We operate in a flat world. The requirements at one end of the world are the same as it is at the other end. The impact of technology, social media, mobility, analytics, and cloud are playing a role and transforming the way businesses are run. In ITES industry it makes a huge impact. In the BPMIT sector it helps in retail, healthcare, insurance, BPO, LPO, banking, telecom, sourcing and procurement, financial accounting and such. Companies that were once called call centers have now taken a quantum leap. Business processes have seen a significant shift. Everything is analyzed today and analytics has played a major role and will continue to do so along with cloud technology, mobility, and robotics and so on.
With regard to these shifting trends, the current factors that are primarily looked at during recruitments are a student's conceptual knowledge, communication and interpersonal skills, etiquette in terms of interacting with people, peers and the interviewers along with an ability to extrapolate their collegiate knowledge for a business requirement. The most preferred universities are those which are UGC approved with a ranking, B-school post graduate institutions, partnered with industry and well located. Institutions that focus on their own interactions and relationships with the industry (MoUs) like guest lectures, industrial visits and interactions with the industry personnel are looked for. This helps in students to relatively be aware of what is expected of them. If all this is inculcated, the life skills, business etiquette of these students would be a notch higher when compared to those who have had no exposure in the field.
To help ease the pain, Infosys in collaboration with NAASCOM has developed the Global Business Foundation Skills program (GBFS) which is a syllabus of 160 hours. The focus is on how students should look at the global environment, interpersonal, business, computational, communicational, analytical and corporate etiquette.
Universities today are willing to collaborate with this 160 hour program that enables their students to become job and industry ready. A large no of colleges have adopted the GBFS curriculum and are running the program successfully. The Department of Collegiate Education in the Government of Karnataka is keen to adopt and run this program for the government colleges.
If tier 2 cities where major colleges are located are looked at, most campuses in metros face challenges than in the smaller towns. A joint collaborative effort has to be made by the industries and institutions for mutual welfare. Industry today is more than willing to collaborate and is pushing for an active partnership. It inspires people to relentlessly work and make things happen. While it is believed that things do not move in governments, it perhaps is because the government does not know who to tap to make things work. It requires individuals to believe for the change to happen. It is a slow process yet is still the beginning. In government colleges, collaborations do not happen much as in private, autonomous colleges. The fear is if they look at full scale changes, universities will start focusing on training rather than education. While industry wants job ready graduates, they should also be strong in theoretical concepts. They should educate students and not just train. It needs to be worked in partnership. A healthy interplay between conceptual and theoretical framework with practical job focused application is the way forward.
A vast focus should be on communication skills, interpersonal, business, computational, communicational, analytical, corporate etiquette skills that would help bridge the skill gap. It is recommendable for graduates who have done engineering to not go for higher studies right away. They should take a break and look at options that give them a foothold following their interests and aspirations.
Whatever one wants to do have to be relevant to what they have studied. It is advisable for them to work for sometime after graduation before going for higher studies. The focus should be made by experience on what the industry is looking at and the expectations from a student having a transition of campus to corporate needs to be aware of to hit the ground running.
-As told to Waheeb Ulla.
He is the Vice President and Head of Human Resources (HR) and is a member of the Executive Council of Infosys BPO. His expertise lies in aligning HR's functional role to dovetail business plans. He comes with a wealth of experience of over 28 years working in different industry verticals and organizations.