India Inc’s ‘backbone’ turns brittle: manpower crunch, low salaries, and liars plague the system
THERE’S trouble brewing in India Inc.’s Middle Earth. After reports that salary structures in India had leapfrogged more than 14 per cent in 2005, it is now estimated that in Indian organisations, middle-level salaries are about 20 per cent lower than their opposite numbers in other Tier 2 Asian countries — like Thailand and Malaysia. “Around 65 to 75 per cent of the workforce comprise the middle-tier in any given company,” says Sandeep Chaudhary, practice leader (analytics consulting, India, Middle East and SAARC), Hewitt Associates. While top-brass salaries have shot up the value chain, the middle level is vegetating.
That’s not all. If you are a fresh graduate and into a job, you are probably not getting enough training on the job. “Most companies in India are not bothered that training has to be a vital constant,” adds Chaudhary. The result? A huge manpower crunch in what is soon to be the world’s most populous country. “The attrition rate is a whopping 30 per cent across many sectors,” says Ronesh Puri, managing director of headhunting agency Executive Access.
As demand far outstrips supply, there’s another disturbing fallout: applicants are lying in their CVs. “At least 50 per cent CVs contain information that is fabricated,” points out Puri. And most get away with it because there are no referral checks in place.
Institutes like the International School of Marketing Communications (ISMC) are setting up shop in India to target this “huge need gap”, says Syed M Ahmad, director, strategic alliances, ISMC. “There are institutes that teach, say, marketing, but students are not taught communications as comprehensively, so we are looking at all-round training in sectors like retail, advertising, events management, rural marketing and so on,” he adds.
After ‘emotional intelligence’, it’s now the turn of ‘emotional maturity’.