'Talent deficit' may hit Indian firms

By SiliconIndia  |   Monday, 24 August 2009, 05:59 Hrs   |    35 Comments
Print Email
'Talent deficit' may hit Indian firms
Bangalore: After showcasing their talents to the world all these years, companies in India could face a huge 'talent deficit' in the coming years, says a report by Deloitte, a global consultancy firm. As per the report, the reason for this scarcity is that the country is not producing enough people equipped with the right skills required for the globalized environment.

The report titled, 'New India Manager' states that new talent management model in companies will have to shift in outlook. The report suggests that paradigm of 'scarcity of jobs' should convert to 'scarcity of talent'. "Unless a fundamental shift occurs in the educational system, it will continue to produce degree holders who will lack skills to operate in a corporate environment," said Manish Agrawal, Vice President (Strategy and Innovation) at Deloitte.

Agrawal has authored a study on the evolution of the Indian manager from the pre-liberalization period till now. The report stated that globalization, has helped Indian managers to develop their competencies and a global outlook that has unleashed a lot of creativity and innovation in the domestic industry. "However not many managers in the country have required soft skills, like communication abilities for operating in a global environment among others. We need to build such skill sets to enhance our talent pools," Agrawal said.

The Deloitte report stated that it remains to be seen as to what extent the country would be able to enhance the competency level of its young population to make them employable. This is also a challenge which the Indian policymakers would have to deal with in the years to come, it added. According to Agrawal, if the shift is made now it will take five to 10 years to generate a good quantity of employable talent.

Other than the upgrade of skills, the challenges which managers have to face going forward include retention of existing talent in the company, support learning and development of employees. Moreover, there is a growing talent gap in the developed world as well, which will continue to target Indian managers. In the years to come U.S., Europe and Japan are going to see an ageing population and a reduction in available talent and workforce. The report revealed that there was already an increasing recognition of the quality of Indian managers and there is every chance of this trend accelerating further.

Write your comment now
Reader's comments(35)
1: A shift towards computer aided learning and working, makes it easy for the people to get the required skill quickly.
Posted by:Prakash Kumar Rath - 27 Aug, 2009
2: IIT's and NIT's have adapted certain courses say Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering,in which students are made to learn a lot of technically sound subjects...but ultimately eexcept R$D , no job oppurtunities are keenley availaible. The reliable talent is worthly there, but Scarcity of jobs had dragged minds of youth pursuing such courses towards alluring Management degrees.Overall,This drastic mindshift in context of loss of quality talent misguided is a major setback for coming generations. Why not Govt. recruit some now in it's healthcare plans(PSU).. (A CAT aspirant, though will achieve B.TECH(Hons.)in BIOTECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING from coveted NIT,Raipur).
Posted by:ANUJ MAHESHWARI - 25 Aug, 2009
3: The person writing this is neither completely false nor completely true. The author seems to have generalized the issues with certain pool of managers he might have come across during these years. There are supremely talented people available in India. But the system is so rigid that they ask them to be flexible and ruin the good talent in them. The business model developed over the years is promoting slavery to the wealthy west. There are not even a total of 1% companies investing in real R & D. Let's accept it we have become a Services nation. I am just waiting for a day when, something bigger than Google or Microsoft emerges from India. Then I would like to see the admiration on Mr. Manish Agarwal's face.

Agreed we need more quality and more practicality in education. But things surely are changing, the youth is changing. Open your eyes and ears, see and listen to them. They have ideas, but some morons at the top, don't let them come out, or else show up their ideas as their own.

Watch Out. The new India will make the west work for them, it's just a matter of few years.
Posted by:Amit - 25 Aug, 2009
There is abundant talent and poor management and media coverage the media is totally misleading and demoralising people to make money for business it is better not to follow news and find truth for yourselves everyone will succed and this kind of false nonsense will not be projected do not beileive govt or news everyone become enterprener
Krishna Replied to: Amit - 25 Aug, 2009
5: I don't agree with the research as Indians have got all the potential, calibre and capability to cop-up with any kind of technology, only we need to trust our people and give them the freedom to work and take their decisions rather than just commanding them without giving them stress-free working environment.
Posted by:Vinod Sharma - 25 Aug, 2009
6: I do not disgree with the other. We need to Prepare our Grdauates for the new challanges. We have huge number of colleges and univertities to produce Engineers. MBAs and CAs. Quality upgardation is a must.

