Project Title: Changing Future of “Captives” in India: Implications for Jobs and Skills

Principal Investigators:  Chandrasekhar Sripada,Practice Professor (OB & Strategic Human Capital)

From being mere cost centers till the early 2000s, Indian “captives” (increasingly referred as “global in-house centers” or GICs) are rapidly moving up the value chain by offering more strategic services to their ‘parents’. However, just as the decision makers in the headquarters are getting ready to transfer more value-adding work here, they are faced with severe shortage of high-end and new age skills in India. (e.g.AI, ML , IoT/robotics etc.) . Besides skills, the shifting nature of work is also causing changes to organization design, role of local supervisors and managers, devolution of authority and significant redesign of “job roles”. On the one hand, new jobs are getting created demanding new skill sets and ,on the other some, of the existing jobs are becoming redundant. The implications of these shifts are huge for India’s job market and skills requirements.  In this context, this study aims to study : 1) what are the specific changes int the nature of work shifting to India from the developed economies?, 2) what new jobs- both at independent contributor level and at the management levels- are getting created among India GICs? and 3) what implications all these changes have for India’s job markets and skills development efforts? Employing a comprehensive mixed -methods research strategy, we will in this paper explore the emerging landscape of work, jobs and skills as we find them evolve in India based GICs. We will expand the scope of the research beyond the usual IT and ITES companies and study the developments in manufacturing,BFSI/Fintech and R&D sectors also. On the one hand , this paper is aimed to equip us with a well- researched database for publication in the applied /practice journals such as Sloan Management Review or Human Resource Magazine. On the other, the conclusions of this paper should help Leaders of GICs both at their HQ and India locations to take more informed decisions in talent acquisition and development- as strategic levers for value-adding growth.

Project Title: Raging War for Talent: Implications for Human Capital Strategies in India Inc.

Principal Investigators: Chandrasekhar Sripada, Practice Professor (OB & Strategic Human Capital)

The ‘war for talent’, discussed initially in the book by that title (Ed Micheals et al , 2001), not only continues but has intensified over time in emerging markets such as India. While in the west the fierce competition for talented resources was caused by the departure of ‘baby boomers’ from the workforce , in India the war is intensified due to the irony of too many people seeking jobs but few with relevant skills. A recent UNDP sponsored survey clearly highlights that nearly 50% of the applicants appearing for the interviews either do not meet the skills requirement or only a few possess the required skills to meet only the basic requirement of employers. (India Skills Report 2018,) According to this report, India requires 100 million additional skilled personnel by 2022 and 300 million of the existing workforce requires further skilling. This scenario will be obviously more complicated due to the rise of new technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, robotics etc. India’s growing economy -7.2% projected growth (WESP 2018 )- will continue to create a huge number of jobs across its burgeoning sectors of BFSI, Fintech, Retail, E-commerce Construction, Infrastructure etc. Given all this, the war for talent will only be fiercer each year. This research  aims to find how equipped is India Inc. to fight and win this war. What talent strategies have worked so far and what haven’t. We hypothesize that two specific interventions will help companies win the war for talent in India.1) “Integrated Talent Management” -where various talent actions of hiring , selection, training , job assignment and career development talk to each other – will accelerate ‘internal talent pipelines’ and help companies face the war for talent better.2) A more “inclusive talent  strategy”- where management actions around talent acquisition are significantly debiased and normal talent stereotypes( e.g. pedigree, origins, background etc.) are avoided – will help companies find more talent . As we investigate these two hypotheses through a rigorous methodology of both quantitative and qualitative research  , we hope to uncover talent practices that predict victory in India’s talent war. On the one hand this study will throw up valuable data and equip us to present serious articles for academic publications in practice oriented journals/papers in international conferences in this domain. On the other, our findings will inform corporate decision makers craft more informed talent strategies and help enhance India Inc’s potential to win the war for talent.

