23 posts categorized "Talent"

November 11, 2014

India’s rebound: will the world be patient?

India report_image7At the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit this past week, the new Modi government was under particular scrutiny. But as the event concluded, it was clear that most participants were bullish about India given the actions that the government is proposing—with a note of caution, though. With the government now six months in, reforms seem to be slow in coming—and that could be a problem.

The thing is, there’s a lot to be done in order to meet the potential the world is seeing in India right now. A major challenge is the employability of the Indian working population. With one million workers set to enter the job market every month as India’s under-25 population comes of working age,  creating jobs is paramount. But India, like much of the world, is experiencing a talent paradox: 60 percent of India’s total population is available for work, but only 25 percent is capable of being used by the market. How to address this issue was the topic of a session I moderated last week at the summit. Of the many solutions put forward, several proposals the Modi government is seeking to implement were discussed and applauded.

But employability is just a start—to create jobs India must improve its competitiveness overall. With the right policies in place, employability and skills can straightforwardly be improved. But items like infrastructure are long-term investments and are critical to moving raw materials and resources as well as bringing in the FDI needed to boost manufacturing. According to Deloitte Global’s report, Competitiveness: Catching the next wave in India, clearing up bottle-necks in construction projects—some of which the Modi government has already taken action on—will be critical to improving growth.

Creating a pro-business environment will also play a role. India dropped in the World Bank’s latest Doing Business Index, released two weeks’ ago, slipping to 142—the lowest among the BRICS.  While this is a lagging indicator and will most likely improve next year, regulation, taxes, and labor laws all need reforming if “doing business” in India is to improve. The most competitive countries in the world, according to the 2014 WEF Competiveness Index—Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States—all rank in the top 20 on the World Bank index. With that in mind, Modi has vowed to move India into the top 50 of the index.

With promises like this, Modi is clearly putting the world on notice that India is getting ready to take its place as a leading economy. And if the WEF summit last week is any indication, the world is eager to be a part of that journey. But as one speaker at the event’s closing plenary commented, there won’t be a big bang in India; rather reform will come in increments. The question is, will the world wait?


Dttl_garycoleman_56x56Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is a member of Deloitte’s Global Markets Committee and is the lead partner in Deloitte’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. Follow him on Twitter @gcoleman_gary.

October 09, 2014

Manufacturing, innovation, and the youth of India

INDIA VISIT BLOGIn his recent Independence Day speech, India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi proclaimed that “the youth of India has completely transformed the identity of India in the world.” He appealed to the youth of India to continue this trend—by enhancing their skills, seeking out new business ventures, and striving to achieve his vision of a “Digital India.”

Having visited India only a few days after Modi’s speech, I was intrigued by this idea of the younger generation’s impact on the economy. I was particularly interested in its relation to manufacturing and innovation, two topics that came up repeatedly in my discussions with colleagues at Deloitte India, their clients, and the media. With India seeking to take its place in the world as an innovation and manufacturing hub, this demographic—particularly millennials—will play an increasingly important role. 

According to Modi’s speech, 65 percent of India’s population is under the age of 35 years—the largest number of youths of any country in the world. How this demographic participates in the workforce could be the single most influential factor for India’s economy over the next decade. How these individuals are educated, where they choose to work, and what kind of career path is open to them will impact the trajectory for both manufacturing and innovation in India.

First, building manufacturing is a goal to which India is committed. Modi emphasized in his speech that the world should come and “Make in India.” A formal campaign to support this effort launched across the country last month.1  It is the youth of India who will be expected to occupy these new manufacturing jobs. But, according to estimates from the Confederation of India Industry and the National Skill Development Corporation in India, over 70 million manufacturing jobs in India over the next 15 years could go unfilled due to a skills gap. To cultivate the pipeline of workers needed to support today’s high-end manufacturing, the government must actively invest in education and training now.  

Second, India must invest in building a culture of innovation. With its strong base in IT, India’s strength in this area would seem like a given. But India recently fell 10 notches in the 2014 Global Innovation Index to 76th--the worst performer among the BRICS nations.2 Again, India must look to its youth to help remedy this deficit in innovation. Millennials in India clearly are looking for innovation—a reputation for innovation is important for roughly 90 percent of millennials in India when they choose an employer, according to Deloitte’s Millennial survey. And with entrepreneurship a vital factor in building innovation within an economy, it should be heartening that 87 percent of India’s millennials said they see themselves working independently someday rather than being employed within a traditional organizational structure.