Posted by:Narasimha Sastry - 25 Aug, 2009
7: I think the author here is either looking at a grossly mis-representative sample set around him, that is nowhere near the truth, or harbors a really pessimistic outlook towards all things in life.Or maybe, he is authoring papers just for the heck of it, which almost invariably leads to such far-fetched (un)realities.
Posted by:Anindya - 25 Aug, 2009
8: It is interesting! If India is going to face a talent crisis I really wonder which country has the potential to match our talent. It just the mind set of the senior professionals need to change. Engage the freshers with the available talents and allow them to be groomed. This was the statement made in the past and this statement will be made even in the future. It is because the present managers benchmark the youngsters with their expectation. It is not true
Posted by:mani - 25 Aug, 2009
9: Hi,
It is an interesting perspective! The soft skills not only in communication but also in personal discipline, work ethics, all need great improvements to achieve leading edge in global businesses. It is not the intelligence or brain power we lack, it is the "refinement" to apply these effectively that needs improvement. For a quick adaptation, grooming schools by well experienced, retired/exiting professionals from the top notch companies could be a solution. Today most of the companies do not have the time & willingness to take a raw candidate and train. The speed of things have gone very high. The companies need to be productive at each employee level, even with new inducts. So a change in "education" and "training" where the candidate are "fine cut" to match the industry's demand is the need of the hour.

best regards,
Posted by:Varma TKS - 24 Aug, 2009
10: Research & Highly educated people may come up with several reports & solutions to this problem. However the change can only take place if certain issues are sorted & fixed at the root of the Educational system & Political system.

Education is the KEY to Develop - Solve the Population crisis - Food, water, power, fuel & other crisis'. However if the aam admi / villagers / etc. gets smarter, then that would create a power shift in the political circles, in votes, in nominee's, etc. So a major change is not going to come about anytime soon - because the people who make these decisions wont let it. The people who can afford an education may avail of private training or coaching and become suitable for the required talent pool - the others will continue to be less than adequate or useful.

I think I went off topic here - but this talk at times is senseless, without discussing the root of the problem.
Posted by:Richard Pereira - 24 Aug, 2009
You have mentioned the actual problem that needs to be faced to cope up with problems that arise from the root problem.
I appreciate your answer.
Yatendra Goel Replied to: Richard Pereira - 25 Aug, 2009
12: I agree with Mr.Agrawal's views on requirement of change in Indian education system. But what I think is that still we have a large pool of talented people whose talent is yet to be explored. either they are not getting the right opportunity or they are not getting spotted. most of the corporates recruit from the IIT/IIMs only. they don't even look at second rung of schools where a lot of talented young army of people is studying and they don't even bother to explore there potential. We have had instances in the past where a successful business leader has been discovered from these institutions.
Posted by:Somit - 24 Aug, 2009
Posted by:Subhash Bose - 24 Aug, 2009
14: I disagree with this research report. India has large pool of employable people.the people are not fit in the roles they can perform.they are in the roles which need some more skills.the scarcity is in the hands of HRs of respective companies. Now days can you find people with 5years of experience in Recently released products? When the HR goes for fancy experiences people would definitely fake. When they start faking the skill set would be no match for the job he is doing. As long as the realistic requirements are mentioned by the HRs there will be qualitative manpower available.

Next time don’t ask for people with 10 years of experience in windows Vista

Posted by:sivamangesh - 24 Aug, 2009
India has a large pool of fresh engineers.Indian telants are unbeatable.But the biggest problem Indian Engineers are facing is that they are not given opportunity to deliver their best skills.Today in the name of recessions their are thousands of engineers waiting and sloging for job.All of them are deserving candidets.Infact I feel today's fresh minds have more innovitive idea and want to contribute to nation.But they lack appreciation
Rachana Replied to: sivamangesh - 26 Aug, 2009
16: I think there is a difference between "working hard" and "working smart". Growing in corporate world requires a very different skill set which is not taught in school.

Salaries are a good incentive however, a balance needs to be maintained between local cost of living and expectations. Increasing Indian salaries to US levels will drive a high number of people out of job who otherwise have a job because of cost benefit.

