World Youth Skills Day 2016: What Indian Entrepreneurs Have to Say? - WorldHRDiary

July 15, 2016

World Youth Skills Day 2016: What Indian Entrepreneurs Have to Say? Exclusive:

‘World Youth Skills Day’ is celebrated globally on July 15 every year. It presents an opportunity to come together and recognize the importance of youth skills development, giving youth the chance to contribute to their communities’, countries’ and international sustainable development. Last year,  on the first-ever commemoration of World Youth Skills Day, United Nations officials declared that investing in developing the skills of young people can help build a more just and sustainable future for all and is one of the most important decisions any country can make.

While, overall, more young people have greater educational opportunities than in the past, there are still some 75 million adolescents who are out of school, denied the quality education they deserve and unable to acquire the skills they need. According to the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), around 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 15 years to tackle youth unemployment.

On the occasion of ‘World Youth Skills Day 2016’, speaks to some of the well-known entrepreneurs in India to find out their take on Youth Skills.

Let us find out what they have to say: 

Sameer Parwani, Founder & CEO, CouponDunia, “Aspiring young entrepreneurs must be willing to develop multiple-skills to prosper. It is not enough to only be skilled in one subject or area, to be a successful entrepreneur one must work towards developing multiple skills - be a good engineer but also be a good marketer, designer and businessman - only then can he/she can truly have the well-rounded skills to create a great product and a great company,”

Sameer Parwani, Founder & CEO, CouponDunia

Vipin Kumar Yadav, Founder & CEO, Couponhaat, “India has world's largest youth population and the economy provides plethora of opportunities. Over the past two decades, Indian economy has gradually evolved as a knowledge-based economy. This is due to the abundance of capable, flexible and qualified human capital. However, there is a need to further develop and empower the human capital to ensure the country’s global competitiveness.

Vipin Kumar Yadav, Founder & CEO, Couponhaat
World Youth Skills Day certainly has a significant importance for the youth of India as well. The celebration should be marked to make the youth of the country skilled and employable. The focus should be not only to make them job seekers in different fields, but also making them entrepreneurs. The economy needs more youth who carry entrepreneurial abilities and create opportunities for others. Government’s ambitious projects like Digital India and Skill India are going to drive the movement of making the youth of the country skilled and empowered. The recent announcement by the Central Government to make 1 crore people skilled over the next 4 years and a fund allocation of Rs 12,000 crore is a welcome step.”

Samar Singla, CEO and Founder, Jugnoo, “Lack of skills is one of the major reasons behind India's large chunk of population being unemployed or unemployable. Initiatives like Skill India is one such step by the government to address this situation. 

Samar Singla, CEO and Founder, Jugnoo
Jugnoo as a responsible corporate social firm is working on ground level to provide necessary training to individuals with no educational background to earn decent means of livelihood by driving auto-rickshaws. We understand the importance of skill development and have initiated driver training program across different locations in India for our drivers. We encourage them to be self-dependent and confident by imparting them the right skills needed for their occupation.”

Sarvesh Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Internshala, “Today, on one hand we have millennials who want to start young and have the burning desire to succeed early. And on the other, we have a fast changing world which demands these millennials to constantly learn new age skills. In such a scenario, internships have emerged as a powerful tool to bridge the skill gap that exists between the aspirations of our youth and their current situation. 

Sarvesh Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Internshala
Through internships, students can learn new skills in a practical manner and prepare themselves for the careers of tomorrow. A testimony to this is data from Internshala where number of students getting an internship has grown 800% in last 12 months.

I believe the day is not far when the college education in India would consist of an equal blend of classroom learning & practical exposure via internships to equip the students with skills needed to succeed in the real world.”

Aditi Balbir, Founder & CEO, V Resorts, “The data is staggering, according to International Labour Organisation, 73.4 million of the world's youth was unemployed in 2015. The numbers are only going to increase in the coming years. There is a mismatch between the skills the youth have and the skills the employers need. We need to implement the Technical and Vocational Education and Training which aims to arm the youth with practical skills and knowledge which can be utilised in different sectors in India.

Aditi Balbir, Founder & CEO, V Resorts
Our aim should be to help the youth have vocational and foundational skills that will help them succeed in the professional world. This will also solve the problem of labour demands in the high-growth sectors. And we should be creating entrepreneurs through mentoring and financial support. But this requires a lot of handholding - linkages with banks or micro finance institutions and entrepreneurial training. We need to understand what will work for the youth, how will they grow and how can they endure in today's tough economic conditions.”

Arjun Pratap, Founder & CEO, EdGE Networks "Around the world, connecting the right people with the right jobs is the need of the hour. With rapid change taking place across industries everywhere - education and training are the key determinants of success in the labor market. 

Arjun Pratap, Founder & CEO, EdGE Networks
For a young country like India, this is an important area of focus, that will empower and enable us to reap the demographic dividend. As a product innovation partner with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of India, we at EdGE Networks strive to support the development of skills for various industries and channel the right people into the right job."

Sanjhi Rajgarhia, Vice President, FoodCloud, "Skills training is an important alternative to academic training, especially in a developing country like India that is unable to educate it's youth equally. 

It's also the need of the hour, with new age talent platforms like FoodCloud creating opportunities for all to earn their livelihood through their skills! Today, our youth's options are not limited to traditional careers where success can be achieved only via formal education!"

Karthik KS, Founder & CEO, Avagmah, “With the flattening of the world and borderless movement of goods and services, skills requirement at the workplace has become more competitive, with executives unknowingly having to compete with their global counterparts. Shelf-life of information too is reducing at a faster speed.

