Genpact's Bhasin and DLF's Pia Singh join hands for skills biz

Category: Vocational Training,  News Source: Business Standard,  Updated-On: Jul 10 2012

Kolkata: Two big names of India Inc, one from Genpact Ltd, the country’s largest business process outsourcing firm, and the other from DLF Ltd, India’s largest real estate developer, have joined hands to enter the skill development business.

Pramod Bhasin, non-executive vice-chairman and former president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Genpact, and Pia Singh, daughter of DLF promoter K P Singh, have set up a skill development company, Skills Academy, in their personal capacity, to enter the business.

“It is still early stages for our venture. We have just set up a company and recruited one or two employees. The skills sector has huge potential in our country and there are sectors like construction and retail which need proper skill development,” Bhasin said.

The financial aspects, including the investment part and shareholding, are yet to be worked out, he added. Pia Singh, too, confirmed the development, but refused to divulge further details. She has been a whole-time director of DLF since 2003.

Anju Talwar, who is currently working as senior vice-president at the Gurgaon-based Genpact, will join the new company as its CEO. According to sources, the duo are already in touch with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a public-private partnership firm under the Union Ministry of Finance, to work closely in the sector.

Added Bhasin: “These things are yet to be worked out, but we would be interested to work in association with NSDC. We will decide on whether it (the business model) would be a school or not, and in which part of the country it would be (based) in later stages,” he added. He said the name of the company may be changed in the later stages.

The entry of Bhasin and Pia Singh into the sector would add to the list of big league institutions that are already part of the industry, with whom NSDC has formed joint ventures.

According to a study by Kotak Institutional Equities Research, the size of the Indian skills-training sector is expected to be $20 billion by 2022, which the major players are trying to cash in on. Recently, major players like the Future Group, NIIT, IL&FS, Globsyn Business School and the Apollo group had ventured into the skills sector. The NSDC board has till now approved equity infusion in eight entities.

While NSDC has a 27 per cent stake each in Future Sharp Skills, Centum WorkSkills India, a Bharti associate company, IL&FS Skills Development Corp, Apollo Med Skills and Globsyn Skills Development, it has a 10 per cent stake in NIIT Yuva Jyoti and a six per cent stake in Talent Sprint.

When asked about whether they are looking for a similar tie-up with Skills Academy, an NSDC spokesperson said: “We would be happy to work with any organisation keen on sustainable skill development.”

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