Bridging The Great Skills Gap: How Organisations Can Beat The Biggest Challenge Facing India’s Tech Sector
The Masai School is helping bridge the crucial gap between demand and supply when it comes to skilled technology workforces.
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After a mega-shift towards digitisation during the pandemic, India is moving towards a trillion-dollar digital economy and a future driven by digital transformation of products, services, e-governance, and everything in between.
In the backdrop of Think Digital, Think India, the country’s technology and services industry is poised for a boom. According to Nasscom’s annual technology report, the industry’s total revenue in 2022 exceeded $200 billion and the total workforce crossed 5 million people. With more than 2500 new tech start-ups, 2022 has also been dubbed “the year of the start-ups” by Nasscom.
Burgeoning demand for technology workforces
The country’s technology and services industry shows the potential to achieve around $350 billion in annual revenue by 2025. It is also set to provide for 60-65 million digital sector jobs by 2025-26, according to the Ministry of Electronics & IT.
To cater to the increasing digitisation and automation by enterprises and the overall sector, digital skills continue to be in high demand, and so does the need for a skilled technology workforce. The problem is: supply is not keeping pace with demand, and therein lies the Great Skills Gap.
Skills chasm between demand and supply
The Indian education system hasn’t been keeping up with the technology landscape—at a time where global giants depend on India’s tech capabilities, our technical education system is flailing.
Because the education system is primarily theoretical and the curriculum is out of date, most graduates don’t often possess the practical skill sets critical for careers in the IT industry. So fresh graduates come completely unprepared and have to learn on the job, which means employers have to spend time, money and resources in their training and development and employees are not productive for a significant while after they join.
Complicating matters further are cumbersome hiring processes and issues such as offer drops. Companies are flooded with applications for a job posting. The remote environment aggravates and elongates the training and development of new hires if their skill sets are found wanting. Then there is always the possibility of graduates failing to join and taking up cross-offers.
Not surprisingly, top executives cite talent shortages as one of the biggest hurdles to the adoption of emerging technologies, as revealed in a Gartner survey.
Bridging the skills gap
There are increasing calls for changes to university curricula to make them more industry-relevant, practical, and up-to-date, but clearly this is a medium- to long-term goal, especially because there are related issues such as skills of teachers, infrastructure, etc., too. But one knowledge-driven company in India has been striving hard to bridge the Great Skills Gap between demand and supply in the Indian technology workforce and succeeding through innovation.
Based in Bengaluru, the Masai School draws inspiration from Kenya’s Maasai Mara Tribe and their robust skilling techniques for self-sustenance. The school’s objective is to provide an outcome-driven education system that develops the tech skills of graduates and connects them with large technology companies and start-ups.
Masai offers long-term and short-term courses in full-stack web development and data analytics. An interesting thing to note is that the Masai doesn’t charge an upfront tuition fee until and unless its graduates land a job. Furthermore, graduates need to pay the institution for the valuable skills imparted only if their salary is Rs 5 lakh per year or higher, and they don’t need to pay anything if they aren’t placed within a year of completing their course. Such cases have been few and far between. Masai boasts a 94 percent placement rate, which is a great indicator of the institution’s ability to match its trained talent pool with industry requirements.
Streamlining the sourcing of skilled talent for companies
While Masai’s model greatly benefits students looking to grow in the tech industry, it not just bridges the skills gap but also streamlines how tech companies can find skilled talent. By equipping its students with industry-oriented skills, the school ensures that recruiters’ concerns of fresh hires not being industry-ready are alleviated.
Over the years, Masai has closely partnered with Indian technology companies, and has more than 2000 hiring partners. Also through its partnership with National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC), Masai is “working towards narrowing the gap between the demand and supply of skilled manpower in the tech ecosystem”, Prateek Shukla, Masai co-founder and CEO, said. The collaboration will impact the life of over 1.5 lakh students and their families in the next 5-7 years, Shukla added.
Masai’s partners agree that the school is providing a great solution to the technology skills problem in the country. ShareChat CEO Ankush Sachdeva said that a business model like Masai’s is “really needed for India to unlock its potential”. Deekshant Jain of NoBroker said, “In the last 2-3 years, it has been difficult to hire in the tech space”. Masai coming in the picture has helped NoBroker and many other start-ups, Jain added.
Training at Masai is provided by experts having extensive industry experience, who ensure that students learn current and in-demand IT skills and are made market-ready from the get-go. This reduces the investments that Indian tech companies need to spend on new hires. Companies don’t need to spend time, money and other resources on training graduates, and it also helps from a future-proofing perspective. Furthermore, any changes in the technology landscape are seamlessly integrated into the curriculum so the skills of Masai graduates stay relevant to the industry.
The recruitment process is also highly streamlined and that saves additional time and money for companies. Unlike the flood of applications recruiters face after a job posting, when they recruit from Masai, the school provides only six to ten candidates that have the right skills and are a perfect fit for the open position. There is no recruitment fee, so companies easily get to save upwards of 15 percent of a knowledge worker’s annual CTC that any recruitment agency would normally charge. The school’s model also ensures that offer drops are low and retention numbers are high as happy employees make for lower attrition.
The future of technology education
The future of tech education is being envisioned as one that improves the employability quotient of curricula, continuously builds academia-industry partnerships and upskills freshers for an age of analytics and AI. Masai’s education model, with its focus on empowering skilled tech talent, is not just a win-win for graduates and companies, but the nation at large. The Indian IT sector is vital for India’s goal of a $5 trillion economy and beyond, and a constant supply of skilled talent by an institution such as Masai is critical to ensure that India is a key stakeholder in the global digital economy.
For more information, visit Masai