It’s not unusual for a country’s leader to deem its youth the key to the future. But in India, which enjoys a demographic advantage over much of the world’s developed economies, this mantra is more than rhetoric and holds incredible potential if properly cultivated.

1FirstBiz, 18 September, 2014.
2Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.


Dttl_garycoleman_56x56Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He is a member of Deloitte’s Global Markets Committee and is the lead partner in Deloitte’s strategic relationship with the World Economic Forum. Follow him on Twitter @gcoleman_gary.

September 08, 2014

Talent: the next high-tech innovation

PRE-AMNC BLOGThe theme of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2014 (AMNC), “Creating value through innovation,” brings to mind some of the amazing advances in technology that has allowed companies to minimize bureaucracy, tap new markets, and extend their supply chains the world over. But how has innovation had an impact on one of their most valuable resources—talent?

It may not be entirely clear that innovation has a role to play when recruiting and retaining employees. And no wonder: many companies are still struggling with just how advances in technology can be used to innovate in the talent space. More than 40 percent of executives surveyed in Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Capital Trends report said their companies were “not ready” to address talent as it relates to technology. But with aging populations, an increasing demand for a more select set of skills, and knowledge growing out of date at an alarming rate, the pressure to use technology to innovate is more critical than ever.

Digital technology can play a powerful role in both attracting and keeping employees. The most significant impact, of course, has been through the rise of social media. In 2013, more than 67 percent of internet users around the world used a social network at least once per month. The figure will rise to more than three out of four internet users by 2016.  And worldwide, more than one-third of workers use social media for career and employment decisions. That jumps to 51 percent in the Asia Pacific region. 

This trend is particularly prominent among millennials. For this demographic, living with digital technology is not a new reality—it’s the only reality. In almost every country, people under age 30 (and those with a college education) are more likely to engage in social networking and use a smart phone, according to a Pew Research poll.  This access and connectedness has shaped millennials’ views of work. Nearly three-quarters, according to Deloitte’s millennial survey, see themselves working independently, rather than for a company. Forty-five percent will choose workplace flexibility over pay.

Companies need to adjust their recruiting and work models accordingly. Many are already using social media extensively—more than 60 percent of HR executives say they rely on social tools for sourcing and advertising positions . But social media can do much more. With blogs, targeted ads, stories, and word-of-mouth, social media can raise a company’s profile, building appeal before ever even advertising a position.

Keeping employees also requires an innovative approach; 60 percent of millennials will leave their companies in less than three years.  Open talent networks, in which companies tap the right talent as needed, allows workers the flexibility they are seeking. Open talent networks encourage work to be designed on a project basis—a model that appeals to many millennials. Work can also be broken down into discretionary parts that can be farmed out over the network—freeing up the time of employees for more productive and challenging work.

To be sure, digital technology is still making its mark when it comes to talent. But with so many of the AMNC’s participants comprising the employers and employees of the future, the value to be created by innovating in this space couldn’t be more relevant.


Dttl_garycoleman_56x56Gary Coleman is Managing Director, Global Industries, of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. He will be moderating the panel “Got Talent” on 11 September at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2014.

April 29, 2014

Cautiously optimistic: Innovation and Chinese FDI

Aisa Society Image for blogA few months ago, after Summer Davos, I wrote and spoke about China’s new commitment to innovation. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in his opening address had talked of holding the banner of innovation high and the reforms his government were proposing to achieve that goal. I stated at the time that I was cautiously optimistic about the potential these reforms held.

Just recently, I again had the chance to discuss China and innovation, this time on a panel hosted by the Asia Society in New York City. With the session focused on China’s growing investment in U.S. high-tech companies, inevitably the question of innovation came up—and if these Chinese companies were looking to U.S. acquisitions to help build a culture of innovation at home. Innovation remains a challenge in China, with issues from lax enforcement of intellectual property laws to the difficulty of starting a business contributing factors. Moreover, questions have been raised about whether China’s educational system encourages the kind of creative thinking that generates innovation.

