The Indian Workforce Today


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Fifty-six percent Indians born in
the Gen Y period, feel that the brand value of a person’s educational alma mater has a significant impact on the career growth opportunities over the course of time. This prima facie, sounds rather obvious as institutions and corporations to a certain extent tend to contribute to this halo around students and professionals from prestigious educational institutes.
But does one’s alma mater play such a significant role in career development? Are alumni of prestigious schools in our country a privileged lot? Do they have it any easier than their counterparts? Or are there other factors of merit besides the brand value of one’s education at play in corporate society?
These are some of the answers we will address in this paper.

Published in: Career, Business, Education

The Indian Workforce Today

  1. 1. Kelly Services2013 Salary GuideGreater ChinaThe IndianWorkforce todayDivided by alma materor united by merit?
  2. 2. of top-paid CEOs in India arefrom the branded colleges eitherfrom India or abroad.% of population growthof India between the agegroup of 18-23 vs. theworld average of 4%.13%annual growth inemployment will possiblycreate 570 million jobsover the next five years.2.5%of respondents felt thatmedia penetration isan important tool forenhancing brand image.44%of respondents believedjob prospects as a keyfactor determinantwhile choosing aneducational institute.57%72%which stage did the brand reputation of your educationalinstitute play an important role?Top 3 factors to beconsidered in theselection of aneducational institute27The averageduration ofeducationin IndiaYearsImpact of BrandEd across generationsGen YGen XBaby Boomers56%34%8%57%Duringfirst jobplacement7%Whileexploring newopportunities36%Exploringnew businessopportunitiesthrough networks32.7%28.4%18.9%PriceProcessesPromotionHow much significancedid your educationalinstitute playwhile securing newopportunities?4%28%19%42%7%No influenceLow influenceNeutralInfluentialMost influentialBRAND EDUCATION(BrandED) and its effectsA quick glance at the significance of Brand Education on the career
  3. 3. 3Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly®offers acomprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary,contract and permanent basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to more than560,000 employees annually.Kelly has been at the forefront of the recruitment industry for over 60 years and has set the industry benchmarkwith innovative recruitment and retention strategies. We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of customerservice and providing the right talent in accordance with our clients’ requirements. All our candidates undergo astringent screening process to ensure they are the best possible fit for the job.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission from Kelly Services India. The information contained in the Salary Guideis intended for educational purposes only.Kelly Services India takes no responsibility for any liabilities that emerge based on the information contained in this guide.
  4. 4. 4Contents11 Branding in Education Institutes: Current and Future Perspectives19 Brand Education and Career: Executives’ Perspectives9 Higher Education Sector in India4 Executive Summary21 Workforce in India: Current Structure32 Conclusion
  5. 5. 5Executive SummaryFifty-six percent of respondents born inthe Gen Y period (Figure 1), feel that thebrand value of a person’s educational almamater has a significant impact on the careergrowth opportunities over the course oftime. This prima facie, sounds rather obviousas institutions and corporations to a certainextent tend to contribute to this halo aroundstudents and professionals from prestigiouseducational institutes.But does one’s alma mater play such asignificant role in career development? Arealumni of prestigious schools in our countrya privileged lot? Do they have it any easierthan their counterparts? Or are there otherfactors of merit besides the brand value ofone’s education at play in corporate society?These are some of the answers we willaddress in this paper.Figure 1: Impact of BrandEd across generationsGen Y(born between 1982–2000)Gen X(born between 1965–1981)Baby Boomers(born between 1946–1964)56% 34% 8%
  6. 6. 6Conventional wisdom will lead you tobelieve that a prestigious college educationwill pave the way for a successful corporatecareer with a high salary and a promisingcareer. The name of the college will give thechance to showcase your potential talentand skills at an accelerated pace.India has an advantage in that it is hometo the world’s largest youth population.Around 400 million people are in the agebracket of 25–35 years. This makes India apotential future supplier of skilled workforceto the entire world; however, Indian collegesare still struggling to find their placeglobally. A recent study shows that noneof the Indian colleges are able to secure itsplace in the top two hundred universitiesin the world. In order to produce a globallycompetitive workforce the Indian educationsystem needs a renaissance of sorts.On the contrary, Indian technical instituteshave consistently managed to meetdemand globally. Large numbers of Indianscientists are working in prestigiousresearch institutions around the world,doctors from India are some of the mostcelebrated around the globe and thecontribution of the Indian workforce to theglobal IT industry.Looking at the demand-supply equation ofthe global workforce, the Indian institutesalone are not able to meet the burgeoningdemand. Even though they have beenin existence for more than 50 years, thepioneer institutes of management educationin India have 12000 to 15000 alumni ascompared to just a single managementschool like the Indian School of Businesswhich has produced 8000 alumni in thelast ten years. These institutes are majorlyfocused on branding to differentiatethemselves using a self-defined set ofattributes. The common strategy ofbrands is to first establish their image andperception and then expand into newgeographies. A recent example is theexpansion of ISB to a new Mohali campus,Executive Summarywhich has increased its intake from 800 to1100. Thus, an educational institution in thetwenty-first century functions almost like acorporation by looking at improving brandperception while also fuelling growth.Presuming that senior executives in allcorporations in India have at least oneprofessional degree, we will try andanalyse whether the brand name of theireducational institute is a necessity for asuccessful career. Does the brand play animportant role in securing prestigious jobs?For purposes of this study, we will term theeffect of the brand name of alma maters as“BrandEd” (Branded Education).
