Developing India’s Human Capital Through Sports

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By Anirban R Banerjee

Just a large population of humans is of no value if it does not have quality. Quality of our population is the key to growth

India has a great opportunity to emerge as one of the major global economic power fulfilling the aspiration of millions. India has close to 18% of world’s population with the median age of 27.0 years.

India’s Business is currently faced with a deficit of social skills among its youth population. This can have serious implications on business and national economy. According to a HBR-Ascend survey-‘Skills and Challenges faced by Millennials Today’, when it comes to soft skills, Indians fail miserably in the survey. Less than 5% of the youth say they have the persuasion skills needed to be successful at the workplace. Prime Minister Modi’s has great hope from Indian youth, the survey highlights the challenges in the path. Our teenagers and millennials who are our future leaders, need help. This social skill deficit is also endemic across our workforce as pointed by the Gallup survey and impacting our Business.

We need to address the issue with a new Human Resource Development paradigm to transform India’s Human Capital across Business and Academic institutions.  Research in the field of behavioural science has time and again pointed out that Sports not only creates a healthier population, it also plays a vital role in building social and emotional skills. It enables people to bond and build a collaborative environment. Sports enable people to bond and work together. Social skills and Emotional Intelligence help people in collaborating and leading, making it as one of the most powerful leadership tool. Sports help people applying thinking and analytical ability under stress. A sport is all about an active body and calm mind essential for success in any field. It enables people to bond and respect diversity – a critical component in building the new India. A country that plays together grows together.

CEO’s needs to encourage their team to take part in sports  It can help us learn a lot about Discipline, Consistency, Perseverance, Quality and Innovation, Sports enables us to be better leaders, cope with failure and be happy and healthy. A happy and healthy organization is more productive.

Our youth in schools, colleges and universities must be encouraged to take part in sports. Our current education system is too bookish-knowledge oriented and stuck to the old school notion. We are yet to realize and utilize the power of sports for developing our next generation leaders. Sports can be a great leveller as it has the ability to unite diverse people. Sports can play a vital role in National Integration.

Israel and Singapore have been able to build great economy by building people capability through a people development approach based on developing both mind and body and addressing the issue of mediocrity through building synergy of ability, attitude and passion. Talent alone is not enough; we need to have attitude and passion among our youth. It will help our start-up leaders look at failure as a teacher and part of our growth journey instead of regarding it as irreversible. Sports can help inculcate discipline and work ethics across Business and Academics. Sports can help us transform the mind of our future leaders, enabling the emergence of India as a world economic power. Sports, with little resource, can make country’s  Human Resource more resourceful.

Just a large population of humans is of no value if it does not have quality. Quality of our population is the key to growth.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Source: BW Businessworld

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