Dreaming a better next generation

Year on year, every IT company talks about recruiting fresh graduates in thousands and the process has been continuing since several years. The quality and dedication of young population towards work is inversely proportional to the available opportunities. More the intake, poorer is the quality and attitude. Most of the youngsters have very limited view towards career and future goals and almost everyone keeps moving on job to job to get better benefits. The issue industry is facing today is that the quality and dedication of most of this population has gone down with time. Easier availability of jobs and reduced Indian cultural values are showing in the balance sheets of the companies in terms of increase in cost and reduced productivity. The challenge today is to make our young population more responsible, reliable and skilled so that they are employable and far more productive than what they are now. Even though we know that India has highest young population, the issue is the employability of the large majority is not possible with their current level of skill and education. Social groups, institutes and industry have to find a better method to tackle this challenge with the help of government. Our education system still follows the syllabus which has very little relevance to current industry needs. When Pascal and Fortran language is dead, students have to learn them in college and have to relearn the new technology putting extra effort and money after their college. When industry needs students having knowledge of project management and latest software, they are taught complex math and physics subjects which have little use for them outside the college exams. The curriculum still ends up mixing pure sciences with applied sciences and in the end, we get students who have to do away with 95% of their education and relearn the new concepts followed in industry. Poor salary to college professors is not enough to get the best teachers. The quality of education depends on whatever these professors can impart. Industry must take this as their social responsibility to put time and effort to educate students and make them ready as per industry needs while they are in colleges. Serious efforts in this direction can bring the desired change very fast and will be a big win for India and the young generation.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by IndiasGreatest.com ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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