Dec 29, 2006

Perceptions about talent in India and China

Interesting post by Todd quoting Kevin Wheeler, Global Learning Resources on a presentation on Asia. Posted with just one comment : Look at the bunching together of India and China as far as talent goes :-) Bold and italics by me.

  • "We're heading into a talent storm in Asia" with repercussions in Europe and the U.S. that are yet unknown. Asia will dominate the world economy by 2040.
  • Asia houses 1/3 of the world's talent, many not well educated. The small number who are educated are in "tremendous and constant demand."
  • China and the U.S. have a lot of similarities in terms of the percentage of jobs that are in manufacturing and mining, but China's heavily agricultural, and the U.S. is heavily service-oriented. China's future will include fewer agricultural jobs and more service jobs.
  • China and India have too few educated people, too high a savings rate, not enough jobs, and not enough people willing to relocate. Chinese leaders fear that "they can't generate enough jobs."
  • The highly talented and skilled -- a tenth of a percent in China and India, Wheeler estimates -- are paid a "tremendous amount of money."
  • 1.24 million college students can't find jobs in China; there are "incredible, incredible challenges economically."
  • India's pace is slow; China, as a totalitarian regime, can get things done (e.g. building a road).
  • It's a myth that low-level work is being done in Asia; companies such as Motorola, Google, H-P, and Cisco are having Indian teams devise software systems.
  • The universities in China and India have loose standards (???) as far as what constitutes an engineer; it could be an auto mechanic. "It's very hard to know what you're getting," Wheeler says, unless you go to a handful of top universities to recruit. (Time to move the IIT brand to the RECs too? - Gautam)
  • Wheeler says "you're going to have to have very good recruiters in those countries"; you can't expect to send someone over there and expect them to be successful, and you can't easily find a local person who's going to be a successful recruiter.
  • "The best way to get talent in Asia," he says, is probably to grow your own." They work hard; they crave a better life (many are unhappy with it as is); are often very individualistic and motivated; want their families to feel their successful; are interested in other cultures; and women are equal to men and are "really sharp."
  • Recruiters must redefine their jobs for Asia; they must provide mentoring and coaching as to how to be successful; they need to use travel, the Internet, and more to encourage interaction with the headquarters. Have people travel back to the home country.
  • "There's so much energy, so much potential. You can almost feel it in the air there."