There has been an exponential rise in the number of professionals from the IT and finance sectors in the city queuing up to consult astrologers and numerologists, as pink slips and salary cuts have become the order of the day…
The once starry-eyed individuals of the IT sector, where the future was only as complicated as their algorithms and performance sheets, are now reaching out to an unlikely source for guidance. Instead of configuring IP addresses, they are looking at planetary positions, trying to see what the stars foretell.
Since December 2008, astro websites, astrologers and numerologists are seeing a clear hike in the number of techies from Bangalore asking for astrological advice online and offline. Techies have been asking for advice on their jobs, relationships, how to manage expenses and future prospects, and through which pooja and prayer?
Astrologers say that their earlier arrogance has disappeared as they wait patiently for hours in long queues to consult the soothsayers.
Meena Kapoor, co-founder and CEO, Astroyogi.com (Netway India Pvt. Ltd), says, “There is definitely an overall spurt in queries from IT professionals and finance professionals in Bangalore. With the slowdown, many are asking us about their careers. They are very insecure about their jobs. They ask us, ‘What will happen to us and our jobs?’”
There are men and women, employees and employers from the IT industry. They come in all age groups — in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
One website devoted to astrology now gets close to 400-500 queries from Bangalore alone via its phone and email services. The pre-slowdown 800-1,000 queries over emails to one website got hiked by 25 per cent since January 2009. Of the increased number, 45 per cent of the queries are from people in Bangalore, from employees in the 22-30 age group in banking and financial sectors and 60 per cent are men.
BPO FOR ASTRO SERVICE
With the huge increase in email astrology queries, Astroyogi.com has launched live interaction with astrologers over phone. It gets 500 calls a day. The website has call centres with premium numbers for mobile operators through which customers call the astrologers. People call and speak to call centre astrologers, where agents who are qualified in astrology speak to the customers. The website already has a call centre with 50 astrologer call agents in Delhi. “We are in the process of setting up a call centre in Bangalore beginning with 20 qualified astrologers as call agents,” said Kapoor. At present, it has a growing network of 100 astrologers, who log in from wherever they are in India and offer astro advice to customers. Astro advice is a paid service and payment depends on the astrologers. It ranges between Rs 20 and Rs 100 and is decided by the astrologer.
FUTURE ON THE LINE
City-based numerologist Navitha has in the last six months advised employees of IT majors like Infosys and Capgemini and banks such as ICICI. Particularly since December 2008, she has noticed a steep hike. Every week since then, she has spoken to at least 20-25 people on job security, home and car loans. “They are very insecure. It is not just curiosity. Companies now do not bother about performance and have massive layoffs. People no longer can say, ‘I work fine, so I keep my job.’ It is fate, not performance,” she says.
There are more men than women, asking how to deal with relationships. All of them are very young professionals, mostly software engineers and project leaders. Very few of them are above project manager level. “No senior manager has come because they are confident with their long experience,” she says.
Navitha began numerology after she moved to Bangalore from New York. So she does not know what the trend in the city was earlier. However, she says her father — a well-known numerologist called Nehru — has noticed that from the earlier 2-3 per cent, now 15 to 20 per cent of people who come to numerologists are from IT and financial services sectors, or have invested in stocks and shares. “The global meltdown has definitely affected people’s outlook about their future,” she says.
The global financial crisis has seriously bought an ironical and critical situation in India. Its high time It industry gets back its lustre and level back into form. Well, we can just hope for the best!!!