Skill Development - Bharat U: the ultimate B-school?

Top management talent from across the world heading to India



The Centre is going all out to woo foreign investors with its ‘Make in India’ campaign. But perhaps it has missed a trick by not pitching India as the ultimate B-school for managers.

Top expat managers that BusinessLine caught up with present a completely contrarian picture to the general view that India is too tough a nut to crack. Yes, searching for skilled talent or understanding regional complexities around employment laws and tax regulations is a challenge, they admit, but the potential for both personal and business growth that India offers far outweigh the shortcomings.

Yuan Kang, CEO of Terminal Business (South Asia), ZTE India, is emphatic that India as a market will excite any business leader. “It offers just the right mix of opportunities, learning and challenges, backed by an extremely friendly and open business community,” he says.

Tony Mira, CEO and Founder, Ajuba Solutions India, a healthcare revenue cycle management company, says, “India is a huge market in terms of scale and business opportunities. This is a great advantage when it comes to international businesses wanting to lay foot here.”

Opportunities galore

Multinationals tend to look at the Indian market and resource base with great optimism. Management strategist Pavan Choudary says that the opportunity to operate in a growing and diverse market attracts international business leaders.

Choudary, CEO of Vygon India, a French multinational in healthcare, says, “Here, the developed, developing and underdeveloped work congruently. Though there are several challenges, international companies find opportunities in addressing these challenges.” He adds that efforts by the Government in ease of doing business was also augmenting the entry of foreign companies.

Ajuba’s Tony Mira insists that “India’s huge resource base is one major reason for international firms to set up business here. It is the positivity associated that makes us count on this country.”

For senior professionals, it is not just understanding subtleties in business communication, at their home country and in the country that hosts them, that is important. Helping to unlock India’s talent potential is a learning experience too. Mira says many foreign companies find Indian talent extremely relevant. “Not only is Indian talent highly specialised, many Indians are proving to be great visionaries,” he adds. Likewise, Kang adds that with business booming at his company, more and more Indian employees are being hired to manage key business functions.

Attractive destination

Kang opines that India remains one of the most attractive options for investments, “given its large consumer base, ease of doing business, and a business community ready to partner and create value for all participants.”

It is not just the IT industry; the country is an attractive destination for other sectors too. “High returns on investment and low labour costs make India attractive, but we must not discount that there is a high cost attached to low labour cost,” warns Choudary. “Workers need to be trained and skilled in relevant industries,” he adds.

For expat managers, as well as companies, this investment in talent is a two-way street. While local talent gets valuable training and skills, the returns are also great.

Jivan Pant, Director and Principal Consultant at Career Shapers, an HR consulting firm, insists that skilled professionals are tough to come by.

Maybe the slogan should be changed to ‘Manage in India’!

Published on June 23, 2015

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