As dynamic Indian companies are rapidly increasing their footprint globally, 89% of organisations in India are expected to increase the time. The report, Learning & Development (L&D) at Workplace: Changing Paradigms, Emerging Trends - prepared jointly by 24x7 Learning and Grant Thornton, in association with IIM-Kozhikode said that the effort companies spend on Learning & Development (L&D) of their critical workforces to enable them to adapt to the global work environment.
The study has been based on the survey of top 150 corporates and presents a detailed analysis of the Learning and Development industry in India with an emphasis on the corporate training market and the L&D practices being followed in these organisations. In absence of a report thus far on the topic, corporates have been resorting to taking decision based on gut-feel or individual experiences. This survey based report should help them make informed decisions on the subject.
The report said that while India is poised to become the 3rd largest economy globally by 2028, one of the key challenges in maintaining the growth momentum of the economy is how to accelerate L&D in an increasingly competitive business environment.
As there is a dearth of talented professionals especially in the frontline positions, this challenge emerges as an opportunity for Indian L&D industry which is estimated to triple through 2014 due to a growing demand for experienced professionals, said the report. However it said that challenges like multiple languages, generation and technological gap and lack of skilled trainers may hamper the growth of this market.
"India has always been an important market for L&D industry as it's a knowledge driven economy and most of the organisations are facing talent crunch. However, L&D strategies need to be put in place to plug the skills gap of the workforces so that Indian businesses can also make their mark across the globe. Though Indian companies are still dependent on the traditional training methods, this represents an opportunity to increase the share of e-learning by delivering more relevant and directed content to the companies," said Rahul Kapur, Executive Director, Grant Thornton India LLP.
The study reveals that while 84% organisations believe that e-learning is an efficient and cost effective tool for organisational learning, only 27% are using it as a Learning & Development tool presently. The size of the Indian e-learning market which was estimated to be $276 million in 2008 grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.9% to reach US$ 578 million between 2008 and 2013.
According to the report, the e-learning market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.4% over the period FY 2013 - FY 2018 driven by factors such as increasing government initiatives, adoption of technology, shortage of quality education, convenience and cost factors.
Apart from e-learning, the L&D market is also witnessing growth in segments like on job training, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), mobile learning (m-learning) and social learning. Mobile learning initiatives are gaining significance, particularly in industries such as pharmaceuticals and retail as organisations pursue advantages ranging from reduced costs to increased agility.
The report also suggests that Learning Management System (LMS) is being extensively used by corporates to deliver online training and for automatic record keeping and employee registration for trainings. SaaS/ Cloud model could dominate the e-LMS market driven by the growing technological advancements, independence from internal IT departments and possibility of rapid innovation and flexibility.
The report also highlights that there will be more leadership programs due to globalisation and it will also play a critical role in improving employee retention and engagement. This is supported by the survey which shows that an overwhelming 95% of the respondents view Management Development Programs as an effective tool to groom the high calibre candidates and position them along the leadership pipeline.
The survey points out that in most of the organisations (54%) higher education program was part of the employee benefit schemes which serves as a motivation to employees to pursue higher studies. When further probed on the preferred higher education courses, most of the companies preferred executive/ distance learning programs as the employees can remain engaged with the company, while also developing themselves professionally through management programs in due course of time.