Indian IT workers urged to learn Japanese

Wednesday, 27 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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CHENNAI: Learning the Japanese language could be key to attracting investment from Japan to India and sending Indian IT workers there, experts said at a meet here.

Tamil Nadu is setting up an industrial estate near here to attract investors from Japan. A Japanese foreign direct investment expert, Kenzo Kato, met Tamil Nadu officials this week and discussed investment opportunities.

At the same time, experts got together here under the umbrella of the Indo-Japan Centre to discuss the growing importance of the Japanese language in the region.

Japanese Consul General Ryuzo Kikuchi, addressing members of the centre, said: "Indian software professionals needed to be able to communicate with Japanese manufacturing companies and ought to gain some knowledge of the language in order to be able to exploit opportunities offered by Japan."

"Indian IT professionals, if they want to obtain an understanding of the Japanese software industry, also require the basic knowledge of Japanese," said I. Yokoi, chief investment advisor of Japan's external trade organisation.

"If you want to do business in Japan, you must know the language. This enhances our confidence," Yokoi told Indian members of the centre.

The West succeeded in doing business with Japan because they familiarised themselves with the Japanese way of thinking.

"Don't expect too many explanations. You are supposed to do your homework," an expert cautioned Indian investors.

Quoting from a survey, T. Srikumar, the solutions delivery chief of Wipro's Japanese business unit, said by 2005 Japan is expected to face a shortage of 300,000 in IT staff.

"Only two percent of Indians are today in the huge Japanese market and this must go up," he said.

Experts said to participate in the Japanese industrial process and fill the skilled worker shortage, Indian IT professionals also required language skills, and that outsourcing and back office skills were not enough.

Talking to members of the Indo-Japan Centre, Kato said Japanese investors were not aware of Chennai as a destination. He said he had been touring southern Indian states to look for investment possibilities.

Source: IANS
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