India continues to lag behind in global talent competitiveness

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GTCI is an annual benchmarking report compiled by international business school INSEAD with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications. It measures and ranks 119 countries and 90 cities based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent. 

The few Indians who may have taken on leadership roles in global companies do not truly reflect India’s talent health.

India rank, in terms of global talent competitiveness, has further dipped—from 78th position to 81st among 119 countries, with a score of 36.78. The top scorers are Switzerland (79.90), Singapore (78.42), the US (75.34), Norway (74.56) and Sweden (74.32).

Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is an annual benchmarking report compiled by international business school, INSEAD, along with The Adecco Group and Tata Communications. It measures and ranks 119 countries and 90 cities, based on their ability to grow, attract and retain talent.

The study measures the performance of countries using six pillars:

Enable: It looks at the regulatory, market, business and labour landscapes and whether they help attract people, or put them off.

India ranks 78 with a score of 46.72.

Attract: This assesses how open a country or city is to outside talent —be it people or businesses— and also to women, older people and those from underprivileged backgrounds.

India ranks.98 with a score of 33.84.

Grow: This examines how well a country or city develops its people, for example, through a good education system that offers lifelong learning.

India ranks 54 with a score of 41.66.

Retain: This looks at how nice the country is to live in; one of the main components of talent retention is quality of life.

India ranks 99 with a score of 32.24.

VT Skills: This measures the availability of workers with vocational and technical skills.

India ranks 71 with a score of 40.41

GK Skills: This looks at the availability of global knowledge skills (workers in professional, managerial or leadership roles).

India ranks 63 with a score of 25.81.

The top performing countries have four key traits in common—an education system that looks ahead at the needs of employers, and adapts accordingly; a business and regulatory landscape that is flexible; a working environment where employees enjoy flexibility and receive social protection; and governments that foster openness.

In India, formal education and lifelong learning are keeping pace, which is why the pool of global knowledge skills is solid compared to other emerging markets.

India has plenty of room for improvement in minimising brain drain while simultaneously achieving a brain gain, by luring back some of its talented diaspora members (it ranks 98th in the ‘Attract’ pillar) and in retaining its own talent (99th in ‘Retain’). In the context of high emigration rates of high-skilled people, in particular, India is at serious risk of worsening its brain drain despite the connection with the diaspora working in the information technology sector.

In terms of social mobility—which defines the extent to which individuals have the opportunity to improve their economic situation through their personal efforts, regardless of the socioeconomic status of their parents—India has improved its overall score and ranking. In 2016, India scored 55.76 (rank 35), but has now moved up to 62.25 (rank 21).

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