The Digital Skeptic: World Wide Web Kills World Wide Economy
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Gaurav Hasabnis has a common complaint in these flat-to-down digital days.
"Let me tell you my exact problem," says Hasabnis, 29, who has been searching for regular, professional employment in the wireless industry since mid-2010. "I earn through freelance projects, but these projects are not on a continual basis. I am looking for a job which will secure my future."
Like many highly educated professionals in today's no-growth service economy, Hasabnis comes from a solid family and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from respected schools. He did time in international banking, blogs regularly for an audience of 3 million and has enough hustle to get in front of journalists like me.
But apart from stringing together freelance assignments to keep the lights on, his job search has been more "search" than "job."
Why do we investors care? Because Hasabnis lives in India. In the heart of Mumbai. You know, one of those supposedly fast-growing, brutally efficient, world-eating information-based economies that drive the price of digital economy stocks to Mars. And once you hear Hasabnis' story, never mind similar stories from Greece, Italy or Spain, every global macroeconomic flare of dysfunction will fire high above your head.
It turns out, getting crushed by the information age is the latest trend to go global.
Might as well be Indiana
Preconceived notions of modern India will not help you here. Hasabnis is not an immigrant and he's not locked at the bottom of India's inscrutable caste society. He is well-educated and well-connected. He earned a diploma in advanced software technology. He got bank training from the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance. And in 2008, he left his banking career after being accepted into the joint MBA program in Mumbai offered by the Institute of Technology and Management and Southern New Hampshire University.
If you ever spend any time talking with him, like I have, you will immediately find Hasabnis bright, smart and way more than qualified for a marketing job in what is supposed to be the hottest digital economic sector in the world: mobile devices.
But even for this freshly minted MBA, there was -- and is -- no full-time work.
"I am not having any opportunity in telecom," he says.