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The original manuscript is presented below-
Leveraging the Strength of NRT
Dr. Manishankar Chakraborty
International Management Trainer, Faculty and Consultant
The Power of NRT’s
Non Residential Tripuraites (NRT) is an unofficial abbreviation used by yours truly, to categorize those citizens of Tripura by birth, who have moved out of the state, owing to education, employment and entrepreneurship, either within the country, or outside of it. The composite strength of this category of human talent, both in cash and kind, is enormous, and therefore, not leveraging it to the hilt, is foolhardy on the part of all the stakeholders, in the larger interest and welfare of the state. There might be an immediate query blipping in the mind of the curious planners, pertaining to the percentage of NRT who are really serious of giving back something to their motherland. The non-contributors might still be outdone by the lot who are willing to contribute positively in some way or the other. Even if that percentage, willing to do something for their motherland is minuscule, it would still enhance the status of the place, which provided them with the basic knowledge and understandings of this world, after their birth. Furthermore, after a period of time in one’s life, every individual would like to get engaged with activities resembling that of philanthropy, by giving back to the society, in various forms and manifestations. Doing something on similar lines for the native would rank right there in the top for such enlightened individuals. Therefore, it is time to remove the mental cobwebs and make the hands dirty by ideating the concept, followed by shaping it up and implementation.
How can it be done?
The initiative definitely has to come from the state government, where a separate department is established, and the exercise would start with the creation of the database of individuals or families who have moved or migrated out of the state. The exercise is a challenging one, as it calls for digging deep into many records which might have gone into oblivion or have gone underneath the heap of dust in government record inventories. Even if a small percentage of it has been digitized, than the effort would be that much easier. However, everything would depend on this exercise, as it is the foundation for the whole initiative to survive, and for that the government has to finalize the date, starting from which month and year to be considered, so as to track people who have migrated to various so called greener pastures. The job can be made easier, even by starting various social media platforms and marketing the same so as to get the wherewithal of NRT’s past and present status. A dedicated department entrusted with this focused responsibility, should be given deadlines so as to finalize the database with concrete details of the individuals, their present position, and location and also identify the strength of each NRT, on the basis of the information gathered. Once that is done, the effort should shift to the potential takeaways that can be gathered from the individuals, in line with the requirement of the state. For example, a professional in the Silicon Valley can provide insights about the improvement of the quality of secondary and tertiary education of the state, culminating in making the graduates employable. They can also be roped in to offer expertise to set-up Software Technology Parks or other sops that can invite investors from various sunrise sectors. Setting up entrepreneurship incubators are the other options that can also be rendered by the lot. The motive is not only to seek cash from the NRT’s as their rich experience, solid contacts and exposure in various sectors would immediately provide the state with plethora of options to diversify the economy and also build on the existing strengths. These developments would be million times bigger and better than cash in hand from the NRT’s. Signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with different private and public sectors from across the country, and the world at large by leveraging the NRT’s would go a long way in entering many new sectors, which would not only boost up the state economy, but also generate tremendous opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.
What are the potential benefits?
The cumulative strength of NRT’s can result in the state getting the following benefits-
- Entry into new sectors that can generate jobs for the locals and a complete facelift of all the sectors within the state
- Improve the standard of education by benchmarking with various national and international institutions
- Prepare a list of mentors from within the NRT’s representing various industries, who can guide their state mates in those areas/industry
- Signing of MoU with prestigious public and private bodies at the national and international level
- Sector specific advisory bodies so as to improve those sectors in the state of Tripura, by seeking their expertise and also inviting them as external auditing bodies as a means of Total Quality Management
- Branding Tripura and its core competencies at the national and the international level, which would bring Tripura to the fore, vis-à-vis the benefits offered to the national and the global community
- Building partnerships which in turn would provide exchange programs to employees from different sectors, so as to get firsthand experience of the national and global developments in those sectors
- Networking opportunities resulting in seeking investors for Tripura and also potential employers who would be referred by the NRT’s to headhunt future employees from various Higher Educational Institution of the state
- People to people contact with various societies resulting in the improving the overall standard of living in the society of Tripura
Challenges to initiate the process
Even though the proposal might sound quite attractive, there are a host of challenges that needs to be overcome and those are definitely not insurmountable, if the required attitude is developed. The major challenges, along with the suggestive solutions, could be any of the following-
- Lack of Financial Resources, which can be overcome by roping in private funding bodies at the state, national and international level, by leveraging the NRT’s and the state government. The state government can also develop a corpus for the same and for that it can also place a requisition to the central government to conduct something like a pravashi Tripura Divas.
- Absence of a department- Quite understandably there is no such department dedicated towards the attainment of this objective and therefore, it would be imperative for the state government to create one for the same with adequate staff members, having the requisite skills, aptitude and attitude, so that the plan can see the light of the day. Accountabilities, along with time lines should be fixed to make it an event conducted professionally, as an annual exercise of convergence of NRT’s with their peers from the state, in the capital Agartala.
- Lack of mindset could be one of the major handicap in making this dream realize fruition. Resistance to change and what is in it for me could be the major inhibiting factors leading to the absence of the full-fledged participation on the part of the employees. However, this can be resolved once there is a government department which is being recruited and managed with commensurate roles and responsibilities.
- Starting from scratch such a gigantic exercise could itself be the biggest undercurrent for the proposal to be limited only to a discussion forum. However, once the benefits are understood and identified and how it can transform the state, would go a long way in bringing people out of that preconceived state of negativity, and act towards the attainment of the goal.
- Absence of a brand for NRT or Tripura could be another challenge, however, herein lies the opportunity to brand the state and its people at the national and global level. The momentum derived from this exercise would form the fulcrum for the branding of the state and its people. Therefore, the exercise would set the stage for bigger things to follow.
The end result
The end result of this exercise would be manifold. One it would provide the state and its people an identity and the issues of identity crisis for Tripura and NRT, would be a thing of the past. Moreover, it would provide opportunities for many NRT’s to even contemplate to come back to their home land, provided the opportunities for reverse brain drain are attractive enough. The attraction of the opportunities are realistically possible, primarily because the NRT’s would work in tandem with the state government, therefore, it would be done on a WIN-WIN proposition. Even if reverse brain drain does not materialize, even the NRT’s getting connected with the state in various capacities in itself would provide Tripura loads of opportunities to grow. The dream which is being reflected in this article would remain the same, unless together all Tripuraties-residential, nonresidential and the government join hands to make this a reality, for other states to benchmark!
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