Knowledge about operations can greatly help an individual become a good trainer. This applies even for HR professionals. Lynda Lepcha, co-founder of the training company, Holistic Training Solutions says, “I completed my education from XLRI, but after that I joined an operations job. I joined the sales and business development function in a company, and the brief stint had a sizeable impact on my future life and career. An exposure to operations, gives a professional a better understanding of the business needs.”
In the early 90’s, small or mid-sized Indian companies were reluctant to invest in learning. They believe that if they trained people beyond a certain threshold, employees would find better jobs and leave. Lynda believes that such an approach was regressive as organisations in this segment were stuck in traditional ways of working and there were fewer innovations. Most of the investments in learning and development in the early 90’s period came from multi-national companies. Over the years, the trend has changed and there is a lot more acceptance in the market about training.
There are still huge opportunities in the small and mid-sized segment for training. Most of these companies still follow traditional conventions and approaches for learning. The world around, however, is moving fast and hence there is a need for learning companies to understand this market and cater to them.
One of the key needs of this market is of transitioning leaders towards higher enablement. Soft communication skills span across the entire breadth of a leader’s interactions. Individual and one-time training sessions are therefore ineffective in transitioning leaders. Co-founder of Holistic Training Solutions, and leadership coach, Ian Stern believes that leadership transition needs a well-rounded and holistic approach. Ian believes that India has a dearth of training talent and this is especially true for the small and medium business segments. At the same time, this segment needs the most amounts of help with training as it is important for them to stay current and relevant. The pace of change in the external world is fast, and small and medium enterprises can greatly benefit through training.
There is greater learning enthusiasm among the talent pool in the India market compared to any other global market. But since the market is very competitive, talent does not find the time to up-skill. Ian argues that this is the major difference between India and the developed markets in Europe and the US, where people have the time to sit back and reflect. That said, one of the major development areas among Indian companies is the development of capability for crisis.
Both Lynda and Ian believe that the role of the training provider is much more active than what it was in the past. An organisation looking to employ a training service should measure the intent of the service provider to understand the organisation’s business challenges and create solutions accordingly. With the introduction of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), there is more opportunity to build and employ affordable training for small and medium enterprises.