Interview with Atul Bhatnagar, COO, NSDC
In an interaction with Franchise India, Atul Bhatnagar, talks about the skill enhancement and the trends in restaurant industry.
Tell us something about your job profile and responsibility?
NSDC is public-private partnership which aims at skilling150 million people by 2022. So we catalyse, we fund training partners from anywhere in India across 20 growth sectors. Our target for this year is 1 million people and the target is going up manifold in the next two years. We give equity, grants and loans at very concessional rates for people who want to start skilling programmes. Mandate being that at least 50,000 are trained by in the next 10 years with 70 percent being provided with employment
Do you also encourage people to turn restaurateur?
Travel, Tourism and Hospitality are growth sectors from NSDC’s point of view. So it is not just the restaurants but all contributors to these sectors will be encouraged to start business ventures.
What trends are you seeing as regards restaurant industry?
We want to achieve standardisation in terms of skill levels. So in order for India to produce people who are not only eligible for a job within India but abroad too, we have now embarked on an initiative where people – no matter which part or which job in the hospitality industry – get skilled and are assessed and certified. So once they are skilled properly, there is a chance that they will get higher wages and benefits because they are being more productive from day one. They will have skills which can be easily transferable to other parts of the world.
What are the challenges that you are facing?
Challenge is we don’t want to compete with education. Education is necessary; however, we find that education in India does not provide any specific skills. So more than 75 percent of our graduates are unemployable because they don’t have specific skills. The parental mindset is still focussed on graduation or degrees whereas we want to provide respect and career building opportunities through skilling programmes. A very large number of students do not get the necessary grades and can’t go to reputed colleges because of high cut offs. For the students who are 8-12th pass, we provide an alternate career option by which they can pick a skill based on aptitude and improve on those skills to get a job or start their own business.
The positive part is that the demand for skills for a job role comes from within the industry with all the relevant representation from within the hospitality sector. They get together to form a Sector Skill Council (SSC) and they define the job roles– right from the hotel boy to the person who is managing the front office to the chefs. The SSC identifies the job roles which cover 80 percent of that sector and for those they define National Occupational Standards (NOS). The national occupational standards are the building blocks on the basis of which the curriculum is designed for a training course. Obviously we are trying to meet industry requirement by providing skills to nearly 80 percent of the workforce in a particular sector based on the skill gaps.