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Pallavi Jha.

The author is MD & Chairperson of Dale Carnegie of India.

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Importance of Skilling in an Indian Startup Ecosystem

India has a long way to go where these soft skills are concerned, but educational institutions and training experts are slowly filling the gap in vocational learning, development and training, helping to harness capital for higher national growth.

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India currently faces a severe shortage of well-trained, skilled workers. A meagre 2.3% of the workforce has experienced formal skill training; compared to a drastic 68% in the UK, 52% in the USA and 80% in Japan. Large segments of the educated workforce have little or no soft skills, rendering them essentially unemployable. If India wants to catch up to other nations in a rapidly evolving landscape, it must scale up skill training to meet employers’ demands and add fuel its economic progress. Over 54% of the country's population is below the age of 25. So if skilled correctly, this young workforce could fill the upcoming deficit projected in the developed world; but India must cater to its demographic surplus and solve for its skilling scarcities.

For instance, an overlooked skill, and one that an un-trained but educated professional may not necessarily have, is personal presentation. It’s imperative to be proficient at elucidating your company’s USPs and its offerings in a compelling way to diverse audiences, at any given time. Those without formal training should work on refining their elevator pitch and look for ways to “sell” themselves and their company. Zoom in closer on what gets people interested about what you do - making a note of what doesn’t - until you’re completely confident with your pitch.

Emotional intelligence is the most profoundly nuanced of all soft skills; the ‘je ne sais quoi’ in each of our professional personas. It shows in how we manage behaviour, traverse social intricacies, deal with adversity and make decisions. Again, this may not come naturally to all, especially freshers who are just stepping into a new professional environment.

“Emotional intelligence is, for many, even more critical than technical skills in new hires.” says Startup Institute co-founder and NYC program director Shaun Johnson. “Furthermore, emotional intelligence is linked to long-term career success and increased gross salary.” Improving your EI is about having the sagacity to pay keen attention to your emotions and to those of others.

India has a long way to go where these soft skills are concerned, but educational institutions and training experts are slowly filling the gap in vocational learning, development and training, helping to harness capital for higher national growth. Building the right skill sets, especially those mentioned above, can be achieved through specialized training, paired with relevant on-the-job learning. Sure, we’re a long way away from our global peers, but with calculated steps and the right experts, we hope to transform the lives of the majority population.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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