India's First Non-fiction Festival: A Platform for New Ideas
India recently hosted its first non-fiction festival. One of the few of its kind across the globe, the festival was an attempt to create a platform for interaction and dialogue around economic, political and socio-cultural issues. Participants observed that non-fiction has the power to influence the social fabric of a country, and it's time to recognize its value.
Startups Spot Opportunity in Training India's Informal Workforce
India's informal sector constitutes more than 90% of its workforce. Some workers have no skills. Others do have a trade, mainly picked up on the job. But all too often there is a mismatch between abilities and demand. The government's efforts to provide training have tackled only the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, several entrepreneurs have spotted the opportunity to bring this group into the formal workforce.
Physical Education and Sports Make Inroads in India's Schools
A new chapter is unfolding in Indian schools. As administrators and parents realize the importance of sports in academia, entrepreneurs are pitching in to offer professionally managed sports and physical education programs. Experts tell India Knowledge@Wharton that this trend is in keeping with India's economic growth, but caution that schools need to sharply monitor outsourced sporting activities.
India's Demographic Dividend: Asset or Liability?
India is getting younger as the rest of the world is graying. By 2020, the average Indian will be only 29 years of age, compared with 37 in China and the U.S., 45 in Western Europe, and 48 in Japan. This means an increase in the working-age ratio and a "demographic dividend." But, as a recent panel discussion held at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Advanced Study of India pointed out, the big challenge is getting these young people ready for the modern job market.
India Learns the Value of the Chief Learning Officer
Today more than ever before, organizations are facing learning and development challenges among their staffs. For emerging economies like India, the role of the chief learning officer (CLO) is becoming more critical as organizations struggle to keep pace with change in their new global environments. At the same time, annual CLO events are becoming richer in their diversity. India Knowledge@Wharton reports on the latest meeting, held in Mumbai recently.
Aegis’s Sudhir Agarwal: Mastering the Softer Side of M&A
Sudhir Agarwal, president of global M&A and business transformation at Aegis, an outsourcing services firm, says acquisitions typically fail because not enough attention is paid to the "softer" aspects of integration. In a conversation with India Knowledge@Wharton, Agarwal discusses current trends in the outsourcing industry, what his company has learned from past acquisitions and why integration after a merger is, above all, about dealing with the emotions of the employees.
Importing Efficiency: Can Lessons from Mumbai's Dabbawalas Help Its Taxi Drivers?
On a superficial level, Mumbai's taxi drivers and its dabbawalas -- organized porters who carry cooked lunches to office workers -- seem to have a lot in common. Both come from marginalized socio-economic groups. Their average education is up to the eighth grade. They belong to a low-skill, working class category and service the city’s middle class. Why, then, are their reputations so radically distinct? While taxi drivers are constantly in the news for reports of bad behavior, the dabbawalas have been cited as a case study of efficiency. Can best practices from the latter help change the taxi drivers' working conditions -- and their image?
Wooing the Next Generation of Indian Academics
Can campuses be cloned? The Indian higher education community is grappling with that question as the government opens up additional locations of the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management. Critics say that the move will dilute the colleges' brand equity, noting that the institutes are only as good as their faculty. Meanwhile, a new study shows that Indians living in the U.S. are increasingly interested in careers in academia in their home country. But matching these men and women with available faculty positions in India could be tricky, the study's authors say.
Salaries on the Rise: Globalization Brings New Pressures to India
Salaries in India are expected to rise more than anywhere else in the world, according to several recent surveys. One reason is that globalization has helped to level the playing field. Other influences include increased domestic demand and a shortage of the right talent. These factors are causing a reassessment of compensation practices and are exerting some pressure on bottom lines, experts tell India Knowledge@Wharton.
Preparing the Underprivileged: Do Super 30 and Other Coaching Classes Make the Grade?
Competition for places at the Indian Institutes of Technology long ago spawned an industry of coaching classes, some of which have attracted private equity investments. Super 30, a hard-driving class in Bihar, has won acclaim for its success in preparing the underprivileged for acceptance to the institutes that typically admit one in 60 applicants. India Knowledge@Wharton looks at what Super 30 and others have accomplished, and why some critics say coaching classes inadequately prepare students for the real work ahead of them.