  7. 7. Higher education sector in IndiaThe higher education segment in India hasseen a paradigm shift in the past decade,with the number of universities havinggrown by a CAGR of 7.5% and number ofcolleges having grown at a CAGR of 11%(Source:UGC). Today, it has emerged as oneof the largest educational segments in theworld with around 15 million enrollmentsacross 31,000 institutions in 2011.( Source:UGC) The inevitable role of theprivate sector behind this unprecedentedgrowth in the higher education segmentwill lead to battles for market sharebetween established players, and exposingincumbents. To deal with these changesthe role of branding has become extremelyimportant as educational institutes usebranding as a tool to meet the sustainablechanges in the near future.Figure 2: Growth in number of colleges and universities in IndiaSource:UGC1950–511960–611970–711980–811990–912000–012009–102011–1272745110272821845255565781819327769635748111462595131324
  8. 8. The Indian education sector isheterogeneous. By this we mean that themarket is dominated by established players(mostly government institutions) wherethe number of applicants is multiple of30–50 of available seats compared to thenon-branded private institutes who offera much lower conversion rate. It is evidentfrom the graph on the previous pagethat prior to the year 2000, the marketwas dominated mostly by governmentinstitutions as compared to the explosionin private educational institutes seen in thenew millenium.The role of private sector participation hasincreased the gross enrollment ratio from10% to 13.8% in 2010 with a proportionateincrease in professional courses likeengineering, medicine and management.The government has set the target of 30%gross enrollment ratio by 2020 (40 million).Another interesting insight is that thepopulation of India between the ages of18-23 will grow by 13% annually, comparedto the world average of 4%. The inevitablerole of private institutions in this growingrequirement has made it important forinstitutions to benchmark against globalstandards of education dissemination.The Indian economy is growing with therise in domestic consumption, the increaseddemand of workforce and the impact ofglobal outsourcing – the workforce inIndia was 520 million back in 2010. Therecent announcement by the governmentof an estimated 2.5% annual growth inemployment will possibly create 570million jobs over the next five years. Theinformation technology and informationtechnology enabled services (IT and ITeS) isone of the largest organized employmentsectors having created more than 10 millionjobs in the last decade alone. The industryhas added more than one million jobsin the last two consecutive years and is8estimated to reach 30 million by 2020. Tomeet the upcoming demand for skilled andknowledgeable workforce, IT companiesare investing significantly in training andeducation. A recent example is the initiativetaken by the founder of HCL by setting upthe Shiv Nadar University with the plan of anannual intake of 8500 students in the nexteight to ten years.Higher education sector in India
  9. 9. 9It is evident from the research that thegrowth of the Indian economy andgraduate education are highly correlated.In the previous year alone more thanfive thousand new colleges have beenopened in India (refer figure: 2). To survivethis fierce competition, branding hasbecome an important tool for collegesand employers to stay ahead of the curveby clearly communicating their academicoffering to students. Today, Gen Y enquiresabout a multitude of factors such asplacement records, faculty, and alumniexperience before selecting their highereducation institution.But were the same branding tactics used in90s by higher institutes? Was selecting aninstitution for higher education a difficultchoice for Gen X? What attributes make aninstitution a brand for Gen X?We went a step further to understand thevarious decision triggers in considering aneducational institute across undergraduate,postgraduate and doctorate courses.The results can be seen in figure 3. Whatis interesting to note is that the decisiontriggers are vary significantly across theselevels of education.Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectivesFigure 3: Top three factors considered in choosing an educational institute3.6% 9% 8.7% 50%21% 21.6% 15%21.6% 6%37% 11.4% 16.2% 9%18% 21% 1%10.9% 19%Undergraduate college Postgraduate college Doctorate college Reputation of college Quality of academic input Recommended by friends/seniors/family members Infrastructure Job prospects Course fees
  10. 10. Figure 4: At which stage did the brand reputation of your educational institute play an important role?The purpose of education instituteshas also changed with time. The focusearlier was only to improve the quality ofeducation and set the basic foundation forhigher education in the country. Collegeinfrastructure, location and other amenitieswere not considered before selectingthe institute. In the next section, we willlook at how the process of educationdissemination has changed over time.57%36%During first jobplacementExploring new businessopportunities through networksBranding in education institutes: Current and future perspectives7%While exploringnew opportunities
  11. 11. 11Tell us about your path thus far in thecorporate sector (your educationalbackground, previous organizations, totalwork experience etc.).S I have completed my masters anddoctorate in pharmaceutical science and Ialso possess a management degree fromMumbai University. I have contributedin Lupin Ltd, Ranbaxy, Pfizer, and Merck;currently I am working in Eisai India andhave been employed here or the lastfive years.D After completing graduation, I enrolledfor a CA and, post completion, I started mycareer with PWC and currently I am workingas a country manager in NetApp.How significant was the role of youreducational institute in your professionalgrowth?S My core degree is from Punjab Universityin pharmacy. I was fairly benefitted dueto my degree during initial search of job,because Punjab University delivers soundtechnical knowledge to its students. Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectivesSanjit Singh LambaManaging Director,President – Global Brands Businessunit and Global Head – ProcurementStrategy at Eisai India Deepak NaragundCountry Manager,Finance at NetAppDS D My institute name had no role inmy professional growth; I got the jobon the basis of my CA degree and thespecialization I chose during the course.Professional courses provide functionaltraining, which in turn is helpful in thecorporate growth.What according to you is the role ofcollege brand during appraisal andopportunities within the organization?S College brand plays an important roleduring initial five years of one’s career; inexploring new opportunities and sustainingin the corporate sector because till then theemployers perceive you to be superior dueto your college brand, given you fulfill theexpectations. D College brand does not play any roleduring appraisal and the opportunitieswithin the organization. The candidateperformance, skills are the deciding factors.Do you think that the college brand playsan important role while exploring newopportunities?S Yes, it’s not only your degree thatimpresses the employer but also the alumniprofile of your college that the employertracks to consider you for an employment. D College brand has very little role inexploring new opportunities. Candidate’sperformance, industry experience, skills andprofessional networking are the attributeswhich help in exploring new opportunities.
