IBS Ahmedabad

Employability, Opportunity sans Crisis!!! (An excerpt from the article written for INNOVISION, the anniversary special issue of IBS – Ahmedabad)

I was requested to share my thoughts on employability of Management Students and the challenges. To my mind 3 E’s are the key words in this context. Economy, Education & Employability in that order. I remember reading somewhere that Unemployment rate among the illiterate youth is less than that of their educated counterpart in India.

Think about the Indian Economy in isolation, we hear the GDP is improving, Industrial output is increasing, and Services are accounting for over 60% etc and it sounds good. But this doesn’t convey essentially the possibilities on improving employment. It raises questions both on our capabilities of employment generation on one hand & and the inadequacies of the educational Institutes which seldom respond to the market need and end up having the employability crisis on the other. The risk appetite of both Institutes and students has to improve. “Employability” to my mind is a strategic challenge. Strategic because it is most sensitive and, crucial to the generation next. We as a country and each of us as educated Individuals have enormous possibilities to make it into a “Strategic Advantage”⋅⋅⋅a unique position that we can enjoy and stay put. The economy of a country largely depends on its intellectual capital and skill pool.

The Industry who creates jobs, expects MBA’s to be Job ready with critical thinking ability and the analytical approach. The challenge of the Industry is also that there is a huge shortage of expertise & skill. While it is good that every management student wants to be a CEO like every child in India wants to be a Sachin Tendulkar, it is imperative to understand that the matches would not have been won, if rest of the team wasn’t good. You have other team members too who have carved out a niche for themselves and made us proud. Hence a pragmatic and collective approach where in the need is understood first by Institutes and then by students & parents and in collective wisdom they choose streams of expertise based on the need, both in offering & selecting streams of education. We seem to have a lack of critical mass of talent pool in Industry necessary skill sets. While Knowledge Orientation in our education is high, employability orientation needs enhancement. Aligning education to employable skills and Industry need is the key.

I heard an interesting anecdote which said that Career is all about the size of the pay cheque! There is a competitive landscape that the present day organizations belong to and would like that to be reflected in their work force. If you don’t climb up the tree by re inventing and up skilling yourself, you may be the one in a many who miss the bus. Gone are the days that your degree or the Institute name could carry you endlessly in your career, today the block start may lead you to a few of years of advantage unless you have up skilled yourself. The proverb is right “Learning never stops”.

A certain business model, moves from the stage of Customization to productization to Commoditization. Our Institutes may want to adopt the same for results and economies of scale, helping them to stay in the education business being relevant to the Industry need. Our educational institutes are yet to understand this route in its real sense. An add-on soft skill training to students can seldom be a cutting edge and it is not good enough to improve employability. The meaning of commoditization as I understand is the process of making a good or service easy to obtain, by making it Uniform, available & affordable. The day our students are taught and trained through an education system which responds to the need of the Indian market⋅⋅⋅will usher a new era, the era of self sufficiency and futuristic India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *