India plays an important role in creating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in creating global leaders in various fields. We have a favorable demographic profile, capable of propelling economic growth to new heights. In this knowledge era, the country requires resources capable of bringing innovation, fulfilling the demands of the new age industries and bringing a positive change in the community. However, a key requirement for all this is relevant education in fulfilling India’s aspirations in the 21st century.
While there is no dearth of human capital, there is a huge demand-supply gap of skills (right person for the available job) in the job market. The changing economic scenario, increasing competition, changing consumer preferences requires a workforce that is capable of adapting to the dynamic demands. Thus, there is a need for lifelong learning to address the evolving needs of the modern society. However, with enormous number of school drop-outs at one end and mushrooming of business minded B-Schools at the other, the real challenge for India is creating relevant education and training to generate a system that is capable of fulfilling these ever changing and evolving demands.
Having said that, one of the reasons why India has emerged as an economic power over the past few decades is the concerted efforts and programs initiated for educating youth. However, if we have to truly reap the benefits, these efforts are required to multiply manifolds and in short time period. It is important that we raise the bar of the quality of education and are consistent in providing the same quality across economic strata of the society. This gap can be bridged by opening participation of private, non-governmental and international players in the education sector. India’s private sector can play an important role by investing in building infrastructure, skills training, conducting Train-the-Trainers, and building industry linkages.
We at HDFC Life recognize the importance of investment in education and have taken conscious efforts for imparting skills. We have designed various initiatives both for our employees as well as for the society. Financial Literacy is an important aspect of our corporate strategy under our CSR umbrella 'Swabhimaan'. The objective of the financial literacy project is to educate and equip children (from grade 5 to 8) with financial knowledge that would help them manage their finances/money in an effective manner when they grow up. Financial Literacy sessions have been conducted in 4 cities of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the year 2012-13.
With an aim to elevate the learning experiences of underprivileged children HDFC Life sponsors resources by participating in Teach for India, Yuva Unstoppable initiatives. HDFC Life employees get into the community, roll up their sleeves and bring innovation in the teaching methods to spark the interest of underprivileged children in various subjects. HDFC Life partnered with United Way of Mumbai &Aarambh to support 500 municipal school children at Turbhe, Maharashtra. The objective of the project is to support underprivileged children to continue formal education and aid their holistic development.
We also recognize that learning is shifting away from content memorization to a more relevant, personalized, and skill based foundation. Radio Mirchi and HDFC Life came together for the 5th consecutive year to spread awareness in students on the correct usage of English language by encouraging them to ‘celebrate words’to save the language. HDFC Life Spell Bee - India Spells 2013 engaged with around 3 lac students across more than 1000 schools by testing their mettle in English spellings. It is a platform that shapes the little geniuses’ careers and independent futures by encouraging them to sharpen their English vocabulary skills in a distinctive and an exciting format. It is well known that unless, we as a nation realize and focus on this global business language, the progress will be slow.
At HDFC Life, processes are centered on building skills and capabilities that will give us a leading edge in the industry. We want to promote this culture of knowledge enhancement by going beyond class rooms. With this objective in mind, we started 'Mission In-genius,' a pan-India quiz property first conceptualized and organized in 2006 for HDFC Life employees to provide them with a platform to display their insurance knowledge. Organized once every two years, Mission In-genius has been awarded as a unique initiative across companies in Great Places to Work 2010 study. This quiz platform invites involvement through a spirit of competition and fun. This year, we have introduced this quiz to an online platform. The objective is to build an interactive learning environment for sales professionals by giving them an opportunity to learn beyond life insurance products. With the success among sales staff, Mission In-genius is now rolled out to the front line customer service staff (branch operations officers) and inbound call center.
We have also designed a learning management system 'GOAL' for our employee that helps educating them on various subjects. Being an online tool it is convenient for employees to learn as per their convenience -- be it from office, home or client’s place -- as long as they are connected to Internet. There is also a requirement to develop change management skills in the leadership and has initiated leadership development programs to develop new skills through a combination of methods like involvement in strategic projects, coaching by senior executives, potential review by the CEO and HR Head.
We also believe in democratizing the knowledge of insurance by aligning scorecards to organizational themes, monthly business review, reviewing own performance, etc. We also promote that our colleagues visits various colleges and universities as a guest lecturer and provide students with the corporate perspectives.
We still have to dig deeper, think harder and get more engaged to determine what change is needed and then push the pieces forward. Investment in education is the key to bridging social divides and creating a bright future for the country.
Mr. Ghag joined HDFC Life in September 2009 and has been spearheading the Human Resource function since then. Before HDFC Life, he was associated with DHL Express as Head of HR for India and Senior Advisor - Quality and Processes (First Choice Programme) for South Asia. He was one of the important members of the board and has travelled extensively across the globe as a trainer as well as a participant of various management conferences.View Complete Profile
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