Personal reflection – India and skills

As we conclude a busy and productive week, at KaurSkills, I am left reflecting on our vision as leading experts in skills, employability and education management, in India. Our direction of travel, since inception and timely intuition of potential developments, that India would lead in the world of skills.

Timely quote on NDTV news, by Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries ‘India is a land of billion opportunities’, when speaking to management graduates at the Institute of Management Technology. Passion and compassion being the recipe for success for upcoming leaders. The speech highlighting leaders should seek opportunities from adversity, be solution focussed, being brave and bold, and driving achievements.

I would agree with the sound advice. There are management lessons to be learnt from across the globe, and knowledge sharing, that is not just found in management models. Those shared, were having a clear strategic vision, being responsive to environmental pressures, and implementing vision reflective of global conditions. A strategic SWOT and PESTLE analysis springs to mind.

Regular visits to India, highlights amazing strengths, and the potential skilled workforce India has to offer in the near future.

We are all aware of outsourcing potential India offers, with it’s unusual young demographic profile, compared to the rest of the world.

We are also aware of the expansive landscape, cultural and rurality issues – a potential logistical nightmare. Traditional administration practices, wildly different to modern retail operations, India showcases proudly.

The country firmly leads in a way no other country I can think of does. At the height of global economic uncertainty, India has faired well, with proud Indians enjoying the success and variety of glocalisation multicorporates from the west provides.

Organised chaos is what springs to mind, as my first impression, as a tourist.

Digging deeply, and absorbing India’s core work ethics and values on my exploratory work focussed visit, highlights much more than just what I see on the surface, as a tourist.

Everyone works intensely, with full dedication, and total commitment to the task at hand.

Everyone knows what they have to deliver.

Certain sector areas visited, such as call centres, and sales reveal colleagues working significant hours, often with strict performance measures in place, and individuals being firmly targeted. A reliance that workers must deliver no matter what hour. A working day can average at 12 hours.

There are hundreds of key labourers working solidly through the night and day, working at the ‘poverty line’ (westerners definition) and in extreme conditions; but they are content and value their contribution in areas of construction, infrastructure and logistics. In turn, they support their children and families out of social deprivation, begging and exclusion. There have been attempts in the main cities, to ensure everyone has work.

Big retail developments, with large multinational corporations and retail brands boom; marketing products and services tailored for young professionals and the ‘rich’. Many festivals, and personal functions later, one can easily see why ‘western’ retailers have diversified their offers towards the East, with increasing GDP and consumption market, making it a viable booming market.

Some of the sectors making it big in India, namely are:

Retail

Healthcare, with medical tourism

Construction

Manufacturing

Telecoms – Reliance, Airtel and significant others, allow even the rickshaw valas mobiles

Media Industries

Whilst sectors, like agriculture are in difficulty, with rural practices needing revisit, modernisation and investment.

Significant unorganised sector, experiencing low literacy and numeracy achievements, across the Indian subcontinent overall.

Education sector initiatives with private sector links, is attracting significant working class children, and the opportunities money floats bring, to support the next generation, particularly in IT and business.

However, there is no denying, the show of eternal commitment and driven passion, Indians offer to bring India forward.

It is this drive, passion, application and knowledge of skills, that will be the formula of success, for a better India.

We encourage and support policy makers and educational partners in India, to work together to bring a skills programme of success for the country, as is planned for 2022.

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