Are Women bosses at India Inc good, unbiased and productive? Source-The Economic Times.

Naveen Puri is no chauvinist. Yet, two years ago, when he heard his new boss was Vidya Srinivasan, Puri was sceptical. A woman as head of the infrastructure vertical? Would she be competent enough to supervise the function? What if she ran roughshod over the team and destroyed his freedom? Was it goodbye to the buddy culture at work? Puri already felt nostalgic about the free-wheeling meetings and after-work shindigs.

About the same time, Srinivasan was preparing for her new role – leading a team with a majority of men. But managing gender bias was not part of her to-do list. “I knew my future team mates would be doubtful. You cannot change perceptions. You have to find ways around the problem. Being a boss has never been a challenge for me. I believe women are intuitively better managers,” she says.

Puri endorses the claim now. “Her collaborative techniques and mentoring have been more effective than any male boss. She doesn’t sugar-coat critical feedback which helps improve work quality,” says the assistant vicepresident, real estate, Genpact.

Women bosses like Srinivasan are no longer the rare breed they were five years ago. As vertical heads, project and team leaders, you’ll find them in every other office ofIndia Inc. In fact in the services sector nearly 30-50% of the bosses are women. So why was Puri wary of working under one?

Truth is the perception ofwomen leaders hasn’t changed as rapidly as the rise in their numbers and designations in corporate India. Do a dipstick poll and more employees prefer a man as a boss. Search the subject and you’ll be inundated with juicy sob stories about nasty or lousy women bosses.

Does this mean that women bosses in India are still under pressure to prove their worth? Do they work harder to demonstrate who is in command? Is it difficult to delegate?

To find the answers, ET on Sunday spoke to the women we are debating about: bosses from across industries and with different sets of responsibilities. The conversations had several surprises in store. For one, the women bosses were more candid about the subject than some employees. They did not wish away the perception bias either. But they had a unique take on it: experience alters perceptions super quick. At the end, what matters is whether they are a good boss or a bad one. Gender is incidental.

Merit Counts…

“It is tougher to establish yourself within the first decade or so of your career, than becoming a leader. Once you rise to the top, it is backed by an established track record. Then the fact that you are a woman becomes irrelevant,” says Roopa Kudva, managing director and CEO of credit ratings agencyCrisil.

Most women bosses agree. In March this year, Padmaja Alaganandan, executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a consultant, was invited by the Asian Development Bank to speak on women leadership. “In the past 20 years, I never thought it mattered that I was a woman leader. Perhaps because consulting is more a meritocracy,” she says.

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IT Buzz: Latest happenings in the IT sector. Source : The Economic Times

IT spending this year will grow faster than previously forecast, according to the research firm Gartner, which bodes well for top Indian exporters Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro. India’s top three software services exporters are expected to report strong quarterly revenue growth with demand remaining healthy despite concerns about the global economy.

While America keeps inventing reasons to make it harder for Indian IT companies to do business, many Indian software companies are spending large sums hiring professional help to win friends and influence people in their biggest market.

With the crash in the stock price of their parent company, BlackBerry’s India success has become more critical than its scriptwriters had imagined. Along with other emerging economies, India may decide if the parent company has the chance to play catch up.

Quick on the heels of Google’s launch of its latest social-networking venture, Facebook said that its 750 million users will now be able to make video calls on the site.

IT Buzz: Latest happenings in the IT sector. Source- The Economic Times.

It’s now the turn of India’s largest software company to spell out its stand on a tricky point that tax authorities have been raking up. After Infosys and Wipro, the Income-Tax Department has initiated scrutiny on Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for claiming tax benefits for onshore services, often derogatorily called ‘body shopping’.

On the other hand, Wipro can heave a sigh of relief as The World Bank on Thursday said Wipro is now eligible to apply for becoming a vendor, as the four-year ban imposed on the software major ended this month.

The week also marked the launch of a number of products. Motorola Mobility became the latest entrant in India as it launched the Xoom tablet in 3G and Wi-Fi priced at Rs 32,990 and 39,990. Taiwanese handset maker HTC also entered the “tablet” war in India with the launch of its “Flyer” in the country, priced at Rs 39,890.

Google Inc, frustrated by a string of failed attempts to crack social networking, took another stab at fending off Facebook and other hot social sites with a new service called Google Plus. Unlike Facebook, Google+ offers an option to share specific content with different friends groups.