  12. 12. 12What according to you is the relevance ofexecutive programs offered by brandedcolleges to improve individual careergrowth?S It depends upon the objective of theprogram. It always widens the career of anindividual. I have gone through the variousexecutive programs and I have found therelevance of all the programs in contributiontowards an employee’s career life. D Once an employee completes aconsiderable time period in the corporatesector, he may need a degree orqualification that would facilitate his futuregrowth. Most of the executives feel theneed of this requirement when they reachmiddle management and stagnate slightly.What according to you is more critical inemployee’s growth: corporate trainingprograms or executive programs ofcolleges? Please elaborate.S Coaching and mentoring have valueaddition in due course of time. Theseprograms are targeted for the middlemanagement are helpful for initial careerbut not very useful from an executiveleadership point of view. And my opinionabout executive programs is that only longduration courses may be of some value add. D Both the programs have their ownadvantages. An executive program givesyou fresh ideas to address the real worldproblems. On the other hand, corporatetraining is useful to enhance skills ofemployees to perform routine tasks better.Sanjit Singh LambaManaging Director,President – Global Brands Businessunit and Global Head – ProcurementStrategy at Eisai India Deepak NaragundCountry Manager,Finance at NetAppDS What according to you is the ratioof branded and non-branded collegegraduates in senior management ofcorporate world?S Branded college pass out make 25% ofsenior management and rest is from regularcolleges. D Currently it would be 60:40 I wouldimagine.Do you think the ratio mentioned by youin the previous question will change withtime? Which sectors according to you willwitness this change first?S The contribution from the brandedcolleges may come down. Banking andfinancial services will witness the change firstwhile heavy manufacturing and IT will beimpacted the last. D No, a significant increase will not be seenuntil new branded colleges are opened upor there is a sort of collaboration betweenlocal institutions and foreign universities.Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectives
  13. 13. 13To meet the demand of the changingmarket scenario, most of the collegeshave a marketing department or they areplanning to set up a marketing departmentas a separate unit. Brand managementhas become the latest focus for mosteducational institutes. Recently XLRI(a 63-year-old management institute)rejuvenated its brand to focus on industrialrelations and personnel management.Today, BrandED strategy of educationalinstitutes is not confined to promotionalactivities only, but to consistently deliversuperior academic quality, to improvecorporate networks to cater to the fast-changing marketplace and to maintainbrand equity. Just before the placementsession begins, seminars and conferencesare organized by most managementinstitutes. In all, collaboration with industryplayers and marketing is a value additionprocess to the traditional services offeredby the higher education institutions. In thispaper we will look to measure the impact ofbranding by educational institutes on theiralumni’s careers. A subsequent closer lookat the branded colleges in India shows howthey are managing the 7Ps of marketing.Product: It includes the degree awarded bythe institute, affiliation with AICTE, UGC etc.Some institutes also offer dual degree or adegree from a foreign institute to studentsstill residing in India to differentiate amongcompetition. The value of such degrees ismostly cosmetic with little significance in thecorporate sector in India.Our research revealed that though tuitionor cost of education plays an importantpart in selecting an educational institute,a significant percentage of respondentsfeel that the reputation of the institute is acritical metric in selection.Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectivesFigure 5: What are the most important factors to be considered in the selection of aneducational institute / college for education?7.2%28.4%People32.7%PriceProcesses12.8%Place18.9%Promotion
  14. 14. 14Price: Whereas prestigious institutes enjoythe brand loyalty with the minimum feesstructure due to government aid, newlyopened institutes proclaim value for moneyby claiming successful placements in theirmarketing activities. Institutes also offerdiscounted fee to the meritorious studentsas a part of their promotional strategy.Promotion: This activity has significantlyincreased revenues of institutes whenused effectively. Prospectus, city offices toboost up enquiries, campaigning duringthe admission season as well as print andTV advertisements are used to createawareness. Significant budgets are allocatedby both established and new institutes forthis purpose.People: Managing people is anothercritical aspect, the truth of the matter isthat most of the colleges are facing animmense shortage of faculty across alllevels. Retention of faculty is the biggestimpediment faced by colleges. Thereforeprofessionals from the industry are beingemployed as visiting faculty in almost allprofessional institutions.Physical evidence: This includes basicinfrastructure including classrooms, libraries,laboratories, computers and other necessaryequipment. The government institutionsoften have inadequate infrastructure. Privateinstitutions are promoting themselves byproviding all global-standard amenities tocompare with world-class institutions.Processes: The current demand supply gaphas created opportunities with institutionsfocusing on expanding batch size byimproving the delivery process. IT enabledservices have been commonly used todeliver content.Place: Institutes are encashing their brandequity by opening campuses at variouslocations. Campuses are being openedat unexplored destinations as well as theglobal corporate hubs. These new locationsserve a two-pronged purpose: (a) to reacha larger geographic audience, and (b)strengthen corporate ties in their circle ofinfluence. This table illustrates some Indianinstitutes with multiple campuses in Indiaand abroad.Institute Campusesin IndiaLocations CampusesabroadLocationsSP Jain institute ofManagement andResearch1 Mumbai 3Dubai,Singapore,SydneyAmity 4Delhi, Noida,Gurgaon, Jaipur3Singapore,London, SanFranciscoBITS Pilani 3Pilani,Hyderabad, Goa1 DubaiManipal EducationGroup5Manipal,Mangalore,Bangalore, Goa,Sikkim4Malaysia,Nepal, UAE,AntiguaBranding in education institutes: Current and future perspectives
