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Public Sector in India | Role of SoEs in Society | 'insiders'


Public Sector & Social Goods


State-owned enterprises (SoEs) play a key role in a country and are mandated to provide well-being and jobs, and create wealth in the economy. Many invest in core areas like manufacturing products and providing services that private capital shies away from. This is now changing. As governments in Asia and emerging markets embrace free-market policies, SoEs now work closely with private management. But ,like their private sector counterparts, SoEs have to be accountable and hire the right top leadership talent to provide strategy and forward planning.

SoEs' leadership, used to having comfort levels with government stakeholders and contacts; now find themselves dealing with private players with differing styles of functioning, governance and compliance. But the essence of SoE leadership continues to retain an awareness and understanding of social causes. Identifying and hiring leadership talent for the SoE of the 21st century isn't easy. Competition is very intense and competitive, and finding the right talent is time-consuming and costly.


  • SoEs require leadership that understands the interface between private and public management styles of functioning; but talent equipped with these capabilities has to be identified and has been acknowledged as scarce. Attracting this widely spread talent it requires research-based data-oriented approach and specialised experts.

  • Unlike private enterprises, SOEs’ performance evaluations must entail their profitability as well as social benefits; hence it requires a Leadership not only with empathy for government-mandated causes but also with a close eye on the bottom line. Evaluating and striking the right Public-Private balance requires leaders to adapt to these business landscape changes.

  • A leadership which encourages a competitive work culture; by hiring and retaining talented individuals through competitive compensation and performance-based bonuses; is required. Salaries in SoEs are no longer decided in the traditional way as top talent remunerations are increasingly getting aligned to private sector compensation and reward structures.

  • SOEs majorly make the country’s mega-infrastructure projects; which require talent, especially with niche project experience that may be available across many geographies. Especially with the upgrading of technology, the talent required to execute these mega-projects is increasingly scarce; hence NewTech dynamics leadership is on the rise.


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