The Hindu : Health / Fitness : Techies told to turn to yoga, meditation to beat stress Turn to yoga and meditation at work place to beat stress levels and fight health blues, says an IT industry veteran to techies. Impressed by the value yoga adds in his own company in terms enhancing enthusiasm and output, Chairman of city-based IT firm MindTree, Ashok Soota, says the practice certainly helped the firm’s professionals energise themselves. Asked about the tendency by a section of IT industry to brush under carpet health concerns of young professionals triggered by long hours of work before computers, he pointed out that the sector literally employs millions of people. “I would not necessarily speak for the BPO sector and its 24X7 pressures”, Soota, a past President of Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology and Confederation of Indian Industry, said. But in the IT services space, there were a few cases but by and large, hard-working people were able to lead a very balanced life and managed their stress levels well. “Now, within that, you need to create orientation. For example, in MindTree we have a programme called healthy minds & healthy body focusing on people to improve the things, running programmes on yoga and meditation”, Soota said. On positive trends that he is seeing, he said overall, more and more industries such as retail and energy are getting to be IT-dependent and one would find IT intensity gaining momentum going forward. “I think the other aspect is to the extent there was a slowdown (in recent months), there was pent-up demand. So, that demand will get released”, Soota said. He said the market in India was booming and some of the tenders floated were among the largest in the world. Recruitment in the IT sector would be much better this year. “2009 was a bad year for employment” as most companies did not make new commitments on hiring. “One thing I am concerned about is last time when there was a slowdown, people who didn’t get into the job market, in order to project themselves having experience...(came out with) lots of documents, false employment backgrounds. I hope it does not lead to that (this time). But certainly you will find it’s a better year (2010) for campus“. Soota also said pricing in the industry held up in spite of the slowdown. “I think it would be good if we get normal increases but you can’t expect a jump. After all, our customers are still recovering from a major slowdown”.