Be inspired! Some great quotes from Australian-Indian business leader Vivek Chaand Sehgal

I recently saw some inspirational quotes from Australian-Indian business leader Vivek Chaand Sehgal, Chairman of Samvardhana Motherson Group (SMG).

“In Sanskrit we say that what doesn’t grow is dead.”

“A river, without other rivers flowing into it, will never reach the sea.”

VivekCEOofyearbusstandard

“In Hinduism we believe in four stages of life … the third is where you hand over what you have done, before going to the mountains, so I’m probably just about there.”

“There’s a saying in Sanskrit – ‘the world is a family’.”

“Only the most brainless businessman arbitrages labour or walks away when he doesn’t have to. He ignores the genius of a whole people, and our university partners have shown us that out-of-the-box thinking is still everywhere in Australia.”

Be inspired!

Australia’s PM Morrison should visit India to protect our education trade

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to move fast to protect Australia’s education trade with India, now that the world’s biggest democracy has given Prime Minister Narendra Modi a second term in power.

Modi is a reformer – he can move fast and in surprising ways. We know he wants to transform education and there might be some shocks ahead for Australian universities.

Modi knows Indians mainly study abroad because their Indian universities are not up to standard. So he wants to change that.

The second Modi Government is aiming to boost India’s very low rankings among global universities. Freeing up his university sector will see closer ties with elite universities in England and America, and we could fall down the list if we do not act now.

Based on his track record so far, the Indian PM could make massive changes, deregulating up to one hundred of its best universities at any time soon.

Many in Delhi are critical of Australian universities which they claim have simply wanted a one-way transaction to make money out of Indian students. While some of our universities have created serious collaborations with India, in general this criticism is valid.

The next wave of education will see success for those who can create real collaboration, with two-way exchanges of students. Whether Australia can move fast on this is in doubt.

PM Modi is a politician who is not afraid of delivering surprises, as shown with his demonetisation move in his first term aimed at reducing corruption and driving the economy to digital rather than cash transactions. Surprises can transform into shocks if the leaders do not have a close personal connection – that’s why PM Morrison needs to act now to shore up our education trade.

What will PM Modi do for India in his second term?

What will Modi 2.0 do for India?

With the world’s biggest democracy opting for stability and returning the Narendra Modi Government for a second five-year term, all eyes are on what will Modi 2.0 do?

Here are some actions to look out for. As my friend Amith Karanth from India Australia Exchange Forum says: “Modi will also pull some surprises”.

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Looking ahead at Modi’s priorities

Health – telemedicine, more doctors, increase immunisation

Education – Modi wants India to have a top 100 global university – he will deregulate many top universities to allow this improvement

Add 50 city metros

Inclusion – banking for all, reduce poverty to single digit

Employment creation and lifting farm/shopkeeper incomes will continue to be a focus

Building more infrastructure

Devolving more responsibility and power to the state governments, extending the level of competition between them and empowering local leaders

Streamlining the GST, which was a minor miracle itself, but has multiple complexities

While privatisation of government institutions such as banks and more is needed – this might remain in the “too hard basket” in term two

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Looking at what Modi has already achieved

Moves against corruption such as demonetisation (one of his major surprises), reduction in cash and movement towards digital payments

Introduction of a GST, arguably the world’s biggest tax reform – meaning the central and state governments are now awash with funds and can now do things

Focus on startups and cheaper loans for SME’s has created real growth in new enterprises

National campaigns such as “Clean India” have begun the big job – providing access for many millions to toilets is just one of the outcomes

Some reforms to the insolvency and bankruptcy has increased confidence in doing business

Modi has been a relentless global salesperson for India and attracted record foreign investment

India’s infrastructure has changed massively in five years – with more to do

Modi

Professor Bhargava of RMIT University shows how to respond to Industry 4.0

Featured pic – such an honour for me to be with two global innovators – India’s Dr Mashelkar and Australia’s Professor Bhargava (right)

Most students and many universities will not be ready for the fast-changing world of “Industrial Revolution 4.0” which has begun and will be in full swing by the time most graduate.

In Australia the RMIT University Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (India), Director-Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC) College of Science, Engineering & Health is a pioneer of “The Science for Developing a 21st Century Scientist”.

