Youth quits Infosys job to work as agriculture worker at brinjal farm in Japan
Like him, many Indian engineering graduates are quitting jobs to reap the job harvest in Japan and work there as agriculture, construction, and care workers under Specified Skill Worker (SSW) scheme.
Vignesh and Ganeshkumar (in middle)
ACN SUNDAY SPECIAL & EXCLUSIVE: Venkatasamy Vignesh, 28, from Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu is a mechanical engineering graduate who quit his IT conglomerate Infosys job, learned the Japanese language, and last Monday he flew to Japan to work as an agriculture worker at a brinjal (eggplant) farm there in Kochi prefecture. For Vignesh who comes from a farmer’s family with his parents farming on their farmland in their village for livelihood, it was not an easy decision.
At New Delhi Airport while leaving for Japan
After graduating in mechanical engineering, he was working with Infosys since 2017 in development and support. During Corona pandemic, he started operating from home (WFH), and also helped his parents occasionally on the farm fields whenever he got time. He closely saw them struggling to earn a livelihood the hard way from farming.
“I decided to turn farming into a lucrative business and learn Japanese techniques and processes. For that I had to lean Japanese language and I contacted a Chennai-based Nihon Edutech, a sending organisation training youths on Japanese language, and other skills for placing them with employers in Japan. I quit my 4-year old job in Infosys in March 2021 to join them full-time against the will of my parents who were shocked at my decision. My parents warned with against it saying farming is not a lucrative preposition,” said Vignesh.
Nihon Edutech, a sending organisation for Specified Skill Workers (WWS) & Tecnichal Intern Training Program (TITP) in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) offers Japanese language, culture etiquette, technical training to the skilled workers to place them in Japan. Nihon Edutech-CII together have sent over 200 youths to Japan so far in automobile & machine maintenance, manufacturing, agriculture, caregiving and construction.
Vignesh acquired Japanese language proficiency skill of N-4 level, and also passed the mandatory SSW test in November last year, and was selected as the first agriculture workers to be placed in Japan under the SSW program.
Krishnan Narayan, Founder, Nihon Edutech, said that Vignesh was the right candidate for the agriculture job in Japan as he not only had the required farming background but also the inclination to learn Japanese language and new Japanese farming techniques.
On Monday he flew to Japan after meeting Ms. Kyoko Hokugo, Minister Economic and Development, Ryusuke Hagiwara, First Secretary, Hosaka Shun, Consul, Agriculture, Japan embassy, New Delhi, Sougata Roy Choudhury, Executive director, CII, Bhavna Chopra, Srikrishna, GM, Skill Development, CII, Motofumi Minohara, All Nippon Airways, and Krishnan Narayan, Founder, Nihon Edutech.
And Vignesh is not the only Indian who is making crucial decision to get placed in Japan after quitting their rewarding jobs, there are many other like him in the fray. Many Indian engineering graduates are quitting jobs to reap the job harvest in Japan and work there as agriculture, construction, and care workers under Specified Skill Worker (SSW) scheme. Over a dozen are going to Japan in next couple of months in various sectors under SSW program.
On Monday, Madasamy Ganeshkumar , 26, from Tuticorin in Tamilnadu also flew to Japan to work as agriculture worker there. An Electrical Engineering graduate who worked as electrician at a thermal power plant decided to switch to agriculture. He also comes with a farming background with his parents into agriculture for decades.
Both Vignesh and Ganeshkumar went to Japan for five years and wish to return after learning Japanese farming technology, processes and other nuances and making their family farming business into a big project by setting up an agriculture startup company, and also give jobs to others in India.
Sougata Roy Choudhury, Executive director, CII said that because of the aging population and other factors Japan required lakhs of skilled manpower. “From India only about 500 Indians have been placed in Japan and there lies a huge opportunity for the Indian youths. Japan is looking for more manpower from India than other countries like Vietnam and China, as India offers a large number and good quality of talent,” he added.
What is SSW:
As per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, “Those who can work in Japan as a SSW must be over 18 years old in a good health, have the necessary occupational skills and Japanese language ability to work immediately without receiving any particular training. Skills and Japanese proficiency will be confirmed by a unified test conducted by Japan. In principle, you can work for up to 5 years in total, but you cannot bring your family. In addition, the major difference from other status of residence to work in Japan is a support system. You can receive a wide range of support for life and work from your employer while you are in Japan, from the time you arrive to leave for your home country.”