While a business-friendly climate is a must, we also need hubs that offer good standard of living.
Talent can be considered the life blood of a country. The development of a nation is directly correlated to the quality of its talent pool, which can be either internally sourced or attracted externally.
A country without natural resource may survive, but a country without talent cannot. Though India has attracted foreign talent during ancient and medieval times, it could not do so for more than 100 years. Now even people from countries which are poorer than India do not aspire to come to India; they prefer to go to Dubai. It brings us to this question: What is it that a country needs to have to attract talent?
According to the Global Talent Competitiveness report, regulatory landscape, market landscape, business and labour landscape create an environment that is conducive for creating talent, openness - both external and internal — allows a city or country to attract new talent. “Formal education, lifelong learning, access to growth opportunities help people to upgrade their talent and sustainability, while standard of living allows the country to retain the talent.”
Typically, a business-friendly regulatory setup and a stable policy framework could attract entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses.
However, the next level of growth in talent hubs is dependent on providing good standard of life. For instance, people get attracted to Scandinavian countries that top the index because they offer a better quality of living than the economic superpower United States. On the other hand, the US is considered as a land of opportunity and offers a relatively better standard of life.
India, therefore, needs to focus on enabling a business-friendly and innovation-friendly climate for domestic companies. While many governments are trying to do this by encouraging start-ups, they need to create hubs which can offer a good standard of living.
These steps could create a base that could attract entrepreneurs from other countries. One of the best examples of this is Israel. Though Israel is in a highly volatile region, with a hotbed of terrorism in Palestine, the Jewish country has managed to secure its place in terms of innovation.
In a nutshell, a country would attract people from other countries if it has people who have an urge to gain excellence. Though India has produced some excellent talent, the scale was not enough to make India a hub of talent.
If we probe a little further, we would understand that our education or school curriculum is not tailored to create experts. Our schools and teachers focus on how to make students score good marks, rather than making them innovators. Our school syllabus seeks to make students generalists and not experts. While basic knowledge is important to understand our society, one does not need to study them for 10 years. Instead, students should be encouraged to gain excellence in subjects that they like.
Another factor that impedes creation of talented graduates in large numbers is shortage of talented teachers. Unlike other countries, our best talent does not aspire to become teachers.
Academicians, however, try to blame parents for mugging-based education. The owner of a prominent school chain had said once that they impart whatever education parents want them to deliver. These factors are something that the government cannot reform or change on its own.
(The writer is a serial entrepreneur and the COO of DocOnline)