India is well-known for being the golden home of spices and that forms a major part our exports and GDP. But our country’s exports also incorporate yoga, movies, Indian dance and music forms, cuisine, clothing, and more. An essential item that we forget listing in our exports is human capital.
Quick question here: What is the most common thing among global company giants such as, Harman International, Nokia, Adobe, Global Foundries, NetApp, Cognizant, Conduent Inc, Microsoft and Google? Apart from being from the technology sector, these companies have CEOs from India. There are 14 global companies headed by Indian CEOs. These companies have made it to the top 50 technology companies in the world.
As per 2016 reports, there were 1.6 crore Indians living abroad. Holding onto that thought, the decimal mark used in the previous statement was also adopted from the decimal system of Indian mathematics. But, we believe in living in the present, let’s emphasize on what’s trending today. Plastic surgeries?
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, United States ranked on top for 4.2 million treatments, taking 17.9% of the world-wide treatments. The plastic surgeries that drive people to other countries were first carried out in 2000 BCE in India. J-sharp (jay-sharp) is a transitional programming language for users of Java and Visual J++ languages which were developed in Hyderabad, India at Microsoft India Development Center. Pushing back to your childhood, Ludo and Snakes and Ladders were also developed by Indians. The former originated in the 6th century at Mughal Emperor, Jala-ud-din Muhammad Akbar’s court.
Indian Human Capital has always been the best in all spheres right from when civilization began. The question persists: Why aren’t we able to retain the great minds within our country? Aren’t we creating space for them? What’s driving them out of our country? Global company or Global Human Capital?
A study conducted by Harvard Business Review in mid-2013 states India’s export contribution of fortune global 500 companies is 30%. This gives India a place equal to countries like Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Why is it that it is labelled as “India’s export contribution”, what if these exports transitioned to imports? Where would that take our country?
Global Human Capital is important for the progress of the economy, all the more, retaining the domestic human capital is equally essential. Why aren’t we able to do so?
Starting from the basic two reasons for employees, firstly, the working hours are from 8 am to 5 pm in other countries. It’s very rare that someone is asked to do overtime, and if they are asked, they can easily deny without the fear of losing their job. Few companies also provide sick holidays without losing their salary just because they are in the hospital for a month. Secondly, financial status is not a defining factor in how a person is to be treated. Minute, yet relevant reasons for non-global human capital in India at middle and operational levels of management.
Top management of Indian companies fails to attract global heads because they are mainly headed and dominated by the family members of the board. Nita Ambani, the wife of Reliance Industries’ chairman, Mukesh D Ambani, became the first woman to be appointed on the board of the nation’s largest private company. RIL also has Mukesh Ambani’s cousins Nikhil R Meswani and Hital R Meswani. Ramnikal H Ambani was the other director from the family. PMS Prasad and PK Kapil are lucky to make it to the board of directors even though they don’t form a part of Ambani’s close-knit family.
Nita Ambani’s appointment helps RIL to meet the standards of the new law of having one woman on the board. On her appointment, Mukesh Ambani also listed his wife’s accomplishments towards social, ecological, health care and other initiatives.
But, did the Fortune 500 Reliance Industries Limited, the Indian and Global giant restrict its board of member seats mainly for the family?
Mukesh D Ambani’s twins are made the directors of Reliance Jio and Retail brands. Nevertheless, they could perhaps be competent for the position they hold, but limiting the top positions to family members restricts attracting global human capital. Is this a reason why global human capital feels that they may not be able to reach to the top? Is nepotism an answer?
In India lacks product development companies and is a hub of IT services not exactly equivalent to global IT companies. India needs global human capital which does not fear nepotism and other constraints. Flipkart and Ola wouldn’t have existed if Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal and Bhavish Aggarwal wouldn’t have returned to India after a global experience.
The Government of India has decided to dispatch 10000 crores to start-up funding, but that would be irrelevant if we can’t maintain our human capital which forms the foundation of a company. India couldn’t retain an Indian economist and international academic Raghuram Rajan.
India needs to create an environment for wide opportunity and high incentives which were delivered to Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Pichai Sundararajan (CEO of Google Inc) and the like. A competitive and innovative environment, devoid of nepotism and other iniquitous practices, will also help India foray into founding companies like Google and Microsoft.
India is becoming a powerhouse of start-ups. Due to the lack of mentorship, most of them fight a downhill battle. The Government has taken initiatives by providing with mentors and with funds. T-hub, an initiative by Telangana Government provides guidance for selected and potential start-ups.
Jagdish N. Sheth is the Professor of Marketing at Goizueta Business School of Emory University. His co-written significant book has been “Tectonic Shift: The Geoeconomic Realignment of Globalizing Markets”. He previously stated that India is consumer-driven economy for the next 2 decades and all global companies are focusing on us. India is also expected to become 3 largest economies in the world. Perhaps, global companies are not as relevant as global human capital. It’s the people who create the wealth. Instead of brain-drain from India, we should brain-drain from other countries and retain our talent.
This article was written by Prof. Chandrashekar Goud, Harsha Sheelam, and Kumaran and has been published by DNA India (Daily News and Analysis). It is the 6th among Top Ten English Dailies in India as reported by Indian Readership Survey (IRS).