Tiffin Talk: A Sustainable Business Model for Australian TAFEs to Collaborate with India’s VET Sector by Mr Prasenjit Kundu.

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18 October 2012 12:45 pm

By 2020, India will add 100 million people to its workforce and is projected to have 25% of the global workforce with an average age of 29. To avoid the expected demographic dividend turning into demographic nightmare, the new workforce must be adequately skilled and they need to find employment opportunities as they enter the labour force. Out of the current employed workforce in India, only 12% are skilled. India is in immediate need of domain VET partners in modern construction and manufacturing skills and to inculcate benchmark service industry practices. So far it’s the education & skill sector from the UK and Germany which has taken the lead to engage with the Indian Vocational Education sector. 

Australia with its proven and high quality TAFEs can play a pivotal role in engaging with the Indian VET sector and make their long term presence in this burgeoning market. However, it’s fraught with many challenges and in urgent need for a win-win business model for this to take root.  This discussion looks at the critical challenges for a deeper collaboration beyond the current exploratory and government-driven initiatives. The primary concern emanates from Australian TAFE players’ comfort with low volume and premium training model vs. India’s need for large volume trainees at lower cost.

The target is to reach an effective and lean engagement model without compromising quality. The author argues that this is imminently doable. He presents a model which deploys ‘frugal innovation’ mindset to re-engineer each of the interfaces and build up a low transaction-cost ecosystem. The Indian entrepreneurial training providers are an integral part of the delivery chain.  The resultant sustainable and India specific business model, however, is a long term play. 

Prasenjit Kundu is an Emerging Leaders Fellow at the Australia India Institute and an alumnus from two premier Institutes in India, IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta .

Prasenjit's deep passion is towards building and nurturing human resources, competency building and skill development. He has been a strong proponent for industry and academia linkages. As Charter member of TiE, he has been nurturing and mentoring entrepreneurs.    

As head of a partner company of NSDC India , he currently leads efforts towards employability enhancement of youths.