What does India need more: Multi-taskers or skilled domain specialists?


Technological convergence has brought the world together and made it a close knit unit. Most of the traditional ways of doing business and work has metamorphosed into tech-centric ways, thanks to the cost-effectiveness and computing power of the internet and new-age mobile devices.

However, the organizations which have technology as its DNA require a lot of skilled manpower. Technology, though, seems to be winning the race against skilled manpower as most of the graduates churned out by India are lagging far behind in pedigree compared to their predecessors. Moreover, a huge number of technology graduates are moving into acquiring managerial degrees and moving into management positions; and in the process, they do not put their technology expertise and allied knowledge to much use. 

There have been a lot of recent articles in the media claiming that Indian MBA graduates (except from top B-schools which constitute a small percentage of the total) are not equipped to handle managerial roles.  The personnel managers of organizations vouch for the fact claiming that they are not finding many candidates with the required domain expertise to be employed in important projects.

If we look at this from the organizational perspective, they have lot of functions including technology, finance, marketing, sales, legal, personnel and so on. Each of these areas call for domain specialists who can ensure seamless functioning of the aforementioned departments and achieve the desired results. Cognition of the highest order among these functions is the essence of great organizations.

A domain specialist is trained for years in a particular area or domain and has great command over the said area. A multi-tasking manager may be good at delivering results within desired timelines, albeit resource constraints, but he is only as good as the specialist team he has.

At this point in time, with so many reams of newsprint highlighting the importance of producing better quality graduates, it is time for India to create domain specialists according to the functions and requirements of the organizations. A team of domain experts will have people with leadership aptitude and attitude. Their leadership qualities can be honed to make them effective managers and mentors.

Today, India needs many more domain specialists to grow and compete with the best organizations in the world. It is time for our nation to take a practical approach to education and create curriculum’s which provide immense scope for knowledge training and focused practical sessions to enhance domain expertise of the graduates it unleashes into the corporate world. India’s growth depends largely on the timely and immaculate execution of the key projects its companies undertake. To fuel and sustain this growth and ensure that the world relies on us as trusted partners, it is imperative for us, at this stage, to concentrate on creating a pool of domain specialists than develop multi-tasking managers.