Apr 20, 2005

HR outsourcing and the Indian reality

Ganesh Chella, founder and CEO of Totus Consulting, a boutique strategic HR consulting firm in India writes about the myths of HR outsourcing. Some interesting bits, specially the focus on HR in India is given below:

In fact, HR in India would rank as the most dynamic and turbulent in the whole world today. So many new jobs, so many to hire, so many to train, so many to retain and so many to keep happy! After many years of fighting for identity, HR in India has come of age. HR and organisation building issues are centre of the plate in any Indian CEO's agenda today. CEOs are willing to spend as much as it takes to manage their people and people processes well. It may never get any better for HR. Under such circumstances, cost arbitrage is the last thing on their mind.
What is on the minds of our CEOs is the competence gap. They are most worried about the acute shortage of HR talent and HR competence.
At a time when good HR support is needed the most, it is just not available in the measure they would like. The situation is compounded by the fact that there is virtually very little Indiacentric thought leadership on HR issues.
While economic development in the US in the 1960s, 70s and 80s was supported by a significant number of organisation development and HR thought leaders and their research initiatives, we cannot say that of India. We continue to inappropriately apply ideas from thewestern world.
What India lacks is both original thought and strategic HR support.This is a gap that CEOs will not live with. They have already begunto access help from outside and if the growing number of boutique and large HR consulting firms are any evidence, real HR outsourcing is actually happening in India. There are of course a few important differences:
The focus will be on augmenting internal competence and not really on outsourcing the function. It will not be driven by cost.
Thankfully, this is will be supported by a growing awakening about the need to renew and strengthen the employee relations role and function.
So we might conclude that many business leaders in India (with the exception of the very large ones) will seek strategic and specialistHR support from outside in significant measure while they strengthen internal HR to play the equally important role of focusing onbusiness partnering and employee relations. "