At the Microsoft Future Decoded event in Mumbai this last week, Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, announced the Indian product innovation that LinkedIn and Project Sangam brings to both job seekers and employers.
“One of the most pressing challenges of the Indian economy and the Indian society is of skills and job,” Nadella shared. “We are really excited about LinkedIn, because as part of Microsoft, our dream is to be able to take the biggest professional network and connect it to the professional cloud, and make it possible for every professional in the world to be able to realize their economic opportunity. It is ultimately the goal of LinkedIn. That feedback loop from where the jobs are, the skills required for each job and have that available to each one of us to form our learning agenda to continuously get better and better at acquiring those skills that will give us higher economic opportunity.”
Nadella announced the three main product innovations that LinkedIn has built for India (LinkedIn has 39 million members in India) and also revealed a project that leverages the power of Microsoft cloud with deep integration with LinkedIn for the semi-skilled workforce, Project Sangam.
- A LinkedIn app specifically designed for India. LinkedInLite is the new mobile app that works on low connectivity, four times faster than the original one.
- A new stack of solutions for enterprise. LinkedIn Starter Pack that helps companies to build their brand and hire & retain talent. Nadella shared that one of his favorite exercises when he meets CEOs is to show them their company’s talent inbound and outbound of data – where is your company hiring from and what are you loosing people to – “CEOs are surely interested, especially in the outflows,” he mentioned. Today, it is possible to use LinkedIn for corporates in India for hiring, talent management, as well as, for marketing and sales.
- Democratizing jobs at graduate level. Nadella reflected that “we also recognized that to be able to create a more efficient and democratize way for college grads to find placement was an important challenge that was specific to India.” Placements are the solution to this problem. This app helps students to realize their potential regardless of what institute they have studied. Placement flattens the differential built in depending on what institute one has studied from. The app has inbuilt assessments so that the prospective employers can know who you rae “for who you really are and not for which institute you studied.” That democratization is what placement does, providing employment opportunity for every graduate in India.
- A project built at the core of both Microsoft & LinkedIn capabilities for semi-skilled workforce. “India’s challenge is beyond college graduates. Which are the skills required and how we can prepare people for existing jobs? Mid skills, low skill and vocational training are the extensions that will cover job opportunities for everybody,” announced Nadella. “Project Sangam was based on what we saw in India and specifically for India’s needs. This is the first project that sees the coming together of LinkedIn and Microsoft – leveraging cloud service with deep integration with LinkedIn to solve the enormous problem on how to provide opportunity for everybody in India.” This project will be available for industry (for industry-wide skills), for every company (for company specific skill standards) for every individual who takes these trainings and apply for the jobs – creating opportunity to semi-skill workers.
Looks like Microsoft is moving fast in fulfilling the promise of its vision “empowering every individual and organization to achieve more” by developing a comprehensive product for India, specifically designed for the Indian requirements and solving the pressing challenges in India. These projects are still very new, and the impact of both Placements (launched only last year) and Project Sangam (not yet launched to the open market but in pilot stage) will come from getting individuals to leverage the power of these projects for skilling themselves, but most importantly for employers to use this as a new channel for talent discovery, talent finishing school before hiring, talent sourcing and employer branding.