FICCI Global Skills Summit (GSS) 2019: Snapshots of the CEOs’ Panel Discussion


The CEOs Panel Session at FICCI Global Skills Summit (GSS) 2019  was an excellent session bringing to the fore many aspects of executing the vision for making India – The Skill Capital. The session was chaired and moderated by Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai. All the panellists agreed that India can become the Skill Capital only when the skills are made aspirational and each industry has a great potential to grow and requires skilled personnel. But the widening skill gap is not closing because of lack of trained and skilled professionals. Team NSN presents the snapshots of the thought-provoking discussion:

Mr Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Walmart India

Krish Iyer FICCI GSS 2019“If machines are becoming smarter humans have to become more knowledgeable hence skilling is important. In terms of supply side it is essential to see how we can bring best practices and incentives and invite experts to come to the country. We need to value our trainers very well, and greater focus is needed from government, concessional rate for people in teaching professions.”

Mr Hitesh Oberoi, Managing Director and CEO,

Hitesh Oberoi FICCI GSS 2019“There are two observations from the  job seekers stand point; one, there aren’t enough relevant jobs in big cities and they need more money to move to different city. Two, the recruiters say they aren’t able to get people with the right skills, even for regular jobs like sales, or cooks or retail , and hence, not much has changed over the last 10 years. In fact, these basic jobs are sought after by MBAs in India. Advances in technology, digital access to high quality education is getting democratized in India, there is more scope to upskill by watching videos, however social aspects like dignity of work will take time. Technology will be a game changer for everyone!”

Mr Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Managing Director, KEMPPI

Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra FICCI GSS 2019“Though the global scenario is changing with Industry 4.0, there is a dearth of quality welders. We need to look at 3 or 4 tiers in small cities and towns since we will need 3 million welders as per predictions from Indian Institute of Welding. We should get the right accreditations, we need to understand the gaps to perform as per international standards. There’s an urgent need to bring women into the mainstream to bring stability welding ecosystem.  Other issues that need immediate attention include the need to ensure that MSMEs, who are the major employers, understand the importance of training. Skilled welders are getting paid better, but wages are not standard. We need technology partners for upskilling, people come to India to get upskilled, we should product international quality engineers. Welding is one of the most in-demand skill all over the world.”

CEO Panel FICCI GSS 2019Dr Blossom Kochhar, Chairperson, Blossom Kochhar Group of Companies

Blossom Kochhar FICCI GSS 2019“We have been skilling for 35 years and Beauty and Wellness sector has the market potential to grow to Rs. 80,000 crores and generate employment for millions globally. Festival and wedding season is the boom time and the bridal industry is worth Rs. 100000 crores while Mehndi sector is about Rs. 5000 crores.  India can be one of the key suppliers of manpower to the global industry. This sector also has many opportunities to create micro entrepreneurs and help them with loans. Women can work from homes and have steady employment while looking after their families. Foreign qualifications, for example  from CIDESCO, can help you work anywhere in the world, delivering world class services. There’s huge potential for overseas employment and anyone who is good at communication and soft skills and has basic digital skills, can make it big. Indians loved to be groomed, men too!”

Mr K Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive, L&T – Skill Development Mission

Ramakrishnan L&T at FICCI GSS 2019“Skilling begins with the confidence that we can! We need to bring the glory back; in the past India was a skilled nation. We need to get the fundamentals right and enhance the quality of trainers and training, productivity and safety. Training has to be demand-driven and non-prescriptive. Though we have excellent schemes and programs from the government, the challenge lies in converting the intent into action. L&T is coming up with a Training of Trainers program which will have 10 days of pedagogic training, followed by 15-week of on-the-job training. To make skilling aspirational, industry has to take the lead in implementing RPL and promote skills competitions. The government can consider combining and merging skilling programs from various ministries. And everybody has to be made aware of skills, and people should be able to get the right information about the courses available, at the right time.”

Mr Bhaskar Ranjan Das, Associate Director, AICPE & CIMA India

bhaskar_ranjan_das_ficci_gss_2019“One of the important aspects of skilling is out of one’s passion. We see many in urban areas enrolling for skilling on their own and they are willing to pay for it. Most often this helps them in exploring a career that is close to their heart, though their degree could be in a different discipline. In semi-urban areas skilling is critical for livelihood to be able to earn and sustain. AICPA helps in establishing skill levels. Soon, accounting would be done by robots and hiring trends will change. We may need technologists who can do accounting and tax. There is a huge potential for India is huge since CA is prestigious but the supply is low. Now CAs need to be tech-savvy. We need to disrupt ourselves, we have to hire by skills and not degrees, use digital badges. When the quality of hire goes up , adoption of skills automatically goes up.”

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