This program will see students learning the art of global collaboration over a four-year program – one year each at RMIT University, with industry in Australia and India, involved in CSIRO international collaborations and with the Indian Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research.

Now, employers would be keen to talk to such a graduate!

Professor Bhargava says we should “Move towards collaborative innovation”.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, is enthusiastic: “Very few of us have the opportunity to do something that is first in the world and worthwhile.”

Professor Bhargava has been my mentor on matters India and educational for many years.

I will be speaking at several Indian universities later this year on my own passion piece:

The 7 ways graduates can thrive in Industrial 4.0

  1. Show you can continue to learn

We know employers’ value this very highly – their focus is not on what you know through your degree – but is more on what you can learn in future. Prepare for this by being curious, reading and listening widely, entering discussion groups and being able to summarise what you have learned outside of university or since your degree.

  1. Demonstrate wisdom and common sense

For employers, further than what you know is how you think, and the value of wisdom and common sense. The best way to describe the difference between knowledge and wisdom is through the humble tomato – knowledge tells you a tomato is a fruit (not a vegetable) – but wisdom prevents you adding the tomato to a fruit salad. One fast track to wisdom is via mentors and guides, those who can share experience with students.

  1. Gain good collaboration and friendship skills

Industrial 4.0 will make collaboration easy and instant with anyone, anywhere and anytime – and the change will benefit those who have the skills to reach out, make friends, work across the globe and build collaboration. Future corporations and employers will be looking for people who can build collaboration.

  1. Gain cross-border understanding and skills

Already our lives in one country are intersecting with lives of other countries, and Industrial 4.0 will make the globe an even smaller place. Those who have travelled, who have acquired both knowledge and experience of other cultures will be in high demand, simply because almost every job will have global aspects.

  1. Become an outstanding communicator

Traditional “soft skills” training will not prepare students for the fast future – outstanding communication skills for Industrial 4.0 will include rapid pitching, ability to support points in a way which moves others, skills to relate directly and closely with those above and below you – any student sitting back quietly as a “newbie” will get left behind. Old notions of being silent in front of elders or superiors will not apply. Respectful and strong communication skills will rule.

  1. Be a team-based problem solver

More work will be team-based and some of those who succeed will actually present to future employers as a team. Problem solving as a team while at university should lead students to then approach employers as teams – a good standout in the race to gain attention.

  1. Build self-reliance and resilience

With the demise of “study hard, get the degree which entitles you to a job for life” model, students will need skills in self-reliance and resilience. As jobs come and go, individuals will need to be able to bounce back and start again, maybe many times in their careers. Where no jobs are forthcoming, graduates will need to create their own or join teams that provide solutions.

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.

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.

 

Global Purchasing Power is moving to Asia

The biggest nation on Earth, China, is expected to keep its top spot as the country with the largest purchasing power on Earth and is on track to almost triple its purchasing power by 2030, according to an analysis by the British Bank, Standard Chartered.

India will almost quadruple its purchasing power, moving to rank 2.

China will double the USA while India will beat USA by approx 50%.

asia map

In the case of Japan, the country is expected to lose 5 ranks and emerge as the country with the 9th highest purchasing power worldwide.

Developing economies like Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Egypt are set to move into ranks four to seven respectively, toppling the reign of countries like Japan and Germany, which are still growing their purchasing power but at a much slower rate. The U.S. is expected to only drop one rank to position 3 but is grappling with slower growth.

In summary – an amazing outcome for Asia – especially China, India and Indonesia.

asia map 2

How is your Asia engagement strategy going? Time to begin, change or reinvigorate? Get good advice so you avoid the mistakes of many before you.

Let’s give credit where due – India and China are greening the planet!

Congrats to India and China – these two are doing heaps to green the planet.

NASA discovered the good news – the world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. What prompted the change? Well, it appears China and India can take the majority of the credit.

The countries are responsible for the largest greening of the planet in the past two decades. The two most populous countries have implemented ambitious tree planting programs and scaled up their implementation and technology around agriculture.

India continues to break world records in tree planting, with 800,000 Indians planting 50 million trees in just 24 hours.

So – let’s give praise where it is due.

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