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Times Skills Dialogue 9th Dec 2011,Chennai



Timejobs.com in collaboration with the Economics times arranged for a HR conference which centre of to the topic called "Skills Dialogue" & the motto behind the meet was to discuss the issues in the talent haunt & the many issues, today's recruiters face in the industry. This was the second phase of the programme, phase  one of which was concluded in the month of Feb 2011. We being a recruitment partner to Timejobs were invited to attend the meet & yes it was really a fruitful & educating session for me & my colleague Suganthi. The fabulous ambiance was made to host the industry guests who took time from their   busiest schedule to discuss the issues in the talent & skill shortages & action needed to curb the issue. Among the seated industry guest were Mr. Kumar Ekambram, chief People Officer, CSS Corp,Vineet Jain, the  MD of the Bennett & collmen group, Mr.Joe A Scaria,Assistant Editor, The Economic Times, Dr,Bhooshan Kelkar,Country Manager, University Relations-India & South Asia, IBM ,Lokesh Mehra,Director Education Microsoft india, Dr Pallav Bandyopadhyay, Director Hr Citrix & Mr.Prince Jayakumar,Head – Talent Acquisition, Logica India.

Speakers
·         Joe A Scaria, Assistant Editor, The Economic Times (MODERATOR)
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/joe-150x150.jpgJoe A Scaria started his career as Sub Editor with Indian Express, Kochi.He is a commerce graduate and an MBA in Marketing with 27 years of experience in media and management. He has worked as Product Manager with Murphy India Ltd, RPG Group and Business Manager with Magna Publishing Co Ltd in Mumbai. He joined The Economic Times at Coimbatore in 1994. His present assignments include international features and anchoring of news stories from different centres. He is also a faculty member in Institute of Journalism, Trivandrum and visiting faculty, Press Academy, Kochi.

·         Dr. Bhooshan Kelkar, Country Manager, University Relations-India & South Asia, IBM (SESSION CHAIR)
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Dr.-Bhooshan-Kelkar-IBM-150x150.jpgDr. Kelkar has been with IBM for more than 10 years in different roles in USA and India. He currently heads the University Relations program for IBM in India and South Asia. Through different outreach initiatives, IBM’s University Relations program in India covers a network of over 100 engineering colleges. An alumnus of IIT Bombay, he has an MS and PhD from UK, along with a Bioinformatics Certification from University of California and a Certificate in IP Law from Watson Research Training Center, NY. Currently holding 8 US patents in multiple technologies, he has also been named the “IBM Master Inventor” for 2011. He has designed/delivered courses in universities in the UK, USA and India. He is closely engaged with the academic world and is a visiting faculty at institutes for competitive examinations such as the UPSC and MPSC.  He has been a faculty for “Train the Trainers” on soft skills for University of Pune. And has recently also completed his MBTI certification.
Lokesh Mehra, Director-Education, Microsoft India
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Lokesh-Mehra-Microsoft2-150x150.jpgLokesh Mehra is the Director- Education Advocacy at Microsoft Corporation India and is responsible for managing strategic relationships with MHRD and Institutional Bodies, Policy led engagements and Skill development initiatives. By profession, an Electronics Engineering graduate and an MBA, he has had stints with other major companies like Intel, NIIT, Benchmark Microsystems, etc.  He has over 21 years of experience in Education, Marketing, Product Management, Sales and Channel Development in the IT industry.  Prior to Microsoft, he has worked as the Regional Manager – Corporate Responsibility for the South Asia Region at Cisco and was spearheading and driving Cisco’s education charter in both the philanthropic and commercial markets. He was responsible for plotting the company’s strategy for Corporate Affairs and aligning Asia Pacific and global programs for the benefit of the region.  He has also spoken at several public forums hosted by CII, FICCI, NASSCOM, International Telecom Union (ITU), UNDP, etc. and has authored several articles published in leading newspapers and magazines.

·         Dr. Pallab Bandyopadhyay, Director-HR, Citrix  Systems
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Dr.-Pallab-Bandyopadhyay-150x150.jpgDr. Pallab Bandyopadhyay currently heads HR function for India for both R&D and Sales as Director-Human resources for Citrix based at Bangalore.  Citrix Systems (NASDAQ listed 2 billion US$ revenue) is a leading provider of virtualization, networking and software as a service (SaaS) technologies for more than 230,000 organizations worldwide. A doctoral fellow in HRD from XLRI, Jamshedpur, and  Academy of HRD, he has also been trained at various human process and organization development interventions at NTL, USA as well as adult learning theories at Interactive consultants, Canada. He has more than 24 years of professional experience in the areas of institution, organization and human resources development. Before joining Citrix, he was the global HR Business Partner for entire Application and Business Process business for Dell based out of Bangalore. He was the past-President of NHRD Bangalore chapter and currently a member at the National HR and IR/ER committee of CII. He has been the member of the CII and NHRD team that developed the first HR competency model HR Compass in India.
Kumar Ekambaram, Chief People Officer, CSS Corp
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Kumar-Ekambaram-150x150.jpgKumar Ekambaram brings with him 28 years of diverse and hands-on experience in setting up new projects with innovative business models across diverse verticals while managing large operations which include setting up of HR systems and practices. He has worked with leading players in key industries such as National Dairy Development Board, Apollo Hospitals Group and Tata Group Companies like Indian Hotels Company, Tata Teleservices Ltd. and E2E SerWiz Solutions Ltd. His varied expertise and rich experience across industries such as Dairy, Packaging, Healthcare, Hospitality, Telecom, BPO and Realty helped him handle both cost centre and profit centre responsibilities. He has also managed a 1000 seater BPO and was responsible for the Telecom Business vertical across three centres. He is an electrical engineer with a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Ahmedabad.
Prince Jayakumar, Head – Talent Acquisition, Logica India
http://research.timesjobs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Prince-JayakumarHead-%E2%80%93-Talent-Acquisition-Logica-India1-150x150.jpgPrince Jayakumar heads Logica’s talent acquisition function a part of HR organization. His responsibilities include managing all aspects of talent acquisition delivery, quality and planned growth of the employee base in India. Apart from contributing to functional improvements within HR, he also contributes to other key organizational initiatives like ACOL. He has 14 years of vast experience in all aspects of Human Resources and specializes in Talent Acquisition. He has partnered with the business effectively in the capacity of a hiring specialist or HR generalist in delivering business value. With Logica, he has worked extensively in implementing a new talent acquisition model and structure to cater to the demands of high volume growth. In this short span, he has transformed the function in to a credible recruitment delivery engine which can pull off any growth targets. Prior to Logica, he was Head of Talent Acquisition at EMC where he helped the storage leader create a firm foot print in India through acquiring top talent. Before that he worked with HCL Technologies Ltd. as Senior Manager HR for about eight years.He holds a Masters in Social Work (Specializing in Personnel Management) from Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu.
The meet kicked off at the prescribed time at 2 o clock & started with a welcome session by Mr.Mahews & next the talk was live.

