Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Recession Depression?

I have gotten very busy with work and that takes up most of my time. Everyday I decide I want to write a post and read some, but it never happens. Off and on, I have been going through some of your posts - sometimes commenting sometimes not. But I am still here and finding it hard to give up on blogging!

Recession has hit everywhere - but I hear it's not as bad in India? Is it true? Dubai is different story altogether. With the real estate sector booming in the last couple of years, most people were dabbling their hands in property. Many made tons of money (I am not sure how many of them have been able to retain those profits, as they always reinvested to get greater returns you see). Suddenly that sector is wiped out. Companies are downsizing and people are losing their jobs left, right and centre. Banks, Steel industry, Oil sector, Retail - everything has been spiralling downwards. Yesterday I was told by someone, a local bank announced to the top management that they will be downsizing. Within 1 hour they had a list of people to be fired. Those people were to empty their desks and leave the office in the next 30 minutes! And they fired over 300 people.

Dubai is a rootless place. When I say rootless, I mean the people living in this country are mostly expats. And they are here either for money or to break their journey towards West. Since one can almost never get a citizenship here, as soon as the job/business is lost, the expat is ready to leave. There is no real attachment or reason for one to stay back. In fact even if one wants to (for whatever other reason), one cannot because the visa is cancelled.

So as I was saying, a friend pointed a very different perspective. If people lose their jobs and leave the country, how will the economy ever pick up? Is job cutting the real answer to this problem? Is it possible to cut costs by cutting salaries of people rather than downsizing? That way atleast the person has money to spend and would thus keep the demand for things going (however slow that might be, atleast it won't be zero).

They say "the pain has not even started". I wonder what a real depression would be like. Not that I am dying for a first hand experience, but I am curious! And we are starting a new business - yes a new one - at this time. It's good because the costs are coming down, but then so is the demand. So keeping our fingers crossed!

PS: Saw and read about the Pink Chaddi Campaign. Fantastic effort by these girls. Ram Sena deserves a super "moohphat" jawab like this!! Check out their blog here

Edited to add: Did you watch the NDTV Greenathon? I wonder why none of the politicians came forward to adopt a village? I mean that would've earned them brownie points and some votes too! As much as I applaud the effort, I also wonder if this is in any way freeing the Government from doing their duty? Afterall we pay taxes for this very reason - so that every village/city/town gets a decent infrastructure including electricity. Right?

11 You Spoke:

Piper .. said...

Hey, I know it can get really depressing. A close friend of ours, who was in the software industry here in the US, just lost his job. And all this while we thought that the recession wouldnt really affect us personally.
Now they are debating over the H1B employees and planning to remove them first, before the Americans :( Its crazily depressing. Wonder if the end is anywhere in sight..

Renu said...

It is really tough times and tougher ahead..just hope that this too shall pass.

Shalom said...

My aunt in Dubai works in the construction sector, admin line. A couple of weeks back, her company laid off a lot of employees. Her job was safe, but it is still an ordeal when you have to say goodbye to so many colleagues and friends.

But even aside from this recession, Dubai and the rest of the Gulf for that matter, is still, as you put it, rootless. I don't think you can ever really be 100% mentally secure there, because you know that your life there depends solely on your (or your hubby / father's) job.

My sister studies in Dubai and just a lil while earlier she told me that one of her batchmates lost his father last night. The father was the sole working member and therefore the sponsor, so now the family may have to come back to India and as for this guy, well, even if the college arranges his visa, there's still the issue of the astronomical fees.

So life out there is tough most of the time. Its not the constant party that most ppl here believe it to be.

Goofy Mumma said...

Food for thought really, and indeed this place is rootless. All the best with your new venture. Keep going.

Just call me 'A' said...

it is a tough tough tough time right now. I am in the thick and thin of it literally. all the best for your new venture. hopefully it sails through these trouble times. and I think you have a point there on the greening bit.

Goofy Mumma said...

A tag awaits you on my blog.

Nisha said...

well...you'll see the real pain in 2009..i know lots of people who've been fired...i know campuses that have seen no placement...i know people who r postponing their wedding becoz they are not sure of the job..its sad as never before...just hoping we stay immune to it somehow.
all the best to u!!!

Reflections said...

"Dubai is a rootless place. When I say rootless, I mean the people living in this country are mostly expats. And they are here either for money or to break their journey towards West. Since one can almost never get a citizenship here, as soon as the job/business is lost, the expat is ready to leave. There is no real attachment or reason for one to stay back. In fact even if one wants to (for whatever other reason), one cannot because the visa is cancelled."

U've put exactly like it is.....

I've hrd its going to last atleast 2 yrs....now itself its so bad, I can bear to imagine how worse its going to get:-(

My sister works in recruitment....yesterday they gave notice to 30 employees & 5 of them were working under her.
HP, Dell, [I have 2 cousins working there] are telling the employees to take compulsory leave for 1 week every month & tht much pay is cut.

The thing is people are going to stop spending which is not good for the economy. If they dont spend then they r directly contributing to the recession.

Reflections said...

Life has to go on.
And finally we know just like it went down, the economy will pick up once again.....
And all the best for ur new venture!!!!

DeeplyDip said...

@Piper: governments will always protect their citizens. Like here a company is not allowed to ban a local employee! Infact if they do, they can be fined! I'm sure this will end...but when is the question...

@Renu: absolutely. This too shall pass.

@Shalom: oh yes if the head of the family dies, every dependant visa on him
is canceled immediately. Moreover, their bank accounts freeze if the wife is not a joint account holder. It is a difficult procedure to get things sorted out. Even as you mentioned, for boys above 18 need to be on the univ visa or work etc.
I hope things get better for everyone soon...

@thanks for the wishes :)

@Just Call me 'A': thanks for the wishes and all the best to you too :)

@Goofy Mumma: Doen it...have a look...

@Nisha: i know the tricking effect has not really started yet...everyone is expecting bad times ahead...lets see what happens...

@Reflections: ya I've heard the same - 1.5-2 years...eaxctly. it is a visious circle and we cannot do much about it. true what goes down must go up too :) thanks a lot for your wishes...

my space said...

well i keep hearing about recession and it has actually psyched most of us..we dont feel like spending on luxuries..i am scared about the so called depression..i hope things work out..ya India doesn seem so bad..
and your new venture WILL work!

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