India Flying High in Workforce Development

by CXOtoday Staff    Jul 24, 2008

The Kauffman Foundation study reveals that Indian companies have been able to integrate best practices through innovative workforce training and development programs. The secret of India’s success in global R&D is due to its advancement in workforce development.

Moreover, the study raises a question of whether its time for the United States to learn from the experiences of its former disciple, India.

Reverting to these queries, How the Disciple Became the Guru–conducted by Duke University’s global engineering and entrepreneurship project team revealed that the Indian senior corporate executives have implemented company-wide workforce development initiatives that have dramatically improved productivity and performance. They have developed a surrogate education system by helping to create, for a variety of industries, skilled labor pools capable of handling complex work.

Robert Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation said, “To maintain its global competitive edge, the United States should perhaps learn from India. America needs to couple its education system and invest in upgrading workforce skills. In a global economy, this approach is critical for remaining innovative and competitive over the long term.”

The study details the best practices of 24 companies in emerging sectors in India, which have managed to grow rapidly despite skills shortfalls and talent shortages. These companies have created comprehensive and integrated systems of talent development and management, combining recruitment, training and development, performance management, and employee-engagement initiatives.

Indian competencies in technology have helped these companies not only develop systems to deliver online learning, but also conduct skills forecasting, track and analyze recruitment and attrition data, conduct online performance reviews, etc .Indian companies are also finding innovative ways to collaborate with educational institutions to develop necessary talent pools for the country.

Vivek Wadhwa, executive-in-residence for the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, and the study’s lead author said, “Because companies are investing in cultivating and empowering their employees, they can hire bright but largely inexperienced talent and train them to be world-class engineers and scientists. India is proving what a nation can achieve when it invests in upgrading the skills of its workforce.”

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