EXACTITUDE 2013- The HR Conclave on Employability

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

Fortune Institute of International Business successfully conducted EXACTITUDE 2013 on 16thFebruary 2013. The one-day HR Conclave on EMPLOYABILITY was attended by well known personalities like Mr. M. Ravindran, Managing Director, Indraprastha Gas Limited, Mr.Sanjeev Bhatnagar, Director HR, Haskoning India, Mr.Naresh Deevi, Head, BPC, Consulting & Training , Husys Consulting and many more. Exactitude also included workshops and competitions and the students of FIIB made us proud by winning laurels in the same.

The conclave began with the keynote address by Mr M.Ravindran, Managing Director, IGL, New Delhi, and Director-HR (designate) at his parent company, GAIL (India) Ltd, a Maharatna Public Sector Undertaking on “Relevance of the Employability” discussion.

Then the panel discussion “Employability in Knowledge Economy” focusing on employer expectations in terms of skills and abilities for knowledge industry and certifications, qualifications and their value took place. Employability and its relevance are high on the priority of every stakeholder in Indian society today. The employers, employees, students and teachers of higher education are all affected by this issue directly or indirectly.

The speakers of this panel discussion included:

  • Mr.Sanjeev Bhatnagar, Director, Human Resources and Corporate Support Group at Haskoning India Pvt. Ltd. (a company of Royal Haskoning, The Netherlands)
  • Mr.Naresh Deevi, Head, BPC, Consulting & Training, Husys Consulting.
  • Mr.Purav Sanghvi, Head – HR, Reliance Entertainment, Digital

Mr.Purav Sanghvi discussed What is Knowledge Economy?”– A system of consumption and production that is based on intellectual capital. The knowledge economy commonly makes up a large share of all economic activity in developed countries. In a knowledge economy, a significant part of a company’s value may consist of intangible assets, such as the value of its workers’ knowledge (intellectual capital).

The focus of knowledge economy is on IT and ITes, retail, pharma and media sectors. Knowledge economy in India is growing through domestic export, inter-border economy, leadership and high-skill jobs. Future of Knowledge Economy can be applicable in all service related sectors. Outsourcing success in India is an example of Knowledge economy well executed to the point that we can export it. Entertainment space thrives due to its intellectual assets & is recession proof. By 2020, India will be close to becoming a super power in the knowledge market due to its growing consumption and available workable manpower. ITes based companies are $12 b industry and will rise to $36 b by 2020.

His message was clear- Go Conquer !

“A Knowledge economy is characterised by a culture of innovation” said Mr. Naresh Deevi.

As we all are aware that stepping into the industry is not an easy task. Before one tries to convince an employer that the person they need to hire is YOU, one should identify all the skills one has to offer. It’s a lot harder to talk about strengths if one doesn’t know what they are in the first place! Everything you learn and every skill you have is part of your personal tool kit. You carry these “tools” with you as you move through school and into the job market. Keeping this in mind, a workshop, “INVENTARIO”: “Individual Employability Inventory in Managerial Skills” , a practical tool and exercise based workshop open for students of FIIB and other B-Schools facilitated by SHRM representative, was held.

The second panel discussion: Demographic Dividend and Skill Development” – relevance for Management professionals was delivered by:

  • Ms.Anita Gupta, Ex-Global HR Head, Aricent Technologies.
  • Mr.Purav Sanghvi,Head – HR, Reliance Entertainment, Digital
  • Mr.Sanjeev Bhatnagar- Director, Human Resources and Corporate Support Group at Haskoning India Pvt. Ltd. (a company of Royal Haskoning, The Netherlands)

Demographic Dividend is the context in which employability is a crucial need, especially so, in the Indian context. It is for everyone to be able to encash and make a mark for ourselves.

Ms.Anita Gupta threw light on Demographic Dividend and Skill Development.

What is demographic dividend? It is the window of opportunity in the development of a society or a nation, that spurns faster economic growth & human development. It is caused due to ‘gradual’ decline in population & increase in average life expectance. ‘Lag’ -> ‘bulge’ in society->increases ‘dependency ratio’ (burden on society). Eventually, the ‘bulge’ enters productive work force, with fewer dependents (low population and lower older generation dependents) -> very low dependency ratios-> demographic dividend. Combined with effective public policies, this leads to tremendous growth in the economy and economic well being.

What is the current global working population?

  • Japan: Workforce reducing since 1995
  • Korea: Will start reducing by 2015
  • China: Working age ratio will peak in 2013 and then decline substantially over next decade
  • …..what about India?

The good news is that India’s changing demographics has helped its growth since the 1980s.  By 2025, India will surpass China as the most populous country, with a large portion in the working age group. Increased labor supply, IF absorbed productively by the economy will lead to new job opportunities. Greater savings potential due to fewer dependents and families can invest more resources on (fewer) children resulting in better education & health. Gradually it will lead to 2% addition to per capita GDP.

By 2020, India’s average working age will be 29, China & US will be @37, Western Europe @45 and Japan @48. Globally, there will be a shortage of 56 million by 2020. India will enjoy age advantage through 2040. There will be a HUGE opportunity if we can capitalize by right-skilling. The younger Indians (us) need to develop right skills for the modern (ever-evolving) job market.

The challenges India is facing:

  • Finding jobs for the growing working population
  • Developing India’s human capital is critical over next 2 decades
  • Unskilled population needs to be addressed
  • Skilled labor (5%) can be employed in variety of jobs transitioning from other countries, or exported to fill the skill gap
  • NASSCOM: Only 25% of IT graduates are employable! (?)
  • Skill gap primarily in Product (IP) space
  • National Employability Engineering Graduates Report 2012: 92% of engineering graduates lack programming skills, 56% lack soft-skills & cognitive skills

So, what is the future landscape? IT expected growth is 22% through 2020. Engineers, Business analysts and consultants, Management and R&D professionals will continue to be in demand.  Jobs-of-the-future:

  • Digital engagement professionals; social media marketing/e-business models, Change managers
  • D-I-Y support
  • ‘Shifting’ customer services
  • Cloud computing technologies will usher in new services
  • FDI & other investments will create new jobs in Retail, Banking, Automotive, Manufacturing
  • Continued IT leadership – Software (Value added, R&D), Knowledge Processes
  • Head quarter shifts to India

The Key skills for the future:

  • Leadership’ is the fungible key asset
  • Creativity/Innovation; conceptual thinkers with strong analytical skills; ability to lead ‘innovators’
  • Communication skills (language skills a +)
  • Collaborative with appreciation of diversity
  • Customer focus
  • Understanding of ‘Consumer experience’ – products/services
  • Strong accountability
  • Quality consciousness
  • Working with people with disabilities

The main take-aways were that to ‘grow’ within an organization, one needs to have

  • Domain expertise; kept ‘current’
  • Business acumen; scout for revenue opportunities/cost control options – be an ambassador for the company
  • Awareness of technology advancements, market dynamics
  • Strong application of know-how (tools/frameworks…)
  • High ‘learn-ability’; evolve with changing markets
  • Openness & risk-taking ability to take on new assignments within a job
  • Strong ‘networking’ with the best professionals
  • Remain ‘hands-on’

10,000 hours are needed to become an expert in any chosen field/activity. It is Important to stick to a job for 3-4 years at least  and one should ‘Build’ careers to reap benefit over time along with ability to lead young ‘domain’ teams and balancing ‘management’ and ‘technical’ perspectives, ‘Multi-cultural’ program management ability.

Its easy to get a job, but it is important to keep growing (roles, salary) within an organization/industry. One should stay committed; focus on learning and applying and ‘Own’ the organization. It is a small world – one must maintain and retain excellent professional relationships.

In short: Go the extra mile wherever it is crowded !

Last but not the least, “SFIDA”, the Management Quiz by Mr. Saurabh Aggarwal was conducted in which the students of FIIB made us proud by winning laurels for the same.