India has improved its ranking by three notches to 51 globally in terms of ability to attract, develop and retain talent while Switzerland topped the list compiled by leading global business school IMD.
Globally, Europe continues to dominate the rankings, with Switzerland, Denmark, and Belgium being the most competitive countries. Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Sweden and Luxembourg made up the top 10.
"The outstanding education systems in Europe sets them apart from the rest of the pack. This allows them to develop local talent and at the same time attract foreign, highly-skilled professionals, which many European businesses rely upon to perform," the report said.
The annual IMD World Talent Ranking covered 63 countries and assessed the methods the countries adopted to attract and retain talent. The rankings are based on a country's performance in three main categories -- investment and development, appeal, and readiness -- and India was ranked 62nd, 43rd and 29th on these terms, respectively.
According to Arturo Bris, Head of Competitiveness, IMD Switzerland, India is not doing a good job at retaining local talent and attracting foreign labour. On both fronts, remuneration levels, quality of life, security and property rights are deterrent to domestic employment, Bris said. Furthermore, relative to other economies, investment in education is still weak. India ranks among the bottom five countries on the list in terms of investment in education as a percentage of GDP, the study found out.
Going ahead, Bris said "India needs to emphasise the education system as a key to prosperity. It also needs to prevent brain drain by providing better opportunities to local talent".
From the BRICS bloc, China stayed in the lead with a ranking of 40, followed by Russia at 43 and South Africa at 48. Brazil was ranked just after India at the 52nd slot. Christos Cabolis, Chief Economist, IMD Switzerland, said India has the potential to thrive in the age of the digital economy.
According to Cabolis, the country's labour growth provides necessary domestic talent pool. Besides, the emphasis on science in schools, the availability of finance skills and knowledgeable senior managers are the areas in which India performs relatively well, but the country needs to invest in all levels of education and job-related competence mastering, Cabolis added.
Meanwhile, leading Asian economies -- Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan -- have cemented their global status as hubs of attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers though they trail Europe in this regard. But India the news is heartening as it comes at a time when the country is getting a thumbs up from all global organisations terming it as the potential growth hub.