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Let’s engage with India

Why get closer to India? About 600 million people, more than half India’s population, are under 25 years old; no country has more young people. Remember the economic impact of the western “baby boom”? It is time the west moved closer to India in trade, culture and tourism. What do you think? As the great Indian philosopher Rabindranath Tagore said: “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

Stephen Manallack is a Director of India strategy consultants the EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and compiled the secrets of Indian business success and cross cultural issues while preparing his book for the Indian market, Soft Skills for a Flat World (Tata McGraw-Hill). He has led several trade missions to India and is a Cross-Cultural Trainer. 

In India the young Bob Hawke lost his belief and found a new vision

One of the ironies of the dramatic life of the recently deceased former Prime Minister of Australia, Bob Hawke, is that as a young man in India he found a new vision and new inspiration – and lost his Christian belief. In the early 1950’s he attended the World Christian Youth Conference in Delhi. Sitting as a young man at the conference banquet in Delhi, he was struck by the sight or poor Indians gathered outside – he reports that at that moment he lost his belief and typical of Hawke he took action – leaving the banquet and taking supplies to the poor outside. He was moved by what he saw as “the irrelevance of religion to the needs of the people”.

PM Hawke always maintained a belief in the India-Australia relationship. Speaking much later as PM in February 1989 in Delhi he said:

“For Australians, India has been a comrade in times of war and a friend in peace; a great rival in sport, not least in cricket; a clear and influential voice in the United Nations, the Commonwealth, and the Non-Aligned Movement. In our own colonial times, in 1854, in the famous act of defiance by the gold miners at the Eureka Stockade, there were, standing at the forefront of the struggle side by side with men from around the world, two gold miners from Bengal. And in more recent times, Australians and Indians have shown their preparedness to fight and to die in defence of freedom.”

HawkeOperaHouse

Just watch India’s TCS and Accenture dominate the future world of IT

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) is set to surpass DXC Technology Co. to become the world’s third-largest software services provider in fiscal 2018-19 – behind IBM and Accenture.

TCS grew 9.6%, or added $1.82 billion in new business, to end with $20.91 billion in revenue in the year ended 31 March.

TCS’s strong performance over the two years has seen a change of guard at the top. In 2017, TCS entrusted Rajesh Gopinathan, who was then chief financial officer, to take over as chief executive and succeed N. Chandrasekaran, who was named the chairman of Tata Sons Ltd. Still, the company managed to retain all its senior executives and improved its growth and profitability, with the consensus view that this was one of the smoothest management transitions at an Indian corporate entity.

Experts predict the fight for world dominance will be between TCS and Accenture.

But when it comes to profitability, TCS is already way in front – TCS ended last year with a 25.6% operating margin, while Accenture and DXC had 14.8% and 14% profitability, respectively.

80,000 Indians to travel to UK for World Cup of Cricket

When India take on South Africa in its first world cup fixture at Southampton on June 5, there will be a sea of people dressed in blue to cheer the team. The one-and-a-half-month long cricket carnival kicks off from May end and the estimate is around 80,000 Indians may travel for the World Cup. 

India dominates world cricket – money, supporters, TV audience, etc.

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The demand is the highest for India-Pakistan match at Old Trafford in Manchester on June 16 and also for the final at Lords on July 14.

To put the 80,000 in perspective, in a typical year approximately 515,000 Indians visit UK.

New era for India-Australia as Ms Petula Thomas becomes Director of Indo-Australia Chamber of Commerce

Exciting news for the India-Australia relationship – Ms Petula Thomas has been appointed the new Director of the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce.

Petula worked with the British Deputy High Commission (BDHC), Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and British Airways in Chennai over the past 15 years and brings a wealth of experience in strategic leadership, international relations, marketing and business development.

Petula is a passionate innovator and supporter of Women in Leadership, so I feel she will make a big positive difference in this role.

PetulaThomas

She is also a strong communicator.

We need strong and effective communication to enhance the India-Australia role and to make it easier for business of both countries to get together.

I hope the IACC can pioneer more exchange of people, more two-way missions, great education, more collaboration, improved cross-cultural understanding and positive steps to ensure that business in both countries know best what works in each country.

By the way – Petula has an amazing track record, winning four global and regional performance awards from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, when she headed Consular Operations for South India, leading on Customer Engagement for the MENASA region (Middle East North Africa and South Asia) and Communications/Digital strategy for India.

Petula has worked with Austrade, Australian Government, where she received commendation from the Deputy CEO Austrade for successfully delivering on multi-city Industry events in India & Australia. During her career with British Airways Plc. she received a Regional CASAMEA award (Central Asia South Asia Middle East & Africa) for Revenue Development/Sales from British Airways Plc.

Petula has a First class Masters Degree in Science and recent qualifications in Project Management and Customer Relationship Management (including Sales, Marketing and E-commerce).

We wish her every success and happiness in the important new role.

6 ways young Indians are taking a different approach to employment

As the fastest growing economy today, India is home to a fifth of the world’s youth. Half of its population of 1.3 billion is below the age of 25, and a quarter is below the age of 14.

The World Economic Forum and the Observer Research Foundation recently collaboratively conducted a survey of more than 5,000 youth in India.

  1. Indian youth are independent, optimistic and open to a changing labour market

The influence of family and peers on the career and educational choices of India’s youth is in decline. Young people are increasingly seeking productive employment opportunities and career paths that reflect their individual aspirations. Moreover, a third of the respondents report being interested in entrepreneurship, and 63% report being highly or moderately interested in supplementing their income with gig work.

