What India Can learn from South East Asia
Management Next Stay Inspired, June, 2013

BANGALORE: Memories of the big financial crisis that raved South-East Asian Countries in late 1900s and early 20000 are still fresh. The speed with which they recovered is largely due to pro-active government policies. India prides itself for staying out of trouble due to conservative financial and banking policies. But India is lagging behind these economies in far sighted labour policies and implementation. My HR consulting takes me to several capitals of South east Countries where I find India has lot to learn and unlearn.

Genuine Government support, Flexibility to adopt changes and innovate wherer required and common features I get to hear from people I meet. Most of these countries work with the global workforce in close proximity. This has given their workforce a wide range of skills and experiences which ensure that they value add quickly to the emerging sectors, understand regional and international markets. So the complementary workforce of locals and foreigners is one of the key winning attributes.

South East Asia is a mix of developing and less developed economies, small and large countries and people of distinct nationalities. The Organisations and the workforce here are more agile: more sharply focused on customers, and are better able to mobilize during trying times.

A common Feature among most of these countries is that they believe in execution and adhere to discipline. There is little or no bureaucracy, a lot of transparency which make it easier to bolster speed and quality.

Constant communication at all levels-government to employers of their policies, values, process excellence, importance of productivity and vision ensures that the workforce don’t treat these as an afterthought but adhere to norms. Here, a rule is a rule and non-adherence is not tolerated. Employers ensure that there is a robust connection between policies and business performance and communicate constantly to ensure everyone falls in line.

Features of South East Asian work force Market.

Highly capable work force that can adapt to constant internal and global upheavals.

Far sighted leadership that can constantly innovate and manage change.

Consumer insight driven.

Experience in handling increasing business complexity during economic turbulence.

A truly engaged workforce that can build and encourage conducive platforms for collaboration between ethnic groups within South East Asia and the global talent.

Passionate workforce who take pride in what they do irrespective of the level

Clearly, there is no overnight fix to identify what India can learn from these countries. The development and sustenance of some of these learning can never be achieved in a short term but it is a journey to learn and imbibe the good things from their culture. What works very well in one region cannot work well for another region. But this does not mean that we cannot borrow the best from these cultures and build our capabilities and business performance.

“says Nirupama V.G., MD, Ad Astra Consultants, a leading international HR consulting Firm, on a few things India can learn from its South East Asian Neighbors.

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