Exploit Innate Indian Qualities to Excel in the Global Market
Manish Sabharwal

Exploit Innate Indian Qualities to Excel in the Global Market
Three factors that can bring big change in the lives of people in India are education, employment, and employability – the 3Es. Today, we need the right policies, strategies, and execution to make substantial improvement in the 3Es.

There is a big gap in the quality of talent being produced in the country today. Higher education curriculum needs to match what the job market requires. Whether they are graduates from engineering colleges or vocational institutes, a lot needs to be done to plug the gap between the skills needed and the skills being supplied. However, change is slowly taking place. For the first time this year, the top 20 percent of ITI (vocational training centers) graduates will get higher salaries than the bottom 20 percent of engineers. It is a reflection of being able to live up to the expectations of industry.

How we manage the 3Es will decide India's future as the "Human Resources Capital" of the world.

Qualities for project managers
The world around us is changing fast and project managers need to have a good grasp of the business and technology landscape to take projects to fruition. The top three qualities for a project manager to be effective in this scenario are:

1. Technical knowledge – to understand the customer's business in great detail and advise a solution that exactly meets the customer's needs.

2. Adaptability – ability to adapt and course-correct to stay in tune with market changes. This requires a good understanding of project tools.

3. Can-do spirit – going all out to get the job done. This is where managerial skills come in that help project managers to get multiple teams to work collaboratively and manage cultural diversity within teams.

India as an exporter of project managers
India has the potential to be an exporter of qualified project managers to the world. I say this because while most Indian project managers struggle currently with limited technical knowledge and exposure on a global scale, some of the greatest strengths rooted in the Indian DNA will take them a long way. The innate qualities in the Indian DNA, i.e. the ability to tolerate and work with diversity, intellectual flexibility, and a great sense of humanness, are all very useful in a global project management context.

We need to make sure younger project managers have skills on all the above aspects to turn them into global professionals. We need to imbibe in them the right attitude, for example, they do not need to jump to solutions unless they have understood the customer's business. Besides, young project managers must develop people competencies, use tools to keep project timelines and costs under control, and know how to nudge/push people wherever required to get the job done.

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