Project Title: Beyond “Diversity”: Hiring the Differently Abled as a Business Strategy
Principal Investigators: Jayant Nasa, Doctoral Candidate – Marketing, Prakash Satyavageeswaran-Doctoral Candidate – Marketing, Indian School of Business AND Assistant Professor of Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur , Sundar G. Bharadwaj -The Coca Cola Company Chair Professor of Marketing, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia AND Senior Research Scholar Indian School of Business
In this research proposal, we plan to examine the consumer and business impact of recruiting differently abled employees in firms. Little prior research has examined this important recruitment strategy with implications for firms in specific and society in general. On the one hand, tapping the “blue ocean” of talented but differently abled people could help businesses strategically win the war for talent in today’s competitive landscape. It could be perceived as a socially purposeful action on the part of the firms and could enhance their brand reputation for attracting and retaining talent in general and customers as well. In the global context, firms are increasingly considering the social impact of the business in their decision-making, looking beyond just the traditional financial performance metrics. In an emerging market, such as India, where the differently abled are still not fully integrated into the society, such a recruitment strategy is likely to be particularly impactful. On the other hand, the efficiency impact on the firm operations of hiring differently abled employees is unclear. Moreover, consumer reactions to such employees have not been researched in the past in the emerging markets context.
Against these competing viewpoints, we propose a two-phase research plan to study this issue. In the first phase, we propose to conduct qualitative interviews to get a rich understanding of the perspectives of the different stakeholders (human resources managers, staff of non-profit organizations that work with the differently abled, differently abled employees at firms that already hire them, other employees who work with them, and differently abled people who are unemployed). In the second phase of our research, we will conduct a large-scale survey of employees and customers of firms that recruit differently abled people (versus those that do not), and compare differences in their employee engagement, customer engagement, and firm performance. We will adopt a difference-in-difference approach and examine the financial and operational performance differences between a treatment group (firms employing differently abled employees) and a matched control sample (firms that do not hire differently abled employees).
Our research will provide insights into the decision-making process of firms in employing differently abled people, the impact of such hiring on employee engagement and loyalty of not only the differently abled employees but also of other employees in the firm, the effect on customer engagement, and finally the impact on the operational and financial performance of the firm.

Project Title: An Assessment of India’s GST reform using a macroeconomic framework

Principal Investigators: Parul Mathur, Research Fellow, Indian School of Business, Joydeep Ghosh, Consultant, Institute of Economic Modeling Studies, New Delhi, Aditi Mitra, Analytics Manager, Microsoft, Hyderabad.
The Goods and Services tax (GST) reform came into effect on July 1, 2017 with the vision of creating a single national market by subsuming of the various central and state indirect taxes[1] in India. To estimate the impact of the reform on the Indian economy at the aggregate and sectoral levels, we propose to develop a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for India. General Equilibrium models are commonly used to analyze the impact of tax reforms as they incorporate the direct, indirect and induced effects of such reforms on the economy. We plan to perform this analysis for 11 aggregate sectors. Such analysis entails significant data requirements both at the macro and sectoral levels, including the inter sectoral flows. This model will allow us to study how the relative prices and inter-sectoral allocation of output and labor will change following the GST reform. Given the limitations of this framework the results of this model may not be considered as  forecasts but only as indicative directional changes[2].

[1] Such as Central value added tax (CENVAT), central sales tax, state sales tax and octroi.
[2] Condon et al (1987)

Project Title: Research Proposal-Impact of Insolvency Bankruptcy Code

Principal Investigators:  Bitan Chakraborty, Sanjay Kallapur And Prasanna Tantri

The paper seeks to study the ex-ante effects of insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC, the code henceforth). In the first part, we ask whether and how the code impacted firm behaviour in terms of governance in general and loan repayment and tunnelling behaviour in particular. In the second part, we examine the impact on ex-ante credit market efficiency by examining the impact of code on loan terms and credit rationing. For identification, we exploit the fact that the code empowered unsecured creditors disproportionately more than secured creditors. Accordingly, we consider the firms having higher proportion of unsecured credit as the “treated sample” and those with lower proportion of unsecured credit as the “control sample” and employ a difference-in-difference framework to test our hypothesis.
Project Title: Robots or Offshore? A Country-Level Analysis of the Use of Robotics and Offshoring on Domestic Employment

