‘Make in India’ is not just about manufacturing and enabling India to become a manufacturing economy. It’s about a paradigm shift in our approach, mindset and execution.
‘Make in India’ is futuristic too. We should expect very little success in near future by way of some degree of value addition happening out of Indian soil through the entire manufacturing process. ‘Make in India’ in the real sense of the term, would only happen when manufacturing in breadth as well as depth happens in India.
While, to achieve that large enterprises in India need to revisit their procurement processes and give more opportunities to the companies coming out of India, there is also a need to revamp the education system also to ‘Make in India’.
Some emphasis is already being laid on developing skill sets to make skilled resources available at different levels of manufacturing. But there is need also to look at how to bring about the attitudinal changes in the youth through education system so that the ‘Make in India’ dream is realised.
I won’t here go into what needs to be included and/or excluded from the curriculum to make the degrees more relevant and increase the employability of future professionals in these manufacturing organisations that are likely to shape up as we proceed further. My intention is to touch on how I believe education has impacted our work culture and that needs to be augmented.
Through services coming into India, we have seen our people mostly working in business development profiles in MNCs and other large enterprises. Yes, there are also R&D centres apart from that. But, if we look at the present icons of India Inc. they would be mostly the guys responsible for business development and that is how they evolved to the present positions they are enjoying like of Country Heads, CEOs, Managing Directors, etc.
Now, I was thinking how education has facilitated that? All of them are not from IITs and IIMs and other such institutes of excellence that we could understand the geniuses in them. So, how have these leaders become great business development guys and brought in laurels for themselves and their organisations? Basically, how have we been able to produce great Sales People?
Let's go back to the predominantly prevalent schooling system in place. In majority of the schools in India, the students are put to periodic tests to judge their educational efficacy. There is no concept of persistent and continuous efforts imbibed into their personality that could make their actions consistent and levelled performance. What this has resulted in is peaks and troughs in their performances. Now this element of seasonality performance has trickled down to our attitudes, which fortunately gels well with the requisites of business development.
In business development and sales, performance is measured by quarters. There are sales cycles implemented in every organisation and at the end of each, a sales person is accounted for the achievements. This is exactly what our educational system prepares us for. We can go very casual with the studies but when the unit examinations are around it demands that we exert our best. This practice is followed in sales as well. Generally, two months of a quarter the business development people, who are educated out of the same system as am I, go soldiering and then when it’s the concluding month of the quarter, they work relentlessly to achieve their numbers.
Fortunately, our intrinsic attitude that we owe to our educational system worked well with the industry expectations and we could balance the things while looking at the wider picture. But, that’s not how the things work in a manufacturing environment. One has to be steady, persistent and more organised in approach towards work. Only then, the volumes qualifying the economies would be met at the requisite quality levels.
So, while some thoughts are being given to issues of syllabus, pedagogy, exposure, etc. we have to look at this softer aspect as well and revamp our education system in a manner that it can give us the right brains with the desired mindset to make manufacturing happen.
First our efforts should be to identify the processes that have attitudinal impact on our personalities and then bring about the necessary changes to effect them. Only then we would be able to build the workforce with the right bent of mind who could ‘Make in India’.
The author is Telecoms and SemiTronics analyst, CyberMedia Research