Building Human Capital in India

Skills training key to enhancing employability and delivering inclusive growth.

Hindustan Unilever Chairman, Mr Harish Manwani, while addressing shareholders at the company’s 77th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Mumbai today spoke about theurgent need to develop intellectual and human capital in India in order to sustain high economic growth and acceleratethetransformation from a developing to a developed nation.

In a speech titled ‘Building Human Capital in India,’ Mr. Manwani said, “The economic centre of gravity is shifting from the developed markets to the developing markets. This is a huge opportunity for the Asian economies and for India in particular. But underlying the growth in economic capital has to be an equally strong foundation of building the intellectual and human capital of the nation. This means investing in our people.”

“Delivering inclusive growth is possible only through the growth of our people. We need to impart skills, training and education at all levels to match the needs of a changing India. Human capital is the pivot around which the long term transformation of our economy has to be shaped,” Mr Manwani said.

Referring to the acute skills gap in India, Mr Manwani urged for a comprehensive approach involving the three principal stakeholders – the Government, the educational institutions and the industry -- to enable an effective and integrated response.

Mr Manwani emphasised the important role that the Government has in laying the foundations of this public-private partnership and building a system and standard of education that serves all classes of society and prepares them with skills at every level of the value chain.

“The current educational institutions must embrace the culture of skills training so that it benefits the wider sections of society and addresses the big issue of employability,” he said speaking about the role of educational institutions. He reiterated the need for accelerating access to technical training to address the key issue of skills development at the grass roots level while also leveraging e-learning as an effective means to provide low cost access to quality education.

Speaking about the role of industry, Mr Manwani said, “An equally important part of progressive corporations has to be a commitment to what I would like to call ‘Corporate Human Development Responsibility’”. He urged companies to actively commit resources – time, money and people – to innovatively collaborate with educational institutions so that academic curriculum is tuned to changing needs of the industry. “This is hugely beneficial in preparing our young population for employment and also in expanding the talent pool, much needed for our fast growing economy,” he said.

Speaking about the need for intellectual capital to steer India forward at an accelerated pace, he said, “leadership development is vital if India is to be at the leading-edge of innovation and competitiveness in this increasingly interconnected world.”

The Chairman also shared with shareholders the HUL model of ‘Human Capital Development.’ He spoke about the success of HUL in grooming business leaders over the years and also its initiatives towards building broad-based local talent. Referring to the skills training in the organization across levels and across functions, he said,“we have ‘skills-maps’ against which the workforce in our manufacturing units and our sales force are benchmarked. Besides on the job training, they undergo up to eight man-days of training every year. On a conservative basis, this implies a staggering one lakh man-days of training across the organisation every year!”

“It is our firm belief that business growth and people growth is intrinsically linked in a virtuous cycle where one cannot exist without the other,” Mr. Manwani added.

About Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods company, touching the lives of two out of three Indians. HUL’s mission is to “add vitality to life” through its presence in over 20 distinct categories in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. The company meets everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care, with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

India

Hindustan Unilever Limited
Unilever House,
B. D. Sawant Marg,
Chakala, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400 099.
F: +91-22-22871970

T: +91-22-39830000

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