In recent times, emerging economies have been an attraction for world class companies and India is no different. India has done commendable job in addressing the western markets in the last two decades. The software industry is a classic example. In the last 25 years, from being a laggard in economic growth, the Indian industry showed around 30% growth each year and became the pie in the eyes of multinational giants from across the globe who forayed into the Indian market and India successfully addressed them all with talent, business and infrastructure (surprisingly).
However, in the last five years or so, there has been a frameshift in addressing target markets by Indian enterprises. Contrary to what was the trend a decade back, the last five years have seen a tremendous increase in focus towards addressing the Indian markets.. In this period, array of startups have come up in verticals as varied as Retail, Logistics, Marketing, Financial inclusion, Green Tech, Education tech and so on. And all of these aim at addressing the domestic market and work towards bridging the existing inefficiencies in the economy.
This is where I see Brand India building up. For Brand India to emerge and grow, it is vital that the institutional voids, which exist in every emerging economy be identified and redressed thereof. And Indian entrepeneurs are working overtime on that front. If we look at startups, a lot of them are identifying and addressing the existing inefficiencies in India and thriving for sustainable progress in minimizing them and building new pavements of dynamism in the process.
In the case of Aspiring Minds as well, we started with the identification and methods of redressing one of the most pressing challenges that practically any market faces- assessing the right fit of candidates for a particular job and democratizing the employability ecosystem for all across the pyramid. In fact, during these 5 years of our existence and in the process of bridging the employability gap between employers and prospective job entrants, we have had some very valuable insights which are incremental in shaping ‘Brand India’ in the coming years.
The youth today is highly ambitious and aspirational. The demographic dividend of the country, which India takes pride of, is very vibrant. And their aspirations are not restricted to barriers like metro cities, top institutions or gender. There is a big urge in them to learn, to work in the main stream. Even in tier II and III cities, where exposure is limited and the thought process is still traditional, we have seen a lot of aspiration in the students there to look beyond government jobs (a mainstay of the Indian economy a couple of decades back) and aim to work and grow in the private sector. Also, there is a directional shift of interest happening from only IT oriented jobs to jobs in various sectors and profiles like banking, retail, healthcare, media etc. Today a lot of students are interested to work for companies where there is more learning, more growth, giving second preference to brands.
The aim and focus with which the private players in India are progressing to address the domestic market and its requirements, along with aspirational growth of the youth is a great asset and can be seen as adding clear value to Brand India today and in the years to come. Moreover, the government’s policy of non interference especially with operational functions of the private sector is highly conducive for players in the process.