  15. 15. 15Tell us about your path thus far in thecorporate sector (your educationalbackground, previous organizations, totalwork experience etc.).J I joined MphasiS in 2006 as a deliverymanager and currently am working as anAssociate Vice President. Prior to this I wasa manager in Geometric Limited and adesign engineer in the Force Motor. I havecompleted my Bachelors in Engineeringfrom Maharashta Institute of Technologyin 1995 and MBA from IME (Institute ofManagement Education) in 1998. R I am a business data processing andeconomics graduate from Delhi University.After graduation, I started workingwith Ranbaxy. Henceforth, I worked inpharmaceutical industry for almost 10years and now am working with Clariant, achemical company as Head – IT Services.Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectivesJerome LoboAssociate Vice President,MphasiS, an HP companyRaj KhemaniHead, IT at ClariantRJ How significant was the role of youreducational institute in your professionalgrowth?J I did my mechanical engineering fromMaharashtra Institute of Technologyand MBA marketing from IME. Both myengineering and my MBA college namehelped me in fetching my first job only butthis name was futile in further career growth.Later on only experience, knowledge andthe skills of an individual pay off. R The role of my educational institute in myprofessional growth was almost negligible.I had to prove myself from my first jobonwards. I believe that the college does nothelp to survive and grow in the corporateworld. It’s only individual’s qualities that leadto one’s growth.What according to you is the role ofcollege brand during appraisal andopportunities within the organization?J Role of the college brand have nocontribution in the appraisal process withinthe organization. Experience, knowledgeand skills play an important role in thecareer growth. R I am not sure but I think some bigemployers are really particular aboutthe brand as they keep a track of alumniplacement and the recruitment list. Thisreinforce my believe that it helps inexploring the new opportunities but lateron it is just performance that is requiredto grow.Do you think that the college brand playsan important role while exploring newopportunities?J Yes, it’s not only your degree thatimpresses the employer but also the alumniprofile of your college that the employertracks to consider you for an employment.Being a fresher, brand name is helpful inexploring opportunities but not helpfulin exploring ‘NEW’ opportunities whileworking in an organization for a significanttime period because later the candidatesare evaluated on the experience basis.R No, that time, talking about the brand isa big waste of time, because it is employee’sattitude, experience, and willingness tolearn that count for the appraisal andrecognition within the organization.
  16. 16. What according to you is the relevance ofexecutive programs offered by brandedcolleges in improving individual careergrowth?J Executive programs give value additionto the employees, equip them with specialskills and impart them knowledge, justto keep them updated and groom theirpersonalities. Currently there is a greatdemand for young employees holdingadditional qualifications like executiveprograms or equivalent because corporatewant young employees to resume theresponsibility for a longer time so as to cutthe cost incurred on old ‘n’ experiencedemployees. R These programs give a theoreticalpicture of corporate world. The contenthas very little relevance in the practicalenvironment. Hence I would say there isvery little value addition.What according to you is more criticalin employee growth (corporate trainingprograms or executive programs ofcolleges)? Please elaborate.J Both types of programs are importantfor the employee growth, only when theyare not just clerical types but also coupledwith the practical training. Rather one needsto do personal exploration instead of relyingon these programs only, so as to inculcatethe values. R Corporate training programs playmore important role in employee growththan executive training programs. Theexperiences shared by employees fromdifferent departments are useful tounderstand and improve workflow.What according to you is the ratioof branded and non-branded collegegraduates in senior managementcorporate world?J This is not fixed across all the industries,but it depends on the kind of industry andits workforce requirements. R According to me, the split between thebranded and non-branded college graduatesenior management is 70:30.Jerome LoboAssociate Vice President,MphasiS, an HP companyRaj KhemaniHead, IT at ClariantRJ Do you think the ratio mentioned by youin the previous question will change withtime? Which sectors according to you willwitness this change first?J No significant incline or decline is to beseen.R No idea.Branding in education institutes: Current and future perspectives16
  17. 17. The Indian economy was considered to bean agrarian economy largely with minorcontribution from manufacturing untill the90s, but post the liberalization policies, thefocus has been on the service sector. Thedemand for a knowledge workforce hasincreased and in response both educationalinstitutes’ and corporates have tried toinculcate this change in their selectionprocesses.Brand education and career: Executives’ perspectives• Location advantage• Recommend bypeers• Tuition fees• Previous record• Market outlook• Institution size• Fee structureEmployeeperspective• Strong Faculty• Academicsoffering• Quality ofeducation• Promotionalactivities• Research output• Word-of-mouth• Quality of freshgraduates• Previous experience• Consistency in output• MDPs and trainingsEmployerperspectiveBefore moving forward let us understandthe brand equity framework that prevailsin the higher education sector. This brandequity framework enables universities tomanage and market the services supportedby the mission and vision.17INSTITUTION
