a robber does robbery in your house and gives the same reasoning then he is also justified. Right?

Caller: Can you help me or not?

Kavita: If you want to learn the subject, you are at the right place. If you want to fake, you are knocking at the wrong door.

When she came for lunch, was very disturbed after this conversation. She said if someone has financial problems, there are Banks who give personal loans. But people are more interested in faking up their CVs, than living by right means and doing hard work. I wondered what the Comparison, Desperation and Eagerness is leading the people to.

My wife said even the companies are at fault. Everyone wants a candidate who is experienced and no one wants to invest in freshers. This eventually forces people to resort to some means and eventually they get into the same companies who were trying to avoid them as freshers. But then, my memory took me back to my earlier days and I shared with her a story about Birbal, the famous minister in the court of Emperor Akbar, who was known for his wit.

There happened to be an officer in Akbar's court who was caught being corrupt. The man cleverly blamed Akbar when produced in front of him. He said you don't care about your subjects, you don't know our problems and how we suffer each day. We are in great misery and forced to resort to corruption.

Birbal suggested to Akbar that if your subjects are not happy in your rule, it is your fault and you cant punish him for that. Birbal asked this man to sit at the sea shore and count the no of waves in the sea, as a small punishment. After a month, both Akbar and Birbal disguised as fishermen and went upto this man sitting at the shore to ask for an address.

The man yelled at them saying he was doing an important job of counting the waves, which was important to form a strategy to attack the enemy nation. Because they disturbed in between, he forgot the count and now the emperor will hang both of them. The two fishermen asked for forgiveness and the man struck a deal for 500 gold coins.

Moral of the story is if someone is corrupt at roots, they will find an opportunity even if you put them in a job that is worth nothing. Honesty is something that is not defined by the circumstances.

There was a gentleman in my team in my previous company. He had so called experience of 3 years in Product costing. When we gave him the orientation about our project and the T codes that we use, he came up with an Einstein type question. Guess what!  And the question was "What is a T Code?

We knew he has faked up his CV and we tried to help him for 2 yrs and taught him all that we could. After 2 years he was fired for non-performance.

When the manager gave him feedback about his performance rating of 4 (the lowest) and explained the consequences of it, he came out of the room with his chest size bulged up. He asked one of my colleagues about his rating. He said, "I got 1" (the highest). This poor fellow became further happy saying "I got a bigger rating than you" (i.e. 4 > 1). Because the manager talked to him in English, he could not even make out that the manager explained to him that he will have to quit the Job. I leave it to the forum to decide how we got into the job in the 1st place.

This brings us to the question, who is (are) at fault?  - The clients running on SAP who insist on the BEST possible "Race Horse" ->  The IT companies who hire a "Pony" and morph them as a " Race Horse" -> The Job consultancy firms who find a "Donkey" and showcase them as a "Pony" or the Donkey himself / herself who is not sure who he / she is and what they want to do in life.

The ultimate sufferer in this whole chain is the client, till the time the fake cv is caught and then the fake CV, once it is caught. However, the clients are big enough to absorb some big  shocks, but we as an individual don't have that capacity, because for us a shock in this situation would mean lack of economic support to our families and disrepute to our own selves.

It is one man's greed that leads to corrupting the whole eco system and this is how a chain reaction works.

The IT companies want to improve their margins, by hiring folks at lower salaries -> People at lower salary means people with lower experience - > Hire people with lower experience -> Make them eat the food in a day which one can eat in four years and just vomit in front of the client during remote telephonic call from offshore -> The Job consultancy firms come to know that the hiring companies are cheating, so why be honest?

If one man's greed has the capability to corrupt the whole eco system, then surely, one right / honest / mature decision would also have an equal potency, if not less, to improve the whole eco system. So, the buck has to stop here, and the Sr. SAP Consultants who are in a capacity to select their team members from with in the same organization, should not bluntly reject someone for lack of experience in a given SAP Module or Sub-module. Rather use your experience to assess whether the candidate is capable enough to ramp-up soon

Thank you for reading this blog. I look forward to your valuable feedback on the same.

Br. Ajay Maheshwari

PS: I dedicate this blog to one of the new faces in SAP, who with sheer zeal and hard work could feature (and is still there) in the Top 10 contributors list in SAP ERP Financials. And despite that, was refused a project because of lack of experience in one of the Sub modules of SAP FICO