Principal Investigators:  Snehal Awate & Amit J. Chauradia

This is a continuation of a previously funded EY project titled, “Does Automation Help or Hurt Workers? A Country-Level Analysis of the Use of Robotics on Employment.” In this past project, we found a trend that automation is associated with low levels of unemployment worldwide. We also found that the negative impact of robotics is greater in emerging markets vis-à-vis developed markets, and that the susceptibility of employment to automation varies across industries. Our current proposal builds off of our past findings and leads us to  more interesting, fundamental research questions like, “Why robots?” and “How does the movement of jobs across borders change with growing use of robots as opposed to offshoring?”

Project Title: Infrastructure Development, Land Acquisition and Property Rights

Principal Investigators:  Ashwini Chhatre, Meenakshi SinhaShamil Khedgikar

Using the CapExdx dataset developed and maintained by Center for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE), we seek to examine the extent of financial costs incurred in linear infrastructure projects due to delays and/or stalling of the land acquisition process. We further propose to investigate if alterations in property rights can lead to efficient outcomes for resolution of land conflicts. The study relies on a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Quantitative method would involve the use of machine learning to identify conditions and circumstances across multiples projects that enable conflict free acquisition of land. Based on insights gained from the quantitative model, we intend to proceed with selected case studies to further delve into the procedural mechanisms that underlie the acquisition of land across projects and forms of ownership. We expect this study will theoretically and empirically advance our understanding of four main themes of research: studies of land acquisition and conflict, property rights and natural resource management in developing countries, decentralization and governance of common lands, and the effectiveness of machine learning in analyzing issues of land governance and infrastructure development.    

Project Title: Demonetisation and Tax Aggression

Principal Investigators:  Shashwat Alok, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Avantika Pal

This study aims to examine the propensity to substitute between different sources of tax aggressiveness, i.e. any attempt to decrease tax obligations (legal action or actions that fall into a grey area) amongst firms in India. We intend to use the surprise announcement of Demonetisation (November 08, 2016), as an exogenous shock to tax enforcement for our identification strategy. In the absence of strong tax enforcement, firms may engage in illegal means of evading taxes. However, with the onset of a stronger tax enforcement regime, as the cost of tax evasion goes up, firms may find it optimal to move towards legal ways of reducing their tax outflow. For instance, firms with excess debt capacity may take on more debt on their balance shield so as to reduce their tax outflow or may exploit tax deductions masked in related party transactions. Specifically, among other things, we aim to shed light on a) the extent to which firms are able to move towards legal means of avoiding tax and b) what are the various ways (such as related party transactions, discretionary accruals, debt etc) in which firms do so.

Project Title: Banking the Unbanked: What do 255 Million New Bank Accounts Reveal about Financial Access

Principal Investigators: Shashwat Alok, Sumit Agarwal, Pulak Ghosh, Tomasz Piskorsk & Amit Seru

