As many as 75 percent of global organizations are challenged by talent shortages. Amid this scarcity, India is recognized for its surplus talent in various fields, including information technology, engineering, medicine, finance, and more. In fact, the county is expected to have a skilled talent surplus by 2030, including more than one million highly skilled tech professionals.
What is contributing to the talent surplus?
India has an extensive and expanding talent pool, attributed to several factors, including:
Highly educated workforce: India produces many graduates, including engineers, doctors, and management professionals. Engineering and technology undergraduates had the highest employability rating in 2022 (55 percent).
Large working-age population: Boasting one of the world’s largest working-age populations, 65 percent are under 35 years old.
Technical expertise: A major player in the global IT industry, India is home to many software development and IT services companies, producing many skilled software developers, engineers, and IT professionals.
Cost advantage: India’s labor cost is generally lower than many developed countries and organizations can save up to 40 percent by hiring Indian talent. This makes it an attractive destination for outsourcing and offshoring services, with India being the world’s leading destination with over 60 percent of the global market share.
Diverse skill set: India’s talent pool spans various industries and disciplines. It’s not limited to just IT. Strong healthcare, pharmaceuticals, finance, design, and more sectors also exist.
Innovation and entrepreneurship: India has seen a surge in startups and entrepreneurship, with cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi emerging as hubs for innovation and technology.
Strong communication: English is widely spoken and understood in India, making it easier for Indian professionals to communicate and work with global clients and companies.
Availability across time zones: India spans two time zones – India Standard Time (IST) and India Standard Time +5:30 (IST +5:30) for some regions, which includes Sri Lanka. This means that Indian workers can be available at various times of the day and night, making them potentially valuable for businesses that operate on a global scale or require 24/7 coverage.
Global diaspora: The Indian diaspora is spread worldwide, with many individuals holding influential positions in multinational corporations and startups. This network often serves as a bridge for collaborations and investments.
Government initiatives: The Indian government has launched various initiatives to promote skill development and entrepreneurship, such as “Skill India Digital” and “Make in India,” which aim to boost employability and foster innovation.
The impact on India
India’s talent surplus is assisting to fill global talent shortages. However, the export of India’s talent, often in the form of outsourcing or emigration of skilled workers, has both positive and negative effects on India.
The outflow of India’s skilled workforce to foreign countries yields several positive effects domestically, including:
- Increased disposable income: When Indian professionals work abroad, they often send money back to their families in India. This can significantly contribute to the Indian economy by increasing disposable income for families and supporting local businesses.
- Skill development and experience: Professionals who work in foreign countries often gain exposure to advanced technologies, best practices, and international business standards. They may bring back this knowledge and expertise when they return to India, potentially elevating the skill level of the local workforce.
- Global network and business relationships: Indian professionals working abroad can develop valuable international contacts and business relationships. This can benefit Indian businesses looking to expand globally or collaborate with international partners.
- Diversity and inclusion: Indian professionals working in diverse international environments bring back a broader perspective and an understanding of different cultures, which can contribute to a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture in India.
Skill professionals migrating from India to other nations, or working remotely, particularly in critical sectors like healthcare and technology, underscores a series of negative consequences for the nation, including:
- Brain drain: The emigration of skilled professionals to other countries, especially in critical sectors like healthcare and technology, can lead to a “brain drain.” This means that India may lose some of its best talent, which could have contributed to the country’s development and innovation.
- Shortage of skilled workers: In some cases, losing skilled workers to other countries can lead to shortages in specific industries or regions. This can hinder the growth and development of those sectors.
- Dependence on foreign markets: If a significant portion of India’s skilled workforce is working abroad, the country’s economy may become dependent on the economic conditions of other countries. Economic downturns in those countries could directly impact India’s economy.
- Social impact: The absence of skilled professionals, particularly in sectors like healthcare, can directly impact the quality and availability of services within India. This can affect the overall well-being of the population.
India’s surplus talent has a dual impact on the nation and the global stage. With a significant portion of the world challenged with talent shortages, India stands as a beacon of potential, armed with a diverse and highly skilled workforce. However, this brings forth a set of challenges for the nation. While the positive effects, such as increased income flow and global networking, are commendable, India also faces the risk of a “brain drain,” particularly in critical sectors. Dependence on foreign markets and the potential social impact on essential services must be carefully considered. As India continues to navigate these dynamics, it is crucial to strike a balance that maximizes the benefits of its talent surplus while mitigating potential drawbacks. By implementing well-thought-out strategies and policies, India has the potential to harness its surplus talent for domestic advancement while making a substantial contribution to the global economy.
Author Sashikala Skylab