  18. 18. We also asked the respondents the factors by which they would classify an educationalinstitute vis-à-vis its brand image. The figure below illustrates the findings.Interestingly the media penetration of aninstitute is still perceived as an importanttool for enhancing brand image. This,however, is not necessarily linked toperformance or quality. Another majorfactor is the effect vis-à-vis interaction withalumni and peer networks at the workplace. Thirty-six per cent of respondents feltthat this is a major factor of classificationbetween a good institute or otherwise.By focusing on employers’ perspective,corporates on the basis of previousexperience of working with the alumni ofsame college have a higher propensity towork with the new candidates from thesame institution again.18Figure 6: How do you classify between a branded and a non-branded institute?13.3%6.7%36%44%Magazine andnewspaperrankingsPrevious workexperiences withalumniInteraction withwith studentsfrom the collegeResponsiveness ofthe college withrespect to changingdemand of thecorporate sectorUniversities understand the importance ofthis strategy and the fact that it can oftenhelp to differentiate among the existingcompetition, to identify profitable newgeographies, and achieve economies ofscale. The government has also understoodthe importance of this and with theobjective of promoting foreign participationin the education sector, the governmentlaunched Educil in 2000. Most universitieswishing to attract overseas students totheir home campuses might be expectedto adopt standardized or adapted brandstrategies.Employers, however, feel that apart from theestablished educational players the segmentis not appealing. India is ranked sixth amongcountries in the world where employershave difficulty in finding a skilled workforce.Brand education and career: Executives’ perspectives
  19. 19. This heterogeneity can also be seen throughemployees’ perspective. Candidates frombranded colleges usually have two to threeoffers after successful completion of theircourse whereas candidates from non-branded colleges find it difficult to repayand meet expenses they have incurredduring the course.Based on the above, BrandEd workforceis majorly classified into three segments.The first segment belongs to the workforcefrom the prestigious institutes of respectivefields. The students from these institutesenjoy high employability in the market. Thissegment of workforce has high demandin India, US and other developed markets.The demand has also increased fromAustralia, Singapore and New Zealand inthe last decade.Workforce in India: Current structureLevel 1minimaleducationLevel 4highly skilledlaborLevel 2vocationallyskilledLevel 3college graduates52%22%22%22%The second segment of workforce isthe one trained by the private instituteswho are more attuned to the demandsof the corporate world albeit at entry- ormid-level management. These institutesclosely work with corporate executives tosuccessfully recruit their students usingrelationship marketing. This segment ofBrandEd workforce has comparitively lessbargaining power.The third segment of BrandEd workforceis trained either through institutions withless propensity to continuously adapt tomarket demands or through the privateinstitutions established within the pastdecade. This segment of workforce trains onthe literacy level improvement rather thanon quality and technology advancement.The workforce of this segment relies ontheir skills and feels tremendous pressure toclimb the corporate ladder.19
  20. 20. The above three segments comprise onlyone million people per annum against thedomestic demand of fifty million. Thereforethe first segment mentioned above has todeliver robust mechanism to develop moretalented professionals. The second and thirdsegments of the workforce have to foreseethe broader picture and focus on improvingbrand equity and quality. A previous studyconducted by Nasscom and McKinseyrevealed that out of total graduates only25% are readily employable year on year.The executives working in middle andsenior management in the Indian corporatesector are primarily from governmentinstitutions. They agree that at their timethe focus was on nurturing the students witha broad curriculum instead of just preparingprofessionals for the corporate rat race.As is pretty common overseas, the mode ofreferral or even reference as a channel forgetting a job, is at an increase in India aswell. Fifty-one per cent of our respondentsidentified a reference as the key factor ingetting their first jobs.Figure 7: How did you get your first job?36%51%Througha referenceCampusplacement5%Through a jobconsultant8%Job portalWorkforce in India: Current structure20
  21. 21. Tell us about your path thus far in thecorporate sector (your educationalbackground, previous organizations, totalwork experience etc.).I completed my engineering from SardarPatel College of Engineering and a PGdiploma in Software Technology fromNational Center for Software Technology.Currently, I am working with Emco India Ltd.Previously I have worked with Ion ExchangeIndia Ltd for eight years. How significant was the role of youreducational institute in your professionalgrowth?My college name was helpful in fetchingmy first job. The consistency in the qualityof students has won the confidence ofrecruiters.Do you think that the college brand playsan important role while exploring newopportunities? What is the reason behindsuch a perception of the employer?Yes, while going for the first job, brandname plays an important role. It is due toPrasad ParabCIO (VP – IT),Emco India Ltd Workforce in India: Current structurethis reason that brand name is not formedin a single day, it takes many years to earnthis title and to preserve it. These collegespick the best students, who have alreadysurvived through a fierce competition andthen they are polished and groomed. Henceit is not a challenge for these studentsto perform well in corporates and thusemployers consider them for a jobrelatively easily.What according to you is the role ofcollege brand during appraisal andopportunities within the organization?Branding does not have any direct linkwith the corporate recruitment. It is justthe quality of the students/alumni ofthe colleges that are obtained out ofthese colleges. It is perceived that theyoutperform in their jobs therefore they arehired but at the end of day what is beingappreciated is performance and the same isapplicable for initial recruitment as well asappraisal, if performance is good there areplenty of opportunities and options with theemployee. No brand name really helps infetching success.21Could you please list down a few reasonsfor favoritism of students from brandedcollege?As I said brand is formed over the years.So the best thing to get from thesecolleges is the quality of faculty, supportiveinfrastructure, competitive learningenvironment and alumni placement recordthat are appealing to the new employers.But sometimes this suffers from a biasbecause many good students are ignoredeven if they are a good performer but arenot from premier institutions. But there areso many applicants for a job every year sosomeone has to be highly selective and itis done at employer’s end and their brandfilters are set in recruitment and selectionprocess.
