"If your organisation is in the business of climbing trees, you need to hire squirrel, not a horse"
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February 2013

“If your organisation is in the business of climbing trees, you need to hire squirrel, not a horse”

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“If your organisation is in the business of climbing trees, you need to hire squirrel, not a horse”

Binoj vasu, GEVP and Chief Learning Officer, Human Capital Management, YES Bank Ltd

I am sure most people in the industry as well as academia are aware of this reality, but unfortunately, there is still a majority of institutions that are trying to produce the skill sets of a horse and then trying to place them in industries that are looking for squirrels.
In other words, there still exists a wide gap between what the industry needs and what the academia produces, and while both the industry and academia suffer because of this gap, unfortunately the ones that are most affected are the students themselves.
After spending the best part of their lives trying to secure seats in the best academic institutions, students would be rightfully hoping that the academic guidance from their institution would help them land their dream jobs, and give them the skills to build a brilliant career. Reality, unfortunately, is far from this ideal scenario for most campus job aspirants.
However, good the educational qualification and highly reputed the institute is, these factors will only help students get their first entry level job. What matters even more is what happens after you get the job. Do institutions help students get the necessary awareness, skill sets and the aptitude to embrace success in the corporate world? Educational institutes are incubation centres where the leaders of tomorrow’s corporate world are being nurtured. But the big question that academia needs to ask themselves is: are we delivering what our customers (the corporate world) need? Academia needs to work extremely closely with industries to ensure that not only students get the right amount of knowledge, but they  also get the other critical aspects that will complement their knowledge and help them succeed in their roles.

“We want our executives to nurture an innovative spirit, take calculated risks, assess and forecast strategic business actions”

Corporates on their part (especially new age Corporates) are more than willing to invest time and energy to help bridge this gap. For example, as an aggressively growing young organisation we at YES Bank have strategically identified right at the onset that the real game changer for us will be our ‘People’. The executives that we are looking for in our campus recruitment programme are not just the ones who have the ability to read, write and compute but people who can develop new skills quickly, communicate effectively and interact cooperatively with others.
In keeping with the organisational ethos, we want our executives to nurture an innovative spirit, take calculated risks, assess and forecast strategic business actions, adapt to the ever dynamic business environment, take ownership of their roles and responsibilities and walk the extra mile when it matters. These are the skills that can spring out only from an entrepreneurial mindset.
At YES Bank, we consciously decided to take the bull by its horns by instilling this essence through our initiatives directly on the campuses that we partner with, namely YES-USRM (YES University and School Relations Management) programme.
Bottom line, there is enough opportunity for both academia and industry to help bridge this gap if they work in unison. The fact is that there is indeed a critical and wide bridge that lies between the skills learnt on campus and the realities of the corporate world. This bridge needs to be crossed smoothly and effectively and the crossing has to start when the student is on campus itself.

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