Skill Inventory for the Young Indian Professional
Editor - CoolAvenues | April 27,2014 03:55 pm IST
Inspite of all the roadblocks for growth, bureaucratic red tape and development hurdles which we still face, most would agree with me that we live in a dynamic India. A country and it's people who have realized their potential to be on the global map and are steadfastly moving in that direction.
India today is a country which has grown out of it's feelings of being a victim of the Colonial era, to a young country which has "Ambition". The fact that our neighbor China is racing towards a position of global dominance in trade only helps fuel our ambition.
This "Ambition" can be seen across classes of our society. Take the Political Class, since 1996 we have sailed smoothly through the troubled waters of "Coalition Politics" without giving up on the economic agenda set in 1991 by the Narasimha Rao-Manmohan Singh duo. In their earlier stints as Chief Ministers, Chandrababu Naidu in AP and S.M.Krishna in Karnataka played exemplary roles in the political class providing leadership in furthering economic development. In Industry and Business, we have Indian Companies steadfastly moving into the Global arena as matter of strategy.
It is not only happening in the new economy sectors like IT, but also in the old economy companies as can be seen from the global forays of A.V.Birla Group or the Sterlite Group. Today we have our own set of Global poster boys in the business arena, the likes of L.N. Mittal and Purnendu Chatterjee. We have new fields of industry and business, redefining the rules of society and culture, starting with IT, ITES and now the Retail boom. Now more then ever, we have the young Indian today who is looking not just for a Job, but opportunities for careers and business.
This skill inventory is a listing of observations and experiences which would be of use both to the young professional and the graduate students. These are essentially behavioral and soft skills they need to be aware of or acquire as they look out for opportunities either as professionals or as entrepreneurs. Some of these ideas may look unconventional and radical but they are nevertheless true and most often very effective. However readers should ideally understand the subtle difference between "flaunting a skill" and "using a skill".
• Think Global & Act Global
Traditions are good, but this does not mean you have to hold onto them at all moments and resist anything new which you come across. Being able to tap global opportunities requires us to think Global and also act Global. A case in the point is the L.N. Mittal group, which in spite of being very strong Indian at an individual level has resisted any temptation to be Indian in business, do something for India etc. by not investing in the Indian Steel industry. This is a very good example of being able to differentiate between traditions at a personal level and being global at a professional level. As business grows in India and Brand India is more accepted in the global stage, there will be more opportunities coming in the global arena. Capitalizing on these opportunities will require not only thinking globally but also being able to connect to people from different cultures and countries by acting global.
• Patience is not a Virtue
The world is not a race between the hare and the turtle. If the race between the hare and the turtle were to be replayed in the current context you would most probably have the hare not only winning the race but also having more fun doing so, while the turtle would most probably find that by the time it reached the finishing line the rules of the race have been changed. We live in an environment where dynamism and change is not only accepted but also respected, especially in the new economy sector. Customers will not be patient if you do not deliver, Employers will not be patient if you do not perform and Employees will not be patient if you do not give their dues. "Impatience" is to be cultivated - Be Impatient with Deadlines, Targets, Deliveries... Cultivate demanding relationships.
• Silence is not golden
The fish lays a hundred eggs, Hen lays two eggs, but say the word "egg" - you immediately think of the Hen. Why ? because the Hen crows and the fish is silent. It not only important to perform and deliver but also to be able to articulate yourself. This is more so for professionals in the field of business and entrepreneurs. Most jobs demand this as one of the most important skills, like Sales. But even for other professionals in general this is important.
• Respect Experience & Not Age
Our traditions teach us to respect elders, this is a quality which most of us who have grown up on traditional values would have imbibed. Respecting elders is a great Indian value - it helps maintain our family, cultural and social fabric. Most of us carry the values of the home to the workplace. So respecting elders is naturally translated into respecting older people and anybody who has put in the most number of years in the organization. In most sectors nowadays, being older and having spent many years doing the same job is no more reason to draw respect. You need to be able to differentiate between Experience and Age in the organization.