Thus, even to continue being in the same place one has to sharpen one’s skills, and if he/she is ambitious the need to regularly educate and re-educate every few years has become a necessity. But for a select dismal numbers the culture of going back to school after few years for education was non-existent in India because of financial constraints. Thankfully technology is now enabling quality education from premium institutes to the mobile handsets of working professionals and they can learn as they earn and continue to work as well.

Karthik KS, Founder & CEO, Avagmah
With advancement in technology connectivity with fellow students and faculty as practiced in campus is now possible and education received using technology and at campuses are of equal rigour. Employers too, thereby, are giving equal recognition to both. On World Youth Skills Day, as an advocate of mid-career reinvention I would urge every youth to go back and keep sharpening his skills via reducating himself without leaving his work.”

Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, “I strongly believe that our Indian youth has the zeal and potential to learn new skills, enhance their existing skills, empower themselves, and add value to India’s growth and development. By doing so Indian youth will gain the confidence and competence, to compete with the rest of the world. Government supported programs like Skill India, Startup India and Make in India are commendable. 

Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, 
I am optimistic that Indian youth will get benefited out of it. I think Indian government and corporate houses should come together to create conducive environment to minimize brain drain. Especially, when it comes to entrepreneurship, It has to be promoted and supported in order to generate skill- based career opportunities for Indian youth.”

Rishi Kapal, CEO, Edugild, “Skill development is not just essential for sustenance but also for self-confidence. India is yet to evolve in self-learning based skills enhancement space since a proper career path is seldom viewed by the youth of India. We have a great opportunity here. 

Rishi Kapal, CEO, Edugild
Further skilling for entrepreneurship is important to take India’s mission to the next level. India also needs to ensure that skill development evolves as per global trends where augmented reality and virtual reality based learning is hygiene today. Skills are often confused with only soft skills. However a true balance of professional and soft skills is important for success.”

Amit Kumar, Co-founder & COO at Zimmber, “Traditionally, vocational skills are not a part of the formal educational system as these are learned through "informal internship model" - being with some 'ustad'. Generally people choose their career path based on recognition, respect and monetary benefits and this why vocational careers do not come across as anything close to ‘aspirational’. That is the reason India requires 10 times more skilled workforce to bridge the gap. Also, people attend formal vocational training for certificate and not for employable skills - we find only 25% skill set as employable. This can be bridged only by focusing on quality certification and spreading awareness among the Indian youth about vocational careers as an aspirational choice of career. 

Amit Kumar, Co-founder & COO at Zimmber
An Engineer from IIT or a designer from NID brings in the wow effect, whereas this brand quality is missing in the vocational career stream. Consumer also should take a stand and ask for ‘certified skills' which will force the ecosystem in right direction and will boom vocational career in developing economy like ours.”

Parvez Siddiqui, Founder and Director,, “When I started, it was unusual for me. A switch in the background made me realize that I no more have to hire individuals who are 40 and above. I totally depend upon young, ravishing and exploring minds of youngsters. They know what they want, they know what the consumers want and above all they know what they deserve. 

Parvez Siddiqui, Founder and Director,
They work towards achieving it and that helps me achieve my goals. A few years more and the markets will be owned by these minds. It scares me and at the same time I am astonished by their capabilities”.

Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder, Helical Insight, “As Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and Automation technology matures, there are a lot of low end jobs which will be automated. Companies which could automate will automate, reason being since not only the cost will go down in terms hiring very few resources, but also the quality of work as well as the speed of delivery will improve exceptionally. 

Nikhilesh Tiwari, Founder, Helical Insight
Some of the sectors to be first impacted would be sectors like call centers, chatting help centers etc which does not require specialized skillsets. We, at Helcial Insight, are empowering Business Intelligence with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, and thus briging automation in BI and Analytics domain as well. Hence it’s very important for today’s youth to make sure that they are acquiring very specialized skillsets, doing so will not only fetch them more than market salaries but also there would be minimal  risk of job loss.”

Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge, “Talentedge enables learning with a purpose and instils a sense of self-belief, creating a tangible impact in an individual’s professional life. New age and progressive, our technology empowers anytime, anywhere learning. 

Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge
Our Direct to Device technology is enabling an interactive and social collaborative learning experience in digital space. Technology led reach and easy access is poised to bring about a socio-economic difference in the lives of Indian learners.”

Satish Nampally, Co-founder and India Head of Sales and Operations, Byndr, “India adds millions of workers each year to the job market, out of which only a fraction of them are employable. There is a huge demand and supply gap when it comes to skilled labour in India that can be attributed to lack of industry linkages with education. Initiative like Skill India by the government will also need strong backing and support from private players, requiring them to actively participate and contribute to make it a success. Programmes like this will improve job prospects and help achieve better socio-economic status for youth in India. To add, Byndr, is trying to improve the education system by working closely with universities, colleges to provide platform for teacher, colleges to engage and share quality education content to students and improve their job prospects.

Dinesh Goel, Founder & CEO, Hunarr, "In India, where the burgeoning economy and growing services sector have been redefining the traditional job roles and profiles, it is imperative for the youth of today to keep abreast of the latest skills and qualifications that industries require in their employees in order to become the pillars of India's growth tomorrow. 

Founder & CEO, Hunarr
In a competitive world, where the presence or lack of even a couple of skills could decide a job seeker's fate during an interview process, it is essential that the youth realizes the importance of skill training and education within the domain of their choice. They must strive not only to further their functional knowledge - an in-depth understanding of any particular field - but also their behavioral skills that focus more on personality building and communication, to truly be job ready."


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