  22. 22. What according to you is the relevanceof executive programs offered bybranded colleges in improving individualcareer growth?Executive programmes are really helpfulin individual growth though this is not truein Indian corporates but in MNCs theseprogrammes have a factor in futuregrowth usually.Which programme is better: long-durationExecutive MBA programme or short termMDP/EDP programme?Both the programs have their own benefitsand offerings. Executive MBA in itself is adegree that gives specialized knowledge toemployee in a particular field, say marketingfinance etc. and add-on one morequalification in employees’ qualificationchart whereas MDP/EDP programmes arenot degrees as such, they are the top-upsoffered to the employee for his corporategrowth. These programmes as such arenot recognized at organisational levelrather they are known for skills recognition.Employees are put to these programmes tohone up their skills or to meet personalitydeficiency.What according to you is more criticalin employee growth: corporate trainingprograms or executive programs ofcolleges? Please elaborate.I think executive programs are more criticalthan the corporate training. Executiveprograms offer employees fresh ideas andthe interaction with the people of variedbackground – academics and corporates.What according to you is the ratioof branded and non-branded collegegraduates in senior management ofcorporate world?I believe that the current ratio will be 60:40.Do you think the ratio mentioned by youin the previous question will change withtime? Which sectors according to you willwitness this change first?I am not expecting major changes. Therequirement of the workforce as comparedto skills of qualified candidates is really low.Although, this also varies from industryto industry.Prasad ParabCIO (VP – IT),Emco India Ltd Workforce in India : Current structure22
  23. 23. The educational system was for most parta non-profit business at the time of Gen X.Quality of academic input (37%) was thefirst choice for an undergraduate course.Sixty-seven per cent of survey respondentsidentified the quality of academic inputas a key determinant for their choice ofeducation institutes, followed by 57%of respondents who also believe jobprospects are a key determinant in choosingan educational institute. Excluding fewrenowned brands like NIIT, Amity someother private institutes that have opened inlast decade are maximizing revenue throughincreasing tuition fees and compromisingon the quality of education offered. Thispractice could be dangerous in the longrun, as 58% of respondents believe that theinstitutes communicate differently at thetime of admission and so the picture is notconsistent over time.Workforce in India: Current structure234% 5.3% 26%4% 9% 42%9% 2% 14.7%8% 9% 32.3%4% 68% 20.7%6% 6.7% 12%11% 16.8% 60%9% 14% 50.7%2% 10.7% 11%12% 11.8% 12%8.3% 3.2% 13.3%3% 18% 12%76% 11% 38.3%52% 32.9% 8%27.4% 72% 11%52.7% 27% 4%14% 5% 4%26% 39.6% 26%44.3% 6% 1%27.3% 32% 1%Figure 8: Please rate the factors critical for growth in the corporate sector at the various stages of career life cycle?CollegebrandEducationDomainexpertiseInterpersonalskills andcapabilityJunior level Mid level Senior level No influence  Significant  Neutral  Low influence  Most influential
  24. 24. In India, the average duration of educationis 27 years. College education comprisessix to seven years for the post graduatesand then 30–35 years of a career passingthrough junior, middle and senior levelsof management. Respondents believethat the role of college brand (76%) andeducation (52%) are significant at thejunior level, while at mid level domainexpertise has more weight (72%) forcareer growth.Workforce in India: Current structureFigure 10: How much significance did your educational institutes play during appraisals/new opportunities?Figure 9: Do you feel that the brand reputation of your educational institutes had an impact on your career graph?24 No influence Low influence Neutral Significant  Most influentialUndergraduate college Postgraduate college Doctorate college2%4% 28% 19% 42% 7%3% 2%3% 7% 16%18% 19% 15%54.7% 45% 49%22.3% 26% 18%No influence Low influence Neutral Influential Most influential
  25. 25. IT companies are the major recruitersamong engineering graduates. Companiesare recruiting from branded and non-branded colleges and spending largetraining budgets to hone them. Bankingand financial services are among the majorA recent reform in the alumni policy couldbe a big leap. Now most college’s executivecourses have revised alumni status thathas enabled all students enrolled even inmedium-duration programs to receive thestatus of alumni. The research revealedthat 77.3% of the respondents feel thateven short-term courses from reputedFigure 11: Apart from the industries you have worked in, what industries do you believeyou could contribute to effectively?recruiters from branded MBA institutes(34%). The majority of respondents (60.3%)also believe that the BFSI is the sectorwhere they can contribute effectively,followed by the FMCG (15.6%) and theTelecom sector (14.1%) respectively.Figure 12: Do you feel that the executive programs offered by branded institutes can behelpful in improving your employability?institutes could be helpful professionallyand the alumni status from the collegewill expand their network reach and willbe beneficial for them for exploring newcareer opportunities. Among the surveyrespondents 96% believe that a salaryhike of 10%–30% is expected after thecompletion of the program.“Executive programmes help in improving the employee’sperformance, as it aligns the employees’ requirements with theorganization’s need.”— Tarun Chandra (President, Sales and Business Development at Omnigrid Micropower Company)Workforce in India: Current structure2515.6% 5% 5% 60.3% 14.1%FMCG IT/ITeS Pharmaceutical BFSI Telecom77.3%YES22.7%NO
