Asia's new model of growth will require a new leadership style, believes Indranil Roy, Managing Director (Leadership and Talent Consulting) for Asia Pacific at Korn/Ferry International, the world's largest executive search firm. On a recent visit to India, Roy spoke to BT'S Saumya Bhattacharya. Edited excerpts:
Asia's new growth model will be characterised by three shifts.
The first will be in the consumer arena: from serving the western consumer with goods and services produced in Asia to understanding the emerging Asian consumer and serving local needs. The second will be in innovation. From building production capacity and delivering cost efficiencies to western brands and consumers to creating new products, services and brands for the emerging consumer. And the third will be the workforce shift, from the earlier ability to hire and retain a productive workforce skilled to deliver to specifications to the ability to hire, engage and nurture a creative talent pool skilled to deliver new ideas and solutions.
By 2025, 60 per cent of the middle class spending is likely to come from Asia. India and China are the biggest consumer markets.
So, for companies that are producing goods and services for the consumer, 60 per cent of their sales will be generated in Asia. The companies need to understand how to succeed in this environment. They need to be able to rethink their product positioning and to innovate closer to the customer. This new model of growth will require a new set of leadership style.
The earlier phase of growth needed executors.
So leaders adept at strategy and planning were in demand. The new styles of leadership will require energisers or social leadership with the ability to understand diversity, and integrators or leaders who can put teams together. In Asia, the place where you are most likely to find this talent is India. Even in India, though, if we look at senior talent pool, the immediate readiness is eight per cent. For China it is one per cent. That is Asia's leadership challenge.