The questions I would like to put across on this forum, have been, for a long time, bothering our team and I am sure, have been a difficult ones to answer for most, if not all the professionals in our line of business.

A skilled and competent workforce has been a pain point for the industries for quite some time now. Often, we hear and read about the need of the industries to increase their focus on skill development. The Government, industry leaders, policy makers and everyone else is talking, now more than ever, about the huge mismatch in demand and supply of skills and the proactive participation required to address the same at the earliest.

There are broadly two aspects to skill development – skilling an upcoming workforce (freshers) and up-skilling the existing workforce. My questions are primarily focused around the latter:

I want to clearly understand if there is actually an issue with the quality of existing workforce and if a need exists for re-skilling or up-skilling the same. If yes, then

- What are the specific issues that would qualify as pain points pertaining to the workforce skill requirements?

- What kind of solution would an industry expect for such issues?

- Is there is a need and demand for skill-development (technical, soft or behavioral)

- Why is it so hard to reach out to the industry (HRs) to present a viable and effective solution or what is the best way to do this?

Awaiting much needed insights about the points raised in this post from the experienced people in the community.

From India, New Delhi
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Partner-strategic Alliances

Dinesh Divekar

Dear Mr Gaurav Bansal,

By raising the concerns on the skills gap, you have gone one step further. Before going there, what Indian entrepreneurs need to do is measure productivity at every stage of the operations. This is the real problem. Since owners are not so much aware of the business or operations ratios, they are not clear on what needs to be increased or decreased. To manage the ratios, you need to have skilled manpower.

The only ratios that matter in Indian context is profitability and customer service. But then that is not sufficient. Go to any factory and ask what is the significance of the Inventory Turnover Ratio (ITR) and many of the professionals start grumbling. This is the case even about other operations ratios as well. Ideally any mid-sized company should develop one research cell that does research on their operations. This research is different from research done by R and D cell (for the development of future products).

The reply to your first three questions is that Indian entrepreneurs need to feel the pain of the skills gap. Mere you feeling does not matter. Their perceptions about their business are different. Since the owners are not so sensitized, neither HR are. This is the reply for your fourth question.

To run any manufacturing sector, one needs to measure the costs. I have given list of the costs in one of my previous posts. You may click here to refer that post.

As far as IT and BPO environment is concerned, they live in their own world. Again productivity measures in coding, testing or turnaround time at various stages are not available.

In India, culture of measurement as a whole is missing. Skills are derived from the measures. Therefore, let us worry more on that count. Look at our political scenario. After 67 years of independence, we do not have any score card for our MPs or MLAs. Since score card is not there, do we bother about skills of our MPs or Administrators?


Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore

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