An attempt to educate Middle Managers in "soft skills" should be made. This will also create a second line of Management ready to takeover as senior management retires.
Posted by:Rajesh - 24 Aug, 2009
17: I think India has much vast talented youngsters, but the right salaries can provide the right ppl to our country. The reason it loses the talent is due to lack of salaries which are provided in the alien countries, if the change in mindset of corporates in India can bring back all our talented stuffs and India could be a superpower by 2020, a vision by the Former President, APJ Abdul Kalam.
Posted by:Thanveer - 24 Aug, 2009
You are right...
Kevin Replied to: Thanveer - 25 Aug, 2009
You are 100% correct..
Thangamani arun Replied to: Thanveer - 24 Aug, 2009
Salary is not the deciding factor! We need to change our educational system! Be it a technical job or management job we lack the right skills. Every time we talk about the "this lack of skilled labor thing" we take it emotionally or crib about our salary, let us come out of our EGO and rationalize things. We claim we have a huge Talent pool, if so then why is our products fail to meet the bare minimum requirements. We need to compare our talent pool with the talent pool of so called "alien countries". We always claim to be better than them without actually knowing their actual ability and depth they have attained in their respective domain. Most of the Indian universities prepare students as "marks machine", Let us atleast join hands to change this, before boasting on our talent pool.
TruthisBitter Replied to: Thanveer - 24 Aug, 2009
Thats true. We need to change our Educational system. In the ege of .Net fremework 3.5, our colleges are still teaching us Visual Basic 6 which is almost invisible from the market. We are still living with the Theoretical concepts. We should be practical. We are always bothering about the Degree/Certificates. A diploma guys can do better than a degree holder sometime.
Vikas Replied to: TruthisBitter - 24 Aug, 2009
As some of our friends pointed out failure of "Education system" to groom quality engineers/managers is very much true. Education institutes are mushrooming like anything, no government control. Quality education is being compromised whether it is of teaching staff or students opting for their careers. I have observed one thing till today there are students who think that engineering/medical are only good career options even if they are not deemed fit for that. Proper professional guidance is needed if we want to grow in this ever changing industry. Organizations must encourage/identify or individuals must come out to seek their careers of their interest. Proper training must be provided. We have resources but we need to groom them to become professional in a global environment.
ocean Replied to: TruthisBitter - 24 Aug, 2009
23: Also, in technical subjects, medicine and bilogical sciences Indians have a penchant for high performance and leadership. Press on with your home advantages. You have wired brains. Only effort is needed - intense, supreme effort. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.Complete your PhDs in techie subjects and frontier areaas of scientific research. You are destined for greatness. India is.
Posted by:Mohandas - 24 Aug, 2009
24: I think India is undergoing sea change now but stealthly.
Not many people are aware of this. The young generation
Posted by:Sanjeev - 24 Aug, 2009
25: Also, by first hand experience in the USA, Indians are one of the most forward-looking, hard-working, committed, brilliant and sagacious communities, by and large. Also, Indian family values make our children superior as we nurture them and help them fully to face challenges. My hats off to the Indian community. The only response it evokes is a crude kind of racism and intense partiality from the other side.

Be justifiably proud of yourselves, though not vain, please. Because vanity is its own undoing.
Posted by:Mohandas - 24 Aug, 2009
26: I disagree with this research. On the contrary, India is currently seeing flood of talent given the recession in western countries. Also, the western model that has lead to recession time and again shows how bad it can be for the world and based on that, India is still number 1 and the best.
Posted by:Reena Rai - 24 Aug, 2009
27: Such reports are unleashed on the market to create a sense of inferiority in Indians. Some of these ultra-conservative , rightist Corporations simply want to encash on a feeling or a sense of inadequacy which they first unleash. Watch out for such trappings.When you start working for them you realize what a bunch of high-handed nerds they turn out to be.

Indians, live happily in India and do business in India the way we naturally do. These guys will bend backwards to learn Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Bengali, etc. Make them touch your feet for new business. Squeeze them out literally.

If they do not communicate well with you, cultivate, promote local talent only. India for Indians.
Posted by:Mohandas - 24 Aug, 2009
28: There are many messages from this discovery and I not sure which one to believe except that whatever western media / consulting organization are hell bent of malign the image of India and Indians are willing to believe whatever west says. Ask yourself

Will Indian Universities / Institutes / Colleges stop or reduce producing fresh graduates?
Will every fresh graduate from a recognized educational institute in India get a job offer from campus in coming years?
Will organizations from developed countries stop hiring the fresh graduates / experienced executive from India?
If the answer to the above questions is "NO", then how in this world anyone can publish such foolish report about shortage of talent in India?
Posted by:Amulya Gurtu - 24 Aug, 2009
I believe that Amulya Gurtu had not understood the point what the author made. There is no doubt that Indians have one of the best brains in the world in terms of intellectual capacity. But,the capacity to work intelligently is not always directly proportional to the number of graduation or post graduation an individual holds. Any job, not only management requires a lot of skill sets put together, some of which are lacking in a lot of Indians. For this reason, no matter how much intelligent the person is, if these skill sets are not developed, it will not help him/her to manage a given situation. I am an Indian working abroad. From my personal experience, I see that most of the Indians I work with lack basic courtesy and have a laid back attitude when it comes to working smart. Everyone shows an attitude that only if more work hours per day put in, the project will be effective. They finish the same work in more hours doing the work in a relaxed way and not by completing work efficiently and quickly, then taking time to relax and enjoy! I believe this attitude and perspective needs to change. Right from top of the pyramid. The author refers to talented people and not educationally qualified people.
Paul Replied to: Amulya Gurtu - 24 Aug, 2009
30: Indian politicians are bad managers. Indian education system is an outdated one. Most Indians lack basic managerial skills. Corporate India is only interested in profit and not interested in developing this vast degree holders. So, Indians will have more bad managers
Posted by:ajish - 24 Aug, 2009
what is Obama and Clinton crying about then. Indian education is outdated.. In what terms. Are the people not good enough to do phds and Masetrs in other countries ..Are all the poeple who went to foreign failed in their academics.. Its not complete education ..but yes i agree the management oriented education in India fails as it needed and needs experienced people to teach it. Same reason Germany fails in marketing of innovations .. strong process and excellent business on process and systematics but when it comes to management or managing ... its goes bonk bonk! We need to be flexible and think courageously , Risk is every where and one should be able to handle it with other weapons known and studied in Business books and trainings.. these are words spoken by the tier1 OEM CEO in germany. So desi babu's agreed Mgmt education in India is not good enough .. but i dont agree we cannot change or change the situation... My advice is , Indian managers should stop boasting themselves and speak less and work more. Dont just imagine things try to concretize the things. Dont mistreat you Jrs or subordinates , respect every person as you expect to be respected. Else a fear of dejection sets inside you and you will only be good of getting this respect and fail in all other things. think and think, Corporate world is only a job world , dont mix life and job , life is much more a open place , where you get what you give in Job or outside job.
Americaninindia Replied to: ajish - 24 Aug, 2009
one more interesting thing is that in India(don't know about others) everyone wants to become a manager even if lacks basic managerial skills. I suppose the term "Egoistic" is very much their in our so called managers. Some are pulled to managerial tasks as they with their witty skills get the job done and hence higher ups are happy. The ideology needs some refinement other things will automatically improve.
ocean Replied to: Americaninindia - 24 Aug, 2009
That report is not true..
India has never ran out of talent.. It is just the matter of right person at the right job.. nothing else..
Manju Vaibhav Replied to: ocean - 25 Aug, 2009
Hi Guys...

We should not take this report as an offense.If we add our thought process constructively,Majority of Indian professionals are under utilizing their skills.Aggressive approach is lacking due to corporate politics in India.No manager tries to create peers in India(Majority).I personally come across high end professional with closed box thinking.We should blame our education system,which does not allow the out-of-box thinking.

On the other hand,Our education helps to promote independent thinking ,if someone leaps as an out-standing manager, it is because of his open-box thinking.

We INDIANS have to show a better TEAMWORK to bypass CHINA.Let us create more LEADERS.


Ravikiran Uppada
ravkiran Replied to: Manju Vaibhav - 25 Aug, 2009
Dear Sir
I agree with you that we are moving away from our real objective.But if we think of only softskills like expression ability again we will create a gap. because now a days students are not studying for knowledge gain rather they studying to get a job with good package.The concept of good or bad job is also very funny.If a job of sweeper can pay you some thousand dollars then it is a good job.Our high class students from NITs and IITs working in BPOs to get a good sum of money.Now a days students as well as their parents are very much interested to know the strength of the palacement officer of the college not the teachers who are going to add value to the domain knowledge.Our education system is now limited to only dress code and proffesional ettiquettes.So if we will move with this ideology definately we are going to face a talent deficity in future.But the reason will be acute shortage of domain knowledge not softskills.
Sasmita Dash Replied to: ravkiran - 15 Feb, 2010