Starting with a addressing note Mr.Joe put the idea behind the meet i.e to discuss the skill set available in IT & Tech segment & the difficulties the corporate world facing while filling up the recruitment. He asked to all other sitting members that if they feel there is a shortage of skilled manpower to address their recruitment needs. Answering this Mr.Bhooshan shared his experience when once he was in Cherapunji, the place where it rains the highest in India, he was told by a local people that they have to walk miles together to get water when the rainy season is over. ANd he concluded saying that see there is a possibility we can save the water in the season & use it when its not raining. & yes likely we have numbers to beat in quality & why cant we convert the same in to quality people.

To this Mr Bandyopadhyay started with the figure of the number of Engineers India produces in a year compared to the US. And in the US the number of Engineers passing is not as lesser as compared to our population. He added from NASSCOM report the number of Engineers got placed in the last financial year. And the number of people placed in the last FY as compared to the number of Engineers passed out is quite close to 48%. This clearly indicated that there is clearly a Skill gap in the passing students that makes them employable in the industry. Then ultimately the reason lies in the lack in the quality Educational institutes in the country. Wherein  we have close 45% Indians in NASA & majority of sectors in the U are employing Indians. This confirms the gap in the quality education in the country wherein we are beating the numbers in quality but we lack in producing quality Engineers. 

As he explains the reasons for not getting quality Engineers; the the gap between the syllabus & the corporate needs counts the most.the colleges where teach students the traditional courses to complete the  syllabus, the industry requirements for trained professional in particular & specific domains & technologies  are not answered. There remains the gap wherein a fresh graduate from college need to get a specialised skill set which is sought in the industry& in his new job becomes helpful for him as well as the company is benefited. And as the Educational institutes are only following the syllabus & not inducing career oriented courses or training to students, the corporate giants have to put their feet into training fresh inductees in to the job oriented program after they select them from any college hence incurs huge cost in it. And few  corporate can afford the training they just go for the best colleges & choose the highest percentages. Hence the number of employable engineers are quite less as compared to the passed out ones.

Now Mr.Lokesh pushed the Idea wherein he explained how Microsoft is going behind the boundaries to collaborate with the IIM Bangalore to induce a course called post graduate Diploma in Cloud services. 

In continuation to this Mr. Prince added the other side of the fact that the corporate only aims at the percentage & the Degree & the renowned institutes. The industry don't have place for people without IT or Engineers & people with other not technical degrees. He stressed on how a commerce graduate can understanding accounting better than anyone else & given a basic training in coding how he can do the coding in a better way. wherein for a non commerce student will do coding without knowing the end result & its functionality. in the same way people from other non technical courses should be aligned with the  IT industry to get something innovative & advancement.

There after other members too added many arguments in line & against the talks & reached at a consensus that Indian IT & technology industry needs to do innovation & research in a wider prospectus to bring more and more quantity engineers & non engineers to quality & employable candidates wherein both industry & the youth of this country can be benefited in long run. The Govt too has to play a major role in providing many such aspects & platforms to bring both the student community & the industry biggies to work together to reach the above said objective.

Another aspect that was in the limelight was that only the Industry is confined to only Metros & as the number of engineering colleges outside the metros too has jumped many folds the graduated passing from these colleges are finding it tough to get an employment. Even if the industry has headed towards the small towns to gain result out of the situation it has not been a fruitful journey so far as the youth once experienced in small cities head towards metros & the small city project by the companies land themselves as a mere corporate training organisations. Here Retention of experienced talent in these cities is the headache but  the industry bosses agreed to get solutions for this. Finally everybody was on the same page that for India Inc to grow & contribute to the GDP & economic growth has to do many research activities & innovative ideas to channelise the available talent pool to an employable pool to get the recruitment numbers filled in time & deliver better results.

Followed by this it was the "High tea" session wherein the attendees were allowed to ask questions they face to the chaired industry bosses followed by the coffee break to end the session.

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