  1. Indian youth need more guidance and career counselling

Many youth report facing multiple barriers to finding desirable and suitable job opportunities. Factors like information asymmetries on jobs and skills, and lack of guidance for setting realistic career goals and making professional choices, are holding back young Indians. 51% of respondents report that a lack of information about available job opportunities that match their skill sets is a significant barrier. Around 30% report a lack of access to any kind of counselling or mentoring opportunities. 44% of respondents view this as the most important factor in the demand-supply mismatch.

  1. Young Indians are interested in pursuing higher education and skills development

84% of respondents consider a post-graduate degree as a requirement for their ideal job, while 97% aspire to a degree in higher education. They are also keen on other forms of ongoing education, with 76% of youth reporting that they are very interested in participating in a skills development programme. Increased employment opportunities and higher wages are the main motivators for this goal.

  1. The private sector must do more to bridge the skills gap

The private sector needs to play a more active role in enhancing the capabilities and skills of India’s youth. India is faced with a paradox: there is significant youth unemployment, and yet the private sector bemoans a lack of adequately skilled and market-ready workers. Notwithstanding the government’s role in providing basic education and training, there is a significant need for greater private sector involvement. This will ensure that training initiatives are demand-driven and impart skills that match industry requirements.

  1. India’s socio-cultural norms add further complexity

34% of the surveyed youth report that discriminatory and personal biases related to their marital status, gender, age or family background are a major barrier when looking for a job. 82% of female respondents said their ideal employment would be full-time, disproving the stereotype that women prefer part-time jobs. Similarly, despite the persistent view that household work and unpaid work are suitable and desirable for women, only 1% of surveyed female youth report this as being a desirable option for them.

  1. Social Media and the internet can play a bigger role in effective job-hunting

81% of survey respondents rely on media and internet sources for obtaining information about employment opportunities. The prevalence of social media and internet use among India’s youth presents an opportunity to expand their awareness about education pathways, employment opportunities, skill needs, and available skill development programmes.

 

6 things young Indians want in employment

As the fastest growing economy today, India is home to a fifth of the world’s youth. Half of its population of 1.3 billion is below the age of 25, and a quarter is below the age of 14.

The World Economic Forum and the Observer Research Foundation recently collaboratively conducted a survey of more than 5,000 youth in India.

  1. Indian youth are independent, optimistic and open to a changing labour market

The influence of family and peers on the career and educational choices of India’s youth is in decline. Young people are increasingly seeking productive employment opportunities and career paths that reflect their individual aspirations. Moreover, a third of the respondents report being interested in entrepreneurship, and 63% report being highly or moderately interested in supplementing their income with gig work.

  1. Indian youth need more guidance and career counselling

Many youth report facing multiple barriers to finding desirable and suitable job opportunities. Factors like information asymmetries on jobs and skills, and lack of guidance for setting realistic career goals and making professional choices, are holding back young Indians. 51% of respondents report that a lack of information about available job opportunities that match their skill sets is a significant barrier. Around 30% report a lack of access to any kind of counselling or mentoring opportunities. 44% of respondents view this as the most important factor in the demand-supply mismatch.

Youth

  1. Young Indians are interested in pursuing higher education and skills development

84% of respondents consider a post-graduate degree as a requirement for their ideal job, while 97% aspire to a degree in higher education. They are also keen on other forms of ongoing education, with 76% of youth reporting that they are very interested in participating in a skills development programme. Increased employment opportunities and higher wages are the main motivators for this goal.

  1. The private sector must do more to bridge the skills gap

The private sector needs to play a more active role in enhancing the capabilities and skills of India’s youth. India is faced with a paradox: there is significant youth unemployment, and yet the private sector bemoans a lack of adequately skilled and market-ready workers. Notwithstanding the government’s role in providing basic education and training, there is a significant need for greater private sector involvement. This will ensure that training initiatives are demand-driven and impart skills that match industry requirements.

YoungIndians 2

  1. India’s socio-cultural norms add further complexity

34% of the surveyed youth report that discriminatory and personal biases related to their marital status, gender, age or family background are a major barrier when looking for a job. 82% of female respondents said their ideal employment would be full-time, disproving the stereotype that women prefer part-time jobs. Similarly, despite the persistent view that household work and unpaid work are suitable and desirable for women, only 1% of surveyed female youth report this as being a desirable option for them.

  1. Social Media and the internet can play a bigger role in effective job-hunting

81% of survey respondents rely on media and internet sources for obtaining information about employment opportunities. The prevalence of social media and internet use among India’s youth presents an opportunity to expand their awareness about education pathways, employment opportunities, skill needs, and available skill development programmes.

 

India does “not wish to import any coal from anywhere in the world” – so why is Adani pushing for the Queensland mine?

Does the proposed Adani mine in Queensland’s Carmichael Basin (and right on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef) make any sense at all?

India’s energy minister, Piyush Goyal, said way back in 2018 that India did “not wish to import any coal from anywhere in the world” and had enough domestic reserves to be self-sufficient.

adanisolar

With increasing use of solar, like this Adani solar plant, India does not want and does not need more of Australia’s coal

Since then the uptake of cheaper renewables has been massive, so any need to import coal today must be less than it was.

India now has “sufficient coal capacity” to power itself without Queensland’s Carmichael mine project, thanks to the increased productivity of domestic mines, cheaper renewables and lower than expected energy demand, the country’s energy minister has said.

The Minister said the country would be self-sufficient in coal, except that many power plants had been designed to run only on import quality coal.

So – given India’s strong wish to NOT import coal plus the scaling up of renewables, why is Adani Group pushing ahead at all?