The Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry recently stated that “India is in a sweet spot given that firstly, after many years we have a government with a clear political mandate for change and secondly the external environment is good with low oil prices that gives us a lot of space fiscally and inflation-wise”. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses operating in India and also comes with great challenges as they ready themselves for high growth. For many companies it is also a time to transform their business models and acquire the right talent to drive that transformation.

Looking at various industries we see some clear pointers,

  • In Manufacturing, with the 'Make in India' mantra being evangelized by Prime Minister Modi, India Inc is poised to diversify into strategic areas to expand their presence while at the same time gearing up their people strategy to locate skilled manpower in our 1bn + population. Apart from seeking capital for growth, companies are being forced to start skill development programs to develop a pool of entry level resources on the shop floor given the overall shortage we are facing. There is going to be a strategic investment in time and capital for companies who are in for the long haul.
  • If we look at the Information Technology sector the traditional software services companies are challenged by the need for rapid innovation to transform their businesses from commoditized outsourcing work to high margin businesses like artificial intelligence, big data and analytics as well as fend off competition from start- ups who specialize in niche areas. There is a definite shortage of skilled engineers that is prompting these companies to invest in “Centers of excellence” around these business opportunities to transform their organizations while adding value to their customers.
  • Looking at the Higher education sector, in the last eight years, more than 17 central universities, 14 IIMs, 15 IITs and various other central institutions have been set up. They have less than 35% of the ideal faculty strength which has prompted the government to allow these institutions to hire non-academicians from bankers to civil servants to scientists and other professionals to tide over the severe faculty shortage crisis. Educational institutions need to quickly gear up to this transformation to produce the right talent that can be industry ready.
  • The Publishing industry is in for a major transformation with the traditional print based companies required to rapidly develop a digital & software footprint and look at ways of monetizing the same. They need to look at other industries already in the digital space to build a talent pool as well as take an entirely new approach to drive transformation in product development, while looking at new channels of sales & distribution.

This phenomenon of talent transformation is true across most industries and will drive the culture of a 'learning organization' for businesses to pro-actively deal with rapid changes in the marketplace & the environment. This is crucial for companies as they seek to transform to leverage opportunities and ‘stay in the game’.

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