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The eighth edition of Global Talent Competitiveness Index – GTCI – 2021 has been published. This year it has been co-produced by INSEAD, France, and Portulans Institute, a think-tank based in Washington, DC, and Geneva.

GTCI measures talent along set parameters in various countries of the world, which more or less remain the same. In the 2021 report, 134 countries are included. The complete report has 328 pages and those interested may follow the link at the end to see the full report.

Analysis of Findings … Continued from Previous

We shall analyze Pakistan alone and vis-à-vis our neighbors.

Table 1

CountryGTCI RankingEnableAttractGrowRetainVT SkillsGK Skills

Note. The higher number denotes lower standing

I hope the sequence is clear now. First step in Talent Development is to create environment which Enables the development of talent for everyone. It is through policy frameworks, procedures, social, cultural, and legal support systems. Next is to Attract everyone to take benefit of the enabling circumstances and develop their talent. Next is to help Grow their talent.

Third Pillar – Grow

There are three sub-pillars under this main pillar: formal education, lifelong learning, and access to growth opportunities.

Turkey leads in all sub-pillars and variables, and therefore in the segment on an overall basis at #42, BD lags far behind at #123. The huge difference is repeated in all sub-pillars and variables. Pakistan is at #86 which does not reflect well on our situation.

Turkey is at the top in formal education at #19, BD is at the bottom with #107. Pakistan is at #72. We have been claiming literacy increase for several years, but it is through bringing down the standard. Our formal education has not improved substantially. There are two major hindrances which could not be removed yet. One is the cost, other is the child labor which is necessitated by the economic situation of families. We have not been able to bring millions of street children to schools despite great rhetoric.

In vocational enrolment, Turkey is at #5 which means lot of people opt for vocational training which is necessary for talent growth. Pakistan is n/a which means figures are not available. We know we do not have enough institutions for vocational training, and even those we had, such as German Technical Training Centers, are in shambles. The government, as usual, made a body TEVTA – Technical, Educational, Vocational Training Authority and gave it to bureaucrats to run who did to it what they usually do – nothing of substance. TEVTA has centers and can do lot of good work, but it has not materialized yet.

Tertiary enrolment for Turkey is at #2, at the top of the entire list of 134 countries; Pakistan is at the bottom with #114. A fraction of students ends up in the higher education institutions. And those who do, get waylaid by the commercial greed of universities who teach them useless subjects.

In the entire sub-pillar of formal education and its variables: reading math and science, university ranking etc., Pakistan is not doing well.

The next sub-pillar is Lifelong learning which comes through learning on the job, coaching and employee development and opportunities for improving education during work.

India leads at #41, followed by Pakistan at #51 while BD is far behind at #125. Variables show that the training prevails in firms in some form, though integrated employee development ranks lower at #80.

Learning on the job in Pakistan is done as a compulsion. Students who come out of education and join at the entry level in any function know nothing about it. Our education does not prepare students for anything, including life. The reporting managers are therefore compelled to train new hires to make them work to some level in the beginning. Later, they can make their place within the organization or industry according to their level of learning. A large majority tries to get into a government job where learning is low, progress is slow, and the work is compromised. When a young person says in interview, he wanted to get a government job but could not and is now coming to private sector, I always ask him why he wanted government job? The routine reply is that there is very little work there. If a young person is entering workforce with this thinking, he would not go too far.

Employee development is the best in India at #54 and the worst in Iran at #127. Pakistan is at #80 which is better than BD and Turkey. Private corporates who work on modern lines, place lot of emphasis on employee development. Conventional corporates do not focus on it as an organization, but individual managers may still be doing it. Lately, employee development and employee engagement have become popular concepts and are being worked upon.

Third sub-pillar is Access to Growth opportunities. None is encouraging except Turkey which is at #70.

The first variable is Delegation of Authority. Turkey tops at #65, Iran is at the bottom with #128, closely followed by BD. India is better at #76, while Pakistan is at #102. Delegation of authority is among the most difficult thing in Pakistan in personal, social, and corporate lives. We are a nation of hoarders, and possessors with feudal mindset. We find it hard to even share authority, what to talk about delegating. It is again modern corporates where managers are expected and pushed to delegate. In most other places, authority remains highly centralized.

Pakistan has huge youth population, and we keep claiming it as our asset. However, in youth inclusion variable, Pakistan is at #103 which is lowest among the group. This is anomalous because we should be involving youth and getting maximum benefit of their presence. Serious soul searching, analysis and remedial measures are urgently required in this area.

In the use of virtual social networks and virtual professional networks, Pakistan does not fare well at #112 and #109 respectively. We see lot of people using WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook etc., but our rank is quite low among the group. Turkey is at the top, and all others are trailing far behind.

The sum up of third pillar – Grow – is that Pakistan seriously needs to take concrete measures to grow its talent. Presently, we rely more on natural development of talent, some of which gets exported to other countries. We are left with scarce talent which is not sufficient for growth of Pakistan.

To be Continued…….

Disclaimer. Most pictures in these blogs are taken from Google Images which does not show anyone’s copyright claim. However, if any such claim is presented, we shall remove the image with suitable regrets.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2021 (

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