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Next phase of ‘India Growth Story’ needs spotlight on employees: HUL’S Paranjpe

Addressing shareholders at the Company's 91st Annual General Meeting, Nitin Paranjpe, Chairman, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), said that India’s young and growing working age population could prove to be the country’s greatest asset in its future growth journey

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Nitin Paranjpe

Nitin Paranjpe

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New Delhi:  The next phase of the ‘India growth story’ needs to be employment-led. Addressing shareholders at the Company's 91st Annual General Meeting, Nitin Paranjpe, Chairman, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), said that India’s young and growing working age population could prove to be the country’s greatest asset in its future growth journey.  

In his speech titled, ‘Developing Human Capital for a Growing India’, Paranjpe who had formerly been the Chief Transformation and People Officer for Unilever, globally, said that as a nation,sectors with higher job elasticity need to be incentivised and cited the services sector as well as MSME’s as engines for creating jobs in the future. 

Share of employment generated by MSMEs in most developed nations is over 60% while in India, it is about 45%. 

Focus areas

Paranjpe took an ‘other side of the desk’ view and emphasised the need to ensure that the country’s working age population is employable. He called out four areas of focus: building strong foundational education, providing access to vocational training, continued efforts on re-skilling and upskilling as well as retaining talent in the economy.

Paranjpe highlighted the need to strengthen primary education across the country and mentioned, “Technology can play an important role in educating and skilling those who missed the symbolic ‘school’ bus.” He moved on to talk about the importance of a ‘mindset shift’ towards vocational training that will help in ensuring livelihoods for all, and lifting the economy.

Re-skilling and upskilling

Paranjpe also stressed on the need to re-skill and upskill the nation’s existing workforce. Pointing out the nation’s ‘brain drain’ phenomena, he highlighted the need to make India the ‘country of choice’ for highly skilled talent. He said that the talent returning back to India will ‘enrich and diversify the talent pool, leading to greater innovation and effectiveness across various sectors.’

The Multiplier Effect: How government and corporates can collaborate

Paranjpe urged India Inc to join hands with the government in order to make a significant impact that is required to achieve India’s growth ambition. 

He concluded his speech by reiterating the importance of human development in a nation’s journey and said, ‘We have to ensure that we not only progress economically, but also on social indices. We have to, together, build an India that we can all be proud of. And we have to do it now.”

Nitin Paranjpe Hindustan Unilever HUL
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