High demand for competent leaders
While it is difficult to segment the HR industry, recent research by Kennedy Consulting and Research & Advisory suggest there are four broad categories – HR Technology & Transformation, HR Benefits, Human Capital Management and Staffing, Search and Career Transition. The Indian HR market is developing rapidly, with organisations covering a full spectrum of HR capability and maturity. Accordingly, services and service providers can also be segmented into these groups influenced somewhat by their local, regional or global capabilities, resources and experiences.
Research indicates that the Indian HR consulting industry is at least several thousand Crore Rupees and growing at the rate of more than 12 per cent annually. The market for learning and development services in India is difficult to size but there is no doubt about the many opportunities it presents as organisations expand locally, regionally and globally. Three of the primary challenges organizations in India are dealing with are (1) building a steady supply of ready-now leaders, (2) deploying development initiatives to large scale environments, often globally, and (3) doing this in a manner that is tightly aligned to the desired culture and organisational strategy of tomorrow, not today. These more complex customer requirements present an opportunity for well researched and experienced providers to support this expanding group of aspirational organisations in an integrated and consistent manner across multiple geographies and cultures and contribute to a growing pool of extremely agile and capable Indian leaders.
In addition to the opportunities being created by globalisation and scale, there are plenty of opportunities for learning organizations when it comes to the ‘millennial’ generation. This generation of emerging leaders expect to learn in a very different way to their predecessors. What they often ask for is instant learning – something they can consume in a manner that is highly engaging, just-in-time and not just-in-case. The solutions for these new generational learners is far from tired and tested and is very much in a test phase. Many firms are rapidly testing technologies, tools and programs for the learner of tomorrow and whilst many are making great progress, there is little evidence yet of the impact of these new approaches in the organisation. Organisations are encouraged to continue to test these new ways of assessing, developing and retaining talent, whilst applying an appropriate mix of the ‘tried-and-tested’ and ‘experimentation’ options in the process.
The demand for leadership development in India will continue to remain high in the coming months and years – this is primarily due to the relatively fast-paced economic growth, historical focus on technical competence and therefore lack of business leaders, and the demographics of the country that has resulted in a lack of leadership experience at the junior levels. The ability of organizations, therefore, to attract, retain, develop, and grow leaders will continue to be a key HR priority. Whilst building in-house L&D capability to address the needs of the rapidly expanding and diverse needs of the organisation going forward, more and more companies are looking to external partners who can accelerate the development practices and processes and partner with internal HR teams to build sustainable programs to address the increasingly urgent need for more ready-now leaders.
As told to People Matters