In this ongoing study, we use the largest financial inclusion program in the world to study the role of financial inclusion on the unbanked and the real economy. There is a big debate about the role of financial markets and products in shaping consumer welfare and real economic activity. In developed economies, such as the U.S., there is an increasing discussion that financial sector may have become inefficiently large and products offered to households may have become excessively complex. In contrast, in many developing countries, there has been a significant push to increase the usage of financial products – to “complete” the market (?). While there are several studies that evaluate the real effects of access to finance for firms, lack of data has meant there is limited evidence on how access to formal financial products impacts households (?). This paper takes a step in this direction by using micro and regional data to evaluate household usage of banking services and lending patterns around the largest financial inclusion program in the world. Our paper studies the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (“JDY”) launched in India on August 28, 2014. JDY was the world’s largest financial inclusion program, with the aim to provide access to banking services for all unbanked households in India. It provided convenient access to saving accounts through a debit card and mobile banking. Our study has two modest objectives. First, we document the initial uptake (extensive margin) and subsequent usage (intensive margin) of banking services – that includes a savings account, overdraft facilities, and insurance benefits – by the unbanked targeted by the program. We compare the usage patterns of banking services of households who got access to banking under JDY with similar households who already had access to banking services before the program. Second, we exploit the regional variation in ex-ante financial access to explore how expanding access to financial services is related to broader outcomes such as GDP growth, lending, consumption expenditure, retail commodity prices and house prices. Our analysis here compares relative changes in economic outcomes in regions with greater exposure to financial access to those with lower exposure around program implementation. Financial inclusion programs can directly benefit the lower income households at the micro level through savings, spending, and reduction in transaction costs. First, access to a bank account allows consumers to earn interest on their savings and provides incentives to save more. Second, savings in the bank account could help circumvent behavioral biases that would otherwise have caused them to spend this money (?, ?). Finally, allowing access to a bank account reduces transaction costs of transferring money to family for subsistence and saving needs. These benefits to households notwithstanding, banks may not supply this service to such households – in absence of a financial inclusion initiative like JDY – for profitability reasons. Financial inclusion can also have broader regional implications through at least two channels. First, such a program could allow new capital to come into the formal banking 1 system by means of new deposits, relaxing the capital constraints. This would allow banks to increase lending to their clients. Second, information asymmetry between new customers 
and lenders or other costs in acquiring new customers may imply that a program like JDY may allow banks to meet the unmet demand for credit for some households. To the extent that this increase in credit is large, one would see such programs stimulating local economic growth through increased consumption, investments, and employment. Finally, we want to use JDY as a setting to understand the role played by digital disruption through mobile banking in expanding financial access and consequent usage of banking services by the poor. In particular, a physical branch would be costly to set up and may not be economically viable for rural areas. At the same time, lack of appropriate rural road infrastructure coupled with large distance to a physical branch may impose unnecessary transaction costs on access to financial services (?). Mobile banking thus seems appropriately suited to spur financial access in such regions. Empirically, we plan to use regional variation in mobile coverage and availability of local bank branches, to examine the role of mobile technology in financial inclusion. Further, we seek to understand whether increasing familiarity with mobile based financial services enables the poor to gain access to credit via non-intermediated channels such as peer-to-peer lending platforms.

Project Title: Identifying enablers and barriers for healthcare organizations to deliver equitable healthcare in a profitable and self-sustainable manner

Principal Investigators: D.V.R. Seshadri, R.D. Thulasiraj & Devendra Tayade

In the realm of eyecare, India has shown the world that it is possible to deliver world-class care in an equitable manner, cutting across the entire income spectrum, through unique home-grown business models. Examples include Aravind Eye Care Systems that is based in Madurai; L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad; Dr. Shroff Charity Eye Hospital, Delhi; and a few others. Much has been written about them, and these case studies are commonly used in business schools across the world.
For a society to be stable, the population must be assured of three fundamental needs, viz., livelihood, healthcare and education ("Our Common Future" 1987). Woefully, these are a far cry for large percentage of populations across India. The corporate hospitals have business models that do not enable access by the poor and puts enormous pressure on the middle class. Hence these are out of reach for a major portion of the  country’s population (Barik and Thorat 2015).
At the other end of the spectrum, the quality of healthcare - affordable by the poor is often so bad that they refrain from accessing them (Kruk et al., 2018). The only way for the poor to get access to decent healthcare is to borrow or sell off their meagre assets to gain access to reasonable quality of healthcare, often putting them into –inescapable debt trap.
Clearly, a person in any economic strata may be affected by a myriad of health issues including cardiac, neuro, oncology, orthopaedic, dental, ENT, obstetrics, etc. and for women obstetrics & gynaecology. To address these healthcare problems, the patient has little choice between the two options, viz., unaffordable corporate hospitals or uncaring hospitals that serve the poor. The focus of the present research is to study the reasons why equitable healthcare models have not gone beyond the realm of eyecare. Even within eyecare, why is it that only a handful of exemplars have been able to formulate and implement equitable eyecare models. It is expected that the research will provide clarity on what the country as a whole as well as individual healthcare providers spanning a variety of healthcare conditions need to do to provide equitable healthcare.