Firms setting up academies


It surely must be one of the greatest ironies facing the country. A nation of over a billion cannot find enough people to run its businesses now bursting at the seams with growth. The issue is not one of employment. It is one of un-employability.

Which is why, in Mumbai, accounting firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) is chasing graduates to join its tax academy. The academy promises to train them as tax associates and offers jobs to successful students. In Chennai, India’s largest software company TCS will soon launch its own academy to train 2,000 science graduates. They will be absorbed into the company later this year. Fresh graduates will earn a stipend during the training period.

Infosys’ new $300 million campus in Mysore can lodge 13,500 trainees at a time – the largest facility of its kind anywhere in the country. ICICI Bank has tied up with Delhi University to offer a certificate course in banking and insurance. It is also partnership with a few associates to set up an institute of Banking & Finance. In three years, 25,000 people are expected to pass out of the institute.

Retail giant Pantaloon has seeded MBA programs in seven business schools. Graduates passing out of these courses are being absorbed by the company. It has also started a three year BBA program with a focus on retail in association with a reputed University in South India. Consulting firm Accenture has tied up with XLRI in Jamshedpur to launch the XLRI-Accenture HR Academy to train people for the booming BPO business.

India’s marquee companies are either setting up in-house training institutes to meet their growing demand for talent or tying up with universities to create courses that will meet their requirements.

Unlike the common, short duration on-the-job training modules, these new institutes are conducting structured courses ranging from five months to a year to train science and commerce graduates. In most cases, after the completion of the programs, the trainees are absorbed as employees by the companies

Institutes ensure steady talent supply

Top companies are turning training institutes. They set up the institute to ensure a steady supply of talent to keep up with the fast growth of their business.

E&Y set up its academy in August 2006, after finding chartered accountants in short supply to man its rapidly growing tax audit business. Earlier, only candidates who articled with the company and passed the chartered accountancy exam would be absorbed by the firm. Now, it is training graduates in the academy and employing them as associates even if they are not qualified chartered accountants. There is a growing demand for tax professionals, but a small supply of freshly qualified CAs every year.