  26. 26. Brand management is different at differentlevels of service offering provided by theuniversities. The research found that strongsupport by branding is experienced inpostgraduate level courses. Among thesurveyed respondents (49%) felt that thecollege brand plays the most significantrole in career growth. They believe thatthe name of educational institute plays animportant role during first job placement(57%) and also when exploring new businessopportunities through alumni networks(36%). It is generally felt that the collegebrand will help you to start your initial careerbut it is your skills and the knowledge thatyou gather that will help you to grow in thecorporate sector.Alumni of branded colleges have proventhemselves. Almost 72% of top-paidCEOs in India are from the brandedcolleges either from India or abroad. Thisstatement is also validated by the surveyresult where 62% of respondents agreethat the alumni of branded institutes haveproven themselves in the corporate worldthroughout their career.Workforce in India: Current structure26Figure 13: How much of an increase (%) do you expect in your salary after thecompletion of the program?50% 46% 3% 1%10%−20% 20%−30% 30%−50% More than 50%
  27. 27. Tell us about your path thus far in thecorporate sector (your educationalbackground, previous organizations,total work experience etc.).I am working as the chief financial officer(South India) in PepsiCo. I joined PepsiCoin 2003 as a project manager, since then Ihave worked in the various departmentshandling different roles and responsibilities.Prior to this, I worked as a finance managerin Intel and Cadbury. I have completed mychartered accountancy course from ICAIin 1997.How significant was the role of youreducational institute in your professionalgrowth?According to me, a chartered accountantdegree is a stronger brand than theinstitution name (ICAI). I got the advantageof my CA degree.Darpan VashishthaCFO – South India at PepsiCoFinance Manager – IntelWhat according to you is the role ofcollege brand during appraisal andopportunities within the organization?The role of college brand is instrumentalat the junior level but as you move up theladder, your experience and the practicalknowledge you have gained count more.After eight to ten years, this experienceplays an important role during appraisals.The impact of brand name is almostnegligible in appraisal.Do you think that the college brandplays an important role while exploringnew opportunities?Yes, premier colleges render a good startin the corporate world. This increases thechance to grow and reach a mid-seniorposition relatively early in your career.However, if one has to change the companyor the sector, then no brand is decisive,so all in all, it helps in exploring newopportunities at an early stage only.What according to you is the relevanceof executive programs offered bybranded colleges in improving individualcareer growth?Executive programs offered are alluringfor an individual growth that is short term.However, the employees possessing theexecutive MBA degree either by himself orby the employer are cherished in corporate.What according to you is more criticalin employee growth: corporate trainingprograms or executive programs ofcolleges? Please elaborate.Both are very important, for the employee’sprogress as well as for value addition.However, I don’t see much relevance ofshort-term executive programs. Thesedo not lead to a substantial growth of anemployee. On the other hand, full-timecourses are much more useful. Similarly,corporate training programs in the actualsense assist the employee in developinghis skills and it is also constructive tothe organization.Workforce in India: Current structure27
  28. 28. What according to you is the ratioof branded and non-branded collegegraduates in senior management in thecorporate world?As of now, somewhere around 60%–70%employees are from the branded colleges insenior management.Darpan VashishthaCFO – South India at PepsiCoFinance Manager – IntelWorkforce in India: Current structure28Do you think the ratio mentioned by youin the previous question will change withtime? Which sectors according to you willwitness this change first?In India, the sectors can be classified intoslow-moving and fast-moving in terms ofemployee growth, e.g. FMCG sector’semployee growth is comparatively slower,the periodic cycle of promotions and growthis long here termed as a slow-movingindustry. On the contrary, IT exhibits thetrend exactly opposite to FMCG, i.e fasteremployee growth. So in the near future wecan see a significant change in the brandedversus non-branded ratio in the IT sector.
