Monday, February 18, 2013

Why India's workforce has such great potential

My first article as an NRI contributor at The Times of India :D
Let me know what you think.

A company involved in any activity primary, secondary, or based on human resource, will in most cases have some number of Indians working in it, may it be in any corner of the world. That India constitutes 15%of the world populace is a boon in disguise. Most companies now bank on India, Bangladesh and china for their labor intensive activities like construction, assembly, repairs etc. mainly due to the inexpensive pay, and the abundant supply of labor available in these locales. So, in producing massive numbers for manual activities, India stands with the rest of its subcontinent, and a few other developing countries from Africa, and South America.

But as far as the tertiary sector, involving IT, engineering and technology goes, India stands alone. No other country in the subcontinent, or in the Far East (Philippines, Indonesia), Africa, or America, produces such abundant, skilled, English speaking, educated workforce, at relatively cheap rates. There is no other country in the world that meets nearly all these requirements as efficiently.

It is a fact that the cost of employing, running, and completing a project in a developing country will definitely be more economic, and cut down the costs largely. A study in the duke university recently found that while roughly 70,000 engineers graduated in the US, 6, 00,000 graduated in China and 3, 50,000 in India. In the UK some 23,000 engineers are graduating every year. But India is producing eight times as many. Apart from such a huge jobseeker base, Companies from abroad, who complete their projects basing them in India, are, on an average, able to cut down on about 40-50% of their operation costs. This is probably why India is serving as a magnet to thousands of companies who are moving their bases here.

Not that these benefits are unidirectional, or only for the companies. Indian jobseekers benefit abundantly, too. There are lakhs of new engineering graduates every year, and most of them struggling to secure employment. Apart from just generating employment, these MNCs and IT giants bring along with them, numerous benefits, like assured health insurance, education costs, better technology, and decent or great salaries. They provide windows for communication with the tech world outside the country, with new practices and methods. And after all, it's only the people who strongly desire to, that join a company, so naturally, it much, at least in the slightest, benefit them.

Our government benefits too. Though the stipulated SEZs (special economic zones, to attract foreign investment) exempt companies from certain taxes, they are not completely freed from contributing economically. Eventually they do underwrite by generating foreign monetary exchange, and contributing to most exports. Som Mittal, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies was quoted saying, "Nearly 35 per cent of our export revenues come from MNCs and captives and, therefore, we need to encourage them to set up their development centers in India rather than move to the Philippines or China"

Because of their investments in infrastructure, MNCs also steer economic and structural development, accelerating modernization.

Some companies even complain that this has led to an 'Indian mafia' or excessive domination of Indian workforce in their companies all over the world that are based elsewhere. Some even attempted vainly, to search for workforce from other countries, in hope of reducing some number of Indians from their company and replacing them with people from other nationalities.

On an urgent project to find economical workforce, an IT company that travelled first to far east, and middle east, found about a hundred jobseekers, out of which only a few were fit to hire. Then, finally, on stumbling into India, it found a two thousand jobseekers, most accepting far more feasible wages that their former counterparts.

Hence it is nowadays, fast becoming a sensible option, more than anything else, to choose India, or china, before any other place in the world- they offer such an attractive package, and a great growth potential, after all.

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