Infosys doesn’t really need to advertise open positions these days — it is India’s biggest IT success story, and people literally queue to be employed with the tech giant. But there was a time, not so long ago, when Infosys needed to actively recruit people into its organization. And to do so, it came up with this half-page ad in the Mumbai edition of the Times of India in 1991.
“Only 64 brilliant young engineers are destined to conquer the world of software!,” Infosys declared, with an accompanying picture showing crosshairs picking out a suitably young engineer from amidst a crowd. Infosys was clear that it was only looking for the best. “Our enrollment standards are tough, so we are looking for people who’ve been among the top 10 rank holders in their discipline, and have an aggregate score of 65%. Nothing less will do,” the ad said.
The ad then spoke about the world of career opportunities that awaited these young graduates. The pay was only a part of the draw — Infosys engineers made Rs. 45,000 a year (Rs. 3750 a month), with top performers being able to earn a princely Rs. 52,000. But in addition to the pay, Infosys promised its new employees a swish global lifestyle. “The job is transferable, so you can look forward to jet setting not only in India, but all over the world,” said Infosys. “From Bangalore we’ve expanded to Delhi, Bombay, Atlanta, Boston and Paris,” it added.
The ad is also unique glimpse into life in the early 90s. Infosys required new employees to move to Bangalore, so it tried to sell the city to its applicants, describing it as having a “quaint ambiance of its own.” Ironically, thanks to the IT boom started off by Infosys, nobody would call Bangalore’s ambiance “quaint” any more — it’s a bustling metropolis now of over 10 million people. Infosys also threw in a dash of humour into the ad. “Your girlfriend is sure going to miss you next Monday,” the ad said, before explaining that people who cleared the test on Saturday, held at the Leela Kempinski, would be interviewed on Sunday, and given their offer letters on Monday.
The ad clearly served its intended purpose — Narayana Murthy said that 1,500 people showed up at Leela Kempinski on the test date. There was a mini stampede, and Infosys had to pay the hotel for damages to the glass and other properties. But Infosys clearly found some good engineers — it went on from being a small startup to becoming a 2,27,500 crore company. And it’s hard to tell who these lucky 64 engineers were, but thanks to joining Infosys as early as 1991 and the subsequent rise in its stock price, they’re all probably multi-millionaires.
Here are some excerpts from the ad:
Only 64 brilliant young engineers are destined to conquer the world of software. Find out if you’re one of them this Saturday.
Infosys — Among India’s top 10 software companies
Infosys is a software company based out of Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. What sets us apart is that the people who run Infosys are first rate software professionals, with exposure to international developments in the industry.
As you will discover when you meet us, ours is an informal, open culture — we prize the individual and celebrate the team. And we go out of our way to make the working atmosphere enjoyable, even to the extent of encouraging flexible hours at work.
A combination of all these factors has made us what we are today — not just one of India’s top 10 software companies, but one with a unique track record of innovation. Recognition has come in the form of software export projects from Fortune 500 companies like General Electric and multinationals like Reebok.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for young male/female engineers in any discipline (or science graduates plus MCAs). Our enrollment standards are tough, so we are looking for people who’ve been among the top 10 rank holders in their discipline, and have an aggregate score of 65%. Nothing less will do.
Ideally we expect you to have up to one year of work experience in any field of engineering. A computer software background is not essential.
What’s in it for you?
You will join us as a Software engineer trainee and will be initially based at Bangalore. The gross annual pay package is Rs. 45,000 plus. You’ll be on probation for 12 months after which you’ll be confirmed as a software engineer. The best can expect to earn a gross annual compensation of Rs. 52,000 on completion of the training period.
The world is your workplace
The job is transferable, so you can look forward to jet setting not only in India, but all over the world. (Read on to see how soon your dream of seeing the world can come true)
The pace is scorching
You will be part of a team of 400 of the finest calibre people from all over India. A team that has made Infosys register a 100% cumulative in the last three years. And we’re determined to better that performance in the future.
A borderless company that’s going places
From Bangalore we’ve expanded to Delhi, Bombay, Atlanta, Boston and Paris.
Change jobs fast (without leaving us)
You’ll find persons at Infosys who joined as software engineers, and rose to be Vice Presidents and members of the management council, within 6 years. As they themselves say, their classmates from college head at best a division, while they chart the future of an entire company.
Say cheers to Bangalore
A few words about Bangalore, where you’ll be initially based. It’s a beautiful city. The garden city, as it’s called, has an quaint ambiance of its own. We’ll help you settle down and assist you with accommodation and any basic facilities you may require.
This Saturday, be at the Leela Kempinksi, 9 am sharp.
Your girlfriend is sure going to miss you next Monday
And now for the big surprise. If you do well in the test, the best people will be asked to appear in an interview on Sunday — yes, the very next day! Make your mark in the interview and we guarantee you your appointment letter on Monday. Ideally we’d expect you to join within a month.