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By Julian Matthews

Research engineer Rabindra Singh was left in a lurch after steady government contracts for telecom products in India came to a sudden halt, and funding dried up for in-house technology development at the company he had worked seven years for.

At age 33, and with a pregnant wife, he decided to look further afield for new opportunities. Three options came to mind--Silicon Valley, in which he had had a stint as design consultant, the U.K. and Singapore.

Malaysia was not even on his radar screen, but became his eventual choice. "I was told how things are shaping up here--the infrastructure and the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project. Besides it is much closer to my country, and just takes 5 hours to be back in case of any family emergencies," said Singh, the only son of aging parents.

Although he had no relatives in Malaysia, the country has had long ties with India. Over a century ago, the British brought in large numbers of Indians to then Malaya to fill labor shortages and work on the railways, rubber estates and tea plantations. Many of them eventually stayed and their descendants now represent 10 percent of the population.

In the 21st century, Rabindra represents the new migrant workers to Malaysia. Highly skilled, adaptable and technology-savvy, they bring desperately needed expertise to a country sorely lacking in such resources. Indeed, technology hubs the world over are in a rush to grab what is now known in management parlance as the "knowledge worker". These busy bees of the New Economy are deemed crucial for bustling research hives to turn honey into money.

MSC as a magnet Next

Julian Matthews is the Malaysian correspondent for CNET Malaysia. Email us your comments.


Varied Roles Of A Knowledge Worker

No job description can adequately capture the synthesis, versatility, imagination and stamina of knowledge work. Consider the relationship management role. A job description may reduce the role to tasks, such as monitoring customer satisfaction, explaining chargeback, setting budgets and managing projects.

However, depending on the type and scope of the company and the personality of the person filling the roles, the relationship managers must frequently fulfill all their roles at once: ambassador, vendor manager, problem solver, customer advocate, psychologist, salesperson, financial analyst, satisfaction monitor, interpreter, leader, consultant, researcher, speaker, project manager, advisor, communicator and technician.

Virtually none of those roles match or reflect the observable tasks that job descriptions require.

Source: GartnerGroup


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