High Demand, Low Supply: Executive Education Proves Essential to Indian & Chinese Economies
| August 20,2010 11:35 am IST
For the past decade, the media has been flooded with news about the speed-of-light evolution of the economies of China and India, and for good reason. Both India and China are experiencing more than an annual 8% growth rate in GDP, according to the World Bank.
China's efficient manufacturing and trading centre and India's notoriety as an information technology hub make the two economies more than attractive to all major multinational corporations. And China is said to have exported more than US $280 billion worth of goods and services to the United States alone in 2006.
"India has seen an explosion of its middle classes over the last few years with an emerging generation of highly educated young workers earning higher incomes than ever before," says Arun Mehra, Head of Investment Strategy at Fidelity India. "This has driven massive growth in domestic consumption and if you combine this with the boom in the pharmaceutical industry and government spending on infrastructure, India reveals itself as one of the most attractive growth stories in the investment world right now."
Dominic Wilson, Senior Global Economist and Vice President of Goldman Sachs, says on India's economic future, "India has the potential to deliver the fastest growth over the next 50 years with an average rate of more than 5 per cent a year for the entire period."
But are China and India equipped with the skills to keep up with the demand and growth? Probably not. While India's focus on improving education, and highly educated young workers are contributing to stronger management, both in India-based business and multinationals, business is growing faster than skilled labor can accommodate. Corporate universities are even multiplying in order to teach new workers new skills and older middle managers the leadership skills they need to grow a business. China's Motorola University, probably the most famous of the corporate universities, has been going strong since 1993, helping the tele-communications company gain a competitive edge.
We are at a point where the Executive MBA (EMBA) may soon become an essential part of the experienced Chinese or Indian manager's career progression. India boasts a good selection of EMBA outlets, according to the QS personalized search tool www.TopMBA.com/Scorecard. The Faculty of Management Studies at Delhi University, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, all rank within the top five in India for executive education.
For many executives, being away from work for a fair amount of time on a traditional MBA course is not an option - the part-time, distance and weekend structure of Executive MBAs is far more attractive. NIIT Imperia, with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Indore as academic partners, has set up 'virtual' classrooms throughout India and middle managers can attend management courses without even being in the traditional classroom of lecturer and students. Technology is at a point where managers from across the country can even interact with lecturers and other students remotely.
Blended and online training solutions are becoming staples in India's and China's economic development. Although very technically skilled, many managers lack soft skills such as initiative, leadership,communication, and the ability to thrive within a team. These are all necessary attributes to make it to the top, and reverse the set patterns of the well-ingrained hierarchical employment system in Asia. Innovative training courses allow people to upgrade their skills at any time, therefore, becoming the 'right type of people'.
Rajeev Gaur, Vice President of Times Business Solutions, discusses the need for executive courses in India. "There aren't necessarily great skill gaps but rather a very high demand and companies need more and more people. They are not able to get the right type of people. Investing in training and management programs to improve skills amongst middle managers is vital in India." Mr. Gaur explains the value of 'compact' courses. "Leadership skills can even be improved after participating in a four-day program with a three-month follow-up."
A great number of western businesses setting up in India and China are demanding more experienced executives, but fresh MBAs are also needed. Xin Ivy Bian, a current student of ESSEC's International Hospitality Management MBA program talks about the younger generation's ambitions. "Nowadays, more and more Chinese students are heading to Europe to continue with higher education, partially because Europe is now more open to China than previously," says Xin. "More and more big European companies are coming to China for investment purposes. As a result, these companies will have an idea of how much an MBA obtained from certain European institutes are worth. Furthermore, they may want to hire someone who has a local Chinese background, as well as cultural and business knowledge of the European climate."
Whether you are eager to get into an Executive MBA program at a top business school or simply improve your leadership skills, India and China are the two countries that need your newly developed skills. These two nations are developing faster than the current workforce can take on, and if experts are correct, China and India will be centre stage of the world economy for many years to come.