Seamless in Conversation: A Beacon for Higher Education and Skill Development in India

With Kapil Dua – Seamless Chief Executive Officer and Michael Green – Seamless  Executive Director for Seamless in North America

In a recent conversation, Kapil Dua, CEO of Seamless, and Michael Green, Executive Director for Seamless in North America, delved into various aspects of India’s higher education sector and the challenges and opportunities it presents. Here’s a summary of their insightful discussion:

Introduction to GIFT City

The conversation began with a discussion of GIFT City, an international financial centre set up by the Indian government with the goal of attracting foreign organisations. The objective is to provide foreign organisations with easy access to India while ensuring compliance with Indian laws and regulations. While GIFT City is currently focused on the financial services sector, it offers potential opportunities for higher education and skill development in collaboration with foreign institutions.

India’s National Education Policy (NEP)

The conversation highlighted the significance of India’s National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020, which aims to promote collaboration between Indian and foreign institutions to provide education and skill development opportunities for Indian students. As companies and organisations set up in GIFT City, there is a growing need for skilled talent, creating opportunities for higher education institutions to provide training and education services to support these organisations.

Objectives for Universities in India

Kapil Dua discussed the objectives that foreign universities typically have when expanding into India. These objectives range from joint research initiatives and collaborations with Indian institutions to training programs, curriculum development, and clinical trials. The challenge lies in choosing the right entity structure for these objectives, as different entities have varying compliance requirements. Understanding India’s regulatory landscape is crucial for success.

Supporting Nonprofit Organisations

The conversation emphasised the increasing regulation of the foreign nonprofit sector in India. While the Indian government aims to clamp down on illicit funding sources, this has created challenges for foreign nonprofits seeking to work in India. However, there is still a significant opportunity for foreign nonprofits to contribute to causes like climate change, healthcare, and more. Understanding the regulatory environment and structuring finances appropriately is vital.

Global Capability Centers (GCCs)

Kapil Dua and Michael Green discussed the rise of Global Capability Centers in India, which are becoming a future focus for many industries. These centres leverage India’s skilled workforce and cost-efficient operations. The discussion highlighted that companies expanding into India need to be well-prepared and plan for a long-term presence to fully benefit from the opportunities presented by the GCC model.

Cultural Sensitivity and Expectation Management

The importance of understanding Indian culture and the nuances of doing business in India was underscored. Kapil Dua mentioned the significance of having local, trusted advisors who can provide insights into cultural norms, negotiation, and communication in India. The conversation emphasised the importance of expectation management and suggested that setting realistic expectations for market entry is crucial for success.

Expansion into Southeast Asia

The conversation also touched upon the expansion of US companies and organisations into Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Just like in India, these markets require a deep understanding of local regulations, cultural differences, and leadership dynamics. The importance of providing a seamless transition of leadership and ensuring the continued operation of key functions in global organisations was highlighted.

Overall, the discussion highlighted the potential for collaboration and growth in India’s higher education and skill development sector while emphasising the need for thorough planning, compliance, and cultural sensitivity in navigating India’s dynamic market.