India will have to build suitable human capital to cash in on the opportunities that would emerge in developing economies in the coming years, Harish Manwani, chairman of consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) said on Tuesday.
"We have a large army of youth," Manwani said in his address to shareholders in the company's annual general meeting. "But this demographic dividend can be encashed only if this large army is well prepared to handle posts, positions and workstations — in offices, on shop-floors and on sites across the nation and indeed the globe."
At a projected 8.5 per cent growth this year, India will remain one of the fastest growing economies of the world, second only to populous neighbour China.
According to a report by consultancy company McKinsey & Co, India would need to upgrade the skill sets of around 500 million people by 2020 to meet its growth requirements. At current capacities, however, the country can train barely 50 million. Yet another consulting firm Boston Consulting Group has said that, of the 89 million people expected to join the workforce from 2009-13, over 47 million would be school dropouts.
"Corporates must actively commit resources — time, money and people — to innovatively collaborate with educational institutions so that academic curriculum is tuned to changing needs of the industry." Manwani said.