Aug 5, 2006

The future of Indian youth

Rashmi does some crystal ball gazing drawing parallels with Japan.

I believe that we are seeing these generational changes in the Indian workforce too. Employees are motivated by very different things than their parents were. These 'generations' of employees also shift every five years or so.

7 years ago when my 'generation' emerged into the post MBA world we were not to digitally savvy. Email was the most comfortable thing for us, and search came second.

These days undergrad college students congregate virtually rather than the real world using social software like Orkut and continue their associations after they separate in real life. They are always on, always connected and have huge influence on each others' likes and dislikes.

As my generation which was born in the 70s saw the world, we were more likely to be cynical and wry. This was the time when the Emergency and arms race were in full swing. We carry these values with us into the workplace and I guess that defines how we make sense of organizations too.

The generation that was born after 1984, when Rajiv Gandhi started the liberalisation process is apparently more hedonistic, but I also believe, is more authentic and does not give up their needs for an imaginary motive. Rashmi's chronicled their value system very accurately and my only input is that our organizations have not evolved enough to be exciting enough for them. The blame can be laid on labour laws and government regulations but a majority of the blame is lack of insight by the employers.

I see the same lack of understanding when the post 1985 generation is entering the workforce.

Can we provide them work that is exciting not just on the intellectual but also the emotional level for these individualists? If they are excited by brands, can you turn your workforce into a brand? How do you remain 'hip' and 'cool' as time changes?