Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Need for a scalable training model

Without off-shoring (i.e. doing work for international clients from India as against doing work at the customers location) it would have been very difficult to achieve the scale. Given VISA restrictions, higher cost of onsite service and high attrition amongst people sent on overseas assignments (further escalating operational costs). Off-shoring was rarely considered as an option for large and complex projects, till people at Infosys and elsewhere started working on what they call a ‘Global Delivery Model (GDM)’. Bulk of the work for international clients of these companies are now done in India. The GDM blasted the key bottlenecks for growth for the IT services industry.
The next level of growth in the industry cannot be achieved without investing in building a model for rapid (and low cost) selection and training. Today despite a large workforce in India, it is hard to find enough well trained people to support the growth. The situation is similar in almost all fast growing sectors like retail, textile, media, airlines, infrastructure and so on. Without enough well trained people there is likely to be a rapid deterioration in performance standards, which would seriously damage the prospects of growth.
It’s incorrect to assume that universities and colleges in India are producing a substantial number of qualified people to support the growth. And it is stupid to expect that they will be able to rapidly improve the quality of training to match the needs of a fast globalising economy. More importantly with the current framework of education it is unlikely that the gap between what is taught at these schools and what is really needed at work can be narrowed any time soon.
Interestingly hidden in this lies a large opportunity for entrepreneurs to build systems, tools and businesses for rapid (and low cost) selection and training.

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