  29. 29. Having an education from a brandedcollege is always an added advantage.Employers prefer to offer 10%–20% more interms of remuneration compared to anon-branded college pass out.Figure 14: Approximately how much salary hike is offered for the same position to thebranded college pass-outs comparable to the non-branded college pass-outs?54% 21.3% 22.7% 2%10%−20% 20%−30% 30%−50% More than 50%Workforce in India: Current structure29
  30. 30. Tell us about your path thus far in thecorporate sector (your educationalbackground, previous organizations, totalwork experience etc.).After completing MBA in 1975 from PanjabiUniversity, I joined Heavy EngineeringCorporation as a management trainee.How important was the role of youreducational institute in your professionalgrowth?My institute name did not play anysignificant role in getting me a start incorporate. I had to work on my own andexplore the opportunities. Because it isoften perceived that students from non-premier institutes are not up to mark andrequire qualitative training in corporate, butemployers want to cut on the cost, so theydo not accept students readily.Vikram Mehmi President, Chairman’s Office at Suzlon Energy Ltd.President and CEO, Birla Sun Life Insurance co Ltd.How difficult was it for you to attain thisposition if your college did not influenceyour recruitment?I started my career with Heavy EngineeringCorporation Ltd as a management trainee.Thereafter I worked with NTPC, ONGC,and VSNL etc. In all the organizationsI worked with, I had demonstrated mycapabilities either through entrance exams,or interviews or the combination of both.How easy was it for you to get job in anindustry other than your core industry(telecom); did your college brand namepose any challenge here?No, when you are working in a functionaldepartment only your knowledge is beingevaluated and not the previous industryor the college name. So for me it was alleffortless to get into another industry.Workforce in India: Current structure30What according to you is the role ofcollege brand during appraisal andopportunities within the organization?No brand name plays an evident roleduring the appraisal. It is significant atthe recruitment stage, later on domainknowledge and corporate experience ismore important to grow. Do you think that the college brand playsan important role while exploring newopportunities?Yes, definitely. At the early stage of jobsearch brand plays a crucial role. The reasonunderlying is that these institutions makequality students and they are undoubtedlyperceived to be superior by employersand so is the reason behind campusrecruitments. But while exploring newopportunities after a certain time period inan industry, brand name does not work.
  31. 31. What according to you is the relevance ofexecutive programs offered by brandedcolleges in improving individual careergrowth?It is absolutely useless if it is pursued to addan extra qualification in the resume, but ifthe purpose is to learn, it makes sense.What according to you is more criticalin employee growth: corporate trainingprograms or executive programs ofcolleges? Please elaborate.Both are equally important, but it is alwaysadvantageous to impart little corporatetraining in colleges and the brandedcolleges work towards it that is why thesestudents are all-time favorite of employers.What according to you is the ratioof branded and non-branded collegegraduates in senior management ofcorporate world?The ratio of non-branded college graduatesis almost negligible at the senior positions.Workforce in India : Current structure31Do you think the ratio mentioned by youin the previous question will change withtime? Which sectors according to you willwitness this change first?According to me not much difference wouldbe seen.Vikram Mehmi President, Chairman’s Office at Suzlon Energy Ltd.President and CEO, Birla Sun Life Insurance co Ltd.
  32. 32. The research undertaken for this studyclearly throws up some interesting insights.Though common perception would leadus to believe that quality of education(BrandEd) plays a direct role in the growthof one’s career, it is not a simple symbioticrelationship. As Tarun Chandra, PresidentSales and Business Development atOmnigrid Micropower Co. says, “It helps inexploring the opportunities only when youare a fresh graduate and look for the firstjob, but plays no role in subsequent careercycles.” Many C-level executives sharethis view. But what is interesting to noteis that 80% of the executives who have asimilar viewpoint are themselves alumni ofpremier institutes in India. What this meansis that the executives who are not from thepremier educational institutes have a highertendency of believing that the prestige ofan alma mater has a direct impact on careergrowth. This is an interesting sociologicaltrait that validates the aspirational valuethat premier institutes imbibe among thegeneral populace.Conclusion32Figure 15: Current job position20%CEO20%RegionalHead8%CMO7%Vice-President5%CFO4%CTO16%Director20%DepartmentHead
  33. 33. Conclusion33Figure 15 above shows the spread ofrespondents covered in this study. Almost60% of CXOs felt that the corporatesector follows, for most part, a transparentmeritocracy. But what is interesting to noteis that 75% of these CXOs are from tier-oneeducational institutes.Navdeep Thandi, AVP–HR, HDFCStandard Life Insurance sums it up well,“The brand tag can give you only an entrypass to the corporate world but can nothelp you to fetch a good report card inan organization.” This goes to show thatthough academia and corporate excellencewill always be closely linked, it is not acause-effect equation. A good educationcan pave the way to a succesful entryat one’s choice of a career, but it’s not ameans of sustainability alone. As economiesgrow and contract, competition at alllevels of employment is increasing. Truemeritocracies are the organisations that willdo well in this global economy, and hence itis imperative for executives to continuouslyadd value to their expertise and skill sets.As seen in the graph below, even duringappraisals across levels, 56% of respondentsfelt that the educational institute of theemployee plays a nominal role duringthe appraisal process. Rather, purelyperformance related metrics are the onlyfactor in assessing increments and increasedresponsibilities.Hence both organistaions and educationalinstitutions will have to continue to adaptto changing global work standards andinstitutes will have to take the lead indeveloping future leaders and impartingFigure 16: What is the weight of educational institute during appraisal of your team?the knowledge and skills that are requiredto execute a task, but most importantlyimbibe in its future alumus, the confidence,perseverance and self belief that is mostcritical for success in the corporate hierarchy.56% 24% 14.7% 5.3%10%−20% 20%−30% 30%−50% More than 50%
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