About Dual Degree Dilemma

Pinank is a seasoned L&D professional having an exposure of working for 4 different industries and domains over the last 16 years. Pinank has been setting up a learning culture and building competencies throughout his career. He has a rich hands-on experience on strategizing both people and organizational development initiatives, customizing interventions to suit a particular purpose or solving real life business problems. He is currently heading L&D for QualityKiosk Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which is a leading quality assurance partner for mainly BFSI industry 52 mins

Question:Recently, I was reading Deloittes Through the risk lens report, and it stated that 55% of the Indian workforce will require re-skilling by 2020. What are the initiatives that you at your organization take in order to keep your employees future ready and irreplaceable?

I haven’t personally read that report of Deloitte, but I fundamentally agree with the statement that approximately 50% of the workforce will require re-skilling and upskilling. Let me put it this way that any which ways almost all the jobs of today, are going to change in some or the other way, because all the technology that are developing around us especially these- RP, Remote Automation, Artificial Intelligence, machine Learning or data science. These technologies are very defining in terms of the way they are going to change the way jobs are conducted. Having said that, organisations will have to understand that reskilling is not one of the things, it is the need of the hour. It is a commitment, and an organisation has to understand its responsibility towards a business that they are in, the industry they are a part of, also it is unreasonable to think that the employees who are working 9-5 will come in terms with changes on their own.

At the same time, we really need to create a culture where learning is voluntarily taken up and need not forced upon. It is well said that not everybody learns in the same manner, it is because everyone is different, their experiences are different. So what is more important is that organisations today put considerable effort in creating a system, an environment for people to learn on their own, pick up courses on their own, and their needs to be a certain kind of reward, certain kind of engagement that really goes into it for both parties to win. This helps employees to do job at their potential best and for the organization to really take advantage of whatever is there in the market for them. In a nutshell, we really need to focus on building skill sets which are required for today’s job and also need to be an eye for what will really define the job set in 2-4 years to come, and prepare accordingly for it. Let me give you a simple example, I work for a software company and we are not only focusing on what is the service line today, and we are also focusing on what do we have as capability which we can leverage, which the market is ready to buy and we are simultaneously working on building those skill sets. But at the same time, we know that this is not all that is happening in the market place. There is more, which we haven’t seen as business coming to us or client expectations. Somewhere down the line, we will need to prepare for those times as well. Today we don’t have the capabilities, know hows, but we know that we have to start focusing and building some kind of structure to be ready when the time is right. There is a complete programme management that goes into shifting of one piece. You cannot just take out one piece of the jigsaw puzzle and not replace it. It is easier said than done, because you need to ensure that you are fueling your engine. You won’t get to train them on week days, so you need to find innovative ways like blended learning approached giving them remote classes so that they don’t have to travel on the weekend, give them specific courses that is a buildup to the skill set, and most importantly give them an opportunity to work in the new environment. Because classroom training is just like an ignition that gives you the start but then you need to make an effort to get cars into gears. So that needs to really happen by putting them into the right kind of environment where they would see their new skills being leveraged. However, I would like to call it upskilling rather than reskilling.

Question:As an L & D leader, what are the key areas that you believe require re-skilling or upskilling in the existing employee. Which according to you is a better way of enhancing performance and productivity at workplace, hiring fresh talent or training the existing employees?

Good Question. Let me take the second part of the question first. In about 17 years what I gave understood is that corporates and businesses should make deliberate attempt to infuse new talent. You know, a set of new eyes, new ways of looking at the existing things, at the same time helping businesses to course correct- New talent plays a very important role. Somehow when you are in the rut of it, you kind of miss the signals, don’t tend to see the mistakes that are very evident. But when a fresh talent comes especially from competition or from different industry, they have a very different way of looking at the same thing. So if I were to lead a business, I will make an effort in my new talent from competition and new industry! Coming to roles, the roles are very specific to the industry. For example- You have typically two types of IT companies, one who build product and sell them in the market, and the other one is service based- who provide skill resources to execute a certain job at the client’s end. Most of the top IT companies in India are service based. But if you look at BSFI, if you look at Manufacturing industry, the DNA is different, the demands of the business is different, the market places are different. So what you really need to need to re-skill people on changes not just from industry to industry but companies to companies. Like I said before, every job is changing. Today the expectation from an L & D head is not to put a training programme in place but to come out with a business strategy. So the demand from the L & D head is changing, no one is interested in knowing what kind of business, online training I am doing. If you have a business plan in place or not, that is what concerns them. I am experiencing this change of demand in my profession- from what was the demand in 2007 vs in 2019. If I put this in one word, you need to be agile.

Question:In the learning & development sector, the 10-20-70 model has a role to play, but how relevant is it today's digital age?

Let’s first understand what is the 10-20-70 Model. So there is a certain science in which people learn, there is a certain way in which people learn. So the 10-20-70 model says that when someone acquires a new skill- something that person doesn’t have currently even as a Know How. It answers the most important question- What is the question that I ask myself- I am going to invest in a certain person in his upskilling, what is that thing which he will be able to deliver. What is it that he will be able to implement, so that’s the question that has to be answered, and if you do the reverse engineering- if you do a backward calculation- 10-20-70 Model is the answer. See, as far as the relevance is concerned, learning will never change, actually the science of learning, be it any age.

Question:What role do you foresee of L& D professionals in 10 years from now?

A very common question asked to me. You know, change is something that you have to look on a daily basis. with the invention of digital learning platform, brilliant LMS system, richness of content has improved. if you look at the big players in the market in digital learning space skillsofts of the world, plural-sites of the world, they have done a wonderful job in giving you access to thousands of courses which are updated very frequently, these are very beautifully documented in video formats, interactive classrooms, the author to learner dialogue. So for a good learner, you don't have to look too far. Just get a licence of one of these platforms and your quest for learning can be taken care of. Unfortunately, only one in thousand people learn this way. so here HR as a function plays a role, they motivate people and help them learn. they have to keep the KRAs rightly set, rewards and recognition in place. To work in L& D team in the future, one will require a very strategic mindset, if you are just a soft skill developer or a content creator, it will be difficult for you. you need to be well versed in technology, actually you have to be a complete package!

"It is easier said than done, because you need to ensure that you are fueling your engine. You won’t get to train them on week days, so you need to find innovative ways like blended learning approached giving them remote classes so that they don’t have to travel on the weekend, give them specific courses that is a buildup to the skill set, and most importantly give them an opportunity to work in the new environment.", said Pinank Goradia, AVP, L&D Quality Kiosk while talking to Rana Jyoti, Associate Editor, india Education Forum. Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. By understanding these shifts can help policy makers, business lead