Manish Chowdhary, Founder, Skilling India

Manish Chowdhary, an alumnus of IIT Delhi & IIM Bangalore has multiple experiences across high growth enterprises in corporate development and management, In the last 3+ years as CEO, Manish has created a new scalable business and taken it to 1200+ partners across 550+ locations. He takes care oversees & day-to-day administrative, financial, and operational functions of a business.

 

Education and Development, one of the most important phases of growing up in a child’s life is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits in a systematic manner, mostly in an institution. The process over the years has evolved from the gurukul system to universities, thus adjusting to the demand of the current evolution of economy, pace of life and requirement of the society. However, with the progress to the 21st century, we have left behind a lot of age-old practices and societal support systems that used to teach life-skills naturally to children. Life skills, recognized as those essential skills that bring together the social, emotional, and cognitive capacities of a person to solve problems and achieve goals, today need to be taught in a structured manner.

The life skill training needs to go hand-in-hand with the education system for the students to imbibe the training, flourish and face the challenges of life. The list of beneficial lifelong learning skills one can have is broad and diverse, and it pays to develop them continuously. The New Education Policy also recognized the essence of this broad learning, and created the groundwork for students to get skilled in areas beyond the program they are enrolled for. However, it will take years for a complete rollout. The need for skills like managing stress, developing positivity, hope and optimism, is felt much more in current scenario as people are trying to face the COVID situations, and rise beyond the trauma.

The essential life skills play a critical role in a student’s success in school, college and life beyond. The procurement of these skills is a much more likely indicator of future success than the conventional measure like taking a test and assigning homework. Teachers sometimes describe these skills as “learning to learn” skills, which can be developed through intentional, regular activities. Given a sharp rise of start-up ecosystem in recent years in India and VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) environment, the importance of “survival & growth skills” like flexibility & adaptability, positive mindset, problem-solving & decision making, effective communication, ownership & accountability, continuous learning & upskilling, have become far more critical than before.

A start-up or for that matter any organization is looking not only for a skill for a specific job in a well-trained resource, but for overall quality of ownership, understanding and delivery commitments. To attain this level of maturity, students not only need to be trained in multiple domain skills for basic employability, but more importantly, they require to develop a strong sense of purpose, awareness of the market and its trends, and a sound training in organizational, career and personal success skills to grow in their career to realize their true potential.

With the second wave of pandemic raging across the country, India’s dream of becoming a five-trillion-dollar economy may have been postponed but the dream of millions of people to get ahead of the lockdown and unemployment landscape will certainly rejuvenate the country, the moment the current fight against the virus is over. And like everything the global lockdown has impacted the skills ecosystem, resulting in an imbalance in the skills landscape. There is a dire need to skill, up skill and multi-skill a huge workforce to enhance employability. Thus, the need of the hour is to tap into technology to leap-frog the youth of today into employability and career success. Life skills enhance the capacity and capability of the youth to grasp the opportunity.

The five-pronged life-skills that tops the list that need to be imparted on immediate basis, given the current skill, economic and social situation can loosely be categorized under the following heads:

  • Decision Making Skills—for personal and professional life
  • Communication—Clear & Loud
  • Focus & Self Control—Too many demand and Prioritisation of Work
  • Resilience & Positive Thinking—Keep ahead of the pandemic doldrums
  • Problem Solving—Thinking of the Best Solutions
  • Critical Thinking—Don’t lose mind over critical situations
  • Self Defense– from both physical and mental trauma

Analysis of Post Covid work and employment scenario by McKinsey study “The Future of Work after COVID19”, shows that work from home and adoption of  remote solutions is going to continue even when the pandemic tames down and people will need to increasingly get adapted with AI, automation, online jobs. The switch over is easier said than done, especially with India’s population and challenge on e-education. Life Skills will help to bridge the Digital Gap and speed up the process of making the gap narrower.

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