Continue reading "Cautiously optimistic: Innovation and Chinese FDI " »

January 28, 2014

Davos 2014: Optimism with a healthy dose of reality

Post-davos photoWith economic recovery seeming to finally take hold this year, I was not surprised that many of the Davos 2014 speakers sounded a positive note for the future. Nowhere was this more evident than in the remarks from country leaders. But these leaders understood that there is still a lot of work to be done—and it was striking how in sync they were when it came to the challenge going forward: building and sustaining growth.

South Korea is focusing on entrepreneurship and building a “creative economy,” where individuals are encouraged to start businesses and put “innovation into action,” according to President Park Geun-hye. Similarly, Liberia is making strategic investments in education and focusing on public-private partnerships to spur the rise of small and medium businesses. Mexico is working to promote start-ups by reforming fiscal policies to allow greater access to credit.

Continue reading "Davos 2014: Optimism with a healthy dose of reality" »

January 27, 2014

Shaping the future together

Deloitte Davos Live video screen_300x200Times of global change require leaders with a global vision – leaders who inspire confidence and foster innovation. I see this attitude reflected in Davos. I have noticed a remarkable shift of attention at this year’s World Economic Forum. While the meetings in past years focused heavily on finance and the banking industry, representatives of the global technology industry are clearly the thought leaders now.

At the same time, politics seems to have been pushed into the background somewhat – especially, European representatives are less visible this year. But Europe’s image has not yet fully recovered after the Euro crisis and the world is closely watching how European banks will perform in the stress tests.

Continue reading "Shaping the future together" »

January 21, 2014

Business must disrupt the status quo

Blog_joee_davos14_300x200It’s time for real change. It’s time for disruption.

In the last few years, the world has been lurching from financial crisis to financial crisis. As business leaders gathered last year at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, the U.S. government had just narrowly averted falling off the fiscal cliff. Less than a year later, the U.S. found itself in a similar situation, which resulted in the third-longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Despite all of this, in the U.S., and globally, there have been positive signs of economic recovery and business growth. Momentum continues and that is why I’m optimistic for the upcoming year.

Continue reading "Business must disrupt the status quo" »

What the worker of tomorrow wants

Dttl_davos14_positiveimpact_300x200More than 1,500 business leaders are gathering here in Davos, most of them part of the C-suite in their organizations. And as they mix with heads of state, influential NGOs, and the occasional celebrity, I doubt they are thinking about workers 30ish and under.

But they should be.

By 2030, more than 70 percent of the workforce will be made up of workers born after 1983—the millennials . And according to a new survey released today by Deloitte, businesses need to be aware of three key themes on millennials’ minds: social impact, social media, and innovation.

Continue reading "What the worker of tomorrow wants" »

January 20, 2014

Womenomics in action

Goto_yoriko_300x200This year I am attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos as a representative from Deloitte Japan and as a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) board member. Even as a third-time delegate, I am always thrilled to meet great people and be exposed to new perspectives and innovative ideas.

Last year, I emphasized the importance of including women in the boardroom for business development and innovation. In fact, DTTL has increased the percentage of female board members from 8 percent to 25 percent this year. It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as one of the DTTL board of directors in addition to a board member role in Deloitte Japan.

Continue reading "Womenomics in action" »

August 22, 2013

Running in the red in 2013: HR leaders under pressure

As I work with Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) at leading companies around the world, I am seeing talent challenges boiling to the surface, and HR is under pressure. 

Earlier this year Deloitte’s Global Human Capital consulting group conducted a global survey of 1,300 executives in 59 countries to rank the most relevant human capital trends facing their organizations; we were a bit surprised to find that the issues they face -- regardless of country or industry -- are very similar. The Human Capital Trends 2013 report Resetting Horizons details 13 trends which HR and business leaders need to place front and center as they shift their focus beyond the recession to the new growth opportunities ahead. The list of critical current and emerging trends includes both areas where HR needs to do new things – exploration-- and areas where HR needs to do thing better -- execution.

Not surprisingly, given the changes afoot, leadership pipelines and readiness is the top concern:  84 percent of global business and HR executives reported they must look for creative ways to develop new leaders as traditional leadership models are not keeping pace with today’s rapidly changing business and work environment. 

Continue reading "Running in the